Early Origins of Asthma and COPD

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the topic of a free public lecture, “Early Origins of Asthma and COPD,” by Fernando D. Martinez, MD, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, noon to 1 p.m., in DuVal Auditorium, University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. (Please note: There is a parking fee of $1.50 per hour, cash only, in the UAMC–University Campus visitor/patient parking garage.)

Dr. Martinez is a world-renowned researcher and clinician with significant 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. He is Regents’ Professor, director of the Arizona Respiratory Center, director of the UA BIO5 Institute and Swift-McNear Professor of Pediatrics.

The lecture is part of Founders Day, an annual event commemorating the founding of the UA College of Medicine, which was dedicated Nov. 17, 1967. During the event, Dr. Martinez will receive the 2014 Faculty Science Forum Founders Day Award. The Founders Day lectureship was established in 1979 to recognize and honor UA College of Medicine faculty for their scientific accomplishments. The award recipient is a faculty member who embodies a model of an investigator whose research work has a continuous thread of significance and who effectively can present that research with enthusiasm, vigor and inspiration.

This year, the Founders Day speaker was selected in a comprehensive process through the offices of the Dean, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, and the UA Senior Vice President for Health Sciences. An announcement soliciting nominations was sent to all UA faculty by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences. Sixteen nominations were received and the names of these accomplished scientists who have made significant contributions to the college and the University were submitted to the Founders Day Speaker Selection Committee. After much consideration, the committee selected Dr. Martinez.

For more information about the lecture, including a map with directions, please visit http://medicine.arizona.edu/event/founders-day

About Dr. Martinez

Fernando D. Martinez, MD, joined the UA College of Medicine – Tucson faculty in 1987 and has served as director of the Arizona Respiratory Center since 1996. In 2009, he was inducted as a Regents Professor, the UA’s highest academic qualification, and became director of the UA BIO5 Institute.

Dr. Martinez is a world-renowned expert and one of the most highly regarded researchers in the field of childhood asthma. His primary research interests are the natural history, genetics and treatment of childhood asthma. His contributions to pulmonary science and clinical practice were recognized by the American Thoracic Society in 2008 when he was honored to deliver the Amberson Lecture at the Society’s annual meeting, the most prestigious award bestowed to only one of its members each year.

His groundbreaking research has had an impact on his field in numerous ways, most prominent among them the development of the concept of the early origins of asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). This concept now is widely accepted as the potential basis for the design of new strategies for the prevention of these devastating illnesses affecting millions of children and adults worldwide.

In addition, Dr. Martinez has made important contributions to our understanding of the role of gene-environment interactions in the development of asthma and allergies. He also has been the principal investigator of one of the Clinical Centers that are part of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Asthma Treatment Networks, which have contributed fundamental new evidence on which to base national guidelines for the treatment of the disease.

Dr. Martinez has served on numerous national scientific boards. He recently was appointed to the NHLBI National Advisory Council and as a member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. He was a member of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program that was responsible for the development of the “Expert Panel Report: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma” in 1997 and its first revision in 2001. He also has been a member of the FDA Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee and the NHLBI Board of Extramural Advisors.

Dr. Martinez’ research and vision are well detailed in more than 250 original research papers and editorials, many in collaboration with investigators from all over the world. He frequently is invited to give keynote presentations at national and international meetings.

Dr. Martinez also is an outstanding educator, investing major efforts in training clinical and research fellows, guest lecturing in a variety of courses, mentoring visiting postdoctoral scholars, many of whom are now in academic positions and have become highly respected researchers in their own right.

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.