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School of Health Professions & Nursing

Dr. Luis Martinez, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences, School of Health Professions and Nursing

Tracking Drug Abuse on Neonatal Immunity

Dr. Luis MartinezAn LIU Post faculty member and several of his talented students have garnered national recognition. Recently, Dr. Luis Martinez received a two-year Career Transition Award of $227,376 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. His research centers on the impacts of the abuse of methamphetamine on neonatal immunity.

Dr. Martinez hypothesizes that the drug can negatively impact the innate immune function of offspring exposed to the drug during pregnancy. The prestigious grant is given to new, talented independent investigators whose research addresses the health needs of the nation. Only a quarter of applicants receive funding.

"The NIH award is the primary support for my research at LIU Post, strengthening the institution's research environment," Dr. Martinez says.

The grant also will expose more students to research, which will greatly enhance their potential for pursuing scientific and health-related careers," he continued.

Dr. Martinez's research has already resulted in a career boost for his former graduate student Chitralekha Macherla, who was hired four days after her thesis defense as a research associate by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Similarly, Jade Greco, an undergraduate student, recently won the Benjamin Cummings/MACUB grant; and Habibullah Peerzada, a graduate student, will be performing work related to this grant at Albert Einstein College of Medicine beginning this spring.