Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences

Meet The Team

Dr. Jorge N. Artaza, MS, Ph.D. Associate Professor, step II, Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Health & 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 & 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 from Bogomoletz Institute, Kiev. 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 HLS 435 Neurobiology and HLS 250 Brain and Behavior

Research: Dr. Chaban’s work has focused on understanding how hormones like estrogen modulate the experience of pain. Using a mouse model, Dr. Chaban and colleagues showed that estrogen had a profound effect on the expression of pain receptors on primary sensory afferent neurons.


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 Ph.D. 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 3 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.

Enrico Rodrigo, PhD., Associate Professor, Department of Health and Life Science.

About: Dr. Rodrigo received his B.S. degree in physics from Caltech and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin, after which he worked in the defense and semiconductor sectors as research physicist specializing in the detection of weak electromagnetic signatures and associated applications of artificial intelligence.

Specialty: Physics, black holes, wormholes, and math

Classes: Physics, Calculus I and II, College Algebra, Statistics and Biophysics

Research: His current interests include the medical applications of artificial intelligence and the quantum aspects of wormhole physics, the latter being the subject of his most recent publications.

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

About:  Dr. Shukla was born in a small village of Nepal, The country of Mount Everest and Buddha’s Birthplace. He has interdisciplinary educations, research and teaching experiences. He completed his BS with double majors in Chemistry and Biology at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, India; MS in Chemistry at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at The University of Tokyo, Japan. He completed his PhD in 3 years and immediately got a Post-doctoral position at National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Japan. At AIST, his research was focused on synthesis of Carbon nanotubes. Then his family moved to Los Angeles when he got another post-doctoral position at Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, where he worked on Transient Plasma and combustion. He is serving as an editor and editorial board member for some scientific journals. He also serves as research proposal reviewer for France and Romania federal funding agencies. He has developed a network with scientists at universities, national labs and private companies in 9 countries across the world.

Specialty: Chemistry (General, Physical, Organic, Inorganic and Biochemistry), Chemical Engineering, Carbon Nanomaterials, Energy & Fuels, Combustion, Transient Plasma and Environmental Pollution.

Classes: At CDU, Dr. Shukla teaches General Chemistry I and II; Organic Chemistry I and II; and co-teaches MCAT capstone-General, Organic and Biochemistry and HESI courses. Additionally, as an adjunct faculty he also teaches four courses of chemical Engineering at CSULB, and some chemistry courses at two community colleges. He also teaches intensive winter and summer classes. Moreover, he also teaches some chemistry courses in highly accelerated program (whole course in 4-5 Saturdays) at Southern California University of Health Science.

Research: His interdisciplinary research expertise includes synthesis and characterization of carbon nanotubes, organic reaction mechanism, kinetics of complex gas-phase reactions, transient plasma, combustion chemistry, and environmental pollution control. Currently at CDU, he is planning to start mass spectroscopic detection and identification of biomolecules including denaturation of protein, biomolecules important to criminal investigation and assessment of impact of environmental pollution on health.

Fun facts: Dr. Shukla likes to enjoy free time with family, make friends and travel to different countries to learn about different cultures.