Victor MartinezPhD

Assistant Professor

Dr Victor Martinez

Phone: 902-470-8009
Mailing Address: 
5850/5980 University Avenue PO Box 9700 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 6R8
Research Topics:
  • Clinical bioinformatics
  • Variant interpretation
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Hereditary diseases
  • Environmental carcinogenesis
  • Non-coding RNAs


Dr. Victor Martinez's journey began investigating lung tumours associated with human arsenic exposure. As a Postdoctoral Fellow (with Dr. Wan Lam at the BC Cancer Research Centre), Dr. Martinez expanded his research to include the investigation of the role of small non-coding RNAs in cancer.

Dr. Martinez transitioned to clinical research by collaborating in the identification of novel genetic drivers and patient response to targeted therapies in lung adenocarcinomas.

In 2019, started as a Clinical Genomics Specialist at the IWK Health Centre. Here, Dr. Martinez investigate the biological effects of genetic variants detected in inherited cancers and rare diseases.


  • PhD: Biomedical Sciences, University of Chile (2010)
  • MSc: Interdisciplinary Oncology, University of British Columbia (2019)
  • BSc: Molecular Biotechnology, University of Chile (2002)

Selected Publications

  1. Martinez VD and Lam WL. Health effects associated with pre-and perinatal exposure to arsenic. Frontiers in Genetics. In press (2021)
  2. Martinez VD, Sage AP, Minatel BC, Marshall EA, Price ME, Becker-Santos DD, Robinson WP, Lam WL. Human placental piwi-interacting RNA transcriptome is characterized by expression from the DLK1-DIO3 imprinted region. Scientific Reports 11, 14981 (2021)
  3. Martinez VD, Cohn D, Telkar N, Minatel B, Pewarchuk M, Marshall E, Price ME, Robinson W, Lam WL.  Profiling the small non-coding RNA transcriptome of the human placenta. Scientific Data (2021) (Accepted)
  4. 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. An ErbB2 splice variant lacking exon 16 drives lung carcinoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Aug 18;117(33):20139-20148 (2020)
  5. Martinez VD*, Marshall EA*, Anderson C, Ng K, Minatel BC, Sage AP, Enfield KSS, Xu Z, Lam WL. Discovery of previously-undetected miRNAs in mesothelioma and their use as tissue-of-origin markers. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology 61 (2), 266-268 (2019) (*Co-1st authors)
  6. Kresoja-Rakic J, Szpechcinski A, Kirschner MB, Ronner M, Minatel BC, Martinez VD, Lam WL, Weder W, Stahel R, Früh M, Cerciello F, Felley-Bosco E. 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 (2019)
  7. 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 (2019)
  8. Barros-Filho M, Pewarchuk ME, Minatel BC, Sage AP, Marshall EA, Martinez VD, Rock L, MacAulay GM, Kowalski L, Rogatto S, Garnis C, Lam WL. (2019). Previously-undescribed thyroid-specific miRNA sequences in papillary thyroid carcinoma. Journal of Human Genetics 64 (5), 505 (2019)
  9. O’Farrell H, Harbourne B, Kurlawala Z, Martinez VD, Lu D, Oh MH, Coe B, Thu K, Somwar R, Lam S, Lam WL, Unni A, Beverly L, Lockwood WW. Integrative genomic analyses identifies GGA2 as a cooperative driver of EGFR mediated lung tumorigenesis. Journal of Thoracic Oncology 14 (4), 656-671 (2019)
  10. Sage AP*, Martinez VD*, Minatel BC, Pewarchuk ME, MacAulay GM, Marshall EA, Hubaux R, Pearson DD, Goodarzi AA, Dellaire G, Lam WL. Genomics and epigenetics of malignant mesothelioma. High-Throughput. Jul 27;7(3):20 (*Co-1st authors) (2018)
  11. Sage AP, Minatel BC, Marshall EA, Martinez VD, Stewart GL, Enfield KSS, Lam WL. Expanding the miRNA transcriptome of human kidney and renal cell carcinoma. International Journal of Genomics Volume 2018 |Article ID 6972397 ( 2018).
  12. Minatel BC, Sage AP, Anderson C, Hubaux R, Marshall EA, Lam WL, Martinez VD. Environmental arsenic exposure: From genetic susceptibility to pathogenesis. Environment International ; 112: 183. (2018)
  13. Minatel BC*, Martinez VD*, Ng KW, Sage AP, Tokar T, Marshall EA, Anderson C, Enfield KSS, Stewart GL, Reis PP, Jurisica I, Lam WL. Large-scale discovery of previously undetected microRNAs specific to human liver. Human Genomics; 12: 16. (2018) (*Co-1st authors)
  14. Martinez VD, Firmino NS, Marshall EA, Ng KW, Wadsworth BJ, Anderson C, Lam WL, Bennewith KL. Non-coding RNAs predict recurrence-free survival of patients with hypoxic tumours. Scientific Reports; 8: 152 (2018)
  15. Drilon A, Somwar R, Mangatt BP, Edgren H, Desmeules P, Ruusulehto A, Smith RS, Delasos L, Vojnic M, Plodkowski AJ, Sabari J, Ng K, Montecalvo J, Chang J, Tai H, Lockwood WW, Martinez VD, Riely GJ, Rudin CM, Kris MG, Arcila ME, Matheny C, Benayed R, Rekhtman N, Ladanyi M, Ganji G. Response to ERBB3-Directed Targeted Therapy in NRG1-Rearranged Cancers. Cancer Discovery; 8: 686 (2018)
  16. Thu KL, Papari-Zareei M, Stastny V, Song K, Peyton M, Martinez VD, Zhang YA, Castro IB, Varella-Garcia M, Liang H, Xing C, Kittler R, Milchgrub S, Castrillon DH, Davidson HL, Reynolds CP, Lam WL, Lea J, Gazdar AF. A comprehensively characterized cell line panel highly representative of clinical ovarian high-grade serous carcinomas. Oncotarget; 8: 50489 (2017).
  17. Sage AP, Minatel BC, Ng KW, Stewart GL, Dummer TJB, Lam WL, Martinez VD. Oncogenomic disruptions in arsenic-induced carcinogenesis. Oncotarget; 8: 25736. (2017)
  18. Marshall EA, Sage AP, Ng KW, Martinez VD, Firmino NS, Bennewith KL, Lam WL. Small non-coding RNA transcriptome of the NCI-60 cell line panel. Scientific Data; 4: 170157 (2017).
  19. Ng KW, Anderson C, Marshall EA, Minatel BC, Enfield KS, Saprunoff HL, Lam WL, Martinez VD. Piwi-interacting RNAs in cancer: emerging functions and clinical utility. Molecular Cancer 2016; 15: 5.
  20. Martinez VD, Enfield KS, Rowbotham DA, Lam WL. An atlas of gastric PIWI-interacting RNA transcriptomes and their utility for identifying signatures of gastric cancer recurrence. Gastric Cancer 2016; 19: 660.
  21. Marshall EA, Ng KW, Kung SH, Conway EM, Martinez VD, Halvorsen EC, Rowbotham DA, Vucic EA, Plumb AW, Becker-Santos DD, Enfield KS, Kennett JY, Bennewith KL, Lockwood WW, Lam S, English JC, Abraham N, Lam WL. Emerging roles of T helper 17 and regulatory T cells in lung cancer progression and metastasis. Molecular Cancer 2016; 15: 67.
  22. Firmino N*, Martinez VD*, Rowbotham DA, Enfield KSS, Bennewith KL, Lam WL. HPV status is associated with altered PIWI-interacting RNA expression pattern in head and neck cancer. Oral Oncology 2016; 55: 43. (*Co-1st authors)
  23. Enfield KS, Martinez VD, Marshall EA, Stewart GL, Kung SH, Enterina JR, Lam WL. Deregulation of small non-coding RNAs at the DLK1-DIO3 imprinted locus predicts lung cancer patient outcome. Oncotarget 2016; 7: 80957.
  24. Becker-Santos DD, Thu KL, English JC, Pikor LA, Martinez VD, Zhang M, Vucic EA, Luk MT, Carraro A, Korbelik J, Piga D, Lhomme NM, Tsay MJ, Yee J, MacAulay CE, Lam S, Lockwood WW, Robinson WP, Jurisica I, Lam WL. Developmental transcription factor NFIB is a putative target of oncofetal miRNAs and is associated with tumour aggressiveness in lung adenocarcinoma. Journal of Pathology 2016; 240: 161.