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New Associate Director to Integrate Health Research and Patient Care

By By Robin Mackar
March 2006

William J. Martin II, M.D.
(Photo courtesy of William Martin II)

William J. Martin II, M.D., Named To Head Office of Translational Biomedicine

William J. Martin II, M.D. will join NIEHS as associate director for Translational Biomedicine beginning March 6. Translational biomedicine focuses on moving research results from the NIEHS portfolio into clinical practice.

Martin will work to ensure that the Institute's research is more rapidly integrated into patient care. He will develop new clinical research programs, as well as interdisciplinary training initiatives to extend the influence of environmental health sciences into the clinical arena. He will also serve as liaison between NIEHS and its partners, including academia, professional societies, and other NIH institutes as NIEHS fosters and cultivates new relationships and collaborations.

Establishing the Office of Translational Biomedicine is in line with the NIEHS mission to understand how the environment influences human health and disease, according to NIEHS Director David Schwartz.

"As a physician-scientist who has worked in both the research and clinical arenas, Martin is uniquely qualified to help bridge the gap between research and patient care," said Schwartz. "He shares my vision that environmental health science can provide unique approaches to understanding diseases that affect people around the world. I am thrilled that he has agreed to join the leadership team at NIEHS. He brings a wealth of professional and practical experience, and also a vibrant creativity to this new role."

Martin served as dean of the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine and is a past president of the American Thoracic Society. He also served as the director of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Indiana University for 12 years before becoming the executive associate dean for Clinical Affairs at the University's School of Medicine.

Martin volunteered aboard the US Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, as part of Project Hope during the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. In this capacity, Martin helped establish clinics and provide medical services in devastated areas of Mississippi.

"I plan to approach my new position at NIEHS with the same sense of commitment and urgency I felt while working with the Katrina relief efforts," Martin said. "There is such a sense of excitement in the environmental sciences community right now about the new initiatives that NIEHS is undertaking, and I want to be part of that. I am very excited about the new office and the opportunity to work with the in-house and grant-supported researchers as we work together to develop new approaches to clinical research."

Some of the new interdisciplinary initiatives Martin will oversee include the Institute's Disease Investigation for Specialized Clinically Oriented Ventures in Environmental Research (DISCOVER) program, a new program designed to integrate environmental health research with patient-oriented and population-based studies. For more information, go to http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-06-001.html.

Martin received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1974, and completed his pulmonary and critical care training at Mayo Clinic in1979. Following completion of his research training in the Pulmonary Branch at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, he joined the staff of Mayo Clinic as a clinician-investigator in 1981. While on faculty at Indiana University, Martin served as a Health Policy Fellow, United States Senate, Labor and Human Resources Committee in 1995.

He has authored more than 130 research and clinical papers, and has been an NIH-funded scientist for the past 24 years. Martin has been an invited speaker for nearly 200 events, including testifying before the World Health Organization and U.S. Congress. Martin has received numerous awards including the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest award presented to a citizen of Indiana by the state's governor.



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