Diego R. Martin, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Head, Department of Medical Imaging, University of Arizona College of Medicine
Professor of Medicine
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-1069
(520) 1069

Internal Contact Information

UACC Organizational Unit: 
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Martin is a leader in quality control and patient safety with an emphasis on the development of non-invasive, non-harmful methods for early disease detection and screening. His current research includes development of a virtual liver biopsy; imaging of metabolic syndrome disease markers; imaging of kidney disease and function; bowel imaging, including inflammatory bowel disease markers; lung functional imaging and pulmonary vascular disease imaging; and tumor monitoring, including malignancies of the liver and pancreas. His collaborative research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and numerous industry grants.

Dr. Martin is chair of Continuing Medical Education-Body MRI for the American College of Radiology; has written several textbook chapters and two textbooks on abdominal and pelvic MRI; established an MRI clinical research fellowship; and delivered more than 100 lectures and seminars at national and international conferences and educational institutions. He is the author of more than 80 abstracts and has published nearly 100 scientific journal articles.

Dr. Martin is also a manuscript reviewer for a number of medical journals, including the American Journal of Radiology, Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and European Journal of Radiology. He is co-editor of book reviews for the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and guest editor for Magnetic Resonance Imaging North America. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Dr. Martin is a tenured professor and Chairman of the Department of Medical Imaging at the University of Arizona, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, an Associate Editor of the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Director and Chair of Education in Body MRI for the American College of Radiology, and a Trustee on the Board of Directors for the University of Arizona Health Network. 

He completed his medical and residency training at the University of Toronto and a fellowship in cross-sectional imaging at the University of Toronto as well as a MRI fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  He has a B.Sc. majoring in neurosciences, an M.Sc. in Physiology and a Ph.D. in Immunology-Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto while working in the former lab of Richard Miller, Medical Biophysics, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada.  This background has provided him with core competencies in medicine and science. 

Dr. Martin's current approach to investigating disease and therapy is rooted in engineering diagnostic solutions through technological innovations in MRI. He has run both labs and supported other faculty in their research career training and development.  He has management and financial experience in a clinical translational research environment with demonstrated ability to organize, oversee and complete projects. He has 120+ peer-reviewed publications, 2 textbooks, 12 book chapters and have had numerous sponsored grants supporting research interests in MRI technology innovation directed towards fast scanning techniques and quantitative imaging MRI biomarkers of disease. 

A main area of current research activity focuses on MRI of fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis and includes innovations such as a patented 15s acquisition for quantifying liver lipid and iron and a MRS feature analysis technique to detect liver fibrosis.  Since moving to the University of Arizona, Dr. Martin has closely partnered with Dr. Maria Altbach in the development MRI biomarkers of steatohepatitis.  They have assembled a coalition of interdisciplinary experts necessary to support a proposal to understand steatohepatitis in at-risk populations (Mexican and Native Americans) as a progressive disease that leads to hepatic fibrosis (HF) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).  they use MRI biomarkers of early HF and active liver disease, which are liver changes differentiating non-aggressive fatty liver disease from progressive steatohepatitis, combined with other etiological risk factors related to bile acids and gut microbiome.  The expected outcome of their proposal will be the development of non-invasive quantitative biomarkers useful to determine and individual’s risk for progressive liver disease, and for developing HCC-prevention therapy.  

Clinical Information

Clinical Focus: 
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Body and Abdominal Imaging
Medical Informatics
Diagnostic Radiology
Body Tomography

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Imaging
Member Status: 
Research Member
Year of Membership Acceptance: 

Professional Information

Board Certifications: 
American Board of Radiology
Canadian Board of Radiology

Academic Information

University of Toronto School of Medicine, Abdominal/Body Imaging
University of Toronto School of Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology
Immunology-Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto
Medical School: 
University of Toronto, 1993
Master's Degree: 
M.Sc. Physiology, University of Toronto
Undergraduate School: 
B.Sc. Neurosciences, University of Toronto