WesternU Home » 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.

Teaching Experience

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

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

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.


  • 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 Foundation for Human Health and Performance (PI: Mata) 07/01/11-06/30/12
CT guided microwave ablation of third molar tooth bud in swine. This study will test the feasibility of using a small microwave ablation device to stop early tooth bud development. The goal of this project is to demonstrate in a swine model that it is possible to prevent the development of wisdom teeth in children. If successful this would lead to a new, less invasive treatment option for children at risk for third molar impaction and reduce the need for oral surgery.

Erkkila Foundation for Human Health and Performance (PI: Mata) 07/01/07-06/30/08
Cancer chemoprevention in smokers: a feasibility study. This study will measure the concentrations of cancer and smoking biomarkers using multiple methods of detection. The goal of the study is to determine the feasibility of measuring a 50% reduction in cancer biomarkers and determining the number of subjects required to observe a statistically significant reduction in risk.

HemCon, Inc. (PI: Mata) 10/01/05-07/31/09
Hemorrhage Control Bandage
This project is a research contract to characterize the systemic effects of implantation of chitosan based bandage formulations. Studies included subcutaneous implantation in rats and surgical placement of materials in swine liver.

NIH/NCI PO1 CA090890-02A2S1 (Director: Bailey, Co-I: Mata) 04/01/03-02/28/07
Comparative Mechanisms of Cancer Chemoprevention – Co-Investigator. This is a supplement to the parent grant NIH/NCI PO1 CA090890-02. Compare the mechanisms of cancer chemoprevention for CHL and Chla. Specifically, our focus on this project is testing the hypothesis that both agents protect primarily by reducing carcinogen bioavailability by acting as interceptor molecules.

USDA/SBIR 2004-00028 (PI: Hemingway, Collaborator: Mata) 05/01/04-04/30/05
Procyanidins made from Douglas-fir bark and tea leaves: Structure and Physiological Properties.
The focus of this project is the investigation of novel procaynidin effects on drug transporters on Caco-2 cells monolayers and cancer cell lines.

GeneTools, LLC (PI: Mata) 11/24/03-12/31/06
Characterization of Modified Phosphorothioate Oliomers (PMOs)
This project is a research contract to characterize novel peptides capable of carrying macromolecules into cells. The goal of this research is the delivery of pharmacologically active cancer agents and contrast agents to tumors in vivo.

DoD/USAMRMC BC032403 (PI: Mata) 08/15/04-08/14/06
Nanoprobe Directed Tumor Imaging pH Activated Peptides as Contrast Agent Carriers
The research is focused on the use of pH activated peptides conjugated to contrast agents that respond to the lower pH gradient found in tumors for diagnostic imaging in vivo.

Linus Pauling Institute (PI: Baird, Collaborator: Mata) 03/24/03-03/23/04
Oregon State University
Study of the effects of red raspberry extract on PAH transport across Calu-3 cell monolayers, and in vitro cell model.
Cancer chemoprevention by dietary phytochemicals found in red raspberries. Elucidation of active components by characterization of fractionated extracts on benzo(a)pyrene and dibenzo(a,l)pyrene transport and adduct formation in Calu-3 cells.


NIH Minority Graduate Fellowship, 1997-1998

Illustrator, CRC Desk Reference of Clinical Pharmacology, 1998


  • 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


Rodriguez-Proteau, R., Mata, J. E., Miranda, C. L., Fan, Y., Brown, J. J., and Buhler, D. R. (2006) Plant polyphenols and multi-drug resistance: effects of dietary flavonoids on drug transporters in caco-2 cell monolayers and cell lines overexpressing MDR1. Xenobiotica, 36(1): 41–58.

Mata, J.E., Dyal, L.A., Slauson M.E., Loehr, C., Summerton J.E., Tyson, A.R., Rodriquez-Proteau, R.J., and Gustafson, S.B. (2007) Tumor imaging using technicium-99m bound to pH sensitive peptides. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, 3:297–305.

Hustace, J.L., Firshman, A.M., Mata, J.E. (2008) Pharmacokinetics and Bioavailability of Metformin in Horses. American Journal of Veterinary Research, May 2009, Vol. 70, No. 5, Pages 665-668.

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.+

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.

Chapters in Books
Mata, J. E., Dyal, L.A., Rossi, V.R., Gustafson, S.B. (2006) Solid Tumor Physiology as a Target for Nanomedicines, Eds. Hari Singh Nalwa and Thomas Webster in Cancer Nanotechnology – Nanomaterials for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy. American Scientific Publishers, Valencia, CA.
Mata, J.E. (2009) “Pharmacological Considerations in the Pediatric Patient” in the new book, Small Animal Pediatrics, Michelle Kutzler and Mike Peterson, Eds., in press.


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.