• Room 03.030 - Whitla Medical Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to PhD applications in the field of ion channel modulation, proteases as potential biomarkers and therapeutics targets, infection and inflammation, chronic diseases, to include respiratory diseases and chronic wounds.

1994 …2020
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Personal profile


Professor Lorraine Martin holds a BSc and PhD in Biochemistry and a Masters of Medical Science in Clinical Laboratory Medicine.  At the outset of her career, Professor Martin played a pivotal role in a joint programme between Queen's University Belfast and the biotechnology company behind Dolly the cloned sheep, PPL Therapeutics plc, Edinburgh and was heavily involved in the Phase II clinical trials of a transgenic human protein, known as alpha1 antrypsin in cystic fibrosis (CF).  Professor Martin was then funded by a Sir Henry Wellcome Innovative Award to develop tools for the real-time monitoring and subsequent inhibition of intracellular proteolysis before taking up her academic appointment in the School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast. 

Within the Biomolecular Sciences Research Group, Professor Martin has continued to develop her research interests on the role of active proteases in health and disease which includes the profiling, delineation and inhibition of proteases involved in infection and inflammation.  With a focus on chronic airways diseases, such as cystic fibrosis (CF) and chronic obstructive disease (COPD) her group seeks to understand underlying mechanisms of disease which also includes the characterisation of novel cellular proteins and pathways. Programmes of work include the development of therapeutic strategies to combat airways dehydration, a key factor contributing to disease progression, and the characterisation of novel biomarkers to aid earlier diagnosis and disease management.

Lorraine has also played a key role in the commercial exploitation of patented QUB ProteaseTag™ technology which evolved from a Proof of Concept (Invest Northern Ireland) project with further support provided by the MRC.  In 2013, Professor Martin co-founded and was the founding CEO of ProAxsis Ltd. and won the NISP Connect 25K Award (now INVENT, Catalyst Inc.), before going on to secure significant investment and a Horizon 2020 SME Instrument award for the company.  She continues to contribute to the strategic development of ProAxsis and is also actively involved in supporting a range of other entrepreneurial activities as well as the development of productive research collaborations with UK industry and global pharma. In 2016, Professor Martin was awarded the Queen's University Vice-Chancellor's Research Impact Prize in recognition of the success and impact of these commercialisation and innovation activities. 

Professor Martin has published widely in internationally recognised peer-reviewed journals and currently holds 4 patents. She has presented her work both nationally and internationally and has held funding from the like of BBSRC, MRC, Prostate Cancer Charity, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, UK and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, USA. In addition, Professor Martin has secured significant European funding (€7.7 M) through the INTERREG Va programme (SEUPB) to build cross-border capacity in COPD research. BREATH (Borders and REgions Airways Training Hub) is a 5-year collaborative programme between QUB, Dundalk Institute of Technology and the University of the West of Scotland and funds 25 full-time researchers across the 3 partners. BREATH has been showcased at the EU Parliament (2017) and was awarded Asthma/COPD Project of the Year at the NI Healthcare Awards (2018).

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Cystic Fibrosis Medicine & Life Sciences
Leukocyte Elastase Medicine & Life Sciences
Peptide Hydrolases Medicine & Life Sciences
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Sputum Medicine & Life Sciences
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Lung Medicine & Life Sciences
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2018

Research Output 1994 2020

Sputum trypsin-like protease activity relates to clinical outcome in cystic fibrosis

Reihill, J., Moffitt, K., Douglas, L., Elborn, S., Jones, A. & Martin, L., 11 Jan 2020, In : Journal of Cystic Fibrosis.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cystic Fibrosis
Peptide Hydrolases
Cohort Studies

Evaluation of Novel Serine Protease Inhibitors to Ameliorate Cockroach-Induced Airway Inflammation and Cell Damage

Reihill, J., Yang, Z., Carroll, E., McGarvey, L., Lundy, F., Lockhart, J., Sergeant, G. & Martin, L., 01 Apr 2019, In : The FASEB Journal. 33, Suppl. 1, 127.10.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

Furin Inhibition as a Mechanism to Reduce Aberrant ENaC-Mediated Sodium Transport and Rehydrate the Airways in Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease

Douglas, L., Reihill, J., Ho, M., Axten, J. & Martin, L., 01 Apr 2019, In : The FASEB Journal. 33, Suppl. 1, 802.26.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

Healthy Primary Epithelial Cells Show an Elevated Inflammatory Response to Bacterial Stimulus Compared to COPD Cells

Carson, S., Reihill, J., Lundy, F., McGarvey, L., Crilly, A., Fulton, C., Thornbury, K. & Martin, L., 01 Apr 2019, In : The FASEB Journal. 33, Suppl. 1, 127.7.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

Inhibition of ENaC Activity by Novel Peptide Trypsin-Like Inhibitors Derived from Amphibian Skin Secretions

Carroll, E., Douglas, L., Reihill, J., Zhou, M., Chen, T., McGarvey, L., Lundy, F., Hollywood, M., Lockhart, J. & Martin, L., 01 Apr 2019, In : The FASEB Journal. 33, Suppl. 1, 127.9.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Asthma/COPD Project of the Year, 19th Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards

Lorraine Martin (Recipient), Lorcan McGarvey (Recipient), Fionnuala Lundy (Recipient), Keith Thornbury (Recipient), Mark Hollywood (Recipient), Gerard Sergeant (Recipient), John Lockhart (Recipient), Gary Litherland (Recipient) & Anne Crilly (Recipient), 22 Feb 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Northern Ireland
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Delivery of Health Care
Research Personnel

European Cystic Fibrosis Society Conference (2011) Best poster presentation award

Lorraine Martin (Recipient), Jun 2011

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Overall Winner NISP Connect 25K Award 2013: ProAxsis Ltd.

Lorraine Martin (Recipient), 26 Sep 2013

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

ProAxsis Ltd. - Innovative Business of the Year 2018

Lorraine Martin (Recipient), 31 May 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

small businesses
honors and awards
Northern Ireland

Seedcorn Northern Ireland Regional Finalist

Lorraine Martin (Recipient), May 2015

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2000 2019

ProAxsis Ltd. - The Journey from Proof of Concept to Successful Biotech Spin-Out

Lorraine Martin (Invited speaker)
14 Nov 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Lorraine Martin (Organiser)
19 Jun 201921 Jun 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Experimental Biology 2019

Lorraine Martin (Invited speaker)
08 Apr 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

4IRC Debate: Education do we need to change the way we teach?

Lorraine Martin (Member of programme committee)
10 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

4IRC Debate: What will a visit to the doctor look like in 2030?

Lorraine Martin (Member of the organising committee)
10 Oct 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Press / Media


Improving outcomes for people with cystic fibrosis through evidence based clinical trials

Stuart Elborn (Participant), Lorraine Martin (Participant), Damian Downey (Participant), Simon Brockbank (Participant), Madeleine Ennis (Participant)

Impact: Health Impact, Quality of Life Impact