Professor and Head, Departments of Biochemistry and Medical Biochemistry
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor Martinis is an internationally respected scholar in the field of RNA-protein interactions and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases whose work is most currently supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the W.M. Keck Foundation. She was a founding member of the National Institutes of Health Molecular Genetics A study section and is known for high-quality teaching and mentorship. After graduating with a PhD (’90) from Illinois in Biochemistry, Dr. Martinis joined Paul Schimmel's laboratory at MIT as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Schimmel is the founder of multiple successful biotech startups and recruited Martinis as one of the initial members of Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Martinis left Cambridge in 1995 for the University of Houston and was recruited back to a tenured position at Illinois in 2005. Since 2009, Martinis has been Head of the Department of Biochemistry and served for one year as interim Associate Dean for the Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.