Torres, Jorge Z.


Torres Jorge

Short Biography

Dr. Torres received his B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1998, where he conducted research under the mentorship of Dr. Eduardo Orias. He obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University in 2004 under the direction of Dr. Virginia A. Zakian. He conducted his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Peter K. Jackson at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Genentech Inc. until 2009 when he joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA.

Research Interests

The lab’s major focus is to understand how multiple mechanisms and enzymatic activities coordinate the formation of the mitotic microtubule spindle during cell division. We are interested in identifying and characterizing novel proteins that are required for proper mitotic spindle assembly. Among these are molecular motors, phosphatases, methyltranferases, and ubiquitin ligases. We use human cell lines and in vitro systems along with a combination of approaches, including biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, chemical biology, and microscopy to determine the mechanism of action of these proteins.



Honors & Awards

  • R35 Maximizing Investigator Research Award (MIRA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) – 2021
  • Hanson-Dow Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, UCLA – 2020
  • Named to Cell Press’ List of 100 Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx Scientists in America – 2020
  • Prize for Excellence in Inclusivity, American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) – 2019
  • Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science AwardAmerican Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) – 2019
  • Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study (Advisor-Student pair), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) – 2019
  • Outstanding College/University Mentor Award Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) – 2019
  • Outstanding Hispanic Student Mentor Award Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) – 2019
  • Academic Senate Student Development Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, UCLA – 2019
  • Glenn T. Seaborg Award, UCLA  – 2016
  • American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award – 2014
  • UCLA Faculty Career Development Award – 2013
  • Cottrell Scholar Award, Research Corporation for Science Advancement – 2013
  • Herbert Newby McCoy Award – 2012
  • UCLA Faculty Career Developmental Award – 2012
  • Basil O’Connor Award, March of Dimes – 2011
  • V Scholar Award, The V Foundation for Cancer Research – 2010
  • John McTague Career Development Chair – 2009
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Postdoctoral Fellowship – 2005
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, NIH (declined) – 2005
  • Stanford University Cancer Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship – 2004
  • Leadership Alliance/Schering-Plough Fellowship – 2003
  • Princeton University Molecular Biology Teaching Award – 1999
  • Ford Baccalaureate Incentive Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research – 1998
  • UCSB Department of MCDB Graduation Commencement Speaker – 1998

Representative Publications

Recent Publications (for the full list, please visit here)

Jorge Torres Lab »