UCSF & SFSU 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.


Mark Chan, PhD - Teaching Director

Associate Professor of Biology, SFSU

Dr. Mark Chan joined the faculty at SFSU in 2015, and his goal in the IRACDA program is to support scholars through mentoring in teaching and professional development. He has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate-level courses, and he has greatly enjoyed his experiences mentoring multiple IRACDA scholars. He has served on committees responsible for faculty searches & hiring, faculty promotion, undergraduate education, and other relevant activities. He also actively mentors students in his research program, which focuses on how eukaryotic cells regulate the size and structure of their organelles. His group's research combines genetics, microscopy, and quantitative analysis, preparing student trainees to enter into a variety of fields, including academic research, health professions, and biotech industries.


Anne Sufka, MBA - Program Manager

Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, UCSF

Anne Sufka has been working with the UCSF IRACDA Scholars Program since March 2016. She brings over 10 years of experience in successful business operations and personnel management by coaching and mentoring postdocs in the UCSF IRACDA Scholars Program. Ms. Sufka manages the recruitment and retention of the Program's talent. She built the customized UCSF IRACDA Individual Development Plan (IDP) to assess goals and milestones during the annual meeting with Director, herself, and the IRACDA Scholar to review goals and academic achievements. She also manages daily program operations, and communication among all stakeholders in the program. She presents and creates program materials, organizes monthly meetings, books speakers, and maintains the website. Her prior financial skills from the Dept. of Physiology are invaluable, because she is also responsible for scholar budget management and oversight. She interacts with post-award personnel in the Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology. But most of all, she encourages and tracks the career progress for all current and past UCSF Scholars.


Learn more about our mentors:

UCSF Research Mentors

SFSU Teaching Mentors