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Faculty Partners

  • Goran Bozinovic, Ph.D.

    Goran Bozinovic, Ph.D.

    Goran earned his Ph.D. at North Carolina State University (environmental and molecular toxicology), and his M.S. at San Diego State University (Environmental Health).  He is interested in gene-environment interaction: how individuals and natural populations respond, cope, and adapt to stress. This work is interdisciplinary and utilizes natural populations and model organisms, field sampling, chemical abiotic and biotic analyses, in vivo and in vitro biology  (morphology, histopathology, cardiac physiology, gene expression), and analyses of large gene expression data sets.

    Goran’s research expertise is in developmental and evolutionary biology, toxicology, and genomics. As a full-time lecturer, he teaches genetics and biochemistry-related technical laboratory courses at the UCSD Division of Biology and serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at SDSU Graduate School of Public Health. Several main themes drive his current research interests:

    • Individual and natural population genomic responses and adaptive mechanisms to environmental stress during embryogenesis;
    • Stress-induced, gender-specific metabolic gene expression in the brain;
    • Ecological and human health risk assessment.

    Goran’s goal is to help establish a modern and dynamic science research and learning program where future leaders ask important questions, collaborate on exciting projects and innovate life science education.

  •  R. Jeffrey Chang, MD

    R. Jeffrey Chang, MD

    Dr. Chang has had a long-standing clinical and research interest in polycystic ovary syndrome. He is widely published and has achieved significant recognition for his research accomplishments. He is a reviewer for many medical journals and has written several books.

    His past involvement with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) included serving on the reproductive biology study section and two years as the administrative chair for NIH physiological sciences review section.

    Dr. Chang has been training fellows in reproductive endocrinology since 1975, at UCLA, UC Davis, and UC San Diego. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Dr. Chang in the top 1% of reproductive endocrinologists in the nation.

  • Gene Kallenberg, MD

    Gene Kallenberg, MD

    Dr. Kallenberg received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio, and completed his internship and residency in Family Medicine at Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Health Care Sciences and Medicine in 1982 at George Washington University. After becoming Associate Professor, he was named Chief of the Division of Family Practice in 1990, and Assistant Dean for Curricular Projects at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in 1998.
  • Betsy Komives, Ph.D.

    Betsy Komives, Ph.D.

    The long-term goal of research in the Komives lab is to understand the parameters that govern protein-protein recognition and the mechanisms by which these interactions contribute to biological function. The relative importance of factors such as hydrophobic effects, electrostatic interactions and dynamics are being defined for several different interactions. These parameters are explored by a combination of molecular biological techniques, protein chemistry, surface plasmon resonance, multidimensional NMR, and mass spectrometry. One project aims to discover how thrombomodulin (TM) converts the pro-coagulant activity of thrombin to anti-coagulant activity. The thrombin-TM interaction involves diffusion-controlled association that is highly electrostatically steered. The binding has no favorable enthalpy change, but is instead driven by entropy. In collaboration with the McCammon group, we have obtained evidence from Accelerated Molecular Dynamics that the TM binding site is dynamically coupled to motions at the thrombin active site. We recently were able to obtain beautiful NMR spectra for thrombin, and are now characterizing its dynamics.
  • Sarah Merrill, MD

    Sarah Merrill, MD

    Primary Care Physician and Sports Medicine Specialist. Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health
  • Robert L. Sah, MD

    Robert L. Sah, MD

    Robert L. Sah is Professor of Bioengineering at UCSD and Professor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received the B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering and the Sc.D. in Medical Engineering from M.I.T., and the M.D. from Harvard. He joined UCSD Bioengineering in 1992 and was promoted to Professor in 2001. Dr. Sah has received a Young Investigator Award (National Science Foundation), a Hulda Irene Duggan Investigator Award (Arthritis Foundation), two Kappa Delta Awards (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons), and the Van C. Mow Medal (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), At UCSD, Dr. Sah has served as Vice Chair of Bioengineering, and he is currently Co-Director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine and a member of the Research Committee of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
  • Alan Shahtaji, DO

    Alan Shahtaji, DO

    Dr. Alan P. Shahtaji is a family medicine doctor in San Diego, California and is affiliated with UC San Diego Health-Jacobs Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been in practice between 6-10 years.