Gail R. Martin
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|Gail Roberta Martin|
Bronx, New York
|Institutions||University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)|
University of Wisconsin–Madison, WI (UW- Madison)University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
|Notable awards||elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences; Pearl Meister Greengard Prize; E.G. Conklin Medal|
G. Steven Martin (m. 1969)1 child (Nicholas)
Gail Roberta Martin (née Zuckman) is a Professor emerita in the Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco. She is known for her pioneering work on the isolation of pluripotent stem cells from normal embryos, for which she coined the term ‘embryonic stem cells’. She is also widely recognized for her work on the function of Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGFs) and their negative regulators in vertebrate organogenesis. She and her colleagues also made valuable contributions to gene targeting technology.
Personal life and education
Martin grew up in The Bronx, New York, the only child of a pharmacist and a schoolteacher. She graduated from James Monroe High School in 1960, and earned her A.B. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI in 1964. She then enrolled as a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley (UCB). It was a tumultuous time, because the student protest known as the Free Speech Movement took place in that academic year (1964–65), and Martin along with her fellow graduate students spent many hours in political discussion and activity. Martin did her doctoral work in the laboratory of Harry Rubin, where she pursued several projects aimed at elucidating the mechanisms that control the growth of fibroblasts in vitro. She completed her Ph.D. thesis in 1971. It was during that time that she married Steven Martin, a British scientist who had come to Berkeley to do postdoctoral work in the Rubin laboratory.
After completing her graduate studies, Martin and her husband moved to London. In 1973, she joined the laboratory of Martin J. Evans at University College London. Evans was then working with teratocarcinomas (a type of tumor), which are of interest because they contain pluripotent stem cells (known as embryonal carcinoma, [EC] cells) from which all the differentiated cell types in the tumor arose. During the two years she spent in Evans’ laboratory, Martin devised a protocol for isolating and maintaining EC cells in the undifferentiated state and for differentiating them in vitro. This work  laid the groundwork for the future isolation of pluripotent stem cells from normal mouse and human embryos. In 1976, Martin and her husband returned to Berkeley, where he took up a faculty position at UCB and she began a year of postdoctoral work with Charles J. Epstein in the Department of Pediatrics at UCSF. During this period she and her colleagues demonstrated that female EC cells had two active X chromosomes and could be used to study X-chromosome inactivation in vitro.
In 1976 Martin joined the UCSF faculty and established her own laboratory, which was active until 2012. Her first major accomplishment was the isolation of pluripotent stem cells from normal mouse blastocysts. This was also achieved by Evans and Kaufman  in the same year. Subsequently, using sophisticated genetic methods that she helped to pioneer, Martin and her colleagues demonstrated the importance of FGF signaling in the development of many organs including the limb. Martin’s laboratory also took the lead in studying the role of negative feedback mechanisms for regulating FGF signaling in the mammalian embryo These studies have led to an appreciation of the exquisite sensitivity of developmental and cell biological processes to even small changes in the level of FGF signaling.
During her tenure at UCSF, Martin served as director of the Graduate Program in Developmental Biology (1986-2009). She also was responsible, in collaboration with a software engineer, Jonathan Scoles, for the development of a database that provides a description of all the genetically altered mice housed at UCSF. This online resource helps researchers determine if mice carrying a particular genetic alteration are available at UCSF and to find out whom to contact about the possibility of obtaining them. Access to this information has saved investigators considerable time and money in acquiring mouse models for their studies and been a stimulus to collaboration between researchers.
Martin has received numerous awards including an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award (1979–83), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1991–92), the Edwin Grant Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology (2002), the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize (Rockefeller University), co-recipients: Beatrice Mintz and Elizabeth Robertson (2007), and the , FASEB Excellence in Science Award (2011).
She received an honorary Doctorate of Science (DSc [Med]) from University College London (2011). She has delivered numerous special lectures, including the George W. Brumley Jr. Memorial Lecture (Duke University) 2006, the UCSF Faculty Research Lecture (2008), and the Dame Anne McLaren Memorial Lecture (UK National Stem Cell Network), York, England (2011). She served as President of the Society for Developmental Biology (2006-2007), and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1991) and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences (Section 22, Cell and Developmental Biology) (2002).
- Martin, G.R. and Evans, M.J. (1975). Differentiation of clonal lines of teratocarcinoma cells: formation of embryoid bodies in vitro. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 72, 1441-1445.
- Martin, G.R., Epstein, C.J., Travis, B., Tucker, G., Yatziv, S., Martin, D.W., Jr., Clift, S. and Cohen, S. (1978). X-chromosome inactivation during differentiation of female teratocarcinoma stem cells in vitro. Nature 271, 329-333.
- Martin, G.R. (1981). Isolation of a pluripotent cell line from early mouse embryos cultured in medium conditioned by teratocarcinoma stem cells. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 78, 7634-7638.
- Joyner, A.L., Kornberg, T., Coleman, K., Cox, D. and Martin, G.R. (1985). Expression during embryogenesis of a mouse gene with homology to the Drosophila engrailed gene. Cell 43, 29-37.
- Lock, L.F., Takagi, N. and Martin, G.R. (1987). Methylation of the Hprt gene on the inactive X occurs after chromosome inactivation. Cell 48, 39-46.
- Frohman, M.A., Dush, M.K. and Martin, G.R. (1988). Rapid production of full-length cDNAs from rare transcripts by amplification using a single gene-specific oligonucleotide primer. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 85, 8998-9002.
- Niswander, L., Tickle, C., Vogel A., Booth, I. and Martin, G.R. (1993). FGF-* replaces the apical ectodermal ridge and directs outgrowth and patterning of the limb. Cell 75, 579-587.
- Hébert, J. M., Rosenquist, T., Götz, J. and Martin, G.R. (1994). FGF* as a regulator of the hair growth cycle: evidence from targeted and spontaneous mutations. Cell 78, 1017-1025.
- Coucouvanis, E. and Martin, G.R. (* Signals for death and survival: a two-step mechanism for cavitation in the vertebrate embryo. Cell 83, 279-287.
- Crossley, P.H., Martinez, S. and Martin, G.R. (1996). Midbrain development induced by FGF* in the chick embryo. Nature 380, 66-68.
- Neubüser, A., Peters, H., Balling, R. and Martin, G.R. (1997). Antagonistic interactions between FGF and BMP signaling pathways: a mechanism for positioning the sites of tooth formation. Cell 90, 247-255.
- Lewandoski, M. and Martin, G.R. (1997). Cre-mediated chromosome loss in mice. Nature Genet. 17, 223-225.
- Meyers, E.N., Lewandoski, M., and Martin, G.R. (1998). An Fgf* mutant allelic series generated by Cre- and Flp-mediated recombination. Nature Genet. 18, 136-141
- Minowada, G., Jarvis, L. A., Chi, C. L., Neubüser, A., Sun, X., Hacohen, N., Krasnow, M. A. and Martin, G.R. (1999). Vertebrate Sprouty genes are induced by FGF signaling and can cause chondrodysplasia when overexpressed. Development 126, 4465-4475.
- Trumpp, A., Depew, M. J., Rubenstein, J. L. R., Bishop, J. M. and Martin, G.R. (1999). Cre-mediated gene inactivation demonstrates that FGF* is required for cell survival and patterning of the first branchial arch. Genes Dev. 13, 3136-3148.
- Sun, X., Mariani, F. and Martin, G.R. (2002). Functions of FGF signaling from the apical ectodermal ridge in limb development. Nature 418, 501-508.
- Shim, K., Minowada, G. Coling, D. E., and Martin, G.R. (2005). Sprouty* a mouse deafness gene, regulates cell fate decisions in the auditory sensory epithelium by antagonizing FGF signaling. Dev. Cell 8, 553-564.
- Klein, O.D., Minowada, G., Peterkova, R., Kangas, A., Yu, B.D., Lesot, H., Peterka, M., Jernvall, J. and Martin, G.R. (2006). Sprouty genes control diastema tooth development via bidirectional antagonism of epithelial-mesenchymal FGF signaling. Dev. Cell 11, 181-190.
- Metzger, R.J., Klein, O.D.,Martin, G.R., and Krasnow, M.A. (2008). The branching programme of mouse lung development. Nature 453, 745-750.
- Tang, N., Marshall, W., McMahon, M., Metzger, R. J. and Martin, G.R. (2011). Control of mitotic spindle angle by the RAS-regulated ERK1/* pathway determines lung tube shape. Science 333, 342-345.
- Torassa Ulysses, 2001, "Profile: Gail Martin, UCSF scientist opened door; research has been built on her seminal work 20 years ago," at SFGATE, August 10, 2001, see , accessed 26 February 2015.
- Stem Cell Research — Potential Solutions, Practical Challenges
- Martin G (December 1981). "Isolation of a pluripotent cell line from early mouse embryos cultured in medium conditioned by teratocarcinoma stem cells.". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 78 (12): 7634–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.78.12.7634. PMC 349323. PMID 6950406.
- Martin, G.R. and Evans,M.J. (1975). "Differentiation of clonal lines of teratocarcinoma cells: formation of embryoid bodies in vitro". Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 72: 1441–1445.
- Martin, G.R., Epstein, C.J., Travis, B., Tucker, G., Yatziv, S., Martin, D.W., Jr., Clift, S. and Cohen, S. (26 January 1978). "X-chromosome inactivation during differentiation of female teratocarcinoma stem cells in vitro". Nature 271: 329–333. doi:10.1038/271329a0.
- Evans, M.J and Kaufman M. (9 July 1981). "Establishment in culture of pluripotential cells from mouse embryos". Nature 292: 154–156. doi:10.1038/292154a0.
- "Edwin Grant Conklin Medal". Society for Developmental Biology.
- "Society for Developmental Biology".