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Jessica Wang-Rodriguez


  • M.D.

Current Position(s): 

  • Chief VISN22 Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Services, VAMC

  • Professor of Pathology, University of California, San Diego

Personal Statement: 

Jessica Wang-Rodriguez received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Zoology in 1986 and her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1990, both from the University of Nevada, Reno. She completed her residency in combined Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at UCSD from 1990 to 1995, and served as Chief Resident in Pathology from 1994 to 1995. She is certified in Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine. From 1994 to 1995, Dr. Wang-Rodriguez was a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Pathology at UCSD with a secondary appointment as Associate Physician (Management and Professional Services). In July 1995 she was appointed as Assistant Clinical Professor of Pathology and then was promoted to Associate Clinical Professor in 2001.

As Associate Clinical Professor, Dr. Wang-Rodriguez has served as Director of the Blood Bank, Co-Director of Immunogenetics (Flow Cytometry) and an Associate Surgical Pathologist at the VA Healthcare System, San Diego. She has regular patient care hours of 350 to 370 hours each quarter, with sign out responsibility for cytology, surgical pathology and hematopathology cases. Dr. Wang-Rodriguez clinical activities include significant teaching of residents, fellow and medical students, She is also a 2005 award recipient of the Performance Improvement Fair at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. The clinical and administrative duties at the VA Blood Bank include clinical consultation, maintenance of accreditation with AABB, CAP, FDA, and JACHO, budget and personnel issues.

Dr. Wang-Rodriguez is a prolific publisher and researcher. Her research focus is on immunohematology and most recently on prostate cancer. Dr. Wang-Rodriguez's work is supported by several grants that focus on the evaluation of predictive signatures of prostate cancer. She is the PI of the NCI funded project titled "Evaluation of Predictive Signatures of Prostate Cancer", which is part of the NCI Director's Challenge for Strategic Partnering to Evaluate Cancer Signatures (short for SPECS). The goal through this grant is to develop a complete and comprehensive clinical data set of patients with a diagnosis of prostate carcinoma and to correlate molecular biomarkers (gene expression and epi-genetic such as methylation and Loss of Heterozygosity) with clinical outcome.

Her laboratory focuses on mechanisms of protein expression in tyrokine kinases on tumor cell growth and apoptosis. After treating cells with various DNA damaging agents, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and/or ionizing radiation, expressions of different tyrosine kinases and their down stream effectors were measured by Western Blot and immunohistochemistry. Cell survival assays were measured by clonogenic assays and flow cytometry. These preclinical findings will be translated to studying clinical human cancer specimens.

She is involved in several projects related to flow cytometry and immunology. She is the core lab director for the Veteran's Medical Research Foundation (VMRF) FACS Core lab. The core lab is entirely grant funded and is self sufficient through re-charge activities. The majority of the core lab work involves flow cytometry arms of the NIH/ NIAID funded ACTG (AIDS Clinical Trial Group) studies at the UCSD. The core laboratory is one of the twelve ACTG certified laboratory in the nation to perform such clinical trials. The core lab also offers flow related research work to researchers at VA, VMRF, UCSD, other academic and private research institutes, or commercial entities. One of the collaborations is with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, in the investigation of exercise induced immunologic mechanisms and intracellular cytokine expression of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in children. An NIH program project grant (PPG) and an RO1 grant using this core laboratory have been granted.


  • MD - University of Nevada, Reno, 1990

Professional History:

  • Residency - University of California, San Diego, Pathology

  • Board Certifications: Anatomic and Clinical Pathology: Transfusion Medicine


National/Global Website: National Center for Biotechnology Information

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