Meet our Faculty
“As a neuroscientist, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with students who aspire to careers in health sciences. I especially enjoy innovating and seeking out better ways to facilitate learning by connecting biological topics to real life applications.”
— Professor Bachir Hadid
Professor Bachir Hadid graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in Molecular Cell Biology/Neurobiology, and obtained his Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Neuroscience from Dominican University of California.
As a George Miller Scholarship recipient at UC Berkeley, Professor Hadid conducted research on Alzheimer’s disease, under the supervision of Dr. Randy Schekman, a 2013 Nobel Prize winner. In addition, his graduate work earned him an award from Dominican University in California for Outstanding Research in Neurogenesis and Neuroprotection in Huntington’s Disease.
Professor Hadid has extensive clinical laboratory, and research experience in molecular cell biology and neuroscience. At Buck Institute for Research on Aging, he led and designed different clinical research projects on Neurogenesis, and Neuroprotection in Huntington’s Disease, in which he performed sub-cloning, epigenetic, clinical surgeries, and behavioral tests. He also mastered other Advanced molecular cell biology techniques, and continues to perform clinical behavioral tests specializing in learning and memory.
Professor Hadid is an Associate Faculty for LEI’s Integrated Science Program where he provides lectures and labs for Biology 1, Biology 2, General Microbiology, Human Anatomy and Physiology 1, and Human Anatomy and Physiology 2. He is located at our Hayward campus.
“As an instructor, I want to be involved in my students’ learning experiences to ensure they master the knowledge they need for their careers in health sciences. I use an interactive educational approach that aligns classroom learning with relevant laboratory discovery. And I spend a significant amount of time circulating through the classroom, personally assisting individuals as they complete their exercises.”
— Dr. Ian W. Jones
Originally from Colorado Springs, Dr. Ian W. Jones earned his B.S. Chemistry degree from Centre College in Danville, KY. While an undergraduate, he performed research at Santa Clara University. Then, with his first two first-author papers published, he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
After completing his Ph.D. in computational and synthetic organic chemistry, Dr. Jones joined the research group of Prof. H. K. Hall Jr. as a postdoctoral fellow. During this time, he authored and co-authored several papers concerning his synthesis and the applications of polymerizable phosphocholine-type lipids. His most recent publication in Langmuir (February, 2016), concerns the fluidity of poly[lipids].
Dr. Jones has taught large format lecture classes, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and a variety of chemistry classes for the non-science major at a number of colleges and universities in California.
He has been affiliated with LEI and our Integrated Science Program since 2014. In addition to holding his current position at LEI, he also holds lecturer positions at Foothill College and Sonoma State University where his research interests include computational and experimental studies of the interaction of proteins with nano-diamonds.
“I think the best way to learn science is in the lab where students can experience lecture material first-hand. Nothing makes me happier than having a student with an idea they want to test, or when everything suddenly clicks into place and they understand some new concept.”
— Dr. Stephanie Lopez
Dr. Stephanie Lopez obtained her graduate degree at University of California Berkeley. There, she used synthetic biology and protein engineering to design better yeast strains for biofuel production.
She is currently using bacteria to turn exhaust gases into useful chemicals at a biotech startup firm.
Dr. Lopez believes that everyone should have a basic understanding of scientific concepts, regardless of their career or lifestyle. Whether they’re trying to clean up commutes with greener fuel alternatives, improving our quality of life with more sophisticated medicines, or perfecting chocolate cupcakes with new materials for bake ware, people of all walks of life benefit from understanding the impact that science has on all aspects of our lives.
“I enjoy training students in the different scientific skills they need to become good nurses. I also get enormous satisfaction from teaching them the critical thinking that will help them not only in their future careers, but life in general. Spending time as an instructor and tutor with the amazing young people who take my classes has taught me patience, care, and communication.”
— Dr. Amina F. Zebboudj
Amina F. Zebboudj is an accomplished medical doctor with extensive international experience treating patients and teaching medical science courses. She obtained her doctorate from The Medical University of Algiers, and then earned a certificate of anatomy from l’Universite Rene Decartes Paris, France. After working as a primary care physician in France, she joined Medecins Du Monde (MDM) in Mauritania in Sub-Saharan Africa. There, she was the sole physician in a camp of 15,000 refugees who presented with a variety of health issues, including stress from their displacement.
Later, through Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Dr. Zebboudj was placed in Burundi, and then in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where she worked with local authorities as a medical coordinator. As the only physician at the site, she managed the pediatric, gynecology, and cholera wards while she also trained local nurses in diagnosing and treating common pathologies.
In Algeria, she was a resident in surgery while also working in trauma centers and emergency departments. She also earned significant emergency department, intensive care and psychiatry experience while taking calls at emergency departments in France.
After moving to the US, Dr. Zebboudj became a research Post-Doctoral fellow in molecular biology at UCLA.
She is now an instructor in the nursing department at Mont Saint Mary’s University Los Angeles where she teaches pathophysiology, pharmacology, and medical-surgery to future nurses.
In addition to her medical practice, Dr. Zebboudj worked for many years as a researcher, running experiments and publishing peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals such as The Journal of Biological Chemistry. She has also presented her work at numerous science conferences.
“It’s important to me to keep up with the latest advancements in medicine, and in the education of medical students. I continually participate in research studies, hospital programs and clinics, and read voraciously so I can pass the benefits of my learning onto the next generation of health practitioners.”
— Dr. Anton Hawatmeh
Fluent in three languages (English, Arabic and Greek), Dr. Anton Hawatmeh, graduated with high honors as a medical doctor from Aristotle’s University of Thessaloniki in Greece, the oldest medical university in the world. He served his residency in internal medicine and general surgery at AXEPA, Aristotle’s National Hospital of Thessaloniki, Greece. Following a three-year residency in psychiatry and neurophysiology in Athens, he taught at hospitals and universities in Greece and in his homeland, Jordan.
Since moving to the United States, Dr. Hawatmeh has received the ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) Certificate and FLEX (Federation License Exam of California) Certificate. He is a member of the American Medical Association and Los Angeles Medical Association.
With his many years of service in research departments and educational institutions, and authorship of several articles and publications, Dr. Hawatmeh has been recognized several times by his peers. He has received awards from Galaxy Medical College, ICDC College and Southern California University of Health Sciences, where he was honored with a special recognition award for outstanding teaching in Anatomy& Physiology for 2011-2012.
As a faculty member at the Integrated Science Program, Dr. Hawatmeh brings with him over 15 years of experience teaching and lecturing medical, pharmaceutical and nursing students. He teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 and Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 at our Los Angeles campus.
“I believe that education is a great equalizer for the underprivileged. That’s why I strive to create intellectually invigorating classes at ISP, where advanced learning is available to anyone who wants to improve their life.”
— Dr. Peter Poon
Peter Poon, PhD received his undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Immunology from University of California, Berkeley in 2002. He then attended the University of Connecticut where he was awarded a PhD in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis in Genetics and Developmental Biology in 2007.
After receiving his PhD, Dr. Poon completed two post-doctoral projects, one in genetics with Dr. Scott Pletcher, and one in genomics with Dr. John Tower. Dr. Poon has also published his work in several peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Beyond his interest in scientific research, Dr. Poon enjoys teaching science and exchanging ideas with fellow and future scientists. He encourages a dynamic classroom environment where students and teachers interact to achieve the common goal of learning.
Dr. Poon has been working with Lifelong Education Institute since 2014. In addition to leading the Integrated Science Program, he teaches Biochemistry, Biology, and General Microbiology at our Los Angeles campus.
“I enjoy sharing my passions with others, and facilitating the process of learning. As a chemist, I believe that students should see science in their everyday lives, and understand how important it is to master the basic concepts. That understanding opens conceptual doors for them, and allows connections to be made across many disciplines. I also believe that actively engaging in your own learning experience is the key to understanding, and that this engagement will be different for everyone. That’s why I enjoy getting to know my students and being able to help each individual find their interest.”
— Sarah Rodney
Sarah Rodney received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Keene State College in New Hampshire. During her undergraduate experience, she interned at Bruker Optics where she learned spectroscopic techniques, and at the University of Utah where she synthesized and analyzed vinylsiloxane nanoparticles for potential use in cancer treatments.
Following her internships, Ms. Rodney completed her graduate work at the University of Southern California (USC) where she received her Master’s degree in Chemistry. Her primary research focus was the synthesis of new materials and improvement of Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs). Most people are familiar with these OLEDs, as they are commonly used in television screens, computer monitors and telephones.
Ms. Rodney has always enjoyed teaching, as evidenced by many years of tutoring at the college and high school level, and teaching many lab sections for USC. She has been a high school Science Teacher for Bridges Academy since 2013, where she taught twice exceptional students. (Twice exceptional means that the students are very bright, but also have a learning disability.) She finds teaching rewarding and challenging — and well worth the hard work.
Ms. Rodney teaches ISP’s General Chemistry courses at our Santa Monica campus.
“I believe in the Chinese proverb, ‘Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.’ That’s why I encourage students to take an active role in the learning process. Rather than merely memorize chemistry, I want them to attain a deeper, longer lasting understanding that is based on hands-on experience as well as lucid instruction.”
— Dr. Vu Phong Bui
Dr. Vu Phong Bui obtained his B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Dickinson College, and received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Florida. His doctoral work focused on the utilization of synthetic biology and organic chemistry for synthesis of highly oxygenated natural and unnatural products.
After earning his degree, Dr. Bui served as a postdoctoral associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he helped develop chemoenzymatic processes for the synthesis of biologically active natural products. He then moved to Michigan State University to develop novel syntheses of Tamiflu, and create commodity chemicals from renewable feedstocks.
Upon completion of his postdoctoral training, Dr. Bui joined Draths Corporation as a senior scientist to develop novel chemical processes for making of value-added chemicals from renewable feedstocks. He then joined Marrone Bio Innovations to pioneer the development of environmentally friendly products for organic farming, pest management and crop-protection.
Dr. Bui is an experienced instructor of general, organic, and analytical chemistry courses. He was an adjunct faculty member at Grand Rapids Community College where he taught general chemistry courses. Currently, he is an adjunct faculty member of West Los Angeles College where he teaches chemistry courses for Allied Health Major students.
Dr. Bui teaches General Chemistry at ISP’s Santa Monica campus.