Jesse D. Martinez named chief scientific officer

Jesse D. Martinez, PhD
Jesse D. Martinez, PhD

Jesse D. Martinez, PhD, a professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Radiation Oncology at the University of Arizona, has been named chief scientific officer and joins the senior leadership of the Arizona Cancer Center. He replaces G. Timothy Bowden, PhD, who retired from the position he held since 2005.

Dr. Martinez has been on the UA faculty and an Arizona Cancer Center member since 1991.

Dr. Martinez is an investigator in the Arizona Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control and Gastrointestinal Cancer programs, serves as the Cancer Center’s director of education and is the director of the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. He is also the research principal investigator for the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention, a joint program of the Arizona Cancer Center and Northern Arizona University.

"Jesse Martinez has not only excelled as a National Cancer Institute-funded cancer researcher at the Arizona Cancer Center, but as an outstanding teacher and mentor," said David S. Alberts, MD, director of the Arizona Cancer Center. "Dr. Martinez will use his experience in basic and translational research to lead the Arizona Cancer Center’s strategic scientific planning efforts to build and grow our fine research programs to deliver highly impactful results in the fight against cancer."

Dr. Martinez recently received nearly $1 million from the National Cancer Institute to research the chemoprevention of colon cancer. The four-year study will enable him to study the mechanisms of ursodeoxycholic acid, an acid found in bile that may play a role in preventing colon cancer.

Dr. Martinez received a bachelor of science degree in zoology and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Nevada, Reno. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology at Princeton University.