Damali N. Martin, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Program Director, Host Susceptibility Factors Branch

Damali Martin

Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
9609 Medical Center Drive, Rm. 4E108, MSC 9763
Bethesda, MD 20892
(For express delivery, use Rockville, MD 20850)

Interest Areas

  • Health disparities in populations of African descent, globally
  • Global Health and cancer epidemiology with focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean


  • Ph.D. - Cell biology and Molecular Genetics
    University of Maryland, College Park
  • M.P.H. - Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • B.S. - Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
    University of Maryland, College Park


Dr. Damali Martin is a Program Director in the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program's (EGRP) Host Susceptibility Factors Branch. She is also EGRP's Global Health Coordinator. Dr. Martin is focused on improving scientific understanding of the effect of the social environment on biological changes that influence tumor growth and metastasis and subsequent effects on health outcomes in underserved populations, including populations of African descent. In addition, Dr. Martin collaborates closely with the NCI's Center for Global HealthExternal Web Site Policy (CGH) in the development of initiatives to address capacity building for cancer research and training in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. She serves as Co-Chair for the CGH's Sub-Saharan Africa and Caribbean Regional Interest Groups. Dr. Martin also works with the Pan American Health OrganizationExternal Web Site Policy on cervical cancer prevention and control, primarily for the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean.

Dr. Martin is the EGRP liaison for several international consortia in developing countries, including the Men of African Descent and Carcinoma of the Prostate Consortium (MADCaP), the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC), the African-American Breast Cancer Consortium (AABC), and the African-Caribbean Cancer ConsortiumExternal Web Site Policy (AC3). She also serves as an advisor for several global health initiatives at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the Human Heredity and Health in Africa InitiativeExternal Web Site Policy (H3Africa) and the Medical Education Partnership InitiativeExternal Web Site Policy (MEPI). Dr. Martin is also a member of the NIH's Global Health Implementation team.

Before joining EGRP in 2008, Dr. Martin was a Cancer Prevention Fellow at NCI and worked in the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis in NCI's Center for Cancer Research. Her research examined molecular epidemiology and the biological determinants of cancer health disparities in African-Americans, with the goal of understanding mechanisms of the disease to identify targets for new prevention and treatment efforts. Dr. Martin's research also focused on elucidating whether differences in biology found with a higher prevalence in breast tumors from African-American patients contribute to the lower survival and higher mortality observed among this group of women.

During her graduate career, Dr. Martin worked on the Jamaican Cervical Dysplasia project where she examined human papillomavirus (HPV) viral load and its association with stage and grade of cervical neoplasia.


Martin DN and Williams MJ. The Grant Process. Ed: Rebbeck TR. Handbook for African Researchers, WHO Press, Accepted, 2013.

Starks AM, Martin DN, Dorsey TH, Boersma BJ, Wallace TA, and Ambs S. Household income is associated with the p53 mutation frequency in human breast tumorsExternal Web Site Policy. PLoS One. 2013; 8 (3):e57361.

Martin DN, Starks AM, Ambs S. Biological determinants of health disparities in prostate cancerExternal Web Site Policy. Curr Opin Oncol. 2013 May; 25 (3):235-241.

Wallace TA, Martin DN, Ambs S. Interactions among genes, tumor biology and the environment in cancer health disparities: examining the evidence on a national and global scaleExternal Web Site Policy. Carcinogenesis. 2011 Aug; 32 (8): 1107-1121.

Glynn SA, Boersma BJ, Dorsey TH, Yi M, Yfantis HG, Ridnour LA, Martin DN, Switzer CH, Hudson RS, Wink DA, Lee DH, Stephens RM, Ambs S. Increased NOS2 predicts poor survival in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer patientsExternal Web Site Policy. J Clin Invest. 2010 Nov; 120 (11):3843-3854.

Batlevi Y, Martin DN, Pandey UB, Simon CR, Powers CM, Taylor JP, Baehrecke EH. Dynein light chain 1 is required for autophagy, protein clearance and cell death in DrosophilaExternal Web Site Policy. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 107:742-747, 2010.

Martin DN, Mikhail IS, Landgren O. Autoimmunity and hematologic malignancies: associations and mechanismsExternal Web Site Policy. Leuk Lymphoma. 2009 Apr; 50 (4):541-550.

Martin DN, Boersma BJ, Yi M, Reimers M, Howe TM, Yfantis, HG, Tsai YC, Williams EH, Lee DH, Stephens RM, Weissman AM, Ambs S. Differences in the tumor microenvironment between African-American and European-American breast cancer patientsExternal Web Site Policy. PLOS One. 2009; 4 (2): e4531.

Martin DN, Boersma BJ, Howe TM, Goodman JE, Prueitt RL, Chanock S, Ambs S. Association of MTHFR gene polymorphisms with breast cancer survivalExternal Web Site Policy. BMC Cancer. 2006 Oct 27; 6:257-267.

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