Eric Martz

Professor Emeritus

Photo of Eric Martz



422C Morrill Science Centr IVN


Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University, 1969

Mailing address: 

Eric Martz, Ph.D.
Department of Microbiology
418 Morrill Science Center IVN
University of Massachusetts
639 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9298

Research Interests

Our work provides innovative, widely-used, award-winning tools for visualization of macromolecular structures in education, research, and structural bioinformatics. These are all free and open source, and include:

  • FirstGlance in Jmol ( A simple 3D visualization tool that works in a web browser. Makes it easy to find protein structures, understand them and share structural information. Nothing to install. Adopted by Nature among others. Free and open-source, first offered in 2005. Updated frequently.
  • Proteopedia.Org is a wiki (a user-annotated website) that connects interactive 3D molecular structure views to explanatory text. It was created in 2007 by Joel Sussman, Eran Hodis, and Jaime Prilusky at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Martz joined their team in 2008, and has contributed many articles. [Prilusky et al., 2011.]
  • The ConSurf Server ( automatically identifies evolutionarily conserved surface patches on proteins. Developed by Nir Ben-Tal, Fabian Glaser, Tal Pupko, Elana Erez et al. at Tel-Aviv University, Israel. Martz integrated 3D visualization, initially with Protein Explorer, and later with FirstGlance in Jmol. First available Fall 2002. [Celniker et al., 2013.]
  • Educational Macromolecular Visualization Tutorials & Resources including structures of DNA, hemoglobin, antibody, MHC, lipid bilayers and channels, water, and more. Portions first offered in 1996. domain name starting fall 2004. Includes:
  • Short Courses in Practical Macromolecular Visualization and Structural Bioinformatics ( can be arranged.
  • Protein Explorer ( Popular 1998-2006 for exploring, understanding, and qualitative analysis of structures of proteins and protein-ligand or protein-drug interactions. MERLOT Classic Award for Biology in 2003: "has revolutionized the teaching of biology at a molecular level". Adopted as a visualization option by several bioinformatics resources. First offered in 1998; developed until 2007, when the MDL Chime plugin upon which it depends became increasingly problematic. [Martz, 2002.]
Research interests - short: 

Professor Emeritus