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David R. Martinez, PhD

Assistant Professor; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

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David R. Martinez, PhD

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David R. Martinez, Ph.D. studies immunity to viral pathogens of global health importance. David grew up in El Salvador until age 13. As a young child, David became interested in emerging viruses because of innate curiosity in viruses and vaccines as well as his exposure to public health campaigns to fight arthropod-borne viruses (e.g., Dengue virus) and other infectious diseases. David received his Ph.D. from Duke University and trained with leading vaccine immunologist, Dr. Sallie R. Permar. Following the completion of his doctoral studies, David trained as a postdoctoral scholar with one of the world’s leading coronavirologists, Dr. Ralph Baric, at UNC Chapel Hill before and during the COVID-19 pandemic studying immunity to flaviviruses and coronaviruses. Dr. Martinez was part of the teams that contributed to the development of the FDA-approved and widely used Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which was used under Emergency Use Authorization. Dr. Martinez also contributed to the pre-clinical development of COVID-19 human monoclonal antibody therapies from Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca which also received FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Dr. Martinez is a Hanna H. Gray Faculty Fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Scholar
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2023)
  • PhD
    Duke University, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (2018)
  • BS
    University of Oklahoma, Microbiology (2013)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Early Career Researcher AwardElsevier Vaccine2024
AAI Aspire AwardAmerican Association of Immunologists2024
Rising Stars Mentorship Program Awardee Global Virus Network2022
Dr. Eddie Mendez Award Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center2022
Hanna H. Gray FellowshipHoward Hughes Medical Institute2020
Cell Press: Top 100 Most Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in America Cell Press2020
F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service AwardNIH, NIAID2020
Rising Stars in Biomedical Massachusetts Institute of Technology2019
Postdoctoral Diversity Enrichment AwardBurroughs Wellcome Fund2019
T32 NIAID Training GrantUNC Chapel Hill2018
Predoctoral Diversity Enrichment AwardBurroughs Wellcome Fund2018
F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service AwardNIH, NIAID2017
Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research FellowshipAmerican Society of Microbiology2016
Dean’s Graduate Fellowship Duke University2013
Gates Millennium Scholar The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation2008

Departments & Organizations