Stopping Corona In its Tracks

Awarding research on antivirals and vaccines to counter coronaviruses

Portrait of David Martinez

Awarding research on antivirals and vaccines to counter coronaviruses

David Martinez, PhD, virologist and postdoctoral researcher in the Baric Lab at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been named one of 10 recipients of the 2022 Dr. Eddie Méndez award, honoring a physician-scientist and cherished colleague at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

The recipients are postdoctoral researchers from across the United States with research expertise in cancer, infectious disease and basic sciences. Research topics include the study of emerging new coronaviruses, the identification of regulators of early-stage lung cancer, and the impact of social and environmental factors on tumor development.

Martinez, a Hanna H. Gray Fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and his colleagues in the lab of Professor Ralph S. Baric, PhD, have been at the forefront of coronavirus research, including work on COVID-19 treatment and vaccines. Martinez’s research aims to design countermeasures against new viruses, including vaccines for emerging viruses like SARS-CoV-2. His current research focuses on developing a universal vaccine for all coronaviruses, and he is also working on research to develop an oral version of the antiviral remdesivir.

“We are proud of this year’s awardees, whose accomplishments to both science and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are truly outstanding. We look forward to welcoming them to the Hutch this September and honoring the memory of Dr. Méndez,” said Christopher Li, MD, PhD, who is the faculty director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and associate director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium.

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