Faculty & Staff bios

John Enrique Mata, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific - Northwest

E-Mail: jmata@westernu.edu

Phone: 541-259-0231 | Fax: 541-259-0201

Join year: 2011


Postdoctoral, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 2003

Ph.D., Medical Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, 2000

B.S., Anthropology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1983

Professional Experience

  • Associate Professor, Pharmacology, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Western University of Health Sciences, Lebanon, OR 2010-present
  • Research Pharmacologist, Omnigen Research LLC, Corvallis, OR 2010-2011
  • Chief Science Officer, Life Microsystems Inc., Corvallis, OR 2009-2010
  • Assistant Professor, Senior Research, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 2005-present (adjunct)
  • Assistant Professor, Senior Research, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Oregon State University 2003-2005
  • Research Associate (Post-doctoral Fellow), Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Oregon State University 2002-2003
  • Pharmacologist/Project Manager, AVI BioPharma Inc., Corvallis, OR, 1998-2001
  • Research Coordinator, Department of Pharmacology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, 1989-1998
  • Research Technologist, Epply Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, 1986 – 1989
  • Research Technician, Department of Pharmacology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 1984 – 1986

Academic Interests

Dr. Mata has academic interests beyond his focus on pharmacology that include a history of advocacy for women scientists in third world countries and support of minority researchers in science. He has been a member of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases Network of Minority Research Investigators since 2003 and has served as a mentor through the Borlaug Fellowship Program. With a degree in Anthropology and an interest in poverty issues, Dr. Mata has been active in advocating for poverty issues and has previously sat on the board of directors of the Jackson Street Youth Shelter, the National Coalition for the Homeless, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition. He is a former director of the Omaha Coalition for the Homeless and a founder of the Nebraska Coalition for the Homeless. His advocacy also includes trips to Honduras and El Salvador to evaluate microenterprise loan programs. More recently he has contributed to the health surveys in Peru and Bhutan that focus on understanding community health and adolescent health issues. 

Teaching Experience

Dr. Mata has spent the last 5 years serving as course coordinator for the pharmacology series presented to the second year veterinary students. In addition to coordinating the course, he taught the fundamentals of pharmocotherapy, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacology, worming agents, alternative veterinary medicine, and basic compounding. Dr. Mata also has experience in teaching antimicrobials, cardiovascular pharmacology, renal pharmacology, and cancer chemotherapy.

Pharmacology II, Oregon State University, Corvallis, 2006-2010

Pharmacology I, Oregon State University, Corvallis, 2005-2010


  • Toxicology, IDIT, OMSI; Lecturer
  • Musculoskeletal System, OMSI; Lecturer
  • Respiratory System, OMSI; Lecturer
  • Gastrointestinal System, OMSI; Lecturer
  • Blood and Lymphatics System, OMSI; Lecturer


My teaching philosophy is based on nearly 30 years of training graduate students and more than a decade teaching professional students in veterinary and medical programs. I believe that building a strong foundation that emphasizes the connection between biochemical pathways and clinical relevance makes better practitioners. I am convinced that new technology can be a powerful assisted learning tool, however, I recognize the value of reading as well as scholarly activity to instill the habits that make life-long learners.   

Research Interest

The primary focus of my laboratory is investigating the utility of protein and nucleic acid analog polymers as medical interventions for disease.  These research projects can be categorized into three main themes:

  • The design and testing of functionalized protein polymers to deliver contrast agents or peptide biotopes to tissues. This nanotechnology has been directed toward detecting and treating tumors and stimulating spinal cord regeneration following compression injury thus far;
  • We have designed and conduct studies focused on preclinical pharmacology of nucleotide polymers for the treatment of disease. This work has included drug design projects to treat disease that include drug resistant tuberculosis, ebola and other viruses;
  • Recent advances in fluorescence spectroscopy have led us to study RNA binding polymers, specifically dye modified phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers, as diagnostic tools to measure low levels of RNA. We currently are working on a sensitive method for detection of the Ebola virus in biological fluids.

Other research interests include the use of natural products to reduce risk of disease or improve health. This work has primarily focused on the use of chlorophyll derivatives to reduce the bioavailability and exposure from carcinogens including PAHs and aflatoxin B1.  I also have a strong interest in cultural anthropology and global health and have been actively supporting research projects for students in Lebanon, OR, Lobitos, Peru and Bhutan.

Research Grant

  • Erkkila Endowment for Human Health and Performance, “The Use of Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer to Detect Virus in Blood” PI, ($20,000) 2016.

  • ONAMI Gap Fund Award, “CT guided microwave ablation of third molar tooth bud in swine,” PI ($250,000) 2013

  • Erkkila Foundation for Human Health and Performance, “CT guided microwave ablation of third molar tooth bud in swine,” PI, ($40,000) 2011-2012

  • Prince Agriproducts, Inc., “Quantification of Gliotoxin in dairy cattle plasma,” PI, ($18,000) 2009

  • Hemcon, Inc., “Master Testing Services Agreement,” PI, ($2,092,824) 2008-2010

  • Erkkila Foundation for Health & Human Performance, “Cancer chemoprevention in smokers, a feasibility study,” PI, ($20,700) 2007-2009

  • Hemcon, Inc., “Hemorrhage Control Bandage,” PI, ($1,356,278) 2005-2008

  • HemCon, Inc., “Hemorrhage Control Bandage – Gene Expression,” Co-I, ($383,055) 2005-2007

  • NIH/NCI Supplement to the parent grant NIH/NCI PO1, CA090890-02: “Comparative Mechanisms of Cancer Chemoprevention,” Co-I, ($501,005) 2003-2007

  • DoD/USAMRMC BC032403, “Nanoprobe Directed Tumor Imaging pH Activated Peptides as Contrast Agent Carriers,” PI, ($106,000) 2004-2006

  • GeneTools, LLC, “Characterization of Modified Phosphorothioate Oligomers (PMOs),” PI, ($49,000) 2003-200

  • Linus Pauling Institute, “Study of the effects of red raspberry extract on PAH transport across Calu-3 cell monolayers, and in vitro cell model,” Co-I, ($30,000) 2003-2004


POLARIS Travel Award, POLARIS 1st Workshop, Porto, Portugal, 2013.
Center for Global Education Mary Witt Memorial Scholarship Travel Award, Honduras/El Salvador, 1989.


  • Society of Toxicology
  • Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists
  • National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases Network of Minority Research Investigators
  • Affiliated Faculty, Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology, Oregon State University
  • Editorial Board of "Journal of Nanoscience Letters".
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • African Society of Toxicological Sciences


  • OSU Search Committee member, Oncologist
  • OSU Dean’s Advisory Committee, member
  • Western University Admissions Committee member
  • Western University, COMP, Awards Committee member
  • Western University Student Faculty Advisor – Global Health Club

Community Organizations

  • Board of Directors and Secretary for the Jackson Street Youth Shelter
  • Volunteer for the Valley Futbol Club
  • Volunteer for the North Benton Livestock 4H Club
  • Board of Directors for the National Low Income Housing Coalition
  • Board of Directors for the National Coalition for the Homeless
  • Group Leader, RESULTS
  • Co-organizer for Omaha “Candlelight Vigil for Children,” Boystown, NE.
  • President, Omaha Coalition for the Homeless
  • Organizer/Coordinator for UNICEF “State of the World’s Children” Omaha Press Conferences


Selected Publications

  • Kimes, K.E., Goldman, D. F., Aabo, M., Aabo, D., Peters, K., Zeiner, K., McCaffrey, K., Pham, J.T., Dreibelbis, R., Mata, J. (2014) Health status comparison of Lebanon, Oregon, and Lobitos, Peru: a pilot study using a novel investigative study tool. Am. Acad. of Osteopathy J. 24(2):31-39.
  • Marley, K., Simpson, J., Mata, J.E., Tracewell, W., Bracha, S., Helfand, S., Séguin, B. (2013) Pharmacokinetic study and evaluation of the safety of taurolidine for dogs with osteosarcoma. J. Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research. 32:74-85.
  • Davis, L.E., Hofmann, N.E., Li, G., Huang, E.T., Loriaux, M.M., Bracha, S., Helfand, S.C., Mata, J.E., Marley, K., Mansoor, A.,Tyner, J.W., Abraham, J., Séguin, B., Keller, C. (2013) A case study of personalized therapy for osteosarcoma. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 60(8):1313-1319.
  • Marley, K., Helfand, S.C., Edris, W., Mata, J.E., Gitelman, A.I., Medlock, J., Seguin, B. (2013) The effects of taurolidine alone and in combination with doxorubicin or carboplatin in canine osteosarcoma in vitro. BMC Veterinary Research, 9:15
  • Kuiper, H.C., Langsdorf, B.L., Miranda, C.M., Joss. J., Jubert, C., Mata, J.E., and Stevens, J.F. (2010) Quantitation of mercapturic acid conjugates of 4- hydroxy-2-nonenal and 4-oxo-2-nonenal metabolites in a smoking cessation study. Free Radical Biology & Medicine. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 48:65-72.
  • Jubert, C., Mata, J., Bench, G., Dashwood, R., Pereira, C., Tracewell, W., Turteltaub, K., Williams, D., and Bailey, G. (2009) Effects of chlorophyll and chlorophyllin on low-dose aflatoxin B1 pharmacokinetics in human volunteers. Cancer Prevention. 2: 1015- 1022.

Selected Book Chapter

  • Mata, J.E. (2011) Pharmacological Considerations in the Pediatric Patient, Eds. Michelle Kutzler and Mike Peterson in Small Animal Pediatrics, the First 12 Months of Life. Elsevier Saunders Publishers, St. Louis, Missouri.

Selected Invited Presentations

  • A cell spanning IKVAV expressing peptide for treatment of spinal cord injury. TERM STEM October 10-13, 2013, Porto, Portugal, 2013
  • A cell spanning IKVAV expressing peptide for treatment of spinal cord injury. POLARIS 1st Workshop October 7-9, 2013 Porto, Portugal, 2013
  • Aflatoxin toxicokinetics in humans. University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, 2011
  • Polyphenol effects in ruminants. Western States Dairy Summit, Phoenix, AZ, 2010


  • Synthetic Oligonucleotides which Mimic Telomeric Sequences for Use in Treatment of Cancer and Other Diseases. Publication Number WO 96/23508
  • Antisense to c-myc for the Treatment of Polycystic Kidney Disease. Publication Number WO 00071706
  • Purification method for biomaterial. Publication Number US 2009/0137526 A1


Dr. Mata received his doctoral degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Medical Sciences with an emphasis on pharmacology. He worked as a project manager at a small biotechnology company before completing his postdoctoral program in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, at Oregon State University. He was appointed as an Assistant Professor, Senior Research in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine where he was course coordinator for pharmacology curriculum. He is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine-Northwest, Western University of Health Sciences. He has authored more than 30 original research papers and has been awarded 3 patents for inventions focused on novel drugs and biomaterials.