SoCalBio Women, Work & Wisdom (W3) Group Mixer
Thursday, May 29, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM (PDT)
This W3 mixer is a quarterly event for bioscience women executives and allied service providers affiliated with SoCalBio to encourage networking and mutual support among bioscience women executives and company managers in Southern California.
This mixer is organized in collaboration with:
- Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research Development at UCI
- UCI Calit2
- Image 2000
This mixer will showcase breakthrough bioscience research by the following faculty at the University of California Irvine:
1. Professor Michelle Khine
Michelle Khine is currently an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at UC Irvine. She was an Assistant & Founding Professor at UC Merced (‘06‐’09). Michelle received her BS and MS from UC Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering (’99 and ’01, respectively) and her PhD under Luke P Lee in Bioengineering (’05) from UC Berkeley and UCSF. She was the Scientific Founder of Fluxion Biosciences, Shrink Nanotechnologies and, most recently, Novoheart. Michelle was the recipient of the TR35 Award and named one of Forbes ’10 Revolutionaries’ in 2009 and by Fast Company Magazine as one of the '100 Most Creative People in Business' in 2011. She was awarded the NIH New Innovator's Award, was named a finalist in the World Technology Awards for Materials, and was named by Marie‐Claire magazine as 'Women on Top: Top Scientist'.
2. Professor Mahtab Jafari
Dr. Jafari is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Undergraduate Program at the University of California at Irvine (UCI). She received her Doctorate from University of California, San Francisco and completed her residency in clinical pharmacy at UCSF. She has held a number of faculty, clinical, scientist, and management positions in academic and private institutions. She was the Founder and Director of the Cholesterol Clinic and Co-director of the Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Program at UCI. In 2001, she joined Abbott Laboratories as a research scientist and eventually became a senior scientist and regional scientific manager. Until 2005, the focus of her research was on the prevention and therapy of diseases of heart, brain and endocrine systems. In 2005, UCI recruited her to develop the first undergraduate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in the UC system and help found the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She changed her research focus from diseases of aging to “aging” and “anti-aging”. Using human cultured cells, fruit flies and mice as her model systems, her current research focus is on the anti-aging properties of botanical extracts and their impact on health and lifespan. She is also studying the mechanism(s) of action of these botanical extracts and evaluating their effects on various aging pathways such as mitochondrial bioenergetics and related oxidative stress as well as nutrient signaling pathways. Ultimately, her research goals are to slow the process of aging and to improve human health while extending lifespan. She has authored or co-authored over 40 publications and has presented her work at national and international conferences. Besides biomedical research, Dr. Jafari is also passionate about teaching and mentoring the next generation of scientists and health care providers. In 2008, she was the recipient of “The UCI Teaching Award” and “The UCI Chancellor’s Award for Fostering Undergraduate Research”. She was also selected among “20 Women to Watch in Orange County” by Orange County Metro Business Magazine in March 2008. In 2011, she received the “Overall Outstanding Professor Award” in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the “Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine Discovery Award”.
3. Professor Claudia Kawas
Claudia Kawas, M.D., Al and Trish Nichols Chair in Clinical Neuroscience and Professor of Neurobiology & Behavior and Neurology, at the University of California, Irvine, is a geriatric neurologist and researcher in the areas of aging and dementia. Her work is concentrated on the epidemiology of aging and Alzheimer's disease, in the determinants of successful aging, longitudinal and clinical pathological investigations, clinical trials, and most recently, studies in cognitive and functional abilities of the Oldest Old (over 90 years of age). Dr. Kawas is a graduate of Swarthmore College (Pennsylvania), and completed her medical studies at the University of Louisville (Kentucky) and neurology residency training and a fellowship in dementia and aging at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York. After 15 years on the faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Kawas moved to the University of California, Irvine in 2000, where she is Principle Investigator of The 90+ Study and Associate Director of the UCI Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders. Dr. Kawas serves on committees for the National Institutes of Health and the Scientific Advisory Board of several organizations, including the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the National Alzheimer’s Association, The Dana Foundation, and the United States Food & Drug Administration. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Kawas has published more than 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and has worked on numerous longitudinal studies of aging and dementia, including the Bronx Aging Study, the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (NIA), and most recently, The 90+ Study, a population based sample of more than 1,600 people aged 90 years and older.
4. Professor Wendy Liu
Our laboratory engineers the biochemical and physical properties of materials in order to understand and control cell function. The primary challenge that we seek to address is modulating the host response to implanted biomaterials. Our current work is focused on elucidating the mechanisms underlying immune cell plasticity, since these cells play a major role in determining whether the body attacks or accepts an implanted foreign material. A better understanding of the complex interactions involved in this process requires an interdisciplinary approach combining engineering tools with biological techniques. To this end, we utilize micro- and nano-fabrication tools, protein engineering, high throughput screening approaches, and bio-conjugation techniques to create novel materials that mimic features of the physiological cellular microenvironment. We believe that the appropriate modulation of the immune system can encourage tissue regeneration and wound healing, and will benefit a number of biomedical applications. Our long-term goal is to control the host response to implanted biomaterials, and thus achieve integrated function of medical devices and tissue engineered constructs.
5. Professor Szu-Wen Wang
One of the current challenges in biomaterials research is the design and fabrication of functional nanostructures at progressively smaller length scales. Since biology has been enormously successful in assembling complex nanoscale systems, research in Dr. Wang's group couples the principles of self-assembly with nature-inspired macromolecular systems to engineer new materials and therapeutic strategies. The approach in Dr. Wang's research uses the detailed control that genetic engineering provides in defining the polymeric architecture of proteins, and unites this with synthetic strategies that broaden the scope of chemical functionality. This enables a better understanding of the relationship between molecular organization and material characteristics, which can then be used towards designing new material properties. The research group is currently investigating (1) the fabrication of inorganic nanoarrays using biological templates, (2) the design of nanoscale protein complexes for molecular transport of molecules, and (3) the development of novel biopolymers for drug delivery. These studies have relevance in technological areas that include pharmaceutics, tissue engineering, biosensors, and electronic and optical devices.
6. Professor Lisa Flanagan
Dr. Flanagan’s research program combines the fields of neural cell biology and bioengineering to address issues critical to the successful transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) for the repair of injured or diseased central nervous system (CNS) tissue. As such, her lab is investigating factors that affect the differentiation of NSCs into the three CNS lineages (neurons, astrocytes or oligodendrocytes) and exploring means to direct fate decisions of transplanted or endogenous cells for optimal repair and regeneration. Dr. Flanagan’s lab has taken two complementary approaches to these problems. In one, they are developing novel non-invasive methods to identify the fate potential of undifferentiated stem cells with the goal of isolating cells biased to a particular fate. In the other, they investigate the role of extracellular matrix cues in regulating the behavior of NSCs in order to generate instructive three-dimensional matrices for NSC transplantation. Their goal is to achieve greater control over the differentiation of transplanted or endogenous stem cells to unravel the contributions of each cell type to effective repair and potentially maximize their ability to provide functional recovery. These studies have clinical applications for the treatment of spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke.
7. Professor Aileen Anderson
Dr. Anderson’s own research is focused on two principal goals. First, investigating the interactions of transplanted stem cell populations within the injured niche, including the role of the evolving inflammatory microenvironment in stem cell fate and migration decisions. Second, investigating the role of inflammatory mechanisms in degeneration and regeneration in the injured CNS, particularly the role of the innate immune response and complement pathways in these conflicting but intertwined processes. Much of the research in Dr. Anderson’s laboratory bridges the junction between seeking to understand mechanism at the basic neuroscience level, and identifying translational neuroscience strategies to ameliorate the cellular and histopathological deficits associated with SCI to promote recovery of function.