Sylvia A. Lopez-Vetrone


Sylvia A. Lopez-VetroneFletcher Jones Chair in Molecular Biology
Professor of Biology
Science & Learning Center 305
562.907.4200 x4424

Academic History

B.A. Biology, Whittier College
Ph.D. Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology
University of California, Los Angeles

  • Cell Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease
  • Cancer Biology
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Disease pathology
  • Oxidative stress
  • Aging
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Effect of plant nutraceuticals on health and cancer
  • Biosensor development and validation for pathogenic detection

Professor Sylvia Vetrone is an immunologist whose current research focuses on investigating the potential health and anti-cancer benefits of cultural and popular nutraceuticals (plant-derived chemicals and extracts), validating nanoparticle DNA-based biosensors for the detection of microbial pathogens, and assessing the potential environmental and health effects of nanoparticles. Using both in vitro and in vivo models, Professor Vetrone and her students explore the health, immunological, and anti-proliferative effects of nutraceuticals or synthetic nanoparticles on longevity, reproduction, metabolism, and immune function of human cancer cell lines and the nematode model, Caenorhabditis elegans. Through this research work, Professor Vetrone and her students aim to better understand the mechanisms through which natural supplements impact the cellular integrity of organisms, and how they may be harnessed for therapeutic purposes. Additionally, her research team validates nanoparticle DNA-based biosensors for the use in the detection of bacterial pathogens in liquid and solid foodstuffs, that pose potential health and bioterrorism threats.


  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • Genetics Society of America
  • National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences
  • Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE) Faculty Member
  • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Faculty Member
  • HACU Faculty Caucus
  • HACU, Health Science Advisory Committee Member


  • Ruiz, J., Javid, I., Olmos, M., and Vetrone, S.A. Investigation of the in vitro and in vivo effects of Essiac® Liquid Herbal Extract on health and cancer. Integrative Food, Nutrition and Metabolism, 2021. 8: 1-10.
  • Kastenschmidt, J.M., Ellefsen, K.L., Mannaa, A.H., Giebel, J.J., Yahia, R., Ayer, R.E., Pham, P., Rios, R., Vetrone, S.A., Mozaffar, T., and A. Villalta. QuantiMua: A machine learning-based approach for high precision analysis of skeletal muscle morphology. Frontiers in Physiology, 2019. 10: 1416
  • Ghosh,S., Vetrone, S.A., Strenberg, P.W. Non-neuronal cell outgrowth in C. elegans. Worm, 2017, 6:3-4
  • Capote, J., Kramerova, I., Martinez, L., Vetrone, S.A., Barton, E.R., Sweeney, H.L., Miceli, M.C., and Spencer, M.J. Osteopontin ablation ameliorates muscular dystrophy by shifting macrophages to a proregenerative phenotype. J. Cell Biology, 2016
  • Ermolova, N.M., Martinez, L., Vetrone, S.A., Jordan, M.C., Roos, K.P., Sweeny, H.L., and Spencer, M.J. Long term administration of the TNF blocking drug Remicade (cV1q) to mdx mice reduces skeletal and cardiac muscle fibrosis, but negatively impacts cardiac function. Neuromuscular Disorders 2014
  • Callaway MK, Ochoa JM, Perez EE, Ulrich PE, Alocilja, E.C., and Vetrone, S.A. Investigation of the Toxicity of Amine-coated, Carboxyl-coated and Ployaniline-coated Feo Magnetic Nanoparticles in Caenorhabditis elegans. JBiosens Bioelectron, 2013, 4: 145.
  • Vetrone, S.A., Huarng, M., Alocilja, E.C., Detection of Non-PCR Amplified S. enteritidis Genomic DNA from Food Matrices Using a Gold-Nanoparticle DNA Biosensor: A Proof-of-Concept Study, Sensors, 2012, 12, 10487-10499
  • Vetrone, S.A., Montecino-Rodriguez, E., Kramerova, I., Kudryashova, E., Granchelli, J. Hoffman, E.P., Liu, S., Miceli, C., and Spencer, M.J., Osteopontin Promotes Fibrosis in MDX Dystrophy. Journal of Clinical Investigations, 2009 Jun; 119(6): 1583-94.