About the Vice President for Research
Jay Vadgama Ph.D., Professor of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and at the David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine. He obtained his undergraduate and graduate degrees at University of London, England, and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan under Professor Halvor Christensen (Noble Prize Nominee). He joined UCLA School of Medicine in 1986. He was recruited to CDU in 1992 as Director of Laboratory Research and Development. Dr. Vadgama was appointed Associate Vice President for Research and Health Affairs at CDU where he is working to strengthen clinical, basic, and translational research/programs and integrate them with academic programs across campus. He is also currently the Interim Executive Vice President for Research and Health Affairs. Dr. Vadgama is the Chief of the Division of Cancer Research and Training, Director for Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities, and Director of Molecular Oncology Program. He serves as the Associate Director at the CDU site of the Clinical and Translational Scientific Award grant (CTSA) and the new PI for the AXIS (Accelerating Excellence in Translational Science) grant. He holds the Endowed Chair for Cancer Research, and is the Director of the Cancer Cluster at CDU. At the request of the University president and deans, Dr. Vadgama has represented the University at several national forums on cancer and serves in an advisory capacity to the president and deans for directing cancer initiatives at CDU and in partnership with UCLA.
Research Experience: Dr. Vadgama has extensive experience in conducting oncology research that integrates clinical, basic, and community-based research. The outcome of these efforts has resulted in the development of translational cancer research at CDU. Research programs in his division focus on: 1) genetics and epigenetics; 2) identification of cellular/molecular markers, and novel genes for early detection, prevention and management of breast, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancers; 3) mechanisms associated with bone metastasis from breast cancer; 4) role of mismatch repair proteins and microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer in minority populations; 5) identification and characterization of normal and cancer stem cells in breast and prostate cancers that contribute to drug resistance; 6) cancer outreach and prevention studies. He has been a recipient of numerous extramural grants. Recent examples include: 1) Identification of novel biomarkers associated with risk for bone metastasis from breast cancer (NIH/NCI CA15083-25S3); and 2) Role of Mismatch Repair Proteins and Microsatellite Instability in Colorectal Cancer in African American and Hispanic patients (CA 15083-25S3). Currently, he is principal investigator of several center grants in cancer at CDU in partnership with UCLA: 1U54CA143931 and 1U56 CA101599-01 from NCI/NIH, programs funded to enhance cancer research infrastructure at CDU and to establish a Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities. He is also PI of the DOD BC043180 grant, a program funded by the Department of Defense to develop a center of excellence in breast cancer research, education, and treatment at CDU. He is currently the principal investigator of the AXIS grant (U54MD007598) funded by NIH-NIMHD. Dr. Vadgama has extensive collaborations with renowned cancer investigators at UCLA, Cedars, Harbor-UCLA, and some international groups. Currently, he is working on multiple grants with collaborators at UCLA to develop breast cancer studies which target triple-negative breast cancers.
Other Professional Experience: On a national level, Dr. Vadgama serves as reviewer for grants submitted to the NIH, DOD, VHA, and EPSRC. Dr. Vadgama also serves as an international reviewer for grants, such as for the French NCI (Institut National du Cancer, INCa). Dr. Vadgama is a reviewer for 14 peer-reviewed journals, for example: Clinical Cancer Research; Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Current Cancer Therapy Reviews; Journal of Biological Chemistry; International Journal of Cancer; American Journal of Physiology; Journal of Cellular Biochemistry; etc; and is on the editorial board for several journals. Dr. Vadgama has participated at national and international cancer meetings as chair, co-chair, invited honorary and keynote speaker.
Teaching and Training Experience: Dr. Vadgama has extensive experience in training minority and non-minority students in clinical and basic research. He was funded for many years with the 1R25DK067015 NIDDK grant, a program that provided opportunity for undergraduate minority students to be trained in biomedical research. This program is now superseded by a five year funded program in Cancer Education and Training focused on cancer health disparities. Dr. Vadgama and his team have developed successful teaching and training programs for: undergraduate, medical, masters, and nursing students, as well as clinical residents, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty from CDU, UCLA, and other Universities. His division conducts weekly “Research- in-Progress” and Journal Club meetings, in addition to monthly seminars with visiting speakers, and workshops. Dr. Vadgama continues to serve as mentor and thesis advisor for Master’s students and Medical students. In addition, he has served as PhD thesis advisor for international students and is working with CDU to develop an integrated PhD program at CDU.
Mentoring Experience: Dr. Vadgama has had the opportunity to mentor over 32 postdoctoral fellows, 13 clinical residents, >10 graduate or medical students (mostly underrepresented), >80 undergraduate students across the nation, and several high school students. Dr. Vadgama continues to serve as a mentor for several funded junior faculty at CDU and the UCLA School of Medicine. In addition, he mentors several minority students from schools such as CDU, UCLA, UCI, UCR, CSUDH, USC, and others.