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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.
My primary research goals are directed toward understanding the complex interactions of infectious microorganisms with the immune system, as the balance in this interplay impacts whether host damage occurs. As a postdoctoral fellow at Einstein, I was engaged in diverse projects involving bacteria and fungi trying to answer two fundamental questions: 1) How microorganisms cause disease? and 2) How the hosts protect themselves against infectious organisms?
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