Feature Article: April 2021 – Physician Profile: Luis Martinez, M.D.

Physician Profile: Luis Martinez, M.D.

Jeff Morris

Martinez, Luis - M.D., MPHLuis Martínez, M.D., MPH, is a Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy specialist, clinical researcher and biomedical consultant. He earned his medical degree at The Ponce School of Medicine and completed his residency training at the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed an Advanced Training Course in Stem Cells in Cancer at the Ponce Health Sciences University/Magee Research Institute consortium. He is board certified in Clinical Lipidology. Dr. Martinez holds a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology and is fellowship trained in Biosecurity. He is the president of Xanogene Clinic, which specialized in Regenerative and Age Management Medicine. He also founded and presides over Regenera Global, a multinational corporation specializing in biotech product development, research, and clinical consulting.

Dr. Martinez has advised and helped set up various clinics and laboratories in Latin America within the Regenerative Medicine space. He also serves on the advisory board for various Biotech companies and professional societies. He is actively involved in educating and training physicians in multiple aspects of Regenerative and Age Management Medicine.

The E-Journal spoke with Dr. Martinez to gain some insight into his background and focus.

“I’ve been in clinical practice for 13 or 14 years now,” he told us. “My original specialty is preventive medicine, environmental medicine and occupational medicine—that’s my background. At UPenn, that was where I did my specialty.”

“Even before my medical specialty, I was always passionate and just really curious about aging as a process, and as a disease, honestly. And what, if anything, could we do to stop, belay or even reverse it. So it’s always been something of a major interest, because I saw that everything related to aging: all chronic diseases, everything we experience is just that gradual dysfunction that we call aging. So I was really passionate about that for a long time. Even before residency, and especially after residency, I just started focusing on age management medicine.”

“I remember seeing and reading about AMMG a long time ago, and I went to some events. I actually started speaking at AMMG quite a few years ago. I just felt it was a network, a great group of like-minded practitioners, looking to make a change—looking to really do something for patients’ health, rather than just disease. That hooked me.”

We asked him how he first decided to focus on age management.

“During residency, I really came to the realization that most conditions are preventable to a point. I remember one of the attending physicians said, ‘When you’re treating patients in a hospital, when you’re treating patients with complications’—which is really the majority of health care right now—’you’re essentially treating failures of a system that was not able to prevent them getting there.’ And that just really sank in with me; we’re treating failures at hospitals rather than focusing on prevention. Instead I’ve tried to focus on what I call proactive prevention—interventional preventive medicine, if you want to call it that.”

One significant step taken by Dr. Martinez took place as a result of his association with AMMG: his collaboration with Dr. Edwin Lee.

“Ed Lee and I had coincided quite a few times at the conferences, and we started developing a friendship. I recall I gave a talk on The Peptide Revolution, long before peptides became popular. I knew peptides were going to become big, and after that I connected with Dr. Lee a few times, and I said to him, ‘Let’s get something going so we can train doctors on peptide therapeutics.” It took us over a year, but that’s how the Clinical Peptide Society was born.” The two of them eventually wound up launching a certification program in clinical peptides with AMMG.

Dr. Martinez’s latest passion, about which he is very excited, is senolytics. “As we age, we accumulate a significant amount of senescent cells,” he explained. “These are basically old cells that have stopped dividing. They are not really functional, and they become pro-inflammatory. They recruit other cells into those pathways; it’s a vicious cycle. They make other cells senescent. This is really a big part of the aging process: the accumulation of these dysfunctional cells.”

Dr. Martinez says senolytic therapy is a novel approach to target these cells in particular, and helping to eliminate them. “It’s a sort of housekeeping approach, if you will. Eliminate the old, so the new can function better and more adequately.”

One of the challenges previously, said Dr. Martinez, was testing: how to assess senescent cell burden in organs and tissues in humans. “Now we have good approaches for this,” he said. “We have labs doing senescent cell assays, and we can show patients where they’re at, and show them how we can reduce this senescent cell burden and improve their health.”

Dr. Martinez said there are already clinically validated protocols in place that he is using with his patients. “We are also doing research into additional senolytic therapeutics, either repurposed FDA-approved drugs, or novel combos or nutraceuticals. So we have quite a few compounds now, and the idea is to employ them in a protocol we can offer to patients undergoing age management medicine.”

“I really feel that senolytics and senolytic therapeutics are going to be the next big thing in age management medicine,” said Dr. Martinez. “Within the last few months I started the Senolytic Therapy Network, just getting physicians on board together to have them learn, share their experiences, advance the science.”

“I think we’re going to hear a lot about this, this year and next year,” predicted Dr. Martinez. “Stay tuned.”