Vol 7. Issue 31 / October 22, 2007

Florent Martin

Position: Research associate, laboratory of Scripps Research Institute Assistant Professor Jeffrey Friedman.

Projects: In the Friedman lab, Martin participates in research on the role free radicals play in the development of human diseases and aging. In particular, he has been conducting studies relevant to sideroblastic anemias, inherited or acquired bone marrow disorders with no known cause in most cases in which too much iron accumulates within red blood cell progenitors, leading to anemia. Sometimes the disorder is a stage in the evolution of a generalized bone marrow disorder that may ultimately terminate in acute leukemia. Martin's research has involved investigating a mouse model of mitochondrial oxidative stress that mimics the human disorders, developing new techniques for the purification and characterization of diseased cells, and applying results to human biospecimens.

Arrived at Scripps Research: March 2003. After a brief stint in the laboratory of Professor Wendy Havran, he joined the Friedman lab to pursue his interest in oxidative stress. "I am very grateful to Dr. Friedman, both a great mentor and an amazing person!"

Favorite Part of Scripps Research: "Dynamic interactions with many departments' top-notch scientists, hospital collaborators, and of course the unique Torrey Pines environment!"

Background: Born and raised in Avignon, in the heart of Provence, France. Earned a Ph.D. in Immunology in the laboratory of Professor Philippe Naquet, Centre d'Immunologie Marseille-Luminy, where Martin was involved in identifying the biological function of mouse Vanin-1, the prototype of an emerging family of pro-inflammatory molecules. "My work showed that impaired Vanin-1 function protects against the development of inflammatory disorders; an extrapolation of this is that pharmacological inhibitors of the Vanin activity could help the design of a new anti-inflammatory therapy."

How He First Became Interested in Science: "I volunteered for several hospital internships and worked nights at the blood bank in a military hospital. Then I realized I could help!"

Career Goal: When he returns to Europe, Martin plans to look for a position in a science communication company, European funding agency, or scientific journal. "My goal is to promote science research to specialists as well as to a broader audience."

Hidden Talent: Martin is a serious portrait photographer, using full frame cameras and fast lenses to highlight aspiring models. He is also working on a nascent photojournalism project involving the homeless, "Portrait for a Buck™," and occasionally shoots photos for the Scripps Research Society of Fellows (SOF) (look for him at the upcoming Halloween Yacht Party). One of Martin's still life photos is currently exhibited in the Scripps California cafeteria as part of the most recent employee art show. "Rather shy, I am at ease behind the lens," he says.

Additional Activities: Martin is proud of his comprehensive mp3 library. His Stratocaster guitar is "getting rusty," but he still plays the blues. He enjoys surfing and plans to run his ninth half-marathon in November and second marathon in January. His other aspirations? "Discovering and bridging new cultures, while boycotting TV, noise, and fast food, and promoting carpooling, recycling, and global warming awareness."


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu





In the Friedman lab, Research Associate Florent Martin participates in research on the role of free radicals in human diseases and aging.





Outside of the lab, Martin is skilled with a camera, especially for portrait photography, as above.