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The Institute for Molecular Medicine - Headquarters

Office of the President

31677 Virginia Way P.O. Box 9355

South Laguna Beach, CA 92652

Telephone: (949) 715-5978


Department of Immunology
16371 Gothard Street H
Huntington Beach, California 92647-3652, USA
Telephone: (714) 596-7821

Fax: (714) 596-3791
Office Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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IMM – Faculty and Associate Faculty



Garth L. Nicolson, Ph.D., M.D. (H)                                     


Professor Garth L. Nicolson is the President and Founder, Chief Scientific Officer and Research Professor at the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Huntington Beach, California. Born in 1943 in Los Angeles, Dr. Nicolson received his B.S. in Chemistry from University of California at Los Angeles in 1965 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California at San Diego in 1970. He is currently Professor of Integrative Medicine at Capitol University of Integrative Medicine and a Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle (Australia). He was formally the David Bruton Jr. Chair in Cancer Research and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Tumor Biology at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and he was Professor of Internal Medicine and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He was also Professor of Comparative Pathology at Texas A & M University. Professor Nicolson has published over 600 medical and scientific papers (including 3 Current Contents Citation Classics), edited 15 books, served on the Editorial Boards of 30 medical and scientific journals. Professor Nicolson has won many awards, such as the Burroughs Wellcome Medal of the Royal Society of Medicine (United Kingdom), Stephen Paget Award of the Metastasis Research Society, the U. S. National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award, and the Innovative Medicine Award of Canada. He is also a Colonel (Honorary) of the U. S. Army Special Forces and a U. S. Navy SEAL (Honorary) for his work on Armed Forces and veterans illnesses. He is also engaged in research on the role of chronic infections in a variety of chronic illnesses, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gulf War Illness and various autoimmune diseases.


Molecular cell biology and cancer metastasis. An interview with Garth
Nicolson by Marc Mareel,
International Journal of Developmental Biology
2004; 48: 355-363. pdf_doc

Complete Curriculum Vitae - pdf

Founded IMM 1996

Nancy L. Nicolson, Ph.D.                                                   


Ph.D. Biophysics/Molecular Biology, Florida State University (1982); M.S. Biochemistry, Nova University, Ft. Lauderdale (1978); Postdoctoral training, Dept. of Physics, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (1982-1984); Baylor College of Medicine (1987-1991); University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (1989-1996)
Founded IMM 1996

Dr. Nicolson is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Molecular Medicine, President of the Rhodon Foundation for Biomedical Research, Inc. and Chairman of the Board of International Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. She has published over 40 scientific papers and 26 abstracts from international scientific conferences. She holds one U.S. patent. Besides her other awards, she was honored as Who's Who Woman in the World (1996), the Who's Who Executives in the World (1998), and shared the Albert Schweitzer Award (1998). Dr. Nicolson has been selected to serve on the U.S. Congressional Business Council; she is U.S. Congressional Businesswoman of the Year for 2000, and was awarded the Republican National Committee's Congressional Medal of Honor . Her research interests are focused on regulation and function of eukaryotic genes using specific native nucleoprotein complexes. She is a Colonel (Honorary) of the U. S. Army Special Forces and a U. S. Navy SEAL (Honorary) for her work on Armed Forces and veterans' illnesses. She developed the nucleoprotein gene tracking method as a diagnostic tool. Furthermore, she has worked on the detection and pathogenesis of chronic infections in human.

Complete Curriculum Vitae - pdf_doc

Founded IMM 1996


Michael G. Agadjanyan, D.Sc., Ph.D.                           


D.Sc,, Immunology/Virology, Institute of Viral Preparation, USSR Academy of Science, 1989; Ph.D., Immunology, Institute of Epidemiology & Immunology, USSR Academy of Science, 1980; M.S., Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, 1976; B.S., Biology, University of Yerevan, Armenia, 1972.

Dr. Agadjanyan is currently Research Professor of Immunology and Virology at the Institute for Molecular Medicine. He was formally a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Phildelphia, PA. He was also previously a Visiting Professor at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, and before that a Junior then Senior Scientist at the Gamaleya Institute of the USSR Academy of Science, Moscow. Dr. Agadjanyan has served on several committees and member of several international associations, He has over 60 publications in the areas of cellular immunology and virology. He currently hold two grants from the National Institutes of Health on the immunology and biochemistry of HIV infection and HIV vaccines. His research interests are in the area of immune response to HIV infection and the development of HIV-1 vaccines based on DNA vaccine technology.

Complete Curriculum Vitae - pdf_doc

Joined IMM 2000.



Anahit Ghochikyan, Ph.D.                                            


Ph.D., Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia (1988); M.S., Biochemistry and Genetics, Yerevan State University, Armenia (1984).

Dr. Ghochikyan is currently a Research Assistant Professor Immunology at the Institute for Molecular Medicine. Her research background includes areas of molecular biology and immunology. Dr. Ghochikyan also received training in former USSR (The Institute of Biotechnology), in Israel (Weizmann Institute of Sciences, Rehovot), and in France (the University of Nantes , Nantes ) before coming to the United States . She has published extensively in areas of molecular biology and immunology, having 28 manuscripts in the different peer-review journals. Recently, Dr. Ghochikyan completed a collaboration with scientists from the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia at the University of California , Irvine . These important studies may lead to the generation of nucleic acid (“naked DNA”) vaccine against Alzheimer's disease (AD). She is a Member of the American Associations of Neuroscience, Immunology, and Microbiology. Her research interests are in the area of development of safe vaccines against cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Complete Curriculum Vitae - pdf_doc



Jöerg Haier, M.D., Ph.D.                                             


M.D. Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany (1991); Ph.D. Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany (1993); Surgical Residency, Robert-Rössle-Hospital and University Hospital Benjamin Franklin, Free University of Berlin, Germany (1991-1997), Ruprecht-Carls-University Heidelberg (1994).
Dr. Jörg Haier is currently an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Department of Internal Medicine, and 3Department of Surgery, Wilhelm-University, Munster, Germany, and an Assistant Research Professor at the Institute for Molecular Medicine. He has published 30 peer reviewed scientific papers, 20 abstracts from international conferences and 6 clinical and scientific book chapters. Additionally, he has prepared two surgical videotapes. In his clinical work, he has concentrated on diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer and soft tissue sarcomas. His scientific interests are focused on mechanisms required for the organ-specific development of cancer metastases. He is particularly interested in signals that are transmitted into the tumor cells during their adhesion to host organs. At the Institute for Molecular Medicine Dr. Haier works on signal transduction mediated by adhesion molecules of the tumor cell surface during adhesion. Additionally, he is taking part in clinical studies for the evaluation of chronic infections in patients with several chronic diseases.


Gajanan Sherbet, Ph.D.                                         


Professor Gajanan Sherbet is Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Molecular Medicine and formerly Deputy Director of the Cancer Research Unit at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He holds Doctor of Science of London University, a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and Royal Society of Chemistry. Professor Sherbet is a member of the editorial boards of many scientific and medical journals. His major scientific interest is in cancer metastasis. In recent years he has been investigating the role of the calcium binding protein S100A4 in cell proliferation, cancer invasion and metastasis. He is also studying the potential of artificial neural networks for predicting breast cancer progression and prognosis. He has recently demonstrated the potential value of S100A4 as a marker for assessing the progression of breast cancer. He has been published over 200 scientific papers in international journals and has written and edited several books on cancer, and e-books on the role of growth factors and their receptors in cancer therapy and therapeutic strategies in cancer biology and pathology. His earlier work on the genetics of cancer was in collaboration with Dr. M.S. Lakshmi.

Joined IMM 1999.



Richard Ngwenya, M.D.

Dr. Ngwenya is currently the Executive Medical Director of the James Mobb Immune Enhancement Clinics in Harare, Zimbabwe and an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Institute for Molecular Medicine where he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute. He was born in Zimbabwe and is a retired military medical officer. Dr. Ngwenya is an expert in the treatment of HIV-AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Dr. Ngwenya is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Institute for Molecular Medicine.

Joined IMM 1997.



Ferre Akbarpour, M.D.

Dr. Akbarpour is currently the Medical Director of the Immune Institute and a member of the Orange County Center for Special Immunology in Huntington Beach, California. She was previously Chief of Staff of the Rushmore Medical Diagnostic Institute (1987-1991). Dr. Akbarpour received her medical degree from Pahlavi University School of Medicine, Shiraz, Iran in 1978, and she was a resident at the Long Beach Veterans Administration Medical Center and a post-graduate and extern at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. She is an expert in the area of chronic illnesses, including fatiguing illnesses and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Akbarpour is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at the Institute for Molecular Medicine.

Joined IMM 2000.



Isa Odidi, Ph.D.

Dr. Odidi is a graduate of the University of London in Pharmacology. He is currently the CEO of IntelliPharmaceutics, Inc. of Ontario, Canada, and he holds as adjunct professorship at the University of Toronto. Dr. Odidi was born in Nigeria and is a well-known expert on drug time-release technology, having published many papers on the topic. He also holds 13 patent applications in this area and has successfully developed and directed the R&D division of a major pharmaceutical company (Biovail in Canada). Dr. Odidi is an Adjunct Research Professor at the Institute for Molecular Medicine.

Joined IMM 1998.



William Rae, M.D.

Dr. Rea is a graduate (B.S., B.A.) of the Otterbein College, Westerville OH, and of the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio. He finished his medical training as a Thoracic Surgeon and is furthermore specialized in Environmental Medicine. He is member of numerous medical and scientific societies where he served as Chairman and member of various boards. He has over 120 publications in medical and scientific journals, and he has received several awards during his medical career. At the Institute for Molecular Medicine Dr. Rea is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine.

Joined IMM 1999.



Kenny De Meirleir, M.D.

Dr. De Meirleir is currently Professor of Internal Medicine, The Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium. He is also a Professor of Physiology at The Free University of Brussels. He is also Director of the Fatigue Clinic at The Free University of Brussels. Dr. De Meirlier obtained his M.D. in 1977 from The Free University of Brussels and was a resident in Internal Medicine and in Cardiology. He received the Solvay Prize in 1980 and a NATO research award. He is a member of several editorial boards and associations in Europe, and he has over 390 publications. Dr. De Meirleir has held many administrative positions in Belgium and at The Free University of Brussels. Dr. De. Meirlier is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Institute for Molecular Medicine.

Joined IMM 2000.



Katherine A. Murray-Leisure, M.D.

Dr. Murray-Leisure is a graduate of Wellesley College, MA, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. She is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine and infectious diseases. She served in various positions as specialist for infectious diseases in Gulf War Veterans and is currently Consultant Physician & Hospital epidemiologist at the Good Samaritan & Hyman Caplan Pavillon, Lebanon, PA. Dr. Murray-Leisure has been published 20 articles in medical journals, 5 abstracts from national and international conferences and 3 medical book chapters about infectious diseases. Dr. Leisure is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Institute for Molecular Medicine.

Joined IMM 1999.



Nachman Brautbar, M.D.

Dr. Brautbar is currently a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Southern California and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Queen of Angeles-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. He obtained his M.D. at Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel in 1969. He did residencies in Israel and at the Wadsworth V.A. Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. He joined the faculty of U.C.L.A. as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1977 and then as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at U.S.C. He was a tenured Associate Professor of Medicine at U.S.C. before going into private practice. He is a member of 45 national and international professional societies and is currently a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Nephrology, American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. Among his awards are the Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini and Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He has published over 220 medical and scientific papers, reviews and book chapters and serves on 9 editorial boards and is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology and the Journal of Clean Technology, Environmental Toxicology and Occupational Medicine. He is also the Co-Editor of Toxicology and Industrial Health. Dr. Brautbar is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Institute for Molecular Medicine.

Joined IMM in 2001.



Parsotam Ravjee Hira, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Dr. Hira is a Professor of Microbiology at Kuwait University Faculty of Science. He obtained his B.Sc. from the University of South Africa in 1962, a M.Sc. in parasitology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1966 and his Ph.D. in the same subject from the University of South Africa in 1970. He also received a M.Sc. in medical parasitology from the University of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Hira is a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (MCRPath) and a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology and a Diplomate of the London School of Tropical Medicine. He has held various academic positions before moving to the University of Kuwait in 1981. In 1992 he became a full Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Kuwait. He also serves on important committees in the Ministry of Health of Kuwait. Dr. Hira is a specialist on malaria and other parasitic diseases and has published approximately 100 scientific papers on the subject since 1965. Dr. Hira is an Adjunct Professor of Microbiology at the Institute for Molecular Medicine and a consultant in parasitology and tropical medicine.

Joined IMM in 2001.


Meryl Nass, M.D.
Dr. Nass is in private practice in Freeport, Maine and on the medical staff of Parkview Hospital, Brunswick, ME. She received her B.S. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1974) and her M.D. from the University of Missippi Medical School (1980). She specializes in the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Gulf War Illnesses. Dr. Nass has published over 20 articles in medical and scientific journals. She is a national expert in the field of anthrax and biological warfare. She was the first scientist to realize that Zimbabwe's anthrax epidemic of 1978-80 was not a natural event, and proved it in 1992. As a consultant to Cuba's Ministry of Health, she correctly diagnosed the cause of a neuropathy epidemic affecting 50,000 Cubans. She has developed a model for evaluating epidemics to determine the likelihood that they are due to bioterrorism. She was the first researcher to point out the relationship between anthrax vaccine and Gulf War Illnesses, and has been very active in identifying the role of this vaccine in a variety of chronic medical illnesses. Dr. Nass is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Institute for Molecular Medicine.

Joined IMM 2001.



Garry Gordon, M.D., D.O., M.D.(H.)

Dr. Gordon is the President of the Gordon Research Institute in Payson, Arizona. He received his Doctor of Osteopathy from the Chicago College of Osteopathy in Illinois (1958) and his M.D. (Hon.) from the University of California, Irvine (1962). He completed his Radiology Residency at Mt. Zion in San Francisco. For many years, he was the Medical Director of the Mineral Lab in Hayward, CA, a leading laboratory for trace mineral analysis. Dr. Gordon is on the Board of Homeopathic Medical Examiners for Arizona and is Co-Founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). He is Founder/President of the International College of Advance Longevity (ICALM) and Board Member of International Oxidative Medicine Association (IOMA). He is an advisor to the American Board of Chelation Therapy and past instructor and examiner for all chelation physicians. He is responsible for peer review for Chelation Therapy in the State of Arizona. He lectures extensively on the End of Bypass Surgery and has published over 20 articles on this and other topics. Currently, Dr. Gordon is full-time consultant for Longevity Plus, a nutritional supplement company located in Payson, Arizona. He is responsible for the design of the majority of their supplements, which are widely used by alternative health practitioners around the world. Dr. Gordon is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Institute for Molecular Medicine.

Joined IMM 2001.



Sanjay Dhar, M.Sc., Ph.D.

B.Sc., Chemistry, Zoology and Botany, University of Kashmir, Kashmir, India (1982). M.Sc., Zoology, University of Kashmir, Kashmir, India (1984). Ph.D., Molecular Parasitology, University of Kashmir, Kashmir, India (1993).

Dr. Dhar is a member of the Research and Development team at International Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. and a Research Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology at the Institute for Molecular Medicine. He has over 10 years of research experience in molecular biology and biochemistry; mainly in the area of molecular parasitology. He conducted his post-doctoral fellowship at Jawaharlal Neru University of New Delhi, India and was a Fogarty Fellow at the Center for Biologics and Evaluation & Research, Food and Drug Administration, NIH, Bethesda, MD. Prior to Joining IMD and IMM, Dr. Dhar was a research scientist in the Department of Cancer Biology at the New England Medical Center in Boston where he worked on breast cancer associated genes and gene expression in breast cancer.

Joined IMM in 2001



David H. Cribbs, Ph.D.

Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of West Virginia (1980); B.S. Biology, St. Mary's College of Maryland (1974)

Dr. Cribbs is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of California, Irvine, and Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia, a position he has held since 1999. He was previously an assistant professor at UCIrvine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Cribbs was previously a NIH postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins, and he was an American Society for Engineering Education Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory from 1989-1993. Dr. Cribbs has published over 50 papers in scientific journals and is currently a member of the NIH Study Section on Cell Death and Injury in Neurodegeneration. Dr. Cribbs is an expert on neurodegeneration, Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. Dr. Cribbs is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Institute for Molecular Medicine.

Joined IMM 2003



Rita Ellithorpe, M.D., N.D.

Dr. Ellithorpe received her medical degree in 1982 from The Chicago Medical School/University of Health Science in North Chicago, IL. From there she completed her internship in family practice at Womack Army Hospital, Fort Bragg, NC in 1983. At Fort Knox, KY, she served as an emergency room staff physician, general medical officer and flight surgeon as Chief of the Aviation Clinic from 1983-1990.†

Dr. Ellithorpe is a graduate and faculty member of Capitol University of Integrative Medicine, Washington, D.C. since January, 2001. There she taught anti-aging medicine and natural hormone replacement therapy. She is board certified†in Anti-Aging Medicine as well as the founder and medical director of Tustin Longevity Center in Tustin, CA. A national speaker on the topics of Oxidative Stress and Anti-Aging, she also has published her research in several peer reviewed journals. She participated in cancer investigations with Dr. Stanislaw Bruzynski at his research institute in Houston, Texas and was later published as a co-author in literature describing his unique therapy. She is also a staff physician and Director of Women’s Studies at Whitaker Wellness Medical Clinic in Newport Beach, CA. She has also helped in the development of natural medicinal therapies at Great Smokies Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Dr. Ellithorpe holds a†board certification in†integrative medicine focusing on health at the cellular level.

Joined IMM in 2011.



Robert Settineri, M.S.                                                     

Robert Settineri is currently the CEO/Research Director†for Sierra Research in Irvine, CA. He began his participation in bio-medical research at the management level in 1975. †He has served as Biology Research Manager and Director of Media Development in the pharmaceutical industry and published more than†38 scientific articles in immunology, nutritional sciences and related fields.† He was responsible in preparing FDA NDA applications that also supported registration submissions in 80 countries.† Currently, his responsibilities include planning, coordinating and managing both preclinical and clinical research studies. He also currently serves as Senior Vice President and a Member of the Board of Directors for the American Nutraceutical Association.

Joined IMM in 2011.



Bin Wang, Ph.D.                                                            

Bin Wang received his B.S. in biology from Shandong University in Jinan, China in 1982 and his Ph.D. in developmental biology from the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH in 1989. He is currently the professor in the Laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology, Fudan University Shanghai Medical College in Shanghai, China. Previously he was the professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at China Agricultural University, Beijing, China. Dr. Wang started his career as a postdoctoral fellow at the Wistar Institute of Pathology in Philadelphia, PA and then as an instructor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. He became an assistant professor in the same department and later an adjunct professor at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China. Dr. Wang returned to China in 1999 to become the Director of the Sinogene Institute in Beijing, China. One year later he became the Director of the Institute of Biotechnology at Xinjiang University in Xinjiang, China. In 2003 he moved to the China Agricultural University in Beijing. Dr. Wang holds several international patents, and he currently has over 100 publications and 16 published book chapters. His specialty is the molecular biology of viruses and the development of genetic vaccines against human viruses.

Joined IMM in 2011.



John F. Michael [Webmaster]                                                  

John F. Michael has been the Webmaster for The Institute for Molecular Medicine since 2006 and has provided technical support for the website. Mr. Michael is a veteran U.S. Marine as well a former law-enforcement officer. Since leaving law enforcement, Mr. Michael has become a published artist; writer; and photographer in the Portland, Oregon area for over 25 years. As its Art Director, he helped launch an award-winning local newspaper in Portland. He has also been a copy-editor and graphic designer for two national sports magazines as well as a sports book-publishing firm located in Portland. Mr. Michael has helped fight for veteran's rights and has served as an advisor to IMM regarding military matters for many years.


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