Martha E. Sommer studied microbiology at the University of Texas at Austin and received her PhD in Biochemistry from the Oregon Health & Science University. Her doctoral work in the laboratory of Prof. David L. Farrens established sensitive fluorescence-based methods to observe protein interaction dynamics in signal transduction. This early work set the foundation for many key discoveries regarding how arrestins regulate the therapeutically important G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). In 2007 she was awarded a fellowship from the National Science Foundation (USA) to continue these studies with Prof. Klaus-Peter Hofmann at the Charité Medical University in Berlin, Germany. Since 2013 she led her own research group at the Charité, and in 2019 she established the European Research Network on Signal Transduction (ERNEST) that is funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).
In 2021, Martha Sommer joined ISAR Bioscience to establish the new Signalling Platform. She and her team are developing fit-for-purpose tools and approaches to support the next generation of GPCR drug discovery.