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Cosmeceuticals Series Chair
Dr. Raja Sivamani is a board-certified dermatologist and practices as an integrative dermatologist at Pacific Skin Institute. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Dermatology at the University of California, Davis and Director of Clinical Research and the Clinical Trials Unit.He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the California State University, Sacramento and an Associate Professor of Dermatology at California Northstate University, College of Medicine.He engages in clinical practice as well as both clinical and translational research that integrates bioengineering, nutrition, cosmetics, and skin biology. With training in both Allopathic and Ayurvedic medicine, he takes an integrative approach to his patients and in his research.He has published over 100 peer-reviewed research manuscripts, 10 textbook chapters, and a textbook entitled Cosmeceuticals and Active Cosmetics, 3rd Edition with a passion for expanding the evidence and boundaries of integrative medicine for skin care.
Meet the Cosmeceuticals Series Faculty
Sonali Nanda is a fourth-year medical student at The University of Virginia, expected to graduate medical school in May 2020. She is applying for a residency position in dermatology this fall. Sonali graduated from The University of Virginia undergraduate program with honors and with research distinction in Neuroscience. Prior to attending medical school, she completed a Masters of Science in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. Sonali then worked in clinical and basic science research at The Phillip Frost Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery in Miami, Florida and explored her interests of hair, pediatrics, medical dermatology, and nutrition in dermatology. She is interested in creating content that will educate physicians and the public on current topics in dermatology.
Alexa Herzig, MHS, PA-C was born and raised in Southern California. She received her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience at The University of California, Santa Cruz. After graduation, she worked as a Clinical Medical Assistant in a busy dermatology office, where she found her love and passion for dermatology. After 2000+ hours working in dermatology, she got accepted into the Physician Assistant program at The University of California, Davis.
Throughout her rigorous PA training, Alexa also interned with LearnSkin to learn more about dermatology. This opportunity provided her with further insight on various dermatological conditions, traditional and non-traditional treatment options, as well as physiological and environmental factors that can impact the skin that she applies to her everyday practice.
After graduating from PA school, Alexa joined a busy dermatology practice in Calabasas, CA. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and has an active Physician Assistant license in the state of California.
She believes that by empowering her patients to be proactive participants in their care and make healthy choices in their everyday lives, they can achieve overall wellness and healthy skin.
Maria is currently a naturopathic medical student in her third year studying at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She has a strong interest in integrative dermatology and mental health. Environmental medicine and epigenetics are also topics of high interest to her. Maria’s goal is to work in an integrative setting after she graduates. In the future, she aims to help others reach their own health goals by providing individualized treatment plans that get to the root causes of illness.
Chaitra is a first-year medical student. She graduated from The University of Southern California undergraduate program in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and the master’s program in Global Medicine. Raised by a mother who trained in Ayurvedic Medicine, Chaitra believes that the future of medicine will benefit from an evidence-based integrative approach to inform patient care. Chaitra is excited about writing content that will inform both healthcare providers and patients about emerging topics and developments in the field of dermatology. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, baking, and spending time with her Goldendoodle, Luca.
Joelle is a fourth year osteopathic medical student at Touro University College of Medicine. She is a southern California native who graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Environmental Science. She also has a Master’s degree in Public Health from SUNY Downstate. Prior to medical school, she worked in consulting as an Environmental Health Analyst and in basic science and clinical research at UCLA and California State University Northridge. Joelle’s goal as a future physician is to provide an integrated approach to healthcare to help her patients achieve optimal health of the mind, body, and spirit. Her interests include integrative medicine, the microbiome, and working with the underserved. In her spare time, Joelle enjoys surfing, snowboarding, yoga, and traveling. NDA & Intern Agreement - 2/6/19
Samantha Magana is currently a first-year physician assistant (PA) student at the University of California, Davis; Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. She completed her undergraduate education at UC Davis, with her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Psychology. Before starting the PA program, she worked as a medical assistant for North Pacific Dermatology in rural Humboldt County, CA. Upon successful completion of the PA program, she intends to enter dermatology and continue to help those who are underserved and undertreated.
Megan O'Connor is an MD candidate at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, VA. She is excited to start her dermatology residency at HealthPartners (Minnesota) in 2021.
Prior to medical school, she worked as a medical assistant in a dermatology practice specializing in medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology. Her research interest includes integrative medicine within dermatology, the cutaneous presentation of complex diseases, as well as medical education.
Hera is medical student at California Northstate University and a clinical research fellow at UC Davis and Integrative Skin Science and Research. She is actively pursuing a medical education and career that focuses on integrative, whole body health, and developing her own understanding and research on the needs of modern population of diverse peoples and unique solutions that work and are safe for use. She is committed to finding the bridge between hard evidence-based science and compassionate patient centered care throughout her medical education. She has interests in cultural shifts that investigate meaning in medicine and medical education as she has been active participant in meditation programs, was on the Wellness Committee, and was a student director of “Healer’s Art” program at her medical school, and is 40-hour training certified Domestic Violence Issues Advocate for the My Sister’s House (a culturally competent program for Asian and Pacific Islander advocacy for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking). Another major research project she undertook was investigation of the Gut-Brain-Immunity connection through looking at modulation of T cell function by serotonin. She also has experience working in the bioengineering industry working with 3D tissue engineering, 3D cell cultures, cellulosic biofuel research.
Hera is from Manhattan, Kansas or “The Little Apple,” and went to UC Berkeley for undergraduate education. She is currently living in Sacramento for medical school and a research year. She plans on pursuing a career in dermatology with interests in integrative approaches and differences in dermatopathology in ethnic skin.