Veronica Martinez specialises in mammalian system biology.

Biopharmacuticals are proteins and nucleic acids used for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes, for example vaccines and antibodies. These molecules represent a rapidly growing multi-million dollar market. Mammalian cells are the bio-factories principally used for biopharmaceutical production. However, mammalian cellls culture are expensive due to the media used, respond to stress by apoptosis and have an ineficient metabolism. Therefore, the ultimate goal of my research is to use culture optimization and modelling tools to increase the efficiency of biopharmaceutical production using mammalian cells. A more efficient bioprocess will lead to faster production and lower the production cost, enabling affordability of biopharmaceutical therapies and diagnostics.

​Dr Veronica is  a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the ARC Training Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation (CBI), under the supervision of Professor Trent Munro. She received her Biotechnology Engineering degree at the University of Chile in 2007, and completed her PhD in Systems Biology at The University of Queensland in 2014. After completing her PhD she performed two years of postdoctoral training at The University of Queensland, as part of a collaboration project with Universidad de Chile. Both Ph.D. studies and postdoctoral training were financially supported by the Chilean Government, under a competitive scholarship and fellowship, respectively. She has also performed tutorial teaching in several courses at Universidad de Chile and University of Queensland. In 2016 she was in charge of the Beer and Biofuels practical,  part of the subject: Biomolecular Engineering (CHEE4020) of the chemical engineering department at The University of Queensland. 


Veronica current position is in a collaboration project between CBI and Patheon Biologics by Thermo Fisher


​Advance Queensland Women's Research Assitance Program (2021-2023)

Global Strategy and Partnerships Seed Funding Scheme Round 1 2017.

Key Publications

Martínez V. S., Saa, P.A. Jooste, J., Tiwari, K., Quek, L. E. and Nielsen, L. K. (2022). The topolgy of genome-scale metabolic reconstruction unravels independent modules and high network flexibility. PLOS Computational Biology, 18(6), e1010203. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1010203

Henry, M. N., MacDonald, M. A., Orellana, C. A., Gray, P. P., Gillards, M., Baker, K., Nielsen, L.K., Marcellin, E., Mahler, S. and Martínez V. S. (2020). Attenuating apoptosis in chinese hamster ovary cells for improved biopharmaceutical production. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 117 (4), 1187-1203. bit.27269, 1187-1203. doi: 10.1002/bit.27269

Hefzi H, Ang KS, Hanscho M, Bordbar A, Ruckerbauer D, Lakshmanan M, Orellana CA, Baycin-Hizal D, Huang Y, Ley D, Martinez VS, Kyriakopoulos S, Jimenez NE, Zielinski DD, Quek LE, Wulff T, Arnsdorf J, Li S, Lee JS, Paglia G, Loira N, Spahn PN, Pedersen LE, Gutierrez JM, Lund AM, Nagarajan H, Thomas A, Abdel-Haleem AM, Zanghellini J, Kildegaard HF, Voldborg BG, Gerdtzen ZP, Betenbaugh MJ, Palsson BO, Andersen MR, Nielsen LK, Borth N, Lee DY, Lewis NE. (2016) A consensus genome-scale reconstruction of CHO cell metabolism for improved biotherapeutic protein production. Cell Systems, 3(5):434-443.e8.

Martínez V. S., Buchsteiner, M., Gray, P., Nielsen, L. K. and Quek, L. E. (2015) Dynamic metabolic flux analysis using B-splines to study the effects of temperature shift on CHO cell metabolism. Metabolic Engineering Communications, 2 46-57. doi:10.1016/j.meteno.2015.06.001

Martínez V. S., Dietmair S, Quek LE, Hodson MP, Gray P, Nielsen LK. (2013) Flux balance analysis of CHO cells before and after a metabolic switch from lactate production to consumption. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 110(2):660-666.

Featured projects Duration
Rational Improvement for High Density CHO Cell Culture