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Training Assistant

Los Angeles, California, 90034, United States
April 19, 2012
Contact Info:


Work Eligibility: US Citizen


- Well-rounded molecular and cell biologist with 10 years of experience in basic research and animal models in academia, 3 years in clinical research and 3 years of experience in industry. Extensive knowledgeable in inflammatory pathways, their targets, and immune cells. Able to adapt any established technique to study new cell types and models.

- Published 10 peer-reviewed papers in high impact scientific journals and 1 invited book chapter review.

- 3 years in managing clinical projects and writing experimental and human internal review board protocols suitable for NIH and FDA. Familiar with GCP, CITI, and HIPAA. Has worked independently and as part of a team.

- Excellent written and oral communication skills with advanced skills in Microsoft office software. Able to perform statistical analysis. Detailed-oriented and has maintained written and electronic records documenting all experiments, data, and analysis.


Post-Doctoral Fellow/Researcher, University of California, Los Angeles, 2007-2012.

Faculty Mentor: David Heber, MD, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Center for Human Nutrition, Los Angeles, CA, USA

- Studied the effects of oridonin in Rabdosia rubescens versus oridonin alone to inhibit prostate cancer via the NF-kappaB pathway. This resulted in a first-author publication.

- Examined the effects of diesel exhaust particles on nasal inflammation and whether broccosprout extract could attenuate this inflammation in an NIH-funded clinical research project for 3 years. This will result in a first-author publication.

- Determined that avocado could inhibit inflammation in peripheral white blood cells when consumed with a high-fat burger meal. This will result in a co-authorship in a publication.

- Genotyped alleles for dopamine receptor, leptin receptor, and opioid receptor in food-addicted obese individuals. Conducted informed consent and helped subjects completed food addiction quessetionaire. This will result in a co-authorship in a publication.

- Studied M2 macrophages in men with prostate cancer.

- Developed, adapted, and optimized molecular and cellular biology assays to study immune cells and inflammation in cell culture, animal models, and clinical samples. Familiar with genotyping, multiplex immunoassays and flow cytometry methods.

- Assisted in writing grant proposals, IRB protocols, and budgets.

- Completed CITI and HIPAA training prior to working on clinical projects.

- Mentored undergraduate volunteers to learn basic research techniques and gain skills necessary for biological research.

Graduate Student/Research Assistant, University of Southern California, 2001 – 2007.

Thesis: Effects of age-related glial activation on neurite outgrowth.

Advisor: Caleb E. Finch, Ph.D., University of Southern California, Andrus School of Gerontology and Department of Biological Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA

- Studied interactions between neuroglial and neurons in vivo in models of inflammation during normal brain aging and its attenuation by caloric restriction. Used western blots, immunohistochemistry (fluorescent and chromagenic), and semiquantitative image analysis to obtain data. This resulted in one first-author and one co-author publication.

- Performed perfusions on rodents prior to harvesting tissues and stained tissue or performed histology on tissue to determine cell types involved in mediating inflammation and whether estrogens and progestins affected neuroinflammation. This resulted in one first-author publication, and at least one more publication in progress.

- Responsible for radioactive safety for the lab and ensuring that all rules and regulations were followed during its use.

- Assisted in running a journal club for molecular biology and neuroscience students involved in gerontology research.

- Represented graduate students during Molecular and Computational Biology Department Faculty meetings.

- Trained undergraduates in basic cellular and molecular laboratory techniques.

Research Associate/Senior Research Associate, Idun Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(now a subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc.), 1997 to 2000.

Supervisors: Robert C. Armstrong, Ph.D., Director of Cell Biology (now at Ambit Biosciences), and Anupama Srinivasan, Ph.D., Scientist, Department of Cell Biology (now at Verinata Health, Inc), San Diego, CA, USA

- Cultured primary and cell lines to study apoptosis in cancer and neurodegenerative disease models. Five co-authored publications resulted from this work.

- Purified antibodies for apoptotic targets and characterized antibodies using western blots and immunohistology on cells and tissues.

- Microinjected cells with candidate compounds to determine if compounds could induce cell death.


Co-Investigator on Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Center – University of California, Los Angeles, Xenobiotics, Oxidative Stress and Allergic Inflammation, National Institute of Health (1 U19 AI070453-01), April 2009 to June 2011.

Co-Investigator on Addendum to “Effect of Strawberry Consumption on Serum Lipid Oxidation and Serum Lipids in 20 Hypercholesterolemic Subjects and Bioavailability of Strawberry Phytonutrients in 10 healthy subjects”, California Strawberry Commission, January 2010 to December 2010.

Co-Investigator on “Development of an ex-vivo bioassay to examine modulation of PSA-positive macrophage invasiveness and inflammatory activities in prostate cancer patients with abdominal obesity”, Prostate Cancer Foundation Creativity Award, July 2009 to July 2010.

Nutrition and Obesity Postdoctoral Training Grant, National Institute of Health (T32 DK-00768), March 2007 to August 2008.

Neurobiology and Endocrinology of Aging Predoctoral Training Grant, National Institute of Aging (T32 AG-00093), December 2002 to December 2006.


Teaching Assistant, 2000 to 2002.

- Taught “Humans and Their Environment”, a general education biology course under Dale Kiefer, Ph.D. for 12 hours per week. Duties included leading discussion sections, providing lectures to reinforce class materials, writing the exams, and organizing field trips relevant to the class. As Head TA, there were added responsibilities such as supervising the new TAs and ensuring that the lesson plans were followed and progressed as scheduled.

- Taught “Population Genetics” under Steven Finkel, Ph.D. and Magnus Nordborg, Ph.D. for 12 hours per week. Responsible for reviewing class material, homework questions, and supplemental lecture topics during discussion sections.

Teaching Assistant Mentor, 2002 to 2003.

- Trained new incoming graduate students how to become effective teaching assistants. Offered advice to improve their teaching skills.


- NIH Award, “Training in Nutrition and Obesity”, 2007 to 2009

- NIH Award, “Training in Endocrinology and Neurobiology of Aging”, 2002 to 2006


University of Southern California March 2007

Ph.D., Molecular & Computational Biology

University of California, Santa Barbara December 1996

B.S., Pharmacology


Research Papers (in chronological order)

Li Z, Wong AM, Henning S, Zhang Y, Jones A, Zerlin A, Thames G, Bowerman S, Heber D (Submitted) Hass avocado eaten with cooked hamburger meat modulates postprandial vascular reactivity and postprandial inflammatory responses in healthy volunteers. Food & Function.

Wong AM, Garcia-Loret M, Rahnama N, Lee A, Thames G, Zhang Y, Yao T, Wang R, Harjono I, Li Z, Nel A, Heber D (In preparation) Broccosprout extract attenuates nasal allergic response to diesel engine particles.

Wong AM, Garcia-Loret M, Thames G, Naowamondhol K, Li Z, Nel A, Heber D (In preparation) Diesel engine particles induces unique cytokine profile in nasal lavage of responders.

Arimoto JM, Lin SW, Wong AM, Brinton RD, Morgan TE, Finch CE (In preparation) A rat model of perimenopause shows impairments in estradiol-dependent neurotrophic support by glia.

Carpenter CL, Wong AM, Ta K, Noble EP, Li Z, Heber D (Submitted) Dopamine D2 receptor and leptin receptor polymorphisms contribute to food addiction and obesity. Obesity.

Cohen JE, Stevens MHH, Petchey OL, Wiser MJ, Wong AM, Rivera JF, Noble RB, Finkel SE. (Submitted) Power spectrum of environmental variability affects evolution in Escherichia coli. International Journal of Ecology.

Wong AM, Zhang Y, Kesler K, Deng M, Burhenn L, Wang D, Li Z, Heber D (2010) Genomic and in vivo evidence of synergy of an herbal extract compared to its most active ingredient: Rabdosia rubescens vs. oridonin. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 1:1013-1017.

Wong AM, Rozovsky I, Arimoto JM, Du Y, Wei M, Morgan TE, Finch CE. (2009) Progesterone influences on neurite outgrowth involves microglia. Endocrinology, 150:324-332, PMCID: PMC2630906.

Wong AM, Patel NV, Patel NK, Wei M, Morgan TE, de Beer MC, de Villiers WJS, Finch CE. (2005) Macrosialin increases during normal brain aging and its attenuation by caloric restriction. Neuroscience Letters, 390:76-80.

Zhou XJ, Kao M-CJ, Huang H, Wong A, Nunez-Iglesias J, Primig M, Aparicio OM, Finch CE, Morgan TE, Wong WH. (2005) Functional annotation and network reconstruction through cross-platform integration of microarray data. Nature Biotechnology, 23:238-243.

Patel NV, Wei M, Wong A, Finch CE, Morgan TE. (2004) Progressive changes in regulation of apolipoproteins E and J in glial cultures during postnatal development and aging. Neuroscience Letters, 371:199-204.

Hoglen NC, Hirakawa BP, Fisher CD, Weeks S, Srinivasan A, Wong AM, Valentino KL, Tomaselli KJ, Bai X, Karanewsky DS, Contreras PC. (2001) Characterization of the caspase inhibitor IDN-1965 in a model of apoptosis-associated liver injury. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 297:811-818.

Krebs JF, Srinivasan A, Wong AM, Tomaselli KJ, Fritz LC, Wu JC. (2000) Heavy membrane-associated caspase 3: identification, isolation, and characterization. Biochemistry, 39:16056-16063.

Krebs JF, Armstrong RC, Srinivasan A, Aja T, Wong AM, Aboy A, Sayers R, Pham B, Vu T, Hoang K, Karanewsky DS, Leist C, Schmitz A, Wu JC, Tomaselli KJ, Fritz LC. (1999) Activation of membrane-associated procaspase-3 is regulated by Bcl-2. Journal of Cell Biology, 144:915-926, PMCID: PMC2148187.

Srinivasan A, Roth KA, Sayers RO, Shindler KS, Wong AM, Fritz LC, Tomaselli KJ. (1998) In situ immunodetection of activated caspase-3 in apoptotic neurons in the developing nervous system. Cell Death and Differentiation, 5:1004-1016.

Srinivasan A, Li F, Wong A, Kodandapani L, Smidt R Jr, Krebs JF, Fritz LC, Wu JC, Tomaselli KJ. (1998) Bcl-xL functions downstream of caspase-8 to inhibit Fas- and tumor necrosis factor receptor 1-induced apoptosis of MCF7 breast carcinoma cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 273:4523-4529.

Invited Review

Morgan TE, Wong AM, and Finch CE. (2007) Anti-inflammatory mechanisms of dietary restriction in slowing aging processes. Interdisciplinary Topics in Gerontology, 35:83-97.


Oral Presentations

“Effects of age-related glial activation on neurite outgrowth” University of Southern California Molecular & Computational Biology Department Defense, Los Angeles, CA, December 2006.

“Progesterone antagonizes estradiol-induced compensatory sprouting” University of Southern California Molecular & Computational Biology Department Retreat, Laguna Beach, CA, November 2006.

“Effects of progesterone on neurite outgrowth in vivo” Neurobiology and Endocrinology of Aging Training Grant Presentation, Los Angeles, September 2006.

“Progesterone differentially affects glial cell support of neurite outgrowth,” Neurobiology and Endocrinology of Aging Training Grant Presentation, Los Angeles, CA, September 2005.

“Effects of progesterone on neurite outgrowth,” Neurobiology and Endocrinology of Aging Training Grant Presentation, Los Angeles, CA, March 2005.

“Mechanisms of glial activation during aging,” Neurobiology and Endocrinology of Aging Training Grant Presentation, Los Angeles, CA, July 2003.

“Age-related regulation of macrosialin” University of Southern California Molecular & Computational Biology Department Retreat, San Diego, CA, October 2001.


Society for Neuroscience (2003 to 2007)

Society for Clinical Research Associates (2012 to present)


Available upon request