Welcome New Faculty and Staff!

Please welcome the newest additions to our PharmCat Family Faculty and Staff!

Hongxu Ding, PhD is the new assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice & Science. He finished his undergrad at Tsinghua University in 2013, where he was initially trained as a physicist and later switched to the field of life sciences. He finished his PhD in Columbia University under the instruction of Dr. Andrea Califano in 2018, where he worked on single-cell systems biology. After that, he joined UCSC Genomics Institute as a postdoctoral scholar. Under the supervision of Dr. Joshua Stuart and Dr. Benedict Paten, he continued his work on single-cell analysis, and also expanded his research to the field of nanopore sequencing. His lab develops computational biology approaches to interpret single-cell omics profiles and nanopore sequencing readouts.

Dr. Ding received his Postdoctoral training at UCSC Genomics Institute under the supervision of Dr. Joshua Stuart and Dr. Benedict Paten, his PhD from Columbia University and his BS from Tsinghua University.


Bonnie LaFleur, PhD received her PhD in Biometrics (statistical study of biological phenomena) from The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (now part of the University of Colorado, Denver) in 1999 and was a postdoctoral fellow with the CDC at the National Center for Health Statistics, where she worked on methods of analysis for the aging and chronic diseases. Her scientific expertise is in immunobiology, oncology, and aging. Most of her methodologic work is in statistical methods for precision healthcare, specifically biomarkers.

Bonnie was a tenure-track faculty in Biostatistics for 15 years, including appointments in the Department of Biostatistics at George Washington University, Vanderbilt University, and The University of Utah before joining the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health in 2008 as an Associate Professor. While at George Washington University she was the Director of Biostatistics in the Center for Health Services Research (an early focus of quantitative science that was the predicate for Health Outcomes Research).

In 2012 she joined Roche Diagnostics and was Director of Data Management and Biostatistics and a few years later was Vice President of Data Science and Companion Diagnostics Program Lead at HTG Molecular Diagnostics. During her time in industry, she developed several molecular biomarkers that led to patents and some were submitted and approved for use by the FDA. She also managed customer relations for Key Opinion Leaders and the pharmaceutical industry. She joined the UArizona community again in 2018 as a Research Professor in The BIO5 Institute and is currently the Core Director and Project Lead on several program project grants at the University of Arizona.

Joan Navarro joined the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy staff in November 2021 and holds the position of administrative assistant supporting the Dean’s Office. In her position, she handles administrative affairs for the Dean and his director. She extends herself as needed assisting other units, faculty, staff, students, and dignitaries.

She has over 20 years of experience in administrative services at UArizona, beginning in 1996 at the College of Fine Arts, Art Department; College of Nursing working for the associate dean of Academic Affairs; Molecular and Cellular Biology and Parking and Transportation; and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health’s Business Affairs Office.  She is extremely pleased to have joined the team at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy.



As director of communications, Michele Vaughan, MBA oversees internal and external communications, content development and strategy, website content, social media, branding and marketing materials for the college. She also manages media relations and oversees press releases.

Vaughan graduated from the University of Arizona and left Tucson, moving to Colorado where she worked for Hewlett Packard in the storage division in several roles including Software Engineering Manager, Director of Business Operations and Finance, and Chief of Staff to the Vice President. When her mother was diagnosed with Lewy Bodies dementia in 2015, Michele and her husband quit their jobs, sold their house, and moved back to Tucson to be with her mom.

Vaughan came back to the University of Arizona in 2018, this time as an employee in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the College and Science and now in the Coit College of Pharmacy.