UCSF IRACDA Leadership

 

Holly Ingraham, PhD - Program Director

Professor and Vice Chair of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, UCSF

Dr. Ingraham has been on the faculty at UCSF since 1992 and has been an active participant in the IRACDA program since its inception. She mentored Dr. Raymond Blind, who was in the first cohort of IRACDA scholars and is now an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt. She has maintained an active NIH-funded research program that is focused on defining the molecular mechanisms that regulate endocrine physiology and metabolism. Her approaches are broad, spanning structural biology, biochemistry and genetic mouse models. Currently, with Drs. Diego Miranda (URM) and Mayra B. Pastore (IRCADA Scholar and graduate of SFSU) she is investigating how lipid ligands regulate nuclear receptors. Her lab is also working to define how neuronal circuits mediate female-specific metabolism. Dr. Correa (URM) started this project and is now an Assistant Professor at UCLA. Dr. Ingraham has published  ~90 peer-reviewed papers, several of which are in high-impact journals. She is the Hertzstein Distinguished Investigator in Molecular Physiology (2008) and was elected as an AAAS fellow in 2012.

 

Ray Esquerra, PhD - Program Co-Director

Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, SFSU

Dr. Esquerra joined the SFSU faculty in 2000. He has served as the Academic Coordinator for the UCSF IRACDA Program and will become the official Co-Director of the IRACDA program with limited salary support. Dr. Esquerra has a strong research program that uses biochemical and biophysical tools to understand protein function and the molecular basis of disease. He uses specialized time-resolved absorption spectroscopy to determine the kinetics of protein function and his lab consists of 14 undergraduate and Master’s degree students. Dr. Esquerra is recognized as an outstanding and innovative teacher by students and faculty and has trained 68 undergraduates; many are currently enrolled in prestigious PhD institutions, including UCSF, UCSD, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, NYU, and Davis.

Dr. Esquerra has been instrumental in increasing URM representation in the sciences at all academic levels. He is currently the Director for SFSU’s NIH-funded MARC Program and serves on the Advisory Committees for SFSU’s RISE and BRIDGES programs, two programs that are increasing the pipeline in biomedical sciences. He served on the NIHGMS-MORE MPRC-A (now TWD-C) study section in 2015 and is currently on the Executive Committee of the Beckman Scholars Program. He created on-line teaching modules for UCSF postdoctoral researchers to develop their teaching skills and mentored a SFSU-UCSF postdoctoral scholar, Benjamin Sandler, who is currently an Associate Professor at Ashford University.

 

Jennifer Breckler, PhD - Teaching Director

Professor of Biology, SFSU

Dr. Jennifer Breckler joined the faculty at SFSU in 1986. She performs full-time university science teaching and has extensive experience as a teaching mentor, especially with IRACDA Scholars over the last 9 years. She has served on more than a dozen advancement and hiring committees for SFSU faculty, and was a member of the University Promotions Committee. For 3 years, she was the teaching coordinator for the molecular and cell biology curriculum at SFSU, coordinating biology course offerings and teaching load assignments for the faculty. Through funding by both the US Education Department’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education program and the NIGMS-IRACDA program, she leads teaching workshops for IRACDA Scholars. Her current research focus is on science education: 1) Biology student learning styles and course performance. 2) Kinesthetic approaches to teaching introductory biology, histology and physiology. 3) Impact of introductory biology coursework on student career choice.

 

Christine Des Jarlais, EdD - Program Consultant

UCSF Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies

Dr. Des Jarlais has served as Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs and Graduate Outreach in the Graduate Division since 2001. She provides excellent leadership in the areas of outreach, recruitment, and retention for underrepresented students and postdocs and is the administrative director of the UCSF Summer Research Training Program, IMSD Fellows program, UC LEADS, and Inside UCSF. She is also the point person in UCSF administration for all matters pertaining to postdoctoral scholars including policy issues, postdoc union contract implementation and interpretation, liaison to the Postdoctoral Scholars Association, and campus representative to national groups such as the Postdoctoral Leaders Section of the AAMC GREAT Group. She also attends recruitment conferences such as SACNAS and ABRCMS to recruit undergraduates to UCSF PhD programs and graduate students to UCSF postdoc positions. She has been instrumental in a smooth transition to advise Dr. Ingraham during the leadership transition period.

 

Anne Sufka, BA - Program Coordinator

Analyst - Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, UCSF

Anne Sufka has been working with the UCSF IRACDA Scholars Program since March 2016, and brings to the UCSF IRACDA Scholars Program 10 years of experience in successful operations and personnel management through coaching and mentoring. In her role as Program Coordinator for the IRACDA Scholars Program, Ms. Sufka coordinates recruitment and retention for the Scholars. She built the customized UCSF IRACDA Individual Development Plan and organizes the intensive meeting with both herself and the Director to review their IDPs. She takes care of daily program operations, and communication among all stakeholders in the program. Additionally, she organizes monthly meetings, creates presentation materials, and maintains the UCSF IRACDA website. Her prior accounting skills as an employee of the Dept. of Physiology are invaluable for budget oversight and interaction with post-award personnel in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. Ms. Sufka will work with and track the career progress for all current and past UCSF Scholars. 

In addition to her role as Program Coordinator with UCSF IRACDA, she also oversees Lab Operations with the Ingraham, Fujimori, and Delling labs for the UCSF Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology Departments.

 

 

Learn more about our mentors:

UCSF Research Mentors

SFSU Teaching Mentors