One of the world’s top researchers of childhood lung diseases will become the interim director of the BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona, starting next week.
Fernando Martinez is the Swift-McNear professor of pediatrics, the director of the UA College of Medicine’s Arizona Respiratory Center and a longtime BIO5 faculty member.
“I am very grateful for this unique opportunity to take my commitment to interdisciplinary research in life sciences to its highest level,” Martinez said in a statement. “There are few other examples in this country of a research institute in which bioengineers, biostatisticians, basic biological scientists” plant geneticists and biomedical researchers collaborate and pursue common goals.
The BIO5 Institute plays a role in regional and statewide bioscience economic and workforce development plans, a release said. The institute helps spur interactions between researchers and industries.
Martinez has published 160 original research papers and authored 20 book chapters. His work has given him a major policy voice with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the release said.
He also is the principal investigator on the UA portion of the NIH’s National Children’s Study, a major effort to investigate the interaction of genes and the environment on children’s health. The UA’s Department of Pediatrics received $44 million to participate in the study.
Martinez will assume his new post at BIO5 on Monday, Feb. 9.