Faculty Members

Participating Faculty — Genetics

  • Ethan Bier

    Ethan Bier

    Ethan Bier, PhD, a professor in the Cell and Developmental Biology Section at UC San Diego, will be serving as the science director of TIGS-UC San Diego. During the past 25 years at UC San Diego he has used fruit flies to study basic developmental patterning processes that have been highly conserved during evolution. He also has used fruit flies to study mechanisms of human disease, focusing on understanding the mechanisms by which bacterial toxins contribute to breaching host barriers. Most recently, the Bier lab has developed a novel genetic method referred to as Active Genetics which allows adults to transmit a desired trait to nearly all their offspring rather than to only 50 percent of their progeny as occurs with traditional Mendelian inheritance. Active genetics promises to revolutionize control of vector borne diseases (e.g., malaria) and pests and to greatly accelerate genetic manipulation of organisms for medical and agricultural research.

  • Anthony James

    Anthony James

    Anthony James, PhD, is Donald Bren Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics (School of Medicine) and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA). Dr. James received his bachelors of science and PhD degrees at UCI. He went to Boston in 1979 for postdoctoral work (Harvard Medical School and Brandeis University) and joined the faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1985. He returned to his alma mater in 1989, where he is today. He is working on vector-parasite interactions, mosquito molecular biology, and other problems in insect developmental biology. His research emphasizes the use of genetic and molecular-genetic tools to develop synthetic approaches to interrupting pathogen transmission by mosquitoes.

  • Suresh Subramani

    Suresh Subramani

    Suresh Subramani, the Global Director of TIGS, is a Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology. He received his Ph.D. (Biochemistry) in the laboratory of Dr. Howard Schachman at UC Berkeley, and was a post-doctoral fellow (Biochemistry) at Stanford University with Nobel laureate, Dr. Paul Berg. Dr. Subramani is world renowned for his work on the assembly and disassembly of subcellular compartments, notably peroxisomes, and the role of these processes in disease. He also has a strong record of international, national and UC service, having served in an advisory capacity for many organizations and granting agencies. Dr. Subramani also has extensive administrative experience, including his service as the first Executive Vice Chancellor (EVC) at UC San Diego from 2010-2016. He is currently the Global Director for the Tata Institute of Genetics and Society (TIGS) overseeing research in India and at UC San Diego.

  • Stephen Hedrick

    Stephen Hedrick

    Stephen Hedrick received his PhD from the University of California, Irvine, and conducted postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health. He is a Distinguished Professor and holds the Chancellor’s Associates’ Chair in the Biological Sciences with joint appointments in Molecular Biology and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. He has been interested in probing the biology of T cells using mouse genetics for his entire academic career. Most recently, he and colleagues received a Transformative Grant from the NIH to study ways in which Active Genetics can be used to eliminate inhibitory feedback pathways in T cells. The goal of these studies is to generate highly cancer-reactive T cells that can subsequently be controlled by activating a fail-safe, inducible death signal.

  • Martin Yanofsky

    Martin Yanofsky

    Martin Yanofsky, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor and the Paul D. Saltman Endowed Chair in Science Education at UC San Diego. He received his PhD from the University of Washington and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Plant Biology at Caltech. He was the recipient of a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering and a Beckman Young Investigator Award and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. During the past 27 years at UC San Diego, Prof. Yanofsky’s lab has used the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana to uncover the underlying mechanisms controlling flower and fruit development as well as stem cell formation. His lab has developed technologies that are currently being used to dramatically increase the yield of food crops. More recently, his lab has been exploring ways to implement Active Genetics technologies in plants, a tool that could have important applications in basic and applied plant science.

Participating Faculty — Society

  • Karthik Muralidharan

    Karthik Muralidharan

    Karthik Muralidharan, PhD, is an associate professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego where he joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 2008. Born and raised in India, he earned an A.B. in economics (summa cum laude) from Harvard, an M.Phil. in economics from Cambridge (UK), and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a Fellow of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), a board member and co-chair of the education program at the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), an affiliate at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), and a research affiliate with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). His primary research interests include development, public and labor economics.

  • Anita Raj

    Anita Raj

    Anita Raj, PhD, is Director of UC San Diego's Center on Gender Equity and Health and is a Professor in the Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine. She is a developmental psychologist with approximately 20 years of experience conducting research on sexual and reproductive health/HIV/STI, gender-based violence, substance misuse and abuse, and the intersection of these issues. Her current research is based in South Asia, West and Central Africa, the United States and Russia. This work includes qualitative and quantitative research to support intervention development and implementation, as well as efficacy and effectiveness trials to evaluate behavioral interventions. Currently, she has projects related to adolescent girls’ early marriage and reproductive/maternal health, gender equality and empowerment measures for monitoring and evaluation, sexual violence prevention programs, engagement of men and boys in family planning promotion and prevention of violence against women and HIV prevention and test and treat interventions.