Karen L. Martinez is associate professor at the Bio-Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine Laboratory of the Nano-Science Center (University of Copenhagen, Denmark).

Since the beginning of her research carreer, she investigated membrane proteins in various hydrophobic environments for the monitoring of their function by fluorescence or label free methods. In particular, surface sensitive methods have been exploited to investigate membrane proteins (ligand gated ion channels and G protein coupled receptors) in supported cell membrane sheets, detergent and amphipols. Currently, her research group investigates GPCRs functions on isolated functional receptors, in particular interactions with scaffold proteins involved in several cellular mechanisms. Part of her research activities are also dedicated to the development of membrane protein arrays for biosensing.


Karen Martinez, Assoc. Pr., Ph.D.
Bio-Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine Laboratory
Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology & Nano-Science Center
University of Copenhagen - DK

Mail : martinez(at)nano.ku.dk
Lab Web page: http://nano.ku.dk/english/research/nanobio/


  1. PhD thesis at the Pasteur Institute (laboratory of J.-P. Changeux - France) on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

  2. Post-doctoral stay at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (laboratory of Horst Vogel - EPFL – Switzerland) on G Protein Coupled Receptors

Selected Articles:

  1. “Specifically immobilized protein on the Silicon nanowire via Histidine tag" ; Y.-C. Liu, N. Rieben, L. Iversen, B. S. Sørensen, J. Nygård and K.L. Martinez; Nanotechnology, 2010, 21(24), 245105.
  2. “The use of amphipols as universal molecular adapters to immobilize membrane proteins onto solid supports" ; D. Charvolin, J.-B. Perez, F. Rouvière, F. Giusti, P. Bazzacco, A. Abdine, F. Rappaport, K.L. Martinez, J.-L. Popot; PNAS, 2009, 106, 405-10.
  3. “Templated Protein Assembly on Micro-Contact Printed Surface Patterns - Use of the SNAP-tag Protein Functionality"; L. Iversen, N. Cherouati, T. Berthing, D. Stamou and K.L. Martinez; Langmuir, 2008, 24, 6375-6381.
  4. “Supported cell-membrane sheets for fluorescence imaging of membrane proteins.” J.-B. Perez, K.L. Martinez, J.M. Segura and H. Vogel; Journal of Advanced Functional Materials, 2006, 306-312.
  5. “Ligand binding to G-protein coupled receptors in tethered cell membranes.” ; K.L. Martinez, B. H. Meyer, R. Hovius, K. Lundstrom and H. Vogel ; Langmuir, 2003, 19(26):10925-29
  6. ““Allosteric transitions of Torpedo acetylcholine receptor in lipids, detergent and amphipols: molecular interactions vs. physical constraints.”; K.L. Martinez, Y. Gohon, P. J. Corringer, C. Tribet, F. Mérola, J. P. Changeux and J. L. Popot; FEBS lett. 2002, 528(1-3):251

Selected Reviews:

  1. Amphipols from A to Z. Popot JL, et al., Annu Rev Biophys. 2011 Jun 9;40:379-408.
  2. Amphipols: polymeric surfactants for membrane biology research.Popot JL, et al., Cell Mol Life Sci. 2003 Aug;60(8):1559-74. Review.