Pilar Martin


Pilar Martín Fernández obtained her BS degree in Biology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1996. Martín received her PhD from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2001 under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Ardavín. She devoted her PhD work to the study of Dendritic cells (DCs), characterizing the different subpopulations in lymphoid organs of healthy mice and after the infection with Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus (in collaboration with Dr. Hans Acha-Orbea at Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Laussane Switzerland). During this period she made relevant contributions to DC field, such as characterization of a new subtype with tolerogenic potential (murine Plasmacytoid DCs), that were published in Nature (2002), Blood (1999, 2000a, 2000b, 2001, 2002a, 2002b), J Immunol (1999) or J Virol (1997), among others.

In 2001 Dr. Martín joined Jorge Moscat´s Group at the Centro de Biología Molecular (CSIC) as a postdoctoral fellow funded by the I3P program (I3P-PC2003) from CSIC. During this time she focused on the function of atypical PKCs (PKCζ and λ) in the NFκB pathway in the immune system. Martín was the first to show that atypical PKCs have a key role in the immune system, in T and B-cell signaling and function. In collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Paul Rennert (Biogen, Cambridge, Boston, MA), Martín described the role of PKCζ and adapter proteins, Par-4 and p62, in T cell differentiation towards Th2 in asthmatic processes (Mol Cell 2001; EMBO J 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006; PNAS 2005), taking advantage in the development of several animal model of disease (asthma, colitis, hepatitis, arthritis, EAE and myocarditis).

Martín was awarded a Ramón y Cajal position in 2007 and joined the Spanish National Cardiovascular Research Centre (CNIC) as a Junior Group Leader, where she opened a line of research focused in the role of immune-regulatory receptors in the development of Th2 and Th17 related diseases. In 2012 she was promoted to Assistant Professor at CNIC. Since becoming an independent investigator Martín has studied the role of Th17, Regulatory T cells (Tregs) and microRNAs in the development of autoimmunity and cardiomyopathies in mice and human. Her contributions to the field have been published in prestigious journals (Circulation 2010, Mol Cell Biol 2010, J Allergy Clin Invest 2010, Science Signaling 2011). More recent work has established the role of the c-type lectin CD69 in Tregs biology (J Autoimmunity 2014), and the transcriptional control of microRNAs (Sánchez Díaz et al., under review). Other contributions include invited reviews in the Inflammatory and Cardiovascular fields (Cardiovasc Res 2010; Front Immunol 2012; TRENDS Mol Med 2013; Biomed Res Int 2015).

During this time, Martín has supervised 3 PhD theses and 4 Master students. She actively participates in national (ANEP, Plan Nacional and FIS) and international grant evaluations (Ducht Arthritis fundation, Agence Nationale de la Reserche (ANR) France, Der Wissenschaftsfonds, Austria). She acts as peer-reviewer of different scientific journals, including Circulation, J Immunol, Blood, Molecular Medicine, among others.