Associate Director, Population Science

Associate Director for Population Sciences

Elena Martinez, PhD
Associate Director, Population Science
Co-Leader, Reducing Cancer Disparities Program                                                            
Professor, Family Medicine and Public Health 

Elena Martinez, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, having joined the UC San Diego faculty in 2012. She holds the Sam M. Walton Endowed Chair for Cancer Research and Co-leads the Reducing Cancer Disparities Program at the Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Martinez holds a PhD in Epidemiology and a Master's in Public Health. Dr. Martinez's research interests in colorectal cancer prevention began during the conduct of her doctoral dissertation and extended into her post-doctoral studies at the Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to joining the UC San Diego faculty, she was Professor of Epidemiology in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and was the Richard H. Hollen Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Arizona Cancer Center. She had a very active research portfolio at the University of Arizona, including RO1 funding and program leadership in a Program Project (PO1) and a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) program. She has published extensively in areas of epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, and cancer prevention. Her research currently focuses on breast cancer in Hispanic women, with a prominent leadership role in the Ella Binational Breast Cancer Study. She is currently co-PI of an NCI-funded UO1 grant assessing epidemiologic and epigenetic features of breast tumors occurring in the post-partum period in Hispanic women. In addition, she is a key member of the original investigative team that implemented a large Gates Foundation-funded consortium in six countries in Latin America focusing on Helicobacter pylori eradication and gastric cancer prevention. Nationally, she has established herself as a strong leader in the area of cancer health disparities; evidence of this is her appointment as recent chair of the American Association for Cancer Research Minorities in Cancer Research Council. In addition, she is senior editor of the Cancer Disparities section for the Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention journal. Dr. Martinez was a recipient of the 2013 Women Who Mean Business Award from the San Diego Business Journal. Dr. Martinez has served on the NCI's Board of Scientific Counselors and currently she is a member of the NCI's Board of Scientific Advisors. Dr. Martinez is a member of prestigious Blue Ribbon Panel of experts that informed the scientific direction and goals of Vice President Joe Biden's National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Contact information:

Elena Martinez, PhD
Email: e8martinez@ucsd.edu

Assistant: Valesca Largaespada, MPH
Phone: 858-822-3535