Luis R. Martinez received his B.S. in Industrial Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and M.S. from LIU Brooklyn. His thesis project on the thermal tolerance of the AIDS-associated fungus, Cryptococcus neofomans, conducted at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y. His master's studies were supported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) minority bridge to the doctorate award. This facilitated his externship at a research-oriented institution where he met mentors that encouraged him to pursue a career in science. Later, he enrolled in the Ph.D. program in the laboratory of Arturo Casadevall, Ph.D., at Einstein, where he was responsible for characterizing biofilm formation in Cryptococcus neofomans.
Upon successfully completing his Ph.D., Martinez joined the laboratory of Joshua D. Nosanchuk, Ph.D., at Einstein to extend his work on microbial pathogenesis and the biology of the immune system. In the course of his post-doctoral training supported by an NIH-Molecular Pathogenesis Training Grant, he successfully led a project that characterized the wound healing and antimicrobial properties of nitric oxide nanoparticles, technology that has been licensed by a biotech company and is in advanced preclinical development.
Martinez earned his M.B.A. degree from Pace University and has completed scholarly work at the Woods Hole's Marine Biological Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories (N.Y.). He has taught in several higher education institutions in the New York City area, including LIU Post (promoted with tenure in 2014), York College, and the Bronx Community College. He is also a member of the American Society for Microbiology Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities, Communication Committee’s Member Empowerment Taskforce, and Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship selection committee.
Recent Projects & Research
- Understanding How the Immune System of the Host is Affected at the Molecular and Cellular Level by Substances of Abuse, Thereby Increasing Host Susceptibility to Opportunistic Infections Caused by Bacteria and Fungi
- Novel Insights on the Pathogenesis of Nosocomial and Multi-Drug Resistant Agent Acinetobacter baumannii
- Unraveling the Mechanisms of Central Nervous System Invasion and Biofilm Formation by Cryptococcus neoformans
- Diversity Issues and Science Policy Particularly Involving Under-Represented Minorities and Women
- Castellano, P., C. Nwagbo, L. R. Martinez, and E. A. Eugenin. 2016. "Methamphetamine compromises gap junctional communication in astrocytes and neurons." J Neurochem. 137:561-75.
- Cordero, R. J., S. C. Liedke, G. De Souza-Araujo, L. R. Martinez, L. Nimrichter, S. Frases, J. M. Peralta, A. Casadevall, M. L. Rodrigues, J. D. Nosanchuk, and A. J. Guimaraes. 2016. "Enhanced virulence of Histoplasma capsulatum through transfer and surface incorporation of glycans from Cryptococcus neoformans during co-infection." Sci Rep. 6:21765.
- Ahmadi, M., H. H. Lee, D. A. Sanchez, A. J. Friedman, M. T. Tar, K. P. Davies, J. D. Nosanchuk, and L. R. Martinez. 2016. "Sustained nitric oxide releasing nanoparticles induce cell death in Candida albicans yeast and hyphal cells preventing biofilm formation in vitro and in a rodent central venous catheter model." Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 60:2185-2194.
- Krishnamoorthy, S., Shah, B. P., Lee, H. H., and L. R. Martinez. 2015. "Microbicides alter the expression and function of RND-type efflux pump AdeABC in biofilm-associated cells of Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates." Antimicrob Agents Chemother. In Press.
- Radu, M. R., J. Roman-Sosa, A. K. Varshney, E. A. Eugenin, B. P. Shah, H. H. Lee, L. N. Nguyen, A. J. Guimaraes, B. C. Fries, J. D. Nosanchuk, and L. R. Martinez. 2015. "Methamphetamine alters the antimicrobial efficacy of phagocytic cells during methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus skin infections." mBio. 6:e01622-15.
Honors & Awards
- Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow in Infectious Diseases, 2017-2018
- NIH, NIGMS Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA; R15), 2016
- Thomas J. Walsh Junior Investigator Award of the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas, 2014
- Long Island Business News, Health Care Hero Award, 2011
- NIH, NIAID Research Scholar Development Award (K22), 2011
- ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Award, 2007
Courses Taught at NYIT
- Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (Microbiology and Immunology)
- Fungal and Viral Pathogens of the Respiratory System