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
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
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.