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Jeeva Martyn

Joseph Jeevendra A. Martyn, MD, PHD

  • Anesthesiology
Languages Spoken:
  • English

Joseph Jeevendra (Jeeva) Martyn, M.D., FRCA, FCCM's clinical training in anesthesiology (including pain medicine and intensive care) was at Columbia University - Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, where he also served as chief resident. He continued specialized training in pediatric anesthesia and critical care medicine at the Radcliffe Infirmary, University of Oxford, England. In 1975, he was accepted as a trainee in the NIH sponsored T-32 Burn Trauma Training Grant under the direction of John F. Burke, M.D., and Myron B Laver, M.D., at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Shriners Children's Boston. His sabbatical (1989-1990) at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, England enhanced his expertise in molecular biology, signal transduction and in vivo and in vitro physiology.

For the last 35 years as an anesthesiologist cum intensivist, he has been surprised by the lack of basic and clinical information related to critical illness (e.g. burn)-induced neuromyopathy, neuromuscular dysfunction and anesthesia-related issues. He has, therefore, studied the clinical and basic aspects of altered pathophysiology of altered neuromuscular transmission in humans with critical illness-induced neuromuscular dysfunction, and in rodents using burn injury, disuse or infection as paradigms of critical illness-induced neuromuscular dysfunction (NMD). These studies have incorporated physiology (tension), pharmacology, molecular pharmacology, signal transduction and genetics to elucidate molecular mechanisms of muscle weakness muscle wasting. Parenthetically, it is important to state that almost all previous mechanistic studies have focused on muscle-related causes of muscle weakness, with minimal information on the nerve and synaptic-related etiological factors. In clinical pharmacological studies, he has examined the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of many anesthesia-related drugs with a view characterize aberrant pharmacological and toxicological responses to anesthetic drugs after burn injury.

His current studies the causes of profound muscle wasting, even at sites distant from injury, which has profound functional effects during the acute and recovery phases and extending to years. Although it is well established that muscle wasting of any etiology is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, how altered mitophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction affect muscle mass is unclear. His studies use pioneering technology to dissect the connection between the two and uses very novel techniques to mitigate mitochondrial changes and muscle wasting. Our studies related to critical illness related exaggerated pain are examining the pivotal role of innate immune responses mediated by microglia and macrophages in these aberrant pain responses. Dr. Martyn has produced over 200 peer-reviewed publications and approximately 45 book chapters.

Pediatric Care


More About Me

Board Certifications
  • American Board of Anesthesiology, Anesthesiology, Anesthesiology - General
Education and Training

Medical Education
University of Ceylor
Sri Lanka

General Hospital
Colombo North
Sri Lanka

Columbia Prebyterian
New York, NY

Graduate School
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Academic Positions and Locations

Harvard Medical School

Leadership and Memberships
  • Anesthetist in Chief, Shriners Children's Boston
  • 2015-Present: Chairman, Promotions Committee Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, MGH
  • Professor, Harvard Medical School
  • 2004-Present: Founding Member and Member, Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) Research Mentor Academy
Editorial Positions
  • Reviewer, New England Journal of Medicine
  • Reviewer, Critical Care Medicine
  • Former Member, Surgery-Anesthesia-Trauma-Study Section
Awards and Honors
  • 2010, ASA Excellence in Research Award
  • 2017, ASA Excellence in Mentoring Award
  • 2020, The Harvey Stuart Allen Distinguished Service Award
  • 1993-Present, Nobel Prize Nominating Committee for Physiology and Medicine
  • 2016, Symposium Organizer and Moderator, Panel Discussion on Sedatives and Analgesia, International Congress on Burn Injuries, Miami, Florida
  • 2014, Symposium Organizer and Moderator, Panel Discussion on Sedatives and Analgesia in IC, International Society for Burn Injuries, Sydney, Australia
Academic Works and Presentations
  • Moderator and Invited Speaker: International Society of Burn Injuries, Delhi, India - Anesthesia/Intensive Care: Complications in the ICU
  • Presentation: Chinese Burn Association Annual Meeting, Zhuhai, China


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