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Luis Martinez-Sobrido, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 276-4733


Professional Background

- 1994: MSc Degree in Biology awarded by the University of Navarra (Spain).
- 1996-2000: PhD Thesis. Estudio de las interacciones entre las proteínas implicadas en los procesos de replicación y transcripción del Virus Respiratorio Sincitial. Mentor: José Antonio Melero Fondevila. Research Center: Centro Nacional de Biología Fundamental, Instituto de Salud Carlos III. Madrid, Spain.
- 2000-2007: Post-doctoral fellow. Mentor: Dr. Adolfo García-Sastre. Research Center: Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Microbiology Department. 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY, 10029.
- 2007 (January)-2008 (July): Research Assistant Professor. Research Center: Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Microbiology Department. 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY, 10029.
- 2008 (August)-present: Assistant Professor. Research Center: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Department of Microbiology and Immunology. 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 672, Rochester, NY, 14642.
- 2012 (January)-present: External Professor Universidad de Merida en Yucatan, Mexico.


My research interest for the last decade has been focused on the molecular biology, immunology, and pathogenesis of negative-strand (Influenza viruses, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human Metapneumovirus, arenavirus, Thogoto virus, Ebola virus, Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus) and positive-strand (Dengue virus, SARS coronavirus, Mouse Hepatitis virus) RNA, and DNA viruses. I have extensive knowledge in reverse genetics techniques for rescuing RNA and DNA viruses, pioneered the development of techniques and screening assays to identify viral-encoded interferon antagonist proteins, and established new molecular biology techniques to study highly pathogenic viruses without the requirement of special biosafety conditions. My major contributions to the virology field include the development of new experimental systems to answer difficult questions in the mechanisms of virus-host interactions, including: 1) Reverse genetics tools to genetically manipulate viruses, that I have used to examine virus-host interactions and development of vaccines; 2) Plasmid, virus and cellular based assays for the identification of virus-encoded IFN-antagonist proteins that I have used to uncover molecular mechanisms involved in viral pathogenesis, including the first description of an IFN antagonist protein in the arenavirus family and the multiple anti-IFN actions of influenza virus NS1; and 3) Single-cycle infectious influenza and arenaviruses to study highly pathogenic viruses, without the requirement of special biosafety conditions.
Since my recent appointment in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at University of Rochester, one of the 5 NIAID Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance, my research has focused on the interactions of influenza and arenavirus proteins with the host cell. My experience in molecular biology, virus reverse genetics techniques, and virus-based bioassays to study the interferon response gives me the unique opportunity to carry out innovative and original research projects, the major objective of which is to shed light and understand the molecular determinants of patogenesis of influenza and arenaviruses and how these viruses interact with their hosts.


- ASM International Professorship for Latin America and the Caribbean
Sponsor: American Society for Microbiology

- Special Recognition from the NIAID, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Disease for H1N1 influenza work
Sponsor: NIAID

- American Society for Virology travel award to attend the XVIth International Congress of Virology in Istanbul, Turkey.
Sponsor: American Society for Virology

- International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research Young Investigator Award for the 2007 ISICR meeting in Oxford
Sponsor: ISICR

- International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research Travel Award for the 2006 ISICR meeting in Vienna, Austria
Sponsor: ISICR

- International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research Travel Award for the 2005 ISICR meeting in Shangai, China.
Sponsor: ISICR

1996 - 2000
- Graduate Fellowship: Evaluation of interactions among human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) ribonucleoprotein components.
Sponsor: Ministerio de Sanidad (National Institute of Health)

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Journal Articles

Lu M, Dravid P, Zhang Y, Trivedi S, Li A, Harder O, Kc M, Chaiwatpongsakorn S, Zani A, Kenney A, Zeng C, Cai C, Ye C, Liang X, Shimamura M, Liu SL, Mejias A, Ramilo O, Boyaka PN, Qiu J, Martinez-Sobrido L, Yount JS, Peeples ME, Kapoor A, Niewiesk S, Li J. "A safe and highly efficacious measles virus-based vaccine expressing SARS-CoV-2 stabilized prefusion spike." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.. 2021 Mar 23; 118(12)

Viswanathan T, Misra A, Chan SH, Qi S, Dai N, Arya S, Martinez-Sobrido L, Gupta YK. "A metal ion orients mRNA to ensure accurate 2'- ribosyl methylation of the first nucleotide of the SARS-CoV-2 genome." . 2021 Mar 12; Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Plante KS, Dwivedi V, Plante JA, Fernandez D, Mirchandani D, Bopp N, Aguilar PV, Park JG, Tamayo PP, Delgado J, Shivanna V, Torrelles JB, Martinez-Sobrido L, Matos R, Weaver SC, Sastry KJ, Newman RA. "Antiviral activity of oleandrin and a defined extract of Nerium oleander against SARS-CoV-2." Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomédecine & pharmacothérapie.. 2021 Mar 3; 138:111457. Epub 2021 Mar 03.