Gillingham Fellowship Experience:
Dr. Jaime D. Martinez

16 July 2020

My name is Jaime D. Martinez and I completed my ophthalmology residency at Asociación para Evitar la Ceguera, Mexico City, in March 2017. I was fortunate to receive the Gillingham Pan-American fellowship award in 2018 after residency. This funding allowed me to proceed with my research fellowship. I was very fortunate to work under the mentorship of Dr. Guillermo Amescua and Dr. Jean-Marie Parel at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Thanks to this award, I was able to gain exposure working in basic science, as well how that can transition to the clinical care of patients. This experience helped me to think outside the box and has taught me how to continue to innovate in the field of keratitis, exploring new methods and techniques to combat this challenging disease.

During my fellowship, we studied the use of Rose Bengal Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy (RB-PDAT) for the treatment of severe and medically recalcitrant corneal infections. We have greatly progressed in our understanding of RB-PDAT, but there still remain many facets of the therapy to that can be further studied and developed. My latest work explored the safety of RB-PDAT in a rabbit model. In addition, using RB-PDAT we have successfully treated several clinical cases of severe unresponsive corneal infections resistant to standard medical therapy. Use of RB-PDAT resolved the keratitis, preventing the need for emergency therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty.

During my fellowship we published the following papers and book chapters, in which the Gillingham Pan-American fellowship award was acknowledged:

  1. Naranjo A, Martinez JD, Miller D, et al. Systemic Miltefosine as an Adjunct Treatment of Progressive Acanthamoeba Keratitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020:1-9.
  2. Durkee H, Arboleda A, Aguilar MC, et al. Rose bengal photodynamic antimicrobial therapy to inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis isolates. Lasers Med Sci 2020;35(4):861-6.
  3. Naranjo A, Pelaez D, Arrieta E, et al. Cellular and molecular assessment of rose bengal photodynamic antimicrobial therapy on keratocytes, corneal endothelium and limbal stem cell niche. Exp Eye Res 2019;188:107808.
  4. Naranjo A, Arboleda A, Martinez JD, et al. Rose Bengal Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy for Patients With Progressive Infectious Keratitis: A Pilot Clinical Study. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;208:387-96.
  5. Martinez JD, Arboleda A, Naranjo A, et al. Long-term outcomes of riboflavin photodynamic antimicrobial therapy as a treatment for infectious keratitis. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2019;15:100481.
  6. Martinez JD, Galor A, Amescua G, et al. Transcultural validation of the 5-Item Dry Eye Questionnaire for the Mexican population. Int Ophthalmol 2019;39(10):2313-24.
  7. Martinez JD, Naranjo A, Amescua G, et al. Human Corneal Changes After Rose Bengal Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy for Treatment of Fungal Keratitis. Cornea 2018;37(10):e46-e8.
  8. Martinez JD, Amescua JD, Alfonso E. Fungal Keratitis: were we are and where are we going. Foundations of Corneal Disease: Past, Present and Future Springer ed. 2019 DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-25335-6
  9. Amescua G, Martinez JD. Controversias: Catarata y Uveítis. Review Ophthalmology. 1st edition, 2018

The research fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute changed my life. Thanks to the research experience, great mentorship, and hard work, many new opportunities have opened for me. I have just finished a two-year clinical/surgical fellowship in Cornea and External Diseases at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and now will be joining as a new faculty member at same institution. 

Thanks to your generous support, I was able to achieve my dreams. I highly recommend that any ophthalmology residents interested in gaining research experience in an international setting to apply!


Dr. Jaime D. Martinez

Left to right: Dr. Diego Altamirano MD, Dr. Guillermo Amescua MD, Dr. Jaime D. Martinez MD, Prof. Irene E. Kochevar (visiting professor), Jean Marie Parel PhD, Dr. Andrea Naranjo MD, Jeffrey Peterson PhD.