JoAnn Trejo (BS, UC Davis; PhD and MBA, UC San Diego) completed her postdoctoral training at UC San Francisco and accepted her first faculty position at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 2000. She was recruited to UC San Diego in 2008, and promoted to full professor with tenure in 2012. In 2014, she was appointed Vice Chair of the Department Pharmacology. JoAnn is best known for her discoveries on cell signaling by protease-activated G protein-coupled receptors. She has made numerous novel discoveries related to the regulation of cell signaling in endothelial dysfunction and breast cancer progression and published her work in prominent peer-reviewed journals. Her research has been continuously funded by the NIH, she also received funding from the UC Tobacco-related Disease Research Program, Komen Foundation, and the American Heart Association (AHA) including the prestigious AHA Established Investigator Award. She is a leader in the scientific community and elected by her peers to serve on Council of the American Society for Cell Biology and American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, as Chair of two Gordon Research Conferences and multiple NIH and HHMI Study Sections. She currently serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors for Basic Sciences for the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
JoAnn is also an admired mentor, educator and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. She has trained 84 scientists (22 postdoctoral fellows, 17 graduate students and 45 undergraduates), 52 are women and 44 are underrepresented racial / ethnic trainees and all have transitioned to excellent positions in science. She is a member of several educational training programs and active in various national committees aimed at increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in science. JoAnn is the director for the NIH/NIGMS Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) Postdoctoral Training Program at UC San Diego. The program has trained 103 postdoctoral scholars - 65% of the trainees have obtained tenure-track faculty positions at academic institutions. She received the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring in 2014. In 2015, she became Associate Dean for Health Sciences Faculty Affairs, and in 2019 Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Faculty Affairs where she has made great strides in developing and implementing strategies, programs and initiatives to enhance faculty success as well as to enhance the recruitment, retention and development of an engaged diverse faculty, and to support a climate of inclusive excellence. Under JoAnn's direction, the UCSD Health Sciences Office of Faculty Affairs received a HRSA-funded Hispanic Center of Excellence Award in 2017, NIH/NHLBI PRIDE UCSD Future Faculty of Cardiovascular Sciences in 2019, NIH/NINDS UCSD Leading the Advancement of Underrepresented Neuroscientists for Change (LAUNCH) in 2020, and NIH/NIAD UCSD Raising Advancement and Parity for Infectious Disease Researchers (RAPID) in 2020.