Georgia Tech Research Institute Lecture

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"U.S. Military Medical Research, Engine of Global Medical Solutions"

Lester Martínez-López, M.D., M.P.H.
Major General (Retired), U.S. Army


The United States military medical research and development has led the development of medical solutions to a myriad of global medical challenges, from infectious diseases to remote care with telemedicine. The research effort goes from basic science to advance development, always with a solution in mind, and more often than not, in partnership with academia and industry. Medical research is conducted by the three services; the Army leads the largest effort. Highlights of the successes include the discovery of the malaria genome, the development of malaria field tests, and the development of Primaquine and Chloroquine to treat malaria. Other examples of military led development include hemostatic bandages, tourniquets, oxygen generation, breast cancer treatments, anthrax vaccine, nerve agents’ antidotes, TBI diagnostic tests, digital radiography, and robotic medicine. This presentation will give an insight of how military research and development is organized, historical context for the research and development, and opportunities for partnership.


Dr. Lester Martínez-López is the President of Martinez Medical Consulting, LLC, a firm that provides consulting services in the health care industry. Since 2015 he has served as the President of the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, an organization that fosters research and development collaboration between the U.S. Army, industry, and academia. Previously he was the Chief Medical Officer at Brandon Regional Hospital in Brandon, Florida. There he provided leadership in optimizing medical staff performance and participation in quality, efficiency, and patient safety initiatives for a 407 bed hospital. In 2006, he was the Senior Vice-President & Administrator of the Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston, Texas where he directed a 332 licensed-bed acute care teaching hospital.

In 2005, Dr. Martínez-López retired from the U.S. Army with the permanent rank of Major General as the first Hispanic to head the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, Maryland. His responsibilities included directing the Army’s worldwide medical research, acquisition, and logistics program. He oversaw a vast research portfolio that included cancer, trauma, infectious diseases, biodefense, chemical defense, nutrition, environmental health, aviation medicine, and telemedicine research. In addition he directed the premier national biological and chemical defense laboratories and research program and led the development of the National Biodefense Campus at Fort Detrick, MD. Prior to these duties he was the Commanding General of the Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine at Edgewood, Maryland. In this assignment he directed a worldwide public health organization, responsible for preventive medicine, health promotion and wellness, global medical surveillance, occupational and environmental health, and health risk communication. During his previous military career he was the commander of three distinct hospitals, he oversaw the military health support during Hurricane Mitch in Central America, and served as the Chief Medical Officer of the United Nation’s Mission in Haiti.

Dr. Martínez-López was born in Puerto Rico. In 1978, he graduated from the School of Medicine in the University of Puerto Rico and later on completed his Master in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

His awards include the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Three Oak Clusters, The Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army’s Meritorious Service Medal with three oak clusters, the Senior Flight Surgeon Badge, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Medal, and the Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Government Service from Johns Hopkins University. In addition he has a Doctor in Education (Honoris Causa) degree from the Caribbean University in Puerto Rico.

Dr. Martínez-López is a member of multiple professional organizations and is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and sits in multiple organization boards to include the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the Puerto Rico Consortium for Clinical Investigation, and the Army Science Board.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Floyd Wood
  • Created: 04/25/2017
  • Modified By: Floyd Wood
  • Modified: 05/01/2017


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