Meet The Team

Dr. Jorge N. Artaza, MS, PhD Associate Professor, step II, Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Health and Life Sciences, CDU and Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

About: Dr. Artaza received his M.S. degree in Biochemistry and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, both from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina.

Specialty: Molecular biology, HLA Tissue Typing Hematology and Immunology.

Classes: Currently he is teaching, General Microbiology (HLS-230L), Human parasitology (HLS-460L), Immunology (HLS-405L) and Clinical Immunology and Hematology (HLS-444) at COSH.

Research Interest: Dr. Artaza's research interests are focused in understanding the process of fibrosis, a leading cause of organ failure and inflammation worldwide. Understanding the mechanisms that lead or prevent fibrosis will allow easier and more practical therapies to ameliorate this Multi-System Pathology (MSP). He is also studying the role Vitamin D on muscle and cardiac differentiation.

Fun Facts: He likes Dr. Who, Sherlock, Lord of the Rings and classic rock. His hobbies are soccer and tennis

Dr. Victor Chaban, PhD, MS is Professor of Medicine with dual appointment at CDU and UCLA. Dr. Chaban is currently Co-Leader of the Educational Core of UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

About: Dr. Chaban received his Ph.D in Physiology. He completed postdoctoral training in Neuroscience at UCLA and graduate training in Clinical Research at CDU.

Specialty: Neurobiology, hormones, pain and autonomic nervous system.

Classes: Currently he is teaching MBS 510 Physiological Basis of Health and Disease.

Research: Dr. Chaban's work has focused on understanding how hormones like estrogen modulate the experience of pain.

Monica G. Ferrini MS, PhD Dr Ferrini is an Associate Professor both in the College of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine and in the College of Science and Health Department of Health and Life Sciences. She is currently the Chair of the Department of Health and Life Sciences.

About Dr. Ferrini received her PhD in Physiology and a BS-M.S. degree in Biochemistry, from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina. She is the recipient of the 2015 CDU Academic Senate Outstanding Professor Award.

Specialty: Cell biology, Histology, Biochemistry, Anatomy and Physiology.

Classes: HLS 310 Anatomy and Physiology. HLS330 Histology and Histopathology, COM113 Medical Terminology.

Research: Dr. Ferrini research interest is to study the role of NO/cGMP in the amelioration of penile fibrosis associated with aging and nerve damage. She is an NIH funded investigator and has published more than 70 papers in peer reviewed journals in the fields of neurobiology and urology.

Fun facts: She also likes to watch science fiction movies, Downton Abbey, and Game of Thrones. Her favorite sport is figure skating.

Thomas R. Magee, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Life Sciences at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

About Dr. Magee received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of New Mexico. His post-doctoral training at the Department of Biological Chemistry at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. He was an Assistant Researcher at the Department of Urology and Assistant Professor of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor- UCLA Medical Center.

Specialty: Molecular biology, Molecular signaling, Fetal programming and Embryology.

Classes: Dr. Magee teaches General Biology I and II, Introduction to Biology, Leadership Seminar I, and co-teaches MCAT capstone. He is also faculty advisor to the Pre-Health Society and the Critical Exploration of Academic Literature Club.

Research: His current research at CDU is focused on fetal programming, in which children that are born underweight have a high risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome as adults. He specifically is interested in how hypertension develops in these programmed individuals.

Fun facts: Dr. Magee has three dogs.

Suzanne Porszasz-Reisz, PhD, MSCR is an Associate professor at CDU and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

About: Dr. Reisz earned two MS degrees (in Biology and Clinical Research) and two PhDs (in Genetics and Molecular Biology). Over the course of her career, she taught in Budapest, Helsinki, and Los Angeles. She has research experiences in three medical universities, and she was invited as visiting scientist to France, Finland and the USA (UCLA).

Specialty: Molecular biology, muscle metabolism, genetics and biochemistry.

Classes: She teaches Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Human Genetics, and Clinical Biotechnology.

Research: Dr. Reisz's research projects cover the areas of skeletal muscle atrophy, aging, and obesity. She has developed animal models to investigate these diseases. She is an NIH funded investigator and is co-investigator in clinical research grants. She is the author of 25 research papers in peer reviewed journals including Science, a book chapter, and a clinical research education movie.

Fun Facts: She loves hiking, swimming and listening to music. Her favorite opera is Donizetti, which features Anna Bolena. Her favorite song is Imagine by John Lennon. Her favorite instruments are the drums and the piano. Most of all, she loves to teach and do research.

Dr. Lejeune Y. Lockett, DM, MSPH - Operations Manager & Program Manager

Dr. Lockett received a BA degree in Psychobiology from the University of California at Davis. She earned a Master’s of Science in Public Health degree, in Health Services Planning & Policy Analysis, from the UCLA School of Public Health. She also holds a Doctorate in Management & Organizational Leadership, from the University of Phoenix in Arizona. Dr. Lockett has extensive international experience and has travelled to nearly 40 countries within the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe. She lived in Mexico for 10 years as well as the southern African country of Namibia for 6 years. Her international development leadership commenced as an International Population Fellow assigned to the National Institute of Public Health/School of Public Health of Mexico where she instructed master’s students and conducted research on health care access. She has held academic positions such as Adjunct Faculty &Program Coordinator at the Augsburg College Center for Global Education (CGE) in Mexico. She later served as Adjunct Faculty & Interim Director at CGE and in Namibia. In addition, Dr. Lockett worked as an Associate Director for the US Peace Corps in Namibia where she managed the national Community Health & HIV/AIDS Project. Upon her return to the US, Dr. Lockett joined CDU in 2010 as the Operations & Program Manager for International Programs to manage and lead three US Department of Defense projects concerning HIV/AIDS prevention for militaries located in the countries of Angola, Belize, and Jamaica.

Robert Jenders, M.D., M.S., FACP, FACMI, Co-Director

Dr. Jenders broadly addresses in his research the domain of clinical decision support, with a focus on knowledge representation and health information technology standards in the context of electronic health record systems. He is associate director and CDU site principal investigator for the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute. He also is co-director of the CDU Center for Biomedical Informatics and director of the biomedical informatics core function for the CDU Accelerating Excellence in Translational Science (AXIS) project. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he received his undergraduate degree in computer science from Marquette University; completed his MD degree and did his medical residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; earned a master's degree in computer science at Northeastern University; and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biomedical informatics at Harvard University and the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Outside of his home institutions, Dr. Jenders has served since 1998 as co-chair of the clinical decision support work group of Health Level Seven International (HL7), the principal international standards development organization for health information technology. He is a co-author of Improving Outcomes with Clinical Decision Support: An Implementer's Guide, the first edition of which was named 2005 Book of the Year and the second edition as 2012 Book of the Year by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). He has been a member of the scientific program committees of the premier scientific meetings of biomedical informatics in the USA: the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium and the AMIA Spring Congress. He was previously an editor of the clinical informatics subspecialty preparation examination produced by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). He has been an invited lecturer both nationally and internationally, including at major conferences in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Computers in Healthcare. He has served further as a reviewer for major journals in the discipline of Biomedical Informatics, including the International Journal of Medical Informatics, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and the Journal of Biomedical Informatics, and he has published in numerous journals and conference proceedings. He is a standing member of the Health Information Technology Research study section of the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that reviews applications for research in this domain.

Keosha Partlow, PhD, MPH

Dr. Keosha Partlow has extensive experience and involvement in program management, development, implementation and research designed to improve the health outcomes of underserved and under-resourced communities. Prior to her role as Director of UHI, Dr. Partlow was the Project Manager for the RCMI Translational Research Network, a consortium of 18 institutions designed to address health disparities through collaboration. She has served as a program manager and evaluator on several research projects ranging from an evaluation of a program designed to increase access to specialty care among individuals in the Los Angeles area, to a project designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among elementary school students in the Los Angeles area. She has also provided technical advice and consults on survey creation, and methodological issues relating to program development and data management.