About Mahtab Jafari
Dr. Jafari received her doctorate in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and completed her residency at the University of California, San Francisco in 1995. She has held a number of positions in academia and pharmaceutical companies including clinical and faculty positions at UCSF, UCI, and Western University of Health Sciences and senior scientist and manager positions at Abbott Laboratories.
As a clinician and researcher, the general focus of Professor Jafari’s work was on the efficacy and toxicity of cardiovascular and anti-dyslipidemia drugs and metabolic complications of drugs affecting the nervous system. In addition to clinical research, she has extensive clinical experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. As a Clinical Pharmacist in Coronary Care Unit (CCU) at both UCSF and UCI, she was an integral part of the cardiology team. In 1995, as an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF, she and her colleagues pioneered the concept of Pharmaceutical Care that eventually became the standard of practice at UCSF and many other hospitals. At UCI Medical Center, she founded and directed the Cholesterol Clinic and served as the Co-Director of the Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Program. In 2001, she joined Abbott Laboratories as a senior scientist and worked in the Neuroscience and Metabolic Groups and subsequently became the Regional Scientific Manager. While working for Abbott Laboratories, Dr. Jafari continued directing and seeing patients in the Cholesterol Clinic and maintained her teaching responsibilities at UCI School of Medicine.
In 2005, she was recruited back to UCI to develop the new Pharmaceutical Sciences Undergraduate Program and helped develop the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences as a founding faculty member. She is currently Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Science at UCI with a research focus on slowing the aging process and adding healthy years to human life through a science that she introduced as Healthspan Pharmacology. Using human cultured cells, fruit flies, and mice she studies the impact of botanical extracts and dietary supplements on aging. She developed this research program through a process that took her almost 20 years in both academic and pharmaceutical industry settings. She has authored over 50 research articles, reviews and book chapters.
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Improvements in medical diagnostics, procedures, and treatments as well as improvements in public health, have resulted in a steady increase in human lifespan, but this increase has unfortunately been accompanied by a steady increase in the prevalence of diseases of aging, such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
We have increased human lifespan but we have not slowed the aging process and therefore we often spend the last decades of our lives struggling with incapacitating diseases of aging, often in nursing homes. Therefore, understanding the fundamental mechanisms of aging, defining the most important risk factors for the development of chronic diseases of aging, and identifying and developing safe interventions, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological, to ameliorate and slow the aging process are as important, and perhaps more important, than understanding and treating the individual diseases associated with aging.
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