Sylvia A. Vetrone, PhD


Associate Professor

Biomedical Science

Dr. Sylvia Vetrone is an accomplished educator and researcher in the areas of immunology and cancer biology. As an Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences at KPSOM, she serves as a small group co-facilitator for Integrated Science courses and contributes to the curriculum. Dr. Vetrone has served in higher education since 2008, previously serving as the Fletcher Jones Chair in molecular biology, biology professor, and fellowships director at Whittier College. Her lifelong passion and commitment to increasing access to science education and STEM careers, specifically for first generation, underrepresented, and under-included students has earned her several awards for excellence in teaching and mentoring. Her research has focused on investigating the potential health and anti-proliferative properties of cultural and traditionally relevant plant-derived extracts, the validation of nanoparticle DNA-based biosensors for the detection of microbial pathogens, and the assessment of the potential environmental and health effects of nanoparticles.

Profile headshot of Sylvia A. Vetrone, PhD

Education and Training

BA, Whittier College
PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

Professional Positions

Assistant Professor, Biology
Whittier College
Associate Professor, James Irvine Foundation Chair in Biological Sciences
Whittier College
Professor, Fletcher Jones Chair in Molecular Biology
Whittier College
Associate Professor, Biomedical Science
Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine

Honors and Awards

Presidential Award for Inspiring Faculty-Student Collaborations in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity
Whittier College
Richard B. Harvey Award for Leadership in and out of the Classroom
Whittier College
Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award
Whittier College

Scholarly Activities

Selected peer-reviewed research manuscripts
  • Vetrone SA, Montecino-Rodriguez E, Kramerova I, Kudryashova E, Granchelli J, Hoffman EP, Liu S, Miceli C, and Spencer MJ. Osteopontin promotes fibrosis in dystrophic muscle by modulating immune cell subsets and intramuscular TGF-b. Journal of Clinical Investigations, 2009 Jun; 119(6): 1583-94.
  • Vetrone SA, Huarng M, Alocilja EC. Detection of non-PCR amplified S. enteritidis genomic DNA from food matrices using a gold-nanoparticle DNA biosensor: A proof-of-concept study. Sensors, 2012; 12(8): 10487- 10499.
  • Callaway MK, Ochoa JM, Perez EE, Ulrich PE, Alocilja, E.C, and Vetrone SA. Investigation of the toxicity of amine-coated, carboxyl-coated and polyaniline-coated FeO magnetic nanoparticles in Caenorhabditis elegans. J Biosens Bioelectron, 2013, 4: 145.
  • Ermolova NM, Martinez L, Vetrone SA, Jordan MC, Roos KP, Sweeny HL, and Spencer MJ. Long term administration of the TNF blocking drug Remicade (cV1q) to mdx mice reduces skeletal and cardiac muscle fibrosis, but negatively impacts cardiac function. Neuromuscular Disorders, 2014 Jul; 24(7): 583- 595. 
  • Capote J, Kramerova I, Martinez L, Vetrone SA, Barton ER, Sweeney HL, Miceli MC, and Spencer MJ. Osteopontin ablation ameliorates muscular dystrophy by shifting macrophages to a proregenerative phenotype. J. Cell Biology, 2016 Apr 25; 213(2): 275-288. 
  • Ghosh S, Vetrone SA, and Sternberg PW. Non-neuronal cell outgrowth in C. elegans. Worm, 2017, 6(3- 4): e-1405212. 
  • Kastenschmidt JM, Ellefsen KL, Mannaa AH, Giebel JJ, Yahia R, Ayer RE, Pham P, Rios R, Vetrone SA, Mozaffar T, and Villalta A. QuantiMua: A machine learning-based approach for high precision analysis of skeletal muscle morphology. Frontiers in Physiology, 2019. 10: 1416. 
  • Ruiz J, Javid I, Olmos M, and Vetrone SA. Investigation of the in vitro and in vivo effects of Essiac® Liquid Herbal Extract on health and cancer. Integrative Food, Nutrition and Metabolism, 2021. 8: 1-10.