College of Medicine Department Chairs

Biomedical Science Education
Victor Chaban, PhD  

Dr. Victor V. Chaban


Dr. Victor V. Chaban is a Professor of Medicine who completed his post-doctoral training in Neuroscience at UCLA and graduate studies in Clinical Research at CDU. He served on the National Institute of Health and several international study sections and holds U.S. Patents. Dr. Chaban serves as Editor In Chief for the IJRN, Science Publications, and on several editorial boards. He is an author of “Unraveling the Enigma of Visceral Pain” by Nova Publishers, New York, 2016; Editor of “Irritable Bowel Syndrome: New Concepts for Research and Treatments”, 2017 and “Neuroplasticity: Insights of Neural Reorganization”, 2018 by InTech, London. His new book “Calcium Signaling and Nervous System: Overview and Directions for Research” was published by Nova Medicine and Health, New York in 2020. Dr. Chaban is an established educator and research expert who contributed significantly to a better understanding of neuroplasticity and cellular reorganization. His achievements are completely original contributions to the field and have been acknowledged by the academic community.

Family Medicine
Lisa Barkley MD, FAAFP, FACSM, FSAHM  

Dr. Lisa Barkley


Dr. Lisa Barkley is the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU). She was the founding Program Director for the newly re-established Family Medicine Residency Program at CDU. The program entered its first class in June 2018. She led the program to initial and continuing accreditation by the ACGME. She is triple board-certified, and fellowship-trained in family, adolescent and sports medicine. Prior to starting at CDU in 2017, Dr. Barkley was the founding Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine (UCF). She led that program to initial accreditation by the LCME in diversity and inclusion and in the medical school’s integrated curriculum, she directed the longitudinal theme in Culture, Health and Society. Before coming to UCF in 2010, she was the founding Dean of the College of Health and Public Policy, the Medical Director for University Health Services, and Head Team Physician at Delaware State University.

Dr. Barkley received her M.D. at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA and completed her residency in family medicine at Montgomery Hospital in Norristown, PA, where she was elected Chief Resident in her PGY 3. Following residency, she completed fellowship training in adolescent and sports medicine at Christiana Care Health Systems in Wilmington, DE.

She has received numerous awards for her leadership in the community, medical education and clinic. Dr. Barkley has dedicated her career to advancing health equity, especially for adolescent populations impacted by health disparities.

Mohsen Bazargan, Ph.D.  

Dr. Mohsen Bazargan


Dr. Mohsen Bazargan is Professor, Faculty Trustee, and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Family Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science (CDU). In addition, he is also Adjunct Professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. He is a Medical Sociologist with extensive training in the fields of aging, research methodology, evaluation, and statistics.

He received his PhD in Medical Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has been a member of the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) faculty since 1993, and was previously on the faculty of the Xavier University. Dr. Bazargan entire research related activities is concentrated around the health status and health disparities experienced by racial/ethnic minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged populations. He has conducted several large population and community based surveys on access and utilization of health services by underserved minority older adults.

Dr. Bazargan has authored 213 scientific papers many of which address access to care, barriers to medical care, use of health services, racial disparities, and health outcomes among minority population. Fifty-one of his peer-reviewed manuscripts directly examine the health status and health care utilization of underserved older African American adults. During the last 30 years, Dr. Bazargan has been funded by several federal agencies including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institute on Again (NIA), the Administration for Children and Family (AHF), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to conduct research and interventional study among minority populations.

Internal Medicine
Theodore C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D. 

Theodore C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D.


Theodore C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine-UCLA School of Medicine and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science; is the Chairman of the Department of Medicine and the Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Molecular Medicine and Metabolism at Charles R. Drew University. Dr. Friedman is board certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. He is also an endowed professor in Cardiometabolic Diseases. He is the director of the NIH-funded.

The Next Generation Substance Abuse Research Training at Charles R. Drew University (CDU) and UCLA (NGSART-CU) program and is the Program Director of the Accelerating Excellence In Translational Science (AXIS) institutional grant (PI: Vadgama) and also has research grant studying obesity group visits as part of the grant. Dr. Friedman is also PI of grants on the health disparities of fatty liver disease, a DOD grant on the cardiac effects of e-cigarettes, a smoking cessation implementation grant, and a training grant with Cal State University-San Bernardino on training young scientists on smoking cessation.

Dr. Friedman has published over 140 papers in peer-review journals and wrote the thyroid and adrenal chapters for the widely-read textbook, Cecil Essentials of Medicine. His basic science research interests are on the effects of nicotine and e-cigarettes on the liver, muscle and heart. He has a patent on a chamber to give e-cigarettes to mice. His clinical research interests are adrenal and pituitary disorders as well as diabetes and metabolism. He sees patients and is the lead Endocrinologist at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center and runs a weekly obesity group visit. He is very proud to have contributed to the CDU internal medicine residency that started in June 2021. He is the chairman of the DHS Endocrinology Work Group that helps optimize treatment for large numbers of patients with diabetes, obesity and endocrine conditions.

Department of Pediatrics
LaShonda Spencer, MD 

Dr. LaShonda Spencer


Dr. LaShonda Spencer is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Director of Drew CARES at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU). Dr. Spencer serves as the Clinic Director of OASIS Clinic at MLK Outpatient Ambulatory Center. She provides primary and preventive HIV care to adolescent and adult patients at MLK Oasis Clinic and also serves as the Medical Specialist for adolescent girls/young women on CDU’s Zambia project Her areas of research interest are HIV disease in women and adolescents and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis in LGTBQI and CSEC populations. Importantly, Dr. Spencer is a MPI for the recently NIH funded UCLA-CDU CFAR. Dr. Spencer has participated in multiple observational and therapeutic trials and has been site principal investigator (PI) for several IMPAACT studies as well as PI for her own investigator-initiated trials and pharmaceutical studies which have resulted in several peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Spencer recently completed an implementation science grant from AIDS United as well as received funding for Patient Navigation services from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Currently, Dr. Spencer serves as a technical advisor to HRSA Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS)-funded Black Women First Initiative. Dr. Spencer’s committee responsibilities include the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV (COH), COH Women’s Caucus, and the OASIS Continuous Quality Improvement Committee.

Preventive and Social Medicine
Lola Ogunyemi, PhD 

Omolola Ogunyemi, PhD, FACMI


Omolola (Lola) Ogunyemi is a computer scientist and biomedical informatics researcher. She is currently Director of Charles R. Drew University's Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBI) and a co-chair of the UCLA CTSI's biomedical informatics program. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Radiological Sciences in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with the Medical and Imaging Informatics group. Her research at the CBI focuses on novel biomedical informatics solutions for problems that affect medically underserved communities. Dr. Ogunyemi’s research interests include computerized medical decision support, reasoning under uncertainty, 3D graphics and visualization, and machine learning. She is currently working on a National Library of Medicine (NLM)-funded study that utilizes both unsupervised machine learning and qualitative methods to study COVID-19 vaccination and testing hesitancy. She has been principal investigator on an NLM-funded R01 study of machine learning approaches to identify patients with latent/undiagnosed diabetic retinopathy from electronic health records, on an NLM-funded R01 study of computerized decision support for penetrating trauma, and on a National Cancer Institute-funded R03 study of individualized breast cancer risk prediction using Bayesian networks.

Dr. Ogunyemi holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Barnard College, Columbia University and an M.S.E, and Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Before moving to CDU to become the Director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics, Dr. Ogunyemi was a biomedical informatics faculty member in the Department of Radiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School from 1999 until 2007. She was also a member of the affiliated faculty in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology from 2003 until 2007. She served as a faculty member in the Boston-area NLM-funded biomedical informatics fellowship training program (1999-2007). She has taught graduate level biomedical informatics courses in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, at UCLA, at CDU, and short courses on informatics at the University of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), Durban, South Africa. She served on the NLM’s Biomedical Library and Informatics Review Committee study section from 2003-2007; on the NLM's Literature Selection and Technical Review Committee from 2010-2014 as a member and as chair (2013-2014); on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Health Information Technology Research study section (2016 - 2019); and is currently a member of the NLM’s Board of Regents (2021-2025). She is an editorial board member for the Journal of Biomedical Informatics (2015 - 2022) and an elected Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics.

Denese Shervington, MD, MPH 

Dr.Denese Shervington


Dr. Denese Shervington has an intersectional career in public health and academic psychiatry. She is the Chair of Psychiatry and Professor at Charles R. Drew University. Dr. Shervington has held Clinical Professorships in the Departments of Psychiatry at Columbia University and Tulane University. A graduate of New York University School of Medicine, she also received a Masters of Public Health in Population Studies and Family Planning from Tulane University School of Public Health. She completed her residency in Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. A Fellow of the American Psychiatry Association (APA) she is a recipient of the APA’s Award for Excellence in Service and Advocacy; prior to which she received the Jeanne Spurlock Minority award. Dr. Shervington is also a member of the American College of Psychiatrists and serves on the Psychiatry Resident-In-Training Commission.

Dr. Shervington has testified before the United States Congress on Childhood Trauma and co-chaired the New Orleans City Council Taskforce on Childhood Trauma. She is a member of the Scientific Board of the Centre for Society and Mental Health at Kings College, London. Dr. Shervington has authored several papers in peer-reviewed journals addressing health disparities, the social determinants of health and resilience in underserved communities.

Dr. Shervington is the author of Healing Is the Revolution, a guide to healing from historical, intergenerational, interpersonal, and community trauma. She also hosts the podcast Healing is the Revolution in which her guests share and explore their healing journey through their traumas. She is the proud parent of two amazing children - Iman and Kaleb, and three grandchildren - Ayelet, Hadassah, and Yoav.

Eleby R. Washington III, MD 

Eleby Washington

Eleby R. Washington III, M.D. currently serves as a Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Surgery at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science as well as the Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the Medical Director of the Orthopedic Service at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital and the Lead Physician and Director of the Orthopedic Clinic at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Center in the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

Currently, Dr. Washington holds certifications from the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, American Board of Neurological and Orthopedic Medicine, and Surgery and he was inducted into the American College of Surgeons in 1991and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery in 1988. As an advocate for increased representation of underserved minorities in the field of Surgery, Dr. Washington has served as the President of the J. Robert Gladden Orthopedic Society and on numerous committees of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery.

Aside from practicing medicine, Dr. Washington is a clinical researcher and published author. His research focus is centered on surgical care in under-resourced and medically under-represented minority groups, as well as on the development of clinical protocols and algorithms to improve the orthopedic surgical and medical care delivery systems both in the hospital and outpatient settings. Additionally, Dr. Washington has promoted and driven the pipeline concept of producing a minority physician base while serving as the Chairperson of the Pipeline Program Steering Committee which oversees Educational Programs at the Charles R. Drew University. These programs educate from preschool years through college and graduate school and include the Saturday Science Academy.

Dr. Washington was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the segregated South, into a family committed towards the quest for civil rights and equal opportunity for all. He grew up in the Northern New Jersey/New York area where he excelled academically and in basketball and football in high school. He attended college at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and received his Medical Doctorate Degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

Dr. Washington completed a two-year Residency in General Surgery before completing a three-year Residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. He then completed a Fellowship in Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at the Cornell University Hospital for Special Surgery where he practiced as an Attending Physician for three years before relocating his family to the Los Angeles California area where he currently lives.