Martha Gómez, Ph.D.

Researcher

Dr. Martha Gómez serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Researcher in Reproductive Sciences. Martha’s research interests have focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of somatic cell reprogramming, and how cloning can be applied to the preservation of endangered species. Her work has resulted in the birth of healthy wild cloned felids.

More recently, she has focused on understanding the events that regulate pluripotency in embryonic stem cells and testing whether domestic animal recipients can restore spermatogenesis after transplantation of spermatogonial stem cells from another individual from the same or different species. The ultimate goal of her current research is the isolation of spermatogonial stem cells from testes of white rhinos for potential transplantation into testes of a domestic species to restore the production of rhinoceros sperm.

Martha graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of La Salle, and received her doctorate from the University of Sydney, Australia. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Louisiana State University, she joined the Institute for Research of Endangered Species at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. She has held academic appointments at Louisiana State University and Colombian National University, and is an assistant professor ad-honorem at the University of Concepcion in Chile. She has also served as a visiting scientist at the South Australian Research Development Institute, the National Stem Cell Bank, Principe Felipe Research Center in Spain. Martha has published over 40 articles in international peer reviewed journals. She is a member of international research societies, has served on the editorial board of an international journal, and is a reviewer for several scientific journals.