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Luis Martinez-Sobrido, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 276-4733

Research Labs

Dr. Luis Martinez-Sobrido research interest focuses on the molecular biology and in the evasion of the innate immune response by negative strand RNA viruses, mainly Arenaviruses and Influenza viruses.

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Faculty Appointments


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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Patent Title: Novel Arenavirus Vaccine
Patent #: 10,342,861
Issue Date: Jul 09, 2019
Country: United States
Invented By: Luis Martinez-Sobrido, Juan Carlos de la Torre

Patent Title: Methods and Compositions Related to Reorganization of Arenavirus Genome for Development of Novel Arenavirus Live-Attenuated Vaccines (LAV)
Patent #: 9,943,585
Issue Date: Apr 17, 2018
Country: United States
Invented By: Masaharu Iwasaki, Luis Martinez-Sobrido, Juan Carlos de la Torre


Journal Articles

"In vivo analysis of influenza A mRNA secondary structures identifies critical regulatory motifs." Nucleic acids research.. 2019 May 4; Epub 2019 May 04.

"Aryl and arylalkyl substituted 3-hydroxypyridin(1H)-2-ones: Synthesis and evaluation as inhibitors of influenza A endonuclease." ChemMedChem.. 2019 Apr 14; Epub 2019 Apr 14.

"New Advances on Zika Virus Research." Viruses.. 2019 Mar 14; 11(3)Epub 2019 Mar 14.