The University of Arizona

Fernando Martinez, MD

Regent’s Professor
Director, Arizona Respiratory Center
Director, BIO5 Institute
Swift-McNear Professor of Pediatrics


Fernando Martinez, MD, leads one of the University of Arizona’s most prominent and innovative institutes, BIO5, which is the hub for collaborative, interdisciplinary research that holds the promise to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease, feed humanity, and preserve safe, livable environments. BIO5 faculty currently represents over 22 different academic colleges and disciplines – including the original “5”: Agriculture, Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Science.

The grand-scale challenges the world faces today are very complex. No single scientist can solve them alone. Better medicine, health, food, and technology are the result of scientists with different backgrounds and experiences working together and inspiring one another to think in new ways. BIO5 creates the physical and intellectual space to do this, as well as to facilitate translation of meaningful discoveries into bold solutions that will not only impact our economy, but also will change and save lives.

Dr. Martinez is himself a shining example of interdisciplinary focus and success – in addition to his role as Director of the BIO5 Institute, he is a Regents’ Professor, Swift-McNear Professor of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine, Director of the Arizona Respiratory Center, and Director of the Arizona Clinical Translational Science Institute at the University of Arizona. Dr. Martinez is a researcher and clinician with major projects that study the natural history of childhood asthma, and the role of genetic, physiological, immunological and environmental factors as determinants of the risk for asthma in early life.

Dr. Martinez received his medical degrees from the University of Chile, Santiago and the University of Rome, Italy. He completed his residency in pediatrics at the University of Rome, specializing in pediatric pulmonology. He has been at the University of Arizona since 1987. Dr. Martinez has been a member of the Board of Extramural Advisors of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and of the Pulmonary and Allergy Drug Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He was also a member of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program’s Expert Panel, which developed the last two versions of the NHLBI Guidelines for the Treatment of Asthma. Dr. Martinez has written more than 200 journal articles, book chapters and editorials, and has lectured in over 50 countries across the world.

Most recently, Dr. Martinez was invited to meet with President Barack Obama, along with a selected group of the world’s brightest scientists, in order to propel the BRAIN initiative and its mission to solve the mysteries of the brain.

Research Specialties: