Prof. Tsui-Fen Chou
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 moved her lab to Caltech in September of 2019 and is currently a research professor in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering.
Dr. Chou 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.
Dr. Jeff Jones
Jeff received a B.S. in Microbiology and Biochemistry from CalPoly SLO in 2001, and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 2005 from the University of Arkansas under the direction of Prof. Charles Wilkins. While at U of Arkansas, Jeff combined his skills in microbiology with MALDI FTMS to characterize whole cell bacteria by mass spectrometry and developed an appreciation for informatics and software development. He went on to post-doc at the Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics at UC Irvine working with Prof. Lan Huang to characterize proteasome degradation using the then newly developed high resolution LTQ-OrbiTrap. In 2007 Jeff joined the biotech startup Applied Proteomics Inc. shortly after inception and continued on in various rolls for the next 10 years, building out HPLC and LCMS workflows, developing software and discovering the company's signature colorectal biomarker panel. Just prior to joining the Proteome Exploration Laboratory at Caltech, Jeff had founded an informatics company focused on providing consulting services to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. In addition, Jeff as developed unique software and automated analysis solutions to high throughput proteomics, has focused on clinical biomarker discovery, and holds 11 patents related to mass spectrometry and proteomics.
Jeff is currently researching a variety of topics in the Proteome Exploration Laboratory including protein quantitation, protein identification, elucidation of complex post-translational modifications and informative data visualizations.
Dr. Brett Lomenick
Brett received his B.S. degree in molecular biology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2007 and his Ph.D. in Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA under the mentorship of Dr. Jing Huang in 2013. As a graduate student, Brett was a trainee of the NIH-UCLA Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Grant and was also awarded a Dissertation Year Fellowship by UCLA. During this time he spearheaded the development of the Drug Affinity Responsive Target Stability (DARTS) method for small molecule target identification, which helped revolutionize the field of unlabeled drug target identification and sprung the development of additional stability-based target ID assays. After receiving his Ph.D., Brett continued his postdoctoral studies in the lab of Dr. Huang as a fellow of the NIH-UCLA Tumor Immunology Training Grant to further the develop of DARTS and to investigate the mechanisms of action of their newly discovered anti-aging compounds.
In his current role at the PEL Brett is working to improve and optimize the group's workflows for all types of proteomics analyses, including top-down assays, complex PTM analysis, and quantitative isobaric labeling studies.
Dr. Shekufeh Zareian
Shekufeh received her MSc degree in Biochemistry from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, Iran in 2007 and her PhD degree in Biochemistry from the same university in 2012. She mostly studied oligomeric enzyme kinetics and allosteric behavior and received the best dissertation award in 2012. Allosteric behavior is key player in metabolic pathway regulation. Through her PhD studies, Shekufeh became interested in metabolic engineering, and joined Prof. George Bennett lab in 2011 as a visiting scholar, receiving a scholarship from Iran Ministry of Science and Technology. The focus of her project was metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for production of biofuel. Back to her country she joined Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences in Zanjan as an assistant professor. The focus of her projects were enzyme immobilization on nano-structured silica for the medical and biotechnological purposes. Highly interested in metabolomics and sample analysis using mass spectrometry, Shekufeh continued her journey of learning by joining Prof. Oliver Fiehn lab at West Coast Metabolomic Center in Davis, CA as a visiting scientist. Following her husband who was working at Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Shekufeh joined the Proteomics Exploration Lab at Caltech in 2016, to utilize the knowledge she acquired in mass spectrometry in the proteomics field.
Shekufeh currently is performing proteomics analysis while maintaining mass spectrometers and LCs operations at their optimum. She is creative at lab work and always seeks to conduct the experiments in the most efficient way.