Personal Statement

I am an assistant professor in the Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute, Eye Program in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai. I also hold an appointment in the Neurosurgery Department and am an adjunct assistant professor at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

I received my doctorate in molecular biology from UCLA in Los Angeles, California. My doctorate's area of research was the identification and characterization of a new gene expressed in cone photoreceptors in the retina. After receiving my PhD, I engaged in postdoctoral training in molecular mechanisms of corneal diseases at Cedars-Sinai. I have been a faculty member of the Department of Surgery, Biomedical Sciences and Neurosurgery since 2011. Currently, I am a principal investigator and co-investigator on several National Institutes of Health grants.

I have a strong background in molecular biology, ocular diseases (both corneal and retinal), genetics and cell biology and organ culture. I am a member of several organizations including Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and International Society of Eye Research. My research experience has been summarized in more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in respected journals such as Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Biological Chemistry, American Journal of Pathology and Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. For my project, I have collaborated with a number of research groups and assembled a comprehensive team of researchers, including corneal clinicians, corneal and stem cell specialists, genomics and proteomic experts with complementary experience covering all aspects of the application.