MPHARM 287 Seminar > Jeffery Miller, Neelam Sullivan, Jia Ming Chen, AJ Scheitler, & Bogdan Rau

  • Tuesday, April 28, 2015
  • BSRB room 154
  • 12-077 Ctr For Health Sciences
  • Los Angeles, CA 90095

Join the Business of Science Center on April 28th , 2015 in the Biomedical Science Research Library room 154 at 1:00. We will have Dr. Jeff Miller, Neelam Sullivan, Dr. Jia Ming Chen, AJ Scheitler, Bogdan Rau, and Dr. Ninez Ponce as our guest speakers. Dr. Miller, Neelam, and Dr. Chen will share their experiences on the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). AJ, Bogdan, and Dr. Ponce will be presenting on Data Dissemination: AskCHIS.

1:00 – 2:00 pm – Dr. Jeff Miller, Neelam Sullivan, and Dr. Jia Ming Chen
2:00 – 2:30 pm – AJ Scheitler, Bogdan Rau, and Dr. Ninez Ponce

Dr. Jeff Miller, Neelam Sullivan, and Dr. Jia Ming Chen


Jeffery F. Miller, Ph.D. received his bachelors degree in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 1980, and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1986.  After postdoctoral training in Microbial Pathogenesis in the laboratory of Dr. Stanley Falkow at Stanford, he joined the faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine in 1990.  In 2002, he was named the M. Philip Davis Endowed Chair in Microbiology and Immunology, and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) at UCLA.  In November, 2014, he stepped down from his post as Chair of MIMG to become the Fred Kavli Endowed Chair in NanoSystems Sciences and Director of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.  From 2005-2014 Dr. Miller served as Associate Director of the Pacific Southwest Regional Center of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases and, from 2008-2010, Chair of the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.  He is a former Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology, and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  In 2004 he co-founded AvidBiotics Corp., a biotherapeutics company in San Francisco.  In 2009, Dr. Miller was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and he is a voting member of the Board.  In July, 2012, he became President of the American Society for Microbiology, which represents 40,000 members in the US and abroad.  Dr. Miller studies molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis and the evolution of functional diversity in bacteria and phage. His laboratory discovered diversity-generating retroelements, which are ubiquitous in bacterial genomes and function to accelerate the evolution of protein domains. His group was also instrumental in establishing the utility of L. monocytogenes as a live vaccine vehicle for inducing cell-mediated immunity against viral pathogens and tumors. Since joining UCLA, Dr. Miller has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health, as well as support from the American Cancer Society, the US Department of Agriculture, the Pew Foundation, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Department of Defense.


Neelam Sullivan is the Technology Development Manager at UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). She manages CNSI’s Incubation Program as well as CNSI’s Co-working Space, and facilitates the development of external partnerships and commercialization resources for CNSI startups.

Neelam joined CNSI in September 2013 from Auckland, New Zealand where she worked at Auckland University of Technology managing industry consulting projects delivered by AUT academic staff.  While at AUT Neelam developed and implemented internal processes for academic staff undertaking industry-based consulting projects through the University’s Tech Transfer Office.    Neelam also worked at the AUT Business Innovation Centre, a campus-based incubator. She managed the start-up phase of new technology ventures, helping build technology development strategies after market analysis and considering critical impact factors such as barriers to entry and competitive landscape, and finally packaging and marketing of start-up companies to in-market partners.  Neelam has held multiple roles managing Intellectual Property in research-driven organizations.  This included devising strategies for maximizing value extraction from existing or emerging IP.

Neelam holds an MBA from Auckland University of Technology, as well as a Master’s degree in Bioscience Enterprise (Life science Commercialization) from The University of Auckland.  Her undergrad qualification in Biotechnology also enabled her to spend some years in research labs!


Jia Ming Chen, PhD is the Education Director for the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute, where he runs training programs for audiences ranging from K-12, PhD candidates and postdoctoral scholars, to the public. This effort includes collaboration with the Price Center at the Anderson Business School to offer an introductory entrepreneurship course for PhD researchers, called the Entrepreneurship for Science, Medicine and Engineering. Currently, he is also the administrative director for a Department of Energy funded research center at UCLA: Molecularly Engineered Energy Materials. Before these positions, he was the Chief Operating Officer for two research centers at School of Engineering:  the Center for Cell Control (CCC) and the Institute for Cell Mimetic Space Exploration (CMISE).  In the center administrator roles, Jia manages the general operations and leads the centers’ business development and technology commercialization effort. Jia received a doctorate degree in the field of Applied Physics from Cornell University in 2000. Thereafter, he worked at Sarnoff Corporation for about four years, where he spent about two years as a Technical Manager responsible for a research team that develops advanced biomedical devices, transitioning from a Member of the Technical Staff. Jia received a Bachelor of Art in Physics and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Boston University in 1995.

AJ Scheitler, Bogdan Rau, and Dr. Ninez Ponce

AJ Scheitler, EdD, is the coordinator of Stakeholder Relations at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Bogdan Rau is the Online Dissemination Manager at the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). Dr. Ninez Ponce is Professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

Data Dissemination: AskCHIS

AskCHIS ( is the Center’s premier health data dissemination tool that provides health estimates in an easy-to-use health query tool. AskCHIS uses an advanced statistical backend that analyzes CHIS survey data and provides health estimates via a point-and-click interface, removing the need for programming and statistical knowledge. Since inception in 2002, the system has had more than 1mil queries, with over 40k registered users. 

Data Production: Small Area Estimation

Health estimates at granular levels of geography are expensive to produce and difficult to discover. Using an advanced statistical technique called small area estimation, the Center is able to model health estimates across multiple domains and multiple levels of geography using varying data sources. Granular data in AskCHIS Neighborhood Edition ( was modeled using CHIS data and other contextual datasets, resulting in estimates for all zip codes, cities, counties, and legislative districts in California. This technique can be applied to other geographic regions, as well as across race/ethnic groups (small domain estimation).