Jana J. Johnson (formerly Sprute) ’08 PhD

Jana J. Johnson (formerly Sprute) ’08 PhD received tenure this year with the Biology Department of Moorpark College and teaches everything from Marine Biology to Human Anatomy. Her lab, “The Butterfly Project” was contracted to bring a third endangered Lepidopteran in house for research and rearing (Laguna Mountain Skipper is joining the Palos Verdes Blue butterfly & Lange’s Metalmark butterfly that are currently in her lab). Her former butterfly intern Adam Clause received the Presidential Scholarship (full ride) to work on his PhD at The University of Georgia (so both the undergrads and the leps are benefitting from The Butterfly Project). This spring, they were able to release endangered butterflies back to the wild in conjunction with her nephew’s Make-A- Wish trip prior to his passing two months later, one of the most moving moments of her life.

Ivan De La Torre ’07

Ivan De La Torre ’07 recently graduated from San Francisco State University (August 2012) with a Master’s Degree in Biology (Physiology and Behavior). He was on a Federal grant (NIH MA/PhD Bridge to the Future). He is now returning to the medical side, taking a revolutionary position with the UCLA Health System as a “Patient Champion.”

Bilquees Akhtar ’06

Bilquees Akhtar ’06 is Manager of Regulatory Affairs at Puma Biotechnology, Inc., in the Los Angeles area. She has received a Master’s in Public Health from CSU Northridge this spring. After graduating from UCLA, Bilquees started working for Cougar Biotechnology, Inc. She was working in the Regulatory Affairs department for a submission of late stage drugs for the treatment of prostate cancer. In July 2009, J&J acquired Cougar. She continues to manage and compile submissions of the New Drug Application for prostate cancer that was approved by the FDA in April 2010.

Marina Khubesrian ’89

From The Armenian Reporter, December 16th, 2011: Marina Khubesrian ’89 Biology, ’92 MD, took the oath of office as a new City Council member at South Pasadena’s City Council meeting on December 7th, 2011. She has served as the medical director of the Glendale Adventist Alcohol and Drug Services (GAADS) and is the associate director of the Family Medicine Residency Program. Her private practice is now in Montrose where she specializes in Family Medicine.

Dennis M. Gross ’74 PhD

Dennis M. Gross ’74 PhD assumed his current position at Thomas Jefferson University in 2006 as Associate Dean of the Jefferson College of Graduate Studies and Director of the Professional Science Master’s Degree and Graduate Certificate Programs. He also holds an appointment as an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in Jefferson Medical College.