Dr. Martinez-Sobrido’s lab is interested in the molecular biology, immunology, and pathogenesis of negative-strand and positive-strand RNA, and DNA viruses. Likewise, Dr. Martinez-Sobrido’s lab aims to develop vaccines and antivirals that can be long-lasting for viral infections in humans. The team plans to use the maximum containment biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory to safely study pathogens responsible of causing hemorrhagic fever in humans. Current research in Dr. Martinez-Sobrido’s laboratory focus on:
- Characterizing influenza virus infections, development of vaccines and antivirals
- Reverse Genetics (RG) approaches for RNA and DNA viruses
- COVID-19 immunogenicity, pathogenesis and development of animal models
- Development of live attenuated vaccines for the treatment of viral infections
- Identification of neutralizing antibodies with prophylactic and therapeutic applications
- Molecular virology
- Viral immunology
Dr. Martinez-Sobrido is widely recognized for his expertise in generating recombinant viruses, specifically influenza, arenaviruses, and Zika virus, using plasmid-based reverse genetic approaches. He also developed plasmid, cellular and virus based assays to identify virus-encoded interferon antagonist proteins that have helped to uncover the molecular mechanisms involved in viral pathogenesis. He has several Department of Defense and NIH grants for the study of these and other important viral pathogenes. Currently, Dr. Martinez-Sobrido’s team is mainly focusing on the study of SARS-CoV-2.
Dr. Martinez-Sobrido is continuing his work with the New York Influenza Center of Excellence, which is part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) program through the National Institutes of Health. In addition to characterizing the influenza virus, as part of this project, he is working with collaborators to develop a universal flu vaccine with the use of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) or blood proteins that can recognize key pieces of the virus to help a person’s immune system clear infected cells from the system. Studies are underway to test these bNAbs in small animal models and suitable candidates will move into nonhuman primate models.