Jazma Leona Tapia PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Health Equities, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
Jazma L. Tapia, PhD, earned her Bachelor of Science in microbiology from California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) in 2015. She initiated her undergraduate research journey after receiving both the Minority Biomedical Research Support Program-Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Fellowship and the Louis Stokes Alliance Minority Program Fellowship. Her undergraduate research revolved around evaluating lipid-derived innate immune factors in amniotic fluid and vernix caseosa, investigating their role in safeguarding against intrauterine infections.
Acknowledgment of her CSULA research accomplishments came through the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research - California State University’s Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology Research Scholars Award. In 2021, Dr. Tapia achieved her Ph.D. in biological sciences with a specialization in cancer metabolism and population sciences from the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center (COH), Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences. Her doctoral thesis delved into oncogenic investigations, focusing on the clinical and functional significance of eIF4E2 isoforms in triple-negative breast cancer.
In 2020, Dr. Tapia became a trainee with Bench to Community (BCI), a program enabling her to channel her dedication to health equities and community involvement. This commitment has led her to partake in events aimed at raising awareness and providing interventions for diseases impacting the Black community. Presently, she serves as a postdoctoral fellow at COH within the Division of Health Equities. Her ongoing research concentrates on discerning the implications of estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which are commonly found in hair and other personal care products, on the risk of breast cancer progression.
As a postdoctoral researcher, her leadership abilities continue to evolve. Her achievements include being designated as a Future Leaders Advancing Research in Endocrinology Fellow in 2022 and receiving the esteemed Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Diversity Enrichment Program Fellowship.