ASSOCIATED RESEARCHER / MARIA ZAMBRANO CONTRACT
Dr Francisco Martin is Principal Investigator of the Gene and Cell therapy group at GENYO. His activity during the last 25 years has been focused on developing new, more efficient and safer gene transfer systems for it application in the treatment of cancer and rare diseases. He worked at the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) from 1995 to 1997 and later at the Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences (UCL-London-UK) for another 5 years. His work in that period was focused on the development of targeted retroviral vectors for the development of immunotherapy strategies against cancer. In 2002 he moved back to Spain as team leader of the Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) group at IPB López Neyra (CSIC). Since 2009 he is Principal Investigator at GENYO. From 2019, Dr Martin is Secretary of the Spanish Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and, since 2012, he is Member of the academic committee of the Doctoral Program in Biomedicine (University of Granada) and the Master of Immunology of the University of Granada.
Dr. Martin has published more than 80 scientific and technical articles in international journals, including Nature Biotechnology, Journal of Molecular Biology, Trends in Biochemical Science, EMBO journal, Stem Cells, Molecular Therapy, Journal of Virology, Journal of Immunology, Arthritis & Rheumatism, journal of Virology, Leukemia, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, Journal of Controlled Release and others. His articles have been cited more than 1750 times and have an H index = 25.
He has generated 12 patents in the area of cell-gene therapy and immunotherapy (4 of them has been licensed). Based on three of these patents, in 2016 he founded LentiStem Biotech, a Start-Up company whose objective is the optimization of gene therapy tools for applications in rare diseases and cancer. In 2022 he funded CRISPNA Bio, a Start-Up company focus on the development of new genome editing tools.
Currently, his group has focused on the development of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, Pompe disease and refractory B neoplasms. To achive this goal, his group has been focused on three different systems for genetic modification: 1) Lentiviral vectors as the most efficient and safest tools at present to achieve stable genetic modification in actively dividing cells. 2) Adeno-associated vectors (AAV) as the ideal tool for in vivo applications and for the administration of donor DNAs in genomic editing techniques and 3) Genome editing tools (ZFNs, CRISPR/Cas, TALENs) as the technology of the future for efficient and risk-free gene therapy.