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Introducing Dr. Laura Martins

Introducing Dr. Laura Martins

The Department of Pathology is excited to welcome Laura Martins, PhD as a new faculty member in the Division of Microbiology and Immunology.

Dr. Martins received her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Colorado State University, where she learned how to synthesize and manipulate air sensitive compounds. She then came to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Utah to investigate structural differences between non-heme iron proteins that transport oxygen and those that catalyze oxidation of substrates. As a postdoc, Dr. Martins studied copper and iron homeostasis with Dr. Dennis Winge in the Department of Hematology & Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine. After her postdoc, she joined the “Dark Side” and spent the next 14 years with ATK, during which time she worked to develop safer rocket propellants and advanced aircraft decoy flares.

However, Dr. Martins missed working in an academic science lab and was drawn by the amazing advancements in knowledge and tools available to scientists studying cell biology. In 2011, she made the leap and joined the Planelles Lab as a postdoc where she has focused on HIV-1 virus-host interactions and HIV-1 latency.

She has been promoted to a Research Instructor in the Division of Microbiology & Immunology, where she will continue her research in HIV-1 focusing on how HIV-1 manipulates the nucleolus and how that impacts HIV-1 persistence and symptoms experienced by people living with HIV. She looks forward to learning from and collaborating with faculty at the University of Utah while she seeks independent funding.

Dr. Martins lives in Salt Lake with her husband, Tom Martins, who works at ARUP as a Senior Scientist, and their two boys. In her free time, she enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing, Nordic skiing, and bike packing.


Laura Martins