Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) is pleased to announce

the arrival of Stephen O’Barr, PhD, as assistant professor of immunology

for the College of Pharmacy.

Dr. O’Barr previously was a research associate and in-lab mentor in the

department of immunology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla,

where his area of concentration was inflammatory mechanisms in Alzheimer’s

disease. He has also worked as a research associate at the L.J. Robert’s

Alzheimer’s Center at the Sun Health Research Institute in Arizona.

“”Alzheimer’s is a disease that we don’t know much about, so the

opportunity to discover new things is there,”” Dr. O’Barr said. “”I really

enjoy teaching, and WesternU offered me an opportunity to do that as well

as work in a lab, which was a perfect mesh for me.””

He said one of his goals is to develop a web-based learning system,

similar to an interactive CD-ROM, to supplement introductory immunology


“”Immunology is often a difficult subject for students to grasp, and I see

it as my role to make it easier for them to understand,”” Dr. O’Barr said.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cell biology from UC

San Diego, and his PhD in molecular and cellular biology from Arizona

State University.

He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Arthritis Foundation

and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Dr. O’Barr is also

an editorial reviewer for The Histochemical Journal and Neurobiology of


According to Edward Soltis, PhD, professor of pharmacology at WesternU,

Dr. O’Barr’s experience fits well with the University’s objectives.

“”Dr. O’Barr’s strong background training in immunology and molecular

biology will add significantly to the teaching and research missions of

the school,”” Dr. Soltis said. “”He is also an excellent teacher and

motivator with superior communication skills, which make him a very

effective educator.””

Dr. O’Barr lives in Diamond Bar with his wife, Beronica, a mechanical

engineer. The couple is expecting their first child in February. Dr.

O’Barr enjoys traveling and playing the guitar, and is fluent in Spanish.