My research interest is in restorative neuroscience and health equity, specially in elucidating molecular and cellular mechanisms important in neuroprotection, nerve regeneration and neuropathy pain. We are studying the role of lipids, fatty acid binding proteins and omega 3 fatty acids in these cellular processes. I enjoy serving as a research mentor and teacher of numerous high school, undergraduate, graduate, medical students and postdoctoral fellows. Currently, I serve as director of a multidisciplinary National Institutes of Health-designated center of excellence on minority health and health disparities at Loma Linda University.
My research in health equity focuses in elucidating the link between biological and social determinants of health. We believe that socioeconomic stressors induce ASCOS-Augmented State of Cellular Oxidative Stress- which is an underlying biological mediator of health disparities. My interest in health equity involves serving as the founding director of the Loma Linda University Health Disparities Research Summer Program. Our pipeline program uses evidence-based interventions to increase diversity in the biomedical workforce. For more than 17 years our pipeline program has supported the participation of more than 400 students from diverse backgrounds into biomedical and STEM disciplines. I believe as an academic leader of the importance of principles like health equity, service, and scientific scholarship to build more inclusive, healthier and diverse society.
Expertise: Molecular genetics, cellular neurobiology of traumatic injury in the nervous system, academic research administration, executive academic and community leadership,health equity/health disparities research, development of pipeline programs in the health sciences