Diversity in Life Sciences

Initiatives to Enhance Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Science


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Thomas Farid Martínez, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of California, Irvine

Thomas was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, CA and is a first-generation college graduate. He received his B.S. in Biological Engineering from MIT and trained in Prof. JoAnne Stubbe’s laboratory, where he used chemical approaches to study the mechanism of human ribonucleotide reductase. He then received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics from Caltech as an NIH NRSA predoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Prof. Peter Dervan. His thesis work focused primarily on characterizing the effects of synthetic DNA binding pyrrole-imidazole polyamides on DNA replication in prostate cancer cells. Thomas then completed his postdoctoral research as an NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Alan Saghatelian’s laboratory at the Salk Institute, where he developed an integrative platform combining ribosome profiling, de novo transcriptome assembly, and mass spectrometry to discover functional small open reading frame-encoded microproteins in the human genome. Currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC Irvine, his research program is focused on identifying, characterizing, and examining the therapeutic potential of novel microproteins involved in tumor progression. His group will address each of these aims through focused mechanistic studies, genome-wide screens of essential microproteins, and interrogation of microprotein interactions with critical cancer proteins. Long term, these studies will enable the development of new therapeutics against discovered targets. As an underrepresented minority and child of immigrants himself, Thomas is passionate about and committed to outreach efforts aimed at increasing the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds pursuing higher education and careers in STEM fields.

Research Area(s):


Research Keywords:

# Microprotein
# Cancer
# Translation
# Proteomics
# Genomics

Mentor: Tony Hunter, PhD

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