Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Vice Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pharm.D., University of California, San Francisco, 1994
Residency, University of California San Fransisco, 1995
The focus of my current research program is on slowing the aging process through a science that I introduced as Healthspan Pharmacology. Using human cultured cells and fruit flies, I study the impact of botanical extracts and dietary supplements on aging. My ultimate goal is to slow the aging process and add healthy years to human life. I developed this research program through an evolutionary process that took me almost 20 years. My research career has evolved in 3 phases of development that have provided the foundation to effectively pursue this overarching research goal:
- Phase 1. Academic Clinical Research (1995-2001) at UCSF School of Pharmacy, Western University College of Pharmacy, and UCI School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology
- Phase 2. Translational and Clinical Pharmaceutical Industry Research (2001-2004) at Abbott Laboratories
- Phase 3. Academic Basic Science Research (2005-present) at UCI. In addition, I have always been interested in educational research and incorporated it in my academic work.
As a clinical researcher in academia, the general focus of my research was on the efficacy and toxicity of cardiovascular and anti-dyslipidemia drugs and precision of point-of-care cholesterol testing devices. At Abbott Laboratories, I first worked as a research scientist in the Neuroscience Group focusing on the metabolic complications of Abbott's blockbuster seizure and migraine headache drug, Depakote (divalproex sodium) and then I moved to the metabolic group focusing on immunomodulation properties of Abbott's new oral vitamin D analogue, Zemplar. After one year, I was promoted to a senior research scientist position and presented my work at various national and international conferences. In 2003, I became the Regional Medical Scientific Manager. In 2005, I was recruited to UCI to develop the new major in pharmaceutical sciences. This new position gave me the opportunity to shift the focus of my research from diseases of aging to slowing the aging process. Using Drosophila as my model system, I established a basic science research program focusing on the impact of pharmacological interventions (dietary supplements and botanical extracts) on lifespan and health span.
Honors and Awards:
2013-2014 UCI Distinguished Professor Award for Teaching
2013-2014 UCI Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences "Most Inspirational Professor Award"
2013 Federal Executive Board Public Service Award for FDA/UCI Internship Program
2012-13 UCI Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences “Most Outstanding Professor Award”
2011 “Discovery Award”, UCI Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine
2011 “Overall Outstanding Professor Award”, UCI Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
2008 UCI Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research
2008 “20 Women to Watch in Orange County”, OC Metro Business Magazine
2007-2008 UCI Distinguished Assistant Professor Award for Teaching