Skip to main content


  • Robert S. Ross, MD, MBA

    Robert S. Ross, MD, MBA

    Principal Investigator

    Robert S. Ross, MD, MBA is Professor of Medicine, Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Health Sciences Academic Affairs, Co-Director of the Molecular Cardiology Program and Co-director of the Cardiac Biological Science and Engineering Center in the Institute of Engineering in Medicine (IEM). He is also a staff cardiologist and Director of Echocardiography at the San Diego VA Healthcare System.

    Ross is a physician-scientist with expertise in molecular cardiology, having trained at USC/Keck School of Medicine; Internship and residency at LA County Hospital and Cedars-Sinai Medical center; fellowships at NIH / NHLBI, and UCSD Cardiology program. He has maintained extramural NIH and other national funding for >20 years, with a program focused on the role of cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion proteins in cardiac physiology, mechanotransduction and disease. Recent work has evolved to also study cell-cell adhesion proteins in cardiac conduction and mitochondrial function in the heart, and extend some of this work to skeletal muscle. He dedicates major efforts towards his research, along with mentoring, training, teaching, and administration. He is an active cardiologist and directs the echocardiography lab at the San Diego VA. Dr. Ross is extensively involved in training postdoctoral research and clinical cardiology fellows, residents and medical students. He is PI of an NIH T32 grant focused on cardiovascular research and also actively mentors faculty. He gained significant experience in entrepreneurship and scientific innovation when he served as site-PI of an NIH funded, Center for Accelerated Innovation award.

    Dr. Ross is a strong advocate for building the pipeline of diversity in science and medicine. For over 15 years he served as the PI on an NHLBI R25 to support training of underrepresented minority undergraduate students interested in physician-scientist careers, only recently stepping down from this program. He is currently a multi-PI for an NHLBI-funded Program to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research (PRIDE) at UCSD, mentoring junior faculty from underrepresented backgrounds to achieve academic success.

    Additional information can be found at:

  • Natalie Gilmore

    Natalie Gilmore

    Lab Manager
    Research Associate
  • Jorge Suarez-Ramirez

    Jorge Suarez-Ramirez

    Research Associate
  • Onyeka Ezeokeke

    Onyeka Ezeokeke

    Student Lab Assistant
  • Brandon Yip

    Brandon Yip

    Student Lab Assistant
  • Kate Lorenzo

    Kate Lorenzo

    Student Lab Assistant

Current collaborators:

  • Yoshitake Cho, Ph.D.
  • Ju Chen, Ph.D.
  • Andrew McCulloch, Ph.D.
  • Sylvia Evans, Ph.D.
  • Eric Adler, M.D.
  • Joshua Goldhaber, M.D. (Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute)
  • Jenny Van Eyk (Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute)


Past Lab Members:

  • Ruixia Li, M.D. –  (2006 – 2022)
  • Yoshi Cho, Ph.D.  (2016 – 2021) – Assistant Professor, UCSD
  • Jianlin Zhang, Ph.D. (2015 – 2019) – Senior Scientist, ADARx Pharmaceuticals
  • Chao Chen, M.D., Ph.D. (2013- 2019) - Assistant Project Scientist, UCSD
  • Ana Maria Manso, Ph.D. (2003-2015)  Senior Scientist, Kate Therapeutics, San Diego, CA
  • Sharon Israeli, Ph.D. (2008-2013) Agilent Technologies, San Diego, CA
  • Hideshi Okada, M.D., Ph.D. (2008-2013)  - Assoc. Prof, Gifu University, School of Medicine, Japan
  • Carol Au, Ph.D. (2009-2012) Research Officer, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland
  • Yun Ding, Ph.D. (2009-2012) NIH RO1, Asst. Specialist, UC Irvine
  • Alice E. Zemljic-Harpf, M.D.  (1999-2011)  Asst. Research Scientist, UCSD
  • Laila Elsherif, Ph.D. (2004-2008) - Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee
  • Seok-Min Kang, M.D., Ph.D. (2004-2006) Professor of Medicine - Yonsei Univ. School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • Ying Wu, M.D. (2003-2006) NIH RO1 VP & Cofounder Alpine BioTherapeutics Corporation
  • Shaw-Yung Shai Ph.D.  (1997-2003) Research Assistant Professor (retired)
  • Christopher J. Babbitt, M.D. (1998-2000) - Medical Director of Pediatric ICU), Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital, Long Beach, CA


Undergraduate Students:

  • Alexander Pile (2019 – 2021) – Columbia U. School of Medicine 2022- 
  • Shamim Khosrowjerdi (2018-2021)
  • Alex Liang (2016 -2020) –Student - UCSD School of Medicine 2021-
  • Cameron Hill (2018) UCSD MSTP SURF –MD student -Harvard School of Medicine 2021-
  • Sarah Schurr (2017) UCSD MSTP SURF - M.D./Ph.D. program – Washington University St. Louis, 2019-
  • Rongjie (Oliver) Zhang (2016 - 2018). Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) Program -
  • Alexandra Krstic (2016) Research Ethics Analyst – Innovations for Poverty Action
  • Emily Moreno (2015 - 2017) –Bioengineering Ph.D. program – UC Davis
  • Francesca Sakamoto (2015-2016) - Internal Medicine Resident, Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena, CA
  • Christopher Lee (2015)
  • Michael Sheng-Fu Feng (2015) National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, R.O.C.
  • Ceciley Scarborough (2015) UCSD MSTP-SURF -Psychiatry Resident, Northwell Health
  • Naing Bajaj (2013) - UCSD MSTP– SURF Summer Student– resident– University of New Mexico School of Medicine
  • Caroline Opene (2012) - UCSD MSTP – SURF; Chief Resident, Dermatology, UC Davis
  • Olu Akinrimisi (2011-2012) - Resident- UCLA
  • Alexander Rand (2011) UCSD MSTP-SURF, Instructor, Radiology, NYU
  • Brett Rasmussen (2010-2013) US Uniformed Services Univ. Health Sci.
  • Nathalia Cruz (2010-2013)
  • Adrian Diamond (2010) –UCSD MSTP – SURF
  • Daniel Torreblanca (2009) –UCSD MSTP – SURF Summer Student
  • John Liaghat (2009) –MD - Anesthesiology, San Diego, CA
  • John Vu (2008) –UCSD MSTP – SURF Student, Radiology – Los Angeles, CA
  • Anna Adongo (2007) –UCSD MSTP – SURF; Anesthesiology, Pomona, CA
  • Majid Mekany (2007-2008) - Resident Internal Medicine UNLV
  • Andrew Chu (2007) UCSD Undergraduate
  • Peter Liao (2006-2012) Resident, Psychiatry – USC / Keck School of Medicine
  • Elizabeth Afshaw (2005-2011), Internist – UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  • JoMarie Rose Rivera (2006) - UCSD MSTP – SURF Summer Student
  • Joel Miller (2005-2007) –Emergency Medicine physician
  • Joseph Luna (2005) - UCSD MSTP – SURF - Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, Case Western Reserve University
  • Uyen Nguyen (2003-2007), Emergency Medicine MD, New York
  • Sornya Ponrantana (2001-2002), Private Practice Pediatrics
  • Vinh Pham (2000-2002)
  • Michelle Omura (1999-2001), Radiologist, Scripps Hospital
  • Solomon Jo (1999 and 2000)– Hematologist / Oncologist – Kaiser Permanente
  • Hua Vu (1997-2000) UCLA – Pharmacist, U.S. Navy
  • Michael Hua (1996) UCLA Undergraduate – Private Practice D.O.
  • Can Pham (1995) UCLA - Medical Director, Biolumina, Inc., New York