Biology Department Faculty

Sam D Perez

Education Profile:

Post-doctoral Fellowship, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, 2016
PhD, Neuroimmunology/Neurophysiology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, 2010
MS, Human Physiology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, 2007
Post-Baccalaureate Training, University of California, Riverside, 2000
BS, Biochemistry, Pacific Union College, 1996

Biography:

Sam D. Perez was born in Lima, Peru where he completed his elementary and part of his secondary education. In the nineteen eighties, as a young teenager, he moved with his parents to southern California. He began his undergraduate academic training at PUC in Angwin, California. After a volunteering year abroad in Italy, he received post-baccalaureate research training at UC Riverside, working under Dr. Glen Stanley (Psychology & Neuroscience) and Dr. Margarita Curras (Cell Biology and Neuroscience), from which he obtained his first research technical tools. Also, during this time, he began teaching science to high school students in the Riverside area. He also took employment opportunities and worked as a Laboratory Technician for the Blood Bank of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in San Bernardino and not long after was recruited to work for the former Center for Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy at Loma Linda University. Between 2004 and 2010, Dr Perez received his graduate training in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at LLU School of Medicine, obtaining his doctoral degree under the mentorship of renowned psychoneuroimmunologist Dr. Denise L Bellinger. Dr. Perez’s research activities during his post-doctoral fellowship in the Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory at the Beckman Institute were conducted under the leadership of distinguished Dr. Justin Rhodes.

During his academic training, Dr. Perez has taught and mentored students from community colleges and also graduate students. As a new faculty in the department of Biology and Chemistry at Washington Adventist University, he uses his scientific training to stimulate critical thinking and a passion for learning the biological sciences in students that are preparing themselves for careers in the health professions. Having been invited to lecture in foreign countries, Dr. Perez enjoys meeting individuals from various latitudes and cultures. His non-curricular interests range from traveling, writing, and practicing sports to performing music.

Professional Activities:

Dr. Perez’s research focuses on understanding the effects of neuroprotective micronutrients on neurons during learning and memory functions. More specifically, in collaboration with colleagues from other institutions, he uses animal models and molecular biology tools to investigate neuroimmune mechanisms conducive to cell protection. A second interest is to develop novel bioengineering techniques to study the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids and their metabolites on mechanisms of cell protection in the aging brain.

Publications:
  1. Perez SD, Tan L, Thyagarajan S, Ghamsary M, Lubahn C, Difrancisco D, and Bellinger DL. Chronic effects of aging and stimulation of central Imidazoline-1 receptors on sympathetic activity and β-AR-stimulated cAMP production in middle-aged Brown Norway rats. J Neuroimmunol 324:1-15.
  1. Perez SD, Tan L, Thyagarajan S, Ghamsary M, Lubahn C, Difrancisco D, and Bellinger DL. Chronic effects of aging and stimulation of central Imidazoline-1 receptors on sympathetic activity and β-AR-stimulated cAMP production in middle-aged Brown Norway rats. J Neuroimmunol 324:1-15.
  1. Zhang P, Rhodes JS, Garland T Jr, Perez SD, Southey BR, Rodriguez-Zas SL. (2018). Brain region-dependent gene networks associated with selective breeding for increased voluntary wheel-running behavior. PLoS One 13(8):e0201773.
Invited Talks of Presentations:
  1. 6/2017, “Secrets to Brain Health”. Invited guest speaker for the health hour at the Mt. View Conference Summer meeting, Parkersburg, West Virginia.
  1. 4/2017, “Understanding how we learn”. Selected speaker for a lecture presentation at Ridgecrest Elementary for faculty and administrators, Hyattsville, Maryland.
  1. 3/2017, “Understanding your brain’s potential to enhance learning”. Invited guest speaker at the Psychology and Education Departmental meeting at Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park, Maryland.
Courses Taught:

BIOL 140 – Human Body in Health & Disease
BIOL 161, 162 – College Biology
BIOL 305 – Genetics
BIOL 494 – Topics: Neurobiology

Contact Info

Email: sperez@wau.edu
Phone: 301-891-4465
Office: Science Building, 102B