Hector Valenzuela


Hector ValenzuelaAssociate Professor of Biology
Science & Learning Center 303

Academic History

B.S., Biology, San Diego State University
Ph.D., Experimental Pathology, University of California, Los Angeles

  • Immunology
  • Aging
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Human Biology
  • Biology, Aging
  • T-Cell Changes

Professor Hector Valenzuela's current research involves the study age-related changes in T cell differentiation and function. There are many reports that have documented T cells changes both in vitro and in vivo. However, it remains unclear why these cellular changes occur and how they influence the many functions of the immune response. At Whittier College, Dr. Valenzuela has established a cell system that accurately mimics T cell aging in vitro. This model system is used to explore the age-related changes that affect T cells and to discover mechanisms that alter the aging rate. Dr. Valenzuela's overall goals can be divided into three parts: 1) to determine the mechanism for memory T cells senescence 2) to study the effect that memory T cell exhaustion has on the immune system and 3) to study natural compounds that alter the aging rate of cells. 


  • American Association of Immunologists
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Oxygen California Club


  • Molgora, B., Bateman, R., Finger, D., Sweeney, G., Dimler, T., Effros, R.B. and Valenzuela H.F.  (2013) Functional Assessment of Pharmacological Telomerase Activators in Human T Cells. Cells, 2: 57-66.
  • Valenzuela, H.F. and Effros, R.B. (2011) The Aging Lymphocyte. Publisher Springer-Verlag.
  • Valenzuela, H.F., Pace, K.E., Cabrera, P.V., White R., Porvari, K., Kaija H., Vihko P., Baum, L. (2007). O-Glycosylation regulates LNCaP prostate cancer cell susceptibility to apoptosis induced by galectin-1. Cancer Research. July 1, 67:(13) 6155-62.
  • Valenzuela, H.F. and Effros, R.B. (2002). Divergent Telomerase and CD28 expression patterns in human CD4 and CD8 T cells following repeated encounters with the same antigenic stimulus. Clinical Immunology 105:117-125.
  • Effros, R.B., Dagarag, M. and Valenzuela, H.F. (2003). In vitro senescence of immune cells. Experimental Gerontology. Nov-Dec 38 (11-12): 1243-9.