Douglas R. Martin, PhD

Director, Scott-Ritchey Research Center

Douglas R. Martin Photo


Scott-Ritchey Research Center

Auburn University
College of Veterinary Medicine
1130 Wire Road
Auburn, AL 36849



PhD, Auburn University, Biomedical Sciences, 1999
BS, Auburn University, Biology, 1989



Dr. Martin received his BS in biology from Auburn University in 1989 before completing his PhD in biomedical sciences from Auburn in 1999. Dr. Martin came to Auburn University as a Postdoc Fellow in 2001, and from 2004-2009 was an assistant research professor at the Scott-Ritchey Research Center at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2009, Dr. Martin was promoted to associate professor status and in 2009 became a faculty member of the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology to assist teaching microanatomy while continuing his research at the Scott-Ritchey Research Center. Dr. Martin was promoted to professor in 2015.

  • President’s Outstanding Collaborative Units Award, Auburn University, 2014
  • Above & Beyond Award, National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, 2014
  • NIH Developmental Brain Disorders (DBD) study section, ad hoc, 2014 – present
  • Cover image, Molecular Therapy 21(7), July, 2013. Note: the journal used a micrograph from our published manuscript as the cover image for this issue. See below, Article Length Publications – Refereed Journals (Bradbury et al, 2013).
  • Research Highlight press release, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, abstract 646 embargoed for release, 5/21/2011. Note: The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy selects a few abstracts prior to each annual meeting to attract media attention through a ‘Research Highlight’ press release.
  • B.F. Hoerlein Research Award, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, 2010
  • Outstanding Poster Presentation, Phi Zeta Research Emphasis Forum, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1995, 1997
  • Comer Award for Outstanding Senior in Biological Sciences, Auburn University, 1989
  • Phi Beta Kappa Junior Book Award, 1989
  • FBI Honors Internship Program (research at FBI Academy, Quantico, VA), 1988

Research Interests


Molecular therapy of neurodegenerative diseases.

Lysosomal storage diseases comprise a group of over forty related disorders that result from dysfunction of lysosomal enzymes or associated proteins. With a frequency of 1 in 7700 live births, these inherited diseases often occur in early childhood and most are currently untreatable. Dr. Martin studies therapeutic strategies for the neuropathic lysosomal storage diseases known as GM1 and GM2 gangliosidosis in well-characterized feline models. Although many types of molecular therapy are being considered, the laboratory focuses primarily on adult stem cell and/or gene therapy with lentiviral or adeno-associated viral vectors. Because normal or genetically engineered donor cells can transfer lysosomal enzymes to diseased cells through a process known as “cross-correction,” stem cells are being evaluated as enzyme delivery vehicles. In a more direct approach, replication-defective viruses engineered to express a therapeutic lysosomal enzyme are used to restore enzymatic activity. Dr. Martin and collaborators expect that positive results in the feline model will lead to human clinical trials for these devastating diseases.

Academic Areas


Course Coordinator and teaches VMED 5131 – Basic Microanatomy (fall semester) and teaches VMED 5141 – Organology of Domestic Animals (spring semester). Dr. Martin also teaches these two courses on a graduate level along with other graduate level courses

Publications and Links


Dr. Martin Publications (PDF)