JoAnn Trejo, PhD, MBA is a professor of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine, UC San Diego. She completed her postdoctoral training at UC San Francisco and was appointed assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 2000. She was recruited to UC San Diego as a tenured faculty in 2008 and promoted to full professor in 2012. In 2014, she was appointed vice chair of the Department Pharmacology. Dr. Trejo is best known for her discoveries of how cellular responses are regulated by G protein-coupled receptors in the context of vascular inflammation and cancer. She has made numerous novel discoveries related to the regulation of cell signaling in endothelial dysfunction and breast cancer progression. Her work has been published in >100 peer-reviewed articles. She has been continuously funded by the NIH including a R35 Outstanding Investigator Award, she also received support from the UC Tobacco-related Disease Research Program, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the American Heart Association.
Dr. Trejo is a leader in the scientific community and was 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 National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Counselors for Basic Sciences. She has been recognized with the prestigious American Heart Association Established Investigator Award, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Ruth Kirschstein Outstanding Scientist Award and the American Society for Cell Biology EE Just Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement. She was named to Cell Mentor’s list of 100 Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx Scientists in America and also elected Fellow of the American Society for Cell Biology in 2020. Dr. Trejo was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2021.
Dr. Trejo is held in high regard as a mentor, educator and leader engaged in numerous initiatives aimed at enhancing inclusive excellence. She has trained 85 scientists (23 postdoctoral fellows, 17 graduate students and 45 undergraduates), 53 are women and 44 are underrepresented racial / ethnic trainees and all have transitioned to excellent positions in science. She is a member of several training programs and active in various national committees aimed at increasing diversity of the biomedical workforce. She is the director of the NIH/NIGMS Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) Postdoctoral Training Program at UC San Diego. SD IRACDA has trained 109 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 and the American Society for Cell Biology Inclusive Excellence Award in 2020.
In 2015, Dr. Trejo was appointed associate dean for Health Sciences Faculty Affairs, and promoted to assistant vice chancellor for Health Sciences Faculty Affairs in 2019. She has made great strides in developing effective strategies, programs and initiatives to enhance faculty success and recruitment, retention and development of an engaged diverse faculty, and to support a climate of inclusive excellence. Under her direction, the UCSD Health Sciences Office of Faculty Affairs developed and implemented the Health Sciences Faculty Mentor Training Program, Grant Writing Course and received a HRSA-funded Hispanic Center of Excellence Award for faculty development in 2017 and three NIH-funded programs for early career faculty research development including the NIH/NHLBI PRIDE UCSD Future Faculty of Cardiovascular Sciences (FOCUS) 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.
JoAnn Trejo was born in French Camp, San Joaquin County and raised in Stockton, Calif. She earned her bachelor’s degree at UC Davis, her PhD at UC San Diego School of Medicine and MBA from the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego.