Joel Martin named Managing Director and Chief Business Officer at La Jolla Institute for Immunology

LA JOLLA, CA—Joel Martin, Ph.D., MBA, has joined La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) as Managing Director and Chief Business Officer. Dr. Martin, an experienced serial biotech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, brings a broad research background, deep business know-how, and vast experience shepherding early stage technologies and drug candidates to market to the Institute.

“I am delighted that Joel Martin has accepted the position of Managing Director and Chief Business Officer at LJI,” said LJI President and Chief Executive Officer Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. “Joel has an extraordinary track record of founding and running successful companies, and I was impressed by his thoughtful approach to leadership.”

In his new role, Dr. Martin will be overseeing all aspects of business and technology development, translational research, management information systems and information technology and will assist with the implementation of new strategic initiatives.


Dr. Joel Martin

Dr. Joel Martin


“I couldn’t be more excited to join La Jolla Institute,” says Dr. Martin. “LJI has risen to the forefront among tremendous competition and it has been truly inspirational to watch the Institute grow and become globally recognized for groundbreaking research and take its place as a leading force in the field of immunology and even more so during the ongoing pandemic.”

Dr. Martin began his career as assistant professor of radiology at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) where he developed novel digital image processing techniques still used today and invented the first device for MRI imaging of the prostate. He started a series of innovative biotech companies as an entrepreneur and was a venture capitalist at three firms, where he led successful investments in neuroscience and oncology. Most recently, Dr. Martin was the President and CEO of Dauntless Pharmaceuticals, a company that developed novel intranasal and injectable formulations of octreotide for acromegaly.

Dr. Martin earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from UCSD and holds MBA and B.S. Chem. Honors degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is currently a member of the advisory board of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan and is a former advisory board member of the Zell-Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at UM, the Rady School of Management at UCSD, and the Department of Chemistry at UCSD.


About La Jolla Institute for Immunology

The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading toward its goal: life without disease.