Garcia-Martinez is a professor of medicine, microbiology, and immunology in the Center for AIDS Research, Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He received postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as a research associate at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Garcia-Martinez was an assistant and subsequently an associate member of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and a professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.
In the course of his career, Garcia-Martinez has made seminal contributions to the understanding of HIV pathogenesis and in particular to the understanding of the function of Nef, an important determinant of HIV pathogenesis and disease progression. More recently, Garcia-Martinez and the members of his group have established an outstanding track record in the development and use of humanized mice. Since their landmark publication describing the humanized BLT mouse model, the model has been widely used to address key questions regarding various aspects of human immunology, virus-induced cancers, and HIV infection, transmission, and prevention. Currently, Garcia-Martinez’s research program is pioneering innovative approaches to prevent all forms of HIV transmission and developing new technologies aimed at eradicating HIV from the body and thus finding a cure for AIDS.
Garcia-Martinez has served on the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science National Board of Directors and the State of Tennessee HIV Prevention Community Group and has been the recipient of multiple grant awards from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. In addition, he has been the recipient of a Fogarty International Fellowship and a National Research Service Award.
Over the course of Garcia-Martinez’s career, he has mentored numerous students and scientists, including underrepresented minorities at all levels of education. Garcia-Martinez believes that a diverse biomedical research workforce contributes to innovation and productivity and has a major role in reducing healthcare disparities.
1 Melkus MW, Estes JD, Padgett-Thomas A, Gatlin J, Denton PW, Othieno FA, Wege AK, Haase AT, Garcia JV (2006). Humanized mice mount specific adaptive and innate immune responses to EBV and TSST-1. Nature Medicine 12, 1316-1322.