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  • Dr. Victor D Martinez, PhD


Clinical Genomics Specialist, Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, IWK Health Centre; Assistant Professor, Dept. of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University


Member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Dalhousie University; Member of the Centre for Genomics Enhanced Medicine (CGEM)

Research Interests:

Genomics, Bioinformatics, Environmental carcinogenesis, Arsenic, Next-generation sequencing

Using bioinformatics to decipher the genetic and environmental causes of cancer

My research interests merge clinical bioinformatics and environmental carcinogenesis. I’m focused on developing bioinformatics frameworks to identify disease-causing genomic and epigenomic events in inherited cancer. I apply this same approach for investigating the role of the non-protein coding portion of our genome in cancer induced by environmental agents. Particularly, I’m interested in finding molecular markers for arsenic-induced cancer. Arsenic is a human carcinogen, and its concentrations in Nova Scotia’s drinking water (as well as in other parts of Canada) represent a significant disease risk for our population.

What brought you to your current institution? Once I finished my postdoctoral training at the BC Cancer Research Centre (with Dr. Wan Lam), I started looking for opportunities that would allow me to apply my skills at the interface between research and clinics. Fortunately, the IWK Health Center was looking for a professional with those characteristics, so it was a perfect match. The close collaboration with Dalhousie and the possibility of joining Dal as a Faculty made it my dream job. I am happy to have made this coast-to-coast move and make Halifax my home.

Hometown: Born in Santiago, Chile. Lived for a short time in Brest, France. Moved to Vancouver in 2011 and to Halifax in 2019

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

As an Associate Member, I’ve participated as a scientific review panel member for the 2021 Spring CRTP competition. Additionally, I’ve been awarded with the 2021 New Investigator award



Smith HW, Yang L, Ling C, Walsh A, Martinez VD, Boucher J, Zuo D, Sokol ES, Pavlick DC, Frampton GM, Chmielecki J, Jones LM, Roux PP, Lockwood WW, Muller WJ. (2020). An ErbB2 splice variant lacking exon 16 drives lung carcinoma. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117(33): 20139-20148.

O'Farrell H, Harbourne B, Kurlawala Z, Inoue Y, Nagelberg AL, Martinez VD, Lu D, Oh MH, Coe BP, Thu KL, Somwar R, Lam S, Lam WL, Unni AM, Beverly L, Lockwood WW. (2019). Integrative Genomic Analyses Identifies GGA2 as a Cooperative Driver of EGFR-Mediated Lung Tumorigenesis. Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. 14(4): 656-671.

Martinez VD, Marshall EA, Anderson C, Ng KW, Minatel BC, Sage AP, Enfield KSS, Xu Z, Lam WL. (2019). Discovery of Previously Undetected MicroRNAs in Mesothelioma and Their Use as Tissue-of-Origin Markers. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology. 61(2): 266-268.

Stewart GL, Enfield KSS, Sage AP, Martinez VD, Minatel BC, Pewarchuk ME, Marshall EA, Lam WL. (2019). Aberrant Expression of Pseudogene-Derived lncRNAs as an Alternative Mechanism of Cancer Gene Regulation in Lung Adenocarcinoma. Frontiers in genetics. 10: 138.

Kresoja-Rakic J, Szpechcinski A, Kirschner MB, Ronner M, Minatel B, Martinez VD, Lam WL, Weder W, Stahel R, Früh M, Cerciello F, Felley-Bosco E. (2019). miR-625-3p and lncRNA GAS5 in Liquid Biopsies for Predicting the Outcome of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Patients Treated with Neo-Adjuvant Chemotherapy and Surgery. Non-coding RNA. 5(2): 41.

Barros-Filho MC, Pewarchuk M, Minatel BC, Sage AP, Marshall EA, Martinez VD, Rock LD, MacAulay G, Kowalski LP, Rogatto SR, Garnis C, Lam WL. (2019). Previously undescribed thyroid-specific miRNA sequences in papillary thyroid carcinoma. Journal of human genetics. 64(5): 505-508.

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