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
Feng Wang, PhD
Until recently, a researcher with a major Chinese pharmaceutical company, Feng Wang brings both his academic and industrial experience in medicinal chemistry to the Chou Lab to assist in the development of small molecule inhibitors of p97/VCP and its mutations. Previously working to develop treatment therapies for diabetes and liver disease, Feng is thrill with the opportunity to join Dr. Chou to address cancer and rare genetic disease.
Dr Wang holds patents in preparation and application of anti-thrombus oligo peptides and curcumin derivatives. His proficiency in compound synthesis, mass spectrometry and high performance liquid chromatography will greatly assist the lab's efforts to diminish cancer resistance to therapy.
Post-doc in Molecular Biology, Capital Medical University, Beijing, P.R. China
Beijing Sun Capital Pharmatech Co.,Ltd
Ph. D., Medicinal Chemistry, Capital Medical University, Beijing, P.R. China
M.A., Medicinal Chemistry, Capital Medical University, Beijing, P.R. China
B.S., Pharmacy, Capital Medical University, Beijing, P.R. China
Shan Li, PhD
With a PhD in medicinal chemistry in 2014, Shan Li has acquired years of teaching and lab research experiences related to the ongoing work in the Chou Lab. Shan Li’s main focus during her PhD was on the synthesis and biological activity-based evaluation of small molecule lead compounds. Building on her past experiences, she has become proficient in peptide liquid phase synthesis, structure and purity analysis techniques, anti-tumor and thrombolytic animal models, and various bioassay techniques.
As a post-doc in Dr. Chou’s lab, Shan’s mainly focuses on: 1) building iPSC-derived IBMPFD/ALS diseased cells and using proteomic approaches to explore the roles of p97/VCP in neurodegenerative diseases; 2) using biochemistry and cell based assays to develop small molecular p97 inhibitors for cancer therapy.
Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Capital Medical University, Beijing, P.R. China
Postdoctoral Fellow, LA BioMed at Harbor-UCLA, CA, USA
Teaching Assistant, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Capital Medical University, Beijing, P.R. China
Teaching Assistant, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Capital Medical University
Ph.D., School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Capital Medical University,Beijing, P.R.
B.S., School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing, P.R.
Kai-Wen Cheng, PhD
My primary research interests are related to the area of drug development with an emphasis on clinical translation. During my Ph.D., my research focus was to develop a bacterial b-glucuronidase (bG)-specific inhibitor as a chemotherapy adjuvant and chemoprevention drug for colorectal cancers. Bacterial bG enzyme activated drugs or carcinogens are detoxified through hepatic glucuronidation, thus promoting intestinal toxicity and carcinogenesis. In another project, we developed a platform in which human mAgs were expressed in native form on cell adjuvants made with membrane-bound cytokines. These were then used to immunize syngeneic mice directly for anti-membrane protein antibody production.
I joined Dr. Tsui-Fen Chou’s laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in February 2019. My major research projects here will involve optimizing protein expression and purification for enzyme replacement therapy in the treatment of a rare genetic disease.
Postdoctoral fellow, Center for Biomarkers and Biotech Drugs, Kaohsiung Medical University
Postgraduate student, Center for Biomarkers and Biotech Drugs, Kaohsiung Medical University
Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
M.S., Cancer Immunology and Biotechnology, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
M.S., Oral Biology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
B.Sc., Biomedical Science and Environmental Biology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Gang Zhang, PhD
Gang’s research interest is focused on discovery of active small molecules in cancer and tuberculosis. He could design and synthesize target molecules by molecular modeling and organic synthesis. He could also construct plasmid and express recombinant protein in E Coli. During his doctoral study, Gang participated in discovery of TBI-166 against tuberculosis, which is in phase I clinical trial in China. Thereafter, he discovered the first bi-substrate inhibitor of N-terminal methyltransferase 1, which is a druggable anticancer target. To date, he holds three licensed patents.
Gang joined Chou lab in March 2019. His current project is discovery of RUVBL1/2 complex inhibitor as anti-cancer agents.
Associate Professor, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China
Postdoctoral Reserch Fellow, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA
Ph.D., Medicinal Chemistry, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China
M.S., Medicinal Chemistry, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang, China
M.S., Clinical Pharmacy, Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, China
William Rosencrans is 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.
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
George Lopez (October 2019 - June 2021)
Nallely Ruiz-Lopez (October 2019 - April 2021)
Rod Carlo Columbres (September 2018 - July 2020)
Shae Chambers (October 2019 - February 2020)
Betty Anderson (2017- September 2019)
Dr. Anna Luzzi, PhD (May 2017 - April 2019)
Caitlin Doherty (September - December 2018)
Chelsee Sauni (September 2016 - September 2018)
Xi Hu (February 2017 - February 2018)
Taiping Gan (February 2017 - February 2018)
Andrew Vandenberg (November 2016 - June 2017)
Mengqing Chen (May 2016 - May 2017)
Jinying Yu (October 2016 - April 2017)
Derek Moen (May 2014 - February 2017)
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)
Dr. Xiaoyi Zhang, PhD (May 2014 - August 2015)
Dr. Lin Gui, PhD (May 2014 - August 2015)
Daniel Wong (September 2014 - May 2015)
Stephanie Del Rosario