A photo of Lisa Martin.

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



My Biography & Research


The future of genetics and genomics demands purposeful collaborative science and its translation to improving clinical care. Dr. Martin is an internationally recognized statistical geneticist with the goal of leveraging genetic and genomic data to transform the care of children. Throughout Dr. Martin’s career, she has connected researchers and clinicians to genetics and genomics, resulting in 196 peer reviewed publications and a strong record of collaborative grant funding. A major focus of her work is understanding how genes act in context. For most conditions that she studies (such as heart defects and asthma), a single gene does not explain outcomes. Rather, genes are important in a larger context. That context may be environmental factors or other genes. Her work has identified novel gene by gene and gene by environment interactions. Importantly, by incorporating interactions, subgroups of individuals have been identified. Further, to really understand how genes relate to outcomes, it is important to measure the outcomes well. Thus, another part of Dr. Martin’s work is improving descriptions of outcomes, whether it is patient reports on how they feel or characterizing biologic changes. By refining how outcomes are measured, she expects to gain important clinical insight on how individuals have improve health outcomes. Her connection of researchers and clinicians to genetics and genomics extends beyond research as she is a highly committed teacher and mentor. She works directly with the training programs offered through the Division of Human Genetics (Master’s in Genetic Counseling, Residency and Fellowship in Medical Genetics) as well as through the Department of Molecular Genetics (PhD).

Research Interests

Statistical genetics; genetics of heart malformations; pharmacogenetics; genetics of allergic disorders

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Human Genetics, Human Genetics, Biostatistics and Epidemiology

My Education

BA: University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 1991.

MA: University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 1993. 

PhD: (with Honors) University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 1999.

Post-doctoral fellow: Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX, 2002.

My Publications

Martin LJ, Pilipenko V, Benson DW. Role of Segregation for Variant Discovery in Multiplex Families Ascertained by Probands With Left Sided Cardiovascular Malformations. Frontiers in Applied Genetic Epidemiology. 2019.

Martin LJ, He H, Collins MH, Abonia JP, Biagini Myers JM, Eby M, Johansson HE, Kottyan LC, Khurana Hershey GK, Rothenberg ME. EoE genetic susceptibility is mediated by synergistic interactions between EoE-specific and general atopic disease loci. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 May;141(5):1690-1698.

Johansson E, Biagini Myers JM, Martin LJ, He H, Pilipenko V, Mersha T, Weirauch M, Salomonis N, Ryan P, LeMasters GK, Bernstein DI, Lockey J, Khurana Hershey GK. KIF3A genetic variation is associated with pediatric asthma in the presence of eczema independent of allergic rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Aug;140(2):595-598.e5. 

Liu X, Yagi H, Saeed S, Bais AS, Gabriel GC, Chen Z, Peterson KA, Li Y, Schwartz MC, Reynolds WT, Saydmohammed M, Gibbs B, Wu Y, Devine W, Chatterjee B, Klena NT, Kostka D, de Mesy Bentley KL, Ganapathiraju MK, Dexheimer P, Leatherbury L, Khalifa O, Bhagat A, Zahid M, Pu W, Watkins S, Grossfeld P, Murray SA, Porter GA Jr, Tsang M, Martin LJ*, Woodrow Benson D, Aronow BJ, Lo CW. The complex genetics of hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Nat Genet. 2017 Jul;49(7):1152-1159.

Collins MH, Martin LJ*, Alexander ES, Boyd JT, Sheridan R, He H, Pentiuk S, Putnam PE, Abonia JP, Mukkada VA, Franciosi JP, Rothenberg ME. Newly developed and validated eosinophilic esophagitis histology scoring system and evidence that it outperforms peak eosinophil count for disease diagnosis and monitoring. Dis Esophagus. 2017;30(3):1-8.

Xiao C, Biagini Myers J, Ji H, Metz K, Martin LJ, Lindsey M, He H, Powers R, Ulm A, Ruff B, Ericksen MB, Somineni HK, Simmons J, Strait RT, Kercsmar CM, Hershey GKK. Vanin-1 expression and methylation discriminate pediatric asthma corticosteroid treatment response. JACI. 2015 Oct;136(4):923-932.

Martin LJ, Franciosi JP, Collins MH, Abonia JP, Lee JJ, Hommel KA, Varni JW, Grotjan JT, Eby M, He H, Marsolo K, Putnam PE, Garza JM, Kaul A, Wen T, Rothenberg ME. Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis Symptom Scores (PEESS® v2.0) identify histologic and molecular correlates of the key clinical features of disease. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015;135(6):1519-1528.

Alexander ES, Martin LJ*, Collins MH, Kottyan LC, Sucharew H, He H, Mukkada VA, Succop PA, Abonia JP, Foote H, Eby MD, Grotjan TM, Greenler AJ, Dellon ES, Demain JG, Furuta GT, Gurian LE, Harley JB, Hopp RJ, Kagalwalla A, Kaul A, Nadeau KC, Noel RJ, Putnam PE, von Tiehl KF, Rothenberg ME. Twin and family studies reveal strong environmental and weaker genetic cues explaining heritability of eosinophilic esophagitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014;134(5):1084-1092.

Martin LJ, Pilipenko V, Kaufman KM, Cripe L, Kottyan LC, Keddache M, Dexheimer P, Weirauch MT, Benson DW. Whole Exome Sequencing for Familial Bicuspid Aortic Valve Identifies Putative Variants. Circ Cardiovascular Genetics. 2014;7:677-683.

Kottyan LC, Davis BP, Sherrill JD, Liu K, Rochman M, Kaufman K, Weirauch MT, Vaughn S, Lazaro S, Rupert AM, Kohram M, Stucke EM, Kemme KA, Magnusen A, He H, Dexheimer P, Chehade M, Wood RA, Pesek RD, Vickery BP, Fleischer DM, Lindbad R, Sampson HA, Mukkada V, Putnam PE, Abonia JP, Martin LJ, Harley JB, Rothenberg ME. Genome-wide association analysis of eosinophilic esophagitis provides insight into the tissue specificity of this allergic disease. Nature Genetics. 2014;46(8):895-900.