Biography of Manuela Martinez


Manuela Martinez studied Medicine at the University of Barcelona Medical School. She specialized in Pediatrics (1964) and in Clinical Chemistry (1972) at the University of Barcelona, and graduated as a Doctor of Medicine at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (1977).

She has received specialized training in several international research centers, including:

  • The Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, 1969)
  • Charing Cross Hospital, Medical School (London, 1970)
  • Universität Kinderklinik (Innsbruck, 1970, 1971)
  • University of Birmingham (1974)
  • Department of Child Health (University of Manchester, 1970, 1978)
  • Medical Research Council (Developmental Neurobiology Unit, London, 1977-1978, 1984)
  • University of Gothenburg (Psychiatric Research Center, 1969,1974, 1978)
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Department of Neurology, New York, 1975, 1978, 1980)
  • Kennedy Institute (Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, 1982, 1983)
  • Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, 1983)
  • Yale University (Department of Neurology, 1983)

Dr. Martinez has been studying the biochemical changes of the human developing brain since 1972, her main interest being lipids and fatty acids and their relationship to myelination and nutrition. In 1987, she discovered a new abnormality in the Zellweger syndrome and other peroxisomal disorders: a most severe deficiency of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6w3). In 1991, Dr. Martinez devised a new treatment for peroxisomal-disorder patients, based on the correction of their DHA deficiency with a pure DHA derivative (DHA ethyl ester). For her research work on human brain development and peroxisomal disease, Dr. Martinez received the Queen Sofia Prize for Research on the Prevencion of Deficiencies (1998) and the King James I Prize for Research in Clinical Medicine (2001).

Dr. Martinez’s biography has appeared in the following books of the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge (England) and The American Biographical Institute (ABI):

  • The World Who’s Who of Women (XII Edition)
  • Dictionary of International Biography (XXIII Edition)
  • International Who’s Who of Intellectuals (XI Edition)
  • 5000 Personalities of the World (IV Edition)
  • 500 Leaders of Influence (II Edition)
  • The First Five Hundred a the New Millennium (2000-2001).

In 2002, she created the Manuela Martinez Foundation for Children with Metabolic Diseases, mainly dedicated to disorders related to lipid metabolism.