Dr. Tsui-Fen Chou, PhD

Dr. Tsui-Fen Chou's story begins on the island of Taiwan, where she graduated from National Taiwan University, the country's most prestigious university. She left this tropical climate for the icy lakes of the Midwest, completing a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. Assuming she had experienced enough snow to last a lifetime, she returned to the tepid climates of Southern California as a post-doctoral fellow in the Deshaies Lab at the California Institute of Technology, wherein she played a pivotal role in the discovery of a new class of potential anti-cancer drugs targeting the enzyme p97.

Building off of her successes, in 2012, Dr. Chou catapulted to a faculty position at LA BioMed, where she was Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Division of Medical Genetics, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Chou is also a member of the Signal Transduction and Therapeutics Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is interested in understanding the mechanisms of disease causing mutations of p97/VCP ATPase, a key player in cell proteasome and autophagy function, and has used p97 inhibitors as tools to develop pathway-specific inhibitors. Her main research focus is on discovering underlying mechanisms that may lead to new therapeutic targets for cancer and rare disease.

She is an excellent teacher and mentor - dedicating time to train students at every level (high school, college, graduate, etc.) - and is heavily invested in the success of her current and former employees and students. She is generous with her knowledge and enjoys sharing her extensive experience in medicinal chemistry, cancer cell biology, and biological chemistry with a particular interest in proteomics and enzymology.


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Proteomics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA


  • Ph.D., Medicinal Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN Minor: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics

  • B.S., Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Graduate Student


William Rosencrans

William Rosencrans is a graduate student in the Caltech Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics PhD option. A native of Long Island, William graduated from Colgate University with a Degree in Physics and biology. William has spent time conducting research in a wide variety of research areas from physical optics to ecology. During his undergraduate degree, his main research focused on the role of the stem cell transcription factor, KLF4, in regulating mitochondrial health. Traveling to the National University of Singapore, William conducted research on the biopolymer physics of chromatin. After returning to the US, he began working as an intern and later as an Intramural Research Fellow in the lab of Sergey Bezrukov at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) outside of Washington D.C. In this position William used single-molecule biophysics to study the regulation of mitochondrial channel proteins known as VDACs. Moved by the desire to see basic research findings in molecular and cellular biology translate into novel therapies for patients, William joined the Chou lab to develop novel small molecule therapeutics that could rewire endogenous cellular pathways. Now working in collaboration with the lab of Richard Youle at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), William is working to translate discoveries in autophagy into novel drug targets for neurodegeneration.

Outside of the lab William enjoys hiking, cooking, and hosting friends.

Past Work/Training:

Post-Baccalaureate Intramural Research Fellow at National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Section on Molecular Transport.

Undergraduate Research Assistant at National University of Singapore, Department of Physics.

Research Assistant Colgate University, Department of Biology/Department of Physics

Research Assistant Long Island University, Lab of Molecular Genetics


B.A. in Physics, minor in Biology, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

Graduate Student


Windy Wu

Past Work/Training:


Graduate Student


Logan McGraw

Past Work/Training:

Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota (2019 - 2022)

Technical Aide, 3M Corporate Process Research Laboratory (2018 - 2020)


B.S. in Chemistry, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities 2021

Graduate Student


Marion Pang

Past Work/Training:


Research Technician


Diana Huynh

Past Work/Training:

Staff Research Associate IV, UCLA Health, Clinical and Translational Science Institute (2017 - 2020)

Lab Manager, UCLA Health, Department of Infectious Diseases (2010 - 2017)

Lab Assistant, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (2006 - 2010)


B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 2010

Research Technician


Jack Nguyen

Education: Caltech B.S Chemistry, Biology Minor 2022

Summer Students


Nohami Elias

Nadia Wang

Roland Del Mundo

Edmund Chen


Leo Williams

Haruna Tomono

Emily Rainge

Rauful Hossain

Nohami Elias

Joshua Archibald


Ella Ramamurthy


Nathan Oh

Abbie Maemoto

Grace Sheng


Shavonna Jackson

Udochi Okorie

Joshua Ni

Megan Madrigal


Isabelle Chiu


Stephanie Del Rosario

Lawrence Koh


Jose Palafox

Ashlee Quezada


Francess Odibo

Hunter Peden

Kimberly Wang


Francess Odibo

Megan Mercado

Past Members

  • Nadia Houerbi (2021)

  • Dr. Kai-Wen Cheng (2019 - 2022)

  • Dr. Gang Zhang (2019 - 2022)

  • Dr. Feng Wang (2017 - 2021)

  • Dr. Shan Li (2015 - 2016, 2018 - 2021)

  • George Lopez (October 2019 - June 2021)

  • Nallely Ruiz-Lopez (October 2019 - April 2021)

  • Rod Carlo Columbres (September 2018 - July 2020)

Medical Student at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Shae Chambers (October 2019 - February 2020)

Applying for MD program
  • Betty Anderson (2017- September 2019)

  • Dr. Anna Luzzi, PhD (May 2017 - April 2019)

  • Caitlin Doherty (September - December 2018)

Taking classes and applying a Ph.D program
  • Chelsee Sauni (September 2016 - September 2018)

Pursuing a Masters in Public Health Administration
  • Xi Hu (February 2017 - February 2018)

  • Taiping Gan (February 2017 - February 2018)

  • Andrew Vandenberg (November 2016 - June 2017)

Currently seeking his PhD in Nutritional Chemistry at Columbia University
  • Mengqing Chen (May 2016 - May 2017)

  • Jinying Yu (October 2016 - April 2017)

Pursuing a career in the plant biology/chemical industry in China
  • Derek Moen (May 2014 - February 2017)

Pursuing a career in the financial services industry
  • Balbir Kaur (May 2016 - August 2016)

  • Julie Pham (May 2016 - August 2016)

  • Dr. Shan Li, PhD (May 2015 - July 2016)

  • Daniel Wang (June 2015 - June 2017)

Continuing an accelerated BS/MD program at the New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Xiaoyi Zhang, PhD (May 2014 - August 2015)

Now an assistant professor at School of Chemical Biology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Capital Medical University, Beijing, P.R. China
  • Dr. Lin Gui, PhD (May 2014 - August 2015)

Now an assistant professor at School of Chemical Biology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Capital Medical University, Beijing, P.R. China
  • Daniel Wong (September 2014 - May 2015)

Now a student at Brown University Medical School