I am a husband, son and uncle. I also happen to be a biochemist with a passion for health and nutrition. As a scientist, I am passionate about scientific literacy and distilling complex scientific concepts into more straightforward and accessible explanations that everyone can understand. I strongly believe that the only way to make educated decisions about our health is by understanding what happens to our bodies within the context of our genetics and the environment (e.g., diet, stress, sleep, etc)
I am deeply interested in comprehending the intricate interplay between the environment, genes and nutrition impact the gut barrier, brain function, immune system, inflammation and hormones to influence health. This passion has allowed me to fundamentally transform many people's view on the value of nutrition and supplements.
I started my academic career in biochemistry, earning a Bachelor of Science from the University of California in Los Angeles in 1990. It was at UCLA that I discovered my passion for biological chemistry and how it governed all the intricate systems of the body, prompting me to dive deeper into biomedical research for graduate school. In 1991, after taking 18 months off (working for Shin-Etsu Chemical Co, developing novel polymers for various applications), I was back to school.
I earned my doctorate degree in biochemistry in the laboratory of Dr. Robert D. Wells (one of the world's leading scientists on the structure and function of DNA) at The Institute of Biosciences & Technology at Texas A&M University in 1996. For my doctoral thesis, I chose to study how the structural and molecular properties of triplet repeat DNAs influenced the etiology of several hereditary neuro-degenerative, neuro-muscular, inflammatory and hormonal diseases. The focus was how the length and nature of these repeated DNA sequences fundamentally became unstable, altering the expression and function of associated proteins.
Subsequently to receiving a prestigious fellowship from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, I spent the next three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, continuing my research with the added focus on studying the role of cellular factors and mechanisms that lead to instability of triplet repeat DNA sequences. In 2000, I was recruited as a senior scientist by Agilent Technologies (a spin-off of Hewlett-Packard) to develop a DNA array platform capable of comparing changes in the expression of a large number of genes between normal and diseased tissue (especially cancer and inflammation). This technology allowed researchers to rapidly identify potential therapeutic targets. In 2003, I joined DiscoveRx Corp as their Lead Scientist, in charge of developing cellular tools (using genetic engineering and chemical biology) to sensitively detect the activation or inactivation of inflammatory genes in the presence of different stimuli.
In 2004, I moved back to Los Angeles, where I was recruited by the House Ear Institute (HEI), a nonprofit (birthplace of the cochlear implant and world renowned for hearing research) to be their Director of Technology and Project Development. In 2006, I joined the faculty of the University of Southern California (Dept of Pathology) as a Clinical Assistant Professor, where I teach an advanced course on new technologies and tools in molecular biology and bio-medicine. After leaving HEI in 2011, I began consulting startups in raising funds and developing strategies for product commercialization. In 2014, along with a colleague, I co-founded CellectGen, for developing and commercializing diagnostic technologies focused specifically for non-invasive collection and testing of saliva, specifically in areas of infectious disease (e.g., Malaria, Ebola, etc) and Periodontal Disease.
Despite these ongoing goals, my passion in health led me (and my wife, Liza — my partner in life and my biggest fan) to launch our newest ventures:
- FLOZ (2013) — Developing a revolutionary water bottle technology with focus on the following areas: (1) FILTRATION — designed specifically with backpackers or long distance hikers, this on-the-go technology will facilitate the point-of-use purification of water for safe consumption. We are still in R&D phase, but expect the technology to be ready for commercialization in the next year or two, and (2) FLOW METER — This unique technology will be a game changer in the industry. It allows an individual to monitor the amount and rate of fluid, electrolyte and nutrient intake in real time using their smartphone. This was specifically designed with team sports, bikers or the casual athlete in mind. In addition to our water bottle, FLOZ also develops (or in affiliation with trusted partners) nutritional supplements targeted to promote specific health functions. Right now we have launched one dietary supplement called NutriK2 - specifically designed for bone and cardiovascular health.
- PhD Nootrition (2015) — Coaching, education and empowering clients to harness their potential towards thriving health using principles of functional biochemistry and medicine and a combination of diet, lifestyle and natural botanical and herbal supplements. Currently, my focus is on the following: (1) General health, (2) Hormonal Imbalances, (3) Bone health and prevention of osteoporosis, (4) Cancer (especially breast and prostate), (5) Re-balancing nutrient deficiencies, and (6) anxiety... but, I expect to launch more programs in near to intermediate future. So, don't forget to signup HERE to stay updated.
I have 15 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of inflammation, cancer, neuro-degenerative disease; I am the inventor on five patent applications, 2 of which are issued (USA and worldwide); I have presented over 20 abstracts at national and international conferences; I am an ad-hoc reviewer for various institutes (NCI, NIAID, and NIGMS) within the National Institutes of Health.
I worked for many years as a scientist and executive in the biotech sector with a singular vision to impact and better human health by developing biochemical tools to facilitate drug discovery for treating diseases such as cancer and inflammation. This allowed me to dive deep into understanding the intricate cellular and biochemical pathways that link cells, tissues and organs and drive communication between cells.
I was adamant in bringing another miracle drug to market and make my mark in science. I was very good at this too. But, throughout this journey, something was nagging deep within my soul: somehow, my dream of improving life seemed to be empty and unfulfilling. My quest became to find a way to use my scientific knowledge towards something that nourished my soul.
Being fortunate to live in a family that understood the value of good nutrition (a fact that I took for granted), I began realizing that a lot of people's chronic conditions are rooted in nutrient deficiencies that result in disruption of numerous biochemical pathways of the body. This became the foundation of the realization that the obvious and simplest solution to most of our modern day health problems is not more expensive drugs, but proper nutrition and a balanced life.
After years of searching, I finally understood that my TRUE calling in life was to look outside of myself and focus on using my knowledge to make a difference in other peoples' lives.
This was the founding principle out of which PhD Nootrition will be born.
But, my journey was not without challenges.
STAY TUNED. MORE ABOUT MY JOURNEY SOON.
At PhD Nootrition, we DO NOT believe in the 'one-size fits all' healthy lifestyle. We are all different and every person responds differently to the same food. Instead, we work with clients, as partners, towards prioritizing and implementing a science and evidence-based approach where underlying physiologic and biochemical signatures, environmental factors, caloric intake, macro- and micronutrient distribution and timing, supplements, and activity levels are all taken into account to create a personalized program that fits you.
The goal of PhD Nootrition is to provide evidence-based, functional solutions that are “tailored” to your unique physiology and lifestyle needs.
This is our core belief. It is our signature. You will feel it.
Our strategy is to work one on one with you to discover what is preventing you from living your best life ... then we chart out a comprehensive, evidence-backed nutritional plan that addresses your root causes and walk you through the process of healing – one step at a time.
My goal at PhD Nootrition is to help you become:
- Educated — Aware of how food environment and societal pressures influence your eating habits and lifestyle — and aware of how your body responds to food and eating. With this understanding, we can help you begin to re-create environments and develop sustainable habits that make it easier your body to thrive.
- Confident and in control — Confident in making the right choices based on sound, evidence-based nutrition recommendations; confident in the understanding of why your body reacts in a certain way around food, ultimately allowing you to make better choices.