Investigators

These are the investigators on the cancer research team.

Dr. John Capitman

Dr. Capitman holds a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Duke University, Durham, NC. He is currently the executive director for the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at California State University , Fresno. The mission of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute is to facilitate an interactive regional process to identify, monitor, and analyze emerging health policy issues that influence the health status of people living in Central California. Dr. Capitman has extensive background in research and is nationally renowned for his work in health disparities, long-term care, substance abuse and racial and ethnic disparities in cancer care. He has had more than 20 years of experience in health policy research and analysis, including appointments at the Virginia Center on Aging, California Department of Health Services, Medical College of Virginia/ Virginia Commonwealth University and Brandeis University.

Dr. Paul Mills

Dr. Mills is a cancer epidemiologist with an interest in environmental/occupational etiology. He trained at the University of Minnesota and the University of Texas where he obtained his Ph.D. in epidemiology. In addition to his work with students at Fresno State University as a part time lecturer and mentor, he has worked with students from the Cancer Biology Laboratory in association with the California Cancer Registry which monitors cancer incidence and mortality in California. He has worked with students to provide data obtained from breast cancer case/control studies and to provide saliva samples from these study participants for genomic and metabolomic analyses.

Dr. Krish Krishnan

Dr. Krishnan has a broad background in structural biology, molecular biophysics and data analysis in clinical research. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India and post-doctoral training in Molecular Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA. He holds adjunct appointments with UC Davis UC Davis Medical Center and UC Santa Crtlz (Visiting Scholar, Molecular and DevelopmentalBiology). At Fresno State, he leads a dynamic group of students interested in biomedical research. He has been instrumental in the establishment of the NIH funded RIMI program which currently houses a proteomics and functional imaging center.

Dr. Maurizio Pellecchia

Dr. Pellecchia is a medicinal chemist with a strong background in pharmaceutical chemistry, biophysics and fragment-based drug design. He trained at the University of Naples (Italy) where he obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, at the ETH-Zurich (working with 2002 Nobel Laureate Prof. Dr. Kurt Wüthrich) and the University of Michigan. Prior to his recruitment at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Dr. Pellecchia spent a few years in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Pellecchia’s research focuses on the design, synthesis and evaluation of novel pharmacological tools in the areas of neurodegeneration and cancer, using innovative fragment-based ligand design approaches.

Dr. Dieter Wolf

Dr. Wolf is a Professor, Signal Transduction Program, and director of the NCI Cancer Center Proteomics Facility, both at the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA. He holds a MD from the University of Munich, Munich, Germany with post-doctoral training from the Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology and Tumor Genetics, GSF Research Center for Environment and Health, Munich, Germany, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and Stanford University, Stanford, CA. Dr. Wolf’s research focuses on basic posttranscriptional mechanisms that regulate protein abundance and function.

Dr. A. Calderon-Urrea

Dr. Calderón is Professor of developmental biology in the Biology Department at Fresno State. Dr. Calderón’s research is focused on the developmentally-regulated programmed cell death in plants. Dr. Calderón has been very involved in directing programs that advance minority faculty and students into biomedical research and careers. He directed the Minority Biomedical Research Support Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Program at Fresno State and is Core Leader for Capacity Building for the RIMI program. All of these programs are funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Calderón has trained numerous students in his research laboratory and has won several teaching and mentoring awards.

Dr. Jason Bush

Dr. Bush received a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and received post doctoral training at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA. Dr. Bush has a broad background in cancer biology, biological research on cancer cell models and animal models and applications proteomic technologies to data discovery. As an assistant professor at Fresno State, his research includes work with cell models such as pancreatic and ovarian cancer. He is the PI or co-PI on several university- and NIH-funded grants, which have laid the groundwork for incorporating ethnic minorities/underserved populations into his research foci that addresses critical health-disparities common to our region. He has also administered the creation of the premier proteomics core facility at Fresno State.

Dr. Lynnette Zelezny

Dr. Lynnette Zelezny is the Provost at Fresno State. She earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Claremont Graduate University and a M.B.A. with distinction from the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. In addition, she is an ACE Fellow and has professional certificates in Management from Harvard University and Executive Leadership from the Wharton School of Business. As a Professor of Psychology, she serves as the co-director of a $4.5 million National Institute of Health Research Infrastructure for Minority Institutions (NIH-RIMI) grant. As the Associate Provost she is the Senior Academic Technology Officer and also the PI on a Title V grant and a Gates/Carnegie Mellon grant.

Dr. Ze’ev Ronai

Dr. Ronai earned his PhD in tumor immunology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and performed postdoctoral training at Columbia University in NY. He established his lab at the American Health Foundation, while serving as an adjunct professor at the NY Medical College, and later moved to the Ruttenberg Cancer Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NY. In 2004, Dr. Ronai joined the Sanford-Burnham Institute as Professor and Director of the Signal Transduction Program, and adjunct professor at UCSD. He has a strong record for supervised research of several graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and is currently the Associate Director for Research of the Cancer Center.

Dr. Guy Salvesen

Guy Salvesen earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cambridge University. He conducted postdoctoral research at Strangeways Laboratory and MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, followed by further post-doctoral training at the University of Georgia. In 1991 he was appointed Assistant Professor at Duke University. Dr. Salvesen was recruited to Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in 1996, where he is Director of the Program in Apoptosis and Cell Death Research, and Director of Scientific Training. He also holds an adjunct position as Professor of Pathology at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Kristine Vuori

Dr. Vuori received her MD and Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Oulu, Finland. She is a Professor and the Director of the National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, and the Institute’s Executive Vice President for Scientific Affairs. Additionally, she is the Principal Investigator of the Sanford-Burnham Chemical Biology Consortium contract, and co-Founder and co- Director of Sanford-Burnham’s Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, which is one of four comprehensive centers with the MLPCN initiative. She has extensive experience in cancer biology, oncology, cutting-edge research technologies and in establishing and leading collaborative teams and inter-institutional.

Dr. Lawrence Alfred

Dr. Alfred is a Emeritus Professor of Biology from San Diego State University and Co-Director CURE Program at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. He manages the UCSD Cancer Center Summer Science Enrichment CURE, Creating Scientists to Address Cancer Disparities, and Bridges Programs; teach journal club for the ET-CURE program bioengineering majors; manage tracking databases for these programs. Dr. Alfred holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Illinois School of Medicine, Chicago and received post doctoral training in immunology and carcinogenesis at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, the Weizman Institute, Israel and at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Alfred has extensive experience in chemical carcinogenesis as an NCI-funded pre- and postdoctoral fellow and as an intramural investigator at the NCI. For the past 25 years, he has managed NIH-funded programs to train underrepresented minority and disadvantaged college students for careers in biomedical and behavioral research and more specifically in cancer research careers. He assisted in the development of the first RFA for the funding of MSI/Cancer Center Partnerships. Since that time, and has served on the EAC of the University of Puerto/MD Anderson and the San Francisco State University/UCSF Cancer Center Partnerships, and on the LAC of the San Diego State University/UCSD Cancer Center Partnership.

Dr. Frank Bayliss

Dr. Bayliss holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of California, Davis. He is currently a Professor of Biology at the California State University, San Francisco. He has a long-standing interest in promoting the training of young investigators in the field of Biology and facilitating careers in biomedical research. Frank Bayliss' mentoring work has made SF State a leader in training and educating minority students in the sciences, such that he was been awarded a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. He is the PI for the San Francisco State University and UCSF partnership proposal, and also served the past 8 years on the Program Steering Committee for the City College of New York/Memorial Sloan Kettering (CCNY/MSK) involving P-20, U-56 and U-54 MSI/CCC partnerships.

Dr. Donna Hudson

Donna Hudson received her Ph.D. from UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and is a faculty member of University of California. She is currently Director of Academic Research and Technology at University of California, San Francisco, Professor of Clinical and Translational Informatics (UCSF) and Professor, Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley/UCSF. She is on the Executive Committees of Biological and Medical Informatics and CTI Graduate Groups at UCSF. She is past-president of the International Society for Computers and Their Applications and Vice-President of the World Academy of Biotechnology. Dr. Hudson has over 230 refereed publications in the areas of computer-assisted medical decision making, biosignal analysis, neural network modeling, telemedicine for home healthcare, and complex analysis of biomedical data applied to cardiology, neurology, and cancer diagnosis and prognosis. She is an IEEE Fellow and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.