A photo of Lisa Martin.

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Biography & Affiliation


I am a statistical geneticist, which means it is my job to make sense of the large volumes of genetic data being produced. My interest in genetics started with my first introduction to the field in high school. Because I was always good at math, I was excited to learn about statistical genetics, where I could marry my two interests.

Here at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, my primary focus is the genetic contributions to variation in phenotypes (characteristics of people). Rather than look at a single characteristic, I focus on many, including inappropriate heart development, allergic conditions (including asthma and eosinophilic esophagitis), and how people respond to medications.

My approach to variation in phenotypes is to consider multiple factors jointly. This is important because we often find that a single genetic variant does not explain outcomes. Rather, the context in which a gene variant occurs (other genetic variants, environmental factors) is important. My research focuses on identifying combinations of factors that best explain phenotypes. This work has resulted in a better understanding of heart development and why certain individuals develop asthma or eosinophilic esophagitis.

My role at Cincinnati Children’s extends beyond my research. I am proud to support the next generation of researchers and have mentored many students, trainees and faculty throughout my career.

Research Interests

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

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Research Divisions

Human Genetics, Biostatistics


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.


Selected Publication

Disease-associated KIF3A variants alter gene methylation and expression impacting skin barrier and atopic dermatitis risk. Stevens, ML; Zhang, Z; Johansson, E; Ray, S; Jagpal, A; Ruff, BP; Kothari, A; He, H; Martin, LJ; Ji, H; et al. Nature Communications. 2020; 11.

Atopic dermatitis independently increases sensitization above parental atopy: The MPAACH study. Kroner, JW; Kyzy, AB; Burkle, JW; Martin, LJ; LeMasters, GK; Bernstein, DI; Lockey, JE; Ryan, P; Hershey, GK K; Myers, JM B. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2020; 145:1464-1466.

Thyroid function screening in children and adolescents with mood and anxiety disorders. Luft, MJ; Aldrich, SL; Poweleit, E; Prows, CA; Martin, LJ; DelBello, MP; Keeshin, BR; Ramsey, LB; Strawn, JR. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2019; 80.

Genetic Influences on Behavioral Outcomes After Childhood TBI: A Novel Systems Biology-Informed Approach. Kurowski, BG; Treble-Barna, A; Pilipenko, V; Wade, SL; Yeates, KO; Taylor, HG; Martin, LJ; Jegga, AG. Frontiers in Genetics. 2019; 10.

A Pediatric Asthma Risk Score to better predict asthma development in young children. Biagini Myers, JM; Schauberger, E; He, H; Martin, LJ; Kroner, J; Hill, GM; Ryan, PH; LeMasters, GK; Bernstein, DI; Lockey, JE; et al. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2019; 143:1803-1810.e2.

Role of Segregation for Variant Discovery in Multiplex Families Ascertained by Probands With Left Sided Cardiovascular Malformations. Martin, LJ; Pilipenko, V; Benson, DW. Frontiers in Genetics. 2019; 9.

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) genetic susceptibility is mediated by synergistic interactions between EoE-specific and general atopic disease loci. Martin, LJ; He, H; Collins, MH; Abonia, JP; Myers, JM B; Eby, M; Johansson, H; Kottyan, LC; Hershey, GK K; Rothenberg, ME. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2018; 141:1690-1698.

KIF3A genetic variation is associated with pediatric asthma in the presence of eczema independent of allergic rhinitis. Johansson, E; Myers, JM B; Martin, LJ; He, H; Pilipenko, V; Mersha, T; Weirauch, M; Salomonis, N; Ryan, P; LeMasters, GK; et al. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2017; 140:595-598.e5.

Applying Systems Biology Methodology To Identify Genetic Factors Possibly Associated with Recovery after Traumatic Brain Injury. Kurowski, BG; Treble-Barna, A; Pitzer, AJ; Wade, SL; Martin, LJ; Chima, RS; Jegga, A. Journal of Neurotrauma. 2017; 34:2280-2290.

The complex genetics of hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Liu, X; Yagi, H; Saeed, S; Bais, AS; Gabriel, GC; Chen, Z; Peterson, KA; Li, Y; Schwartz, MC; Reynolds, WT; et al. Nature Genetics. 2017; 49:1152-1159.