Emperor's College faculty

Emperor’s College Distinguished Faculty

Emperor’s College is widely regarded as one of the elite colleges of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in the world and a key reason for that is that it has one of the most distinguished and professionally diverse faculties.

Unlike most of the elite acupuncture schools around the world, our Master’s students take classes from and are supervised in the clinic by even the most eminent of our teachers. You’ll be working hand-in-hand with leaders in the field of Oriental medicine, teachers collectively covering a vast array of specialties and disciplines. Many of the faculty members are authors of seminal books used in practice and in classrooms around the world, editors of and contributors to prominent publications, are thought leaders, hold both Eastern and Western medicine degrees, and have played significant roles in the development and evolution of integrative medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine in the United States and around the world.

* Denotes faculty that will not be teaching in the current year.


Jacqueline Adler, MD, MPH, DTM&H (London)

MD, University of Texas Medical Branch

Dr. Adler is a native born Californian who has worked, traveled, trained and taught around the world. She graduated from medical school at UTMB, the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston Texas. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency at UCSF San Francisco. Prior to medical school, she completed her Master of Public Health with emphasis in environmental epidemiology. It was during this program that her dedication to disadvantaged populations and world health became focused. It was a natural decision to go on to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine for additional training. After returning from London, she completed an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Stanford. While at Stanford, Dr. Adler completed additional training at the Stanford Faculty Developmental Center for Medical Teachers. Since this time, she has acted as visiting faculty in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at the University of Health Sciences.

Her scope of medical practice has been broad. Her interest in acupuncture began in the mid 1970’s when she began seeing a Chinese acupuncturist for her own personal health. Her formal training in acupuncture began in 1985 through UCLA. Since that time she has become a practitioner of auricular acupuncture, having trained under Dr. Terry Oleson, Dr. Richard Nietzow and Dr. Rafael Nogier. Dr. Adler serves on the board of directors of Auriculotherapy Certification Institute. Dr. Adler brings to Emperor’s College an enthusiasm and passion for bridging and uniting the diverse paradigms and world views of both eastern and western medicine.

Marilyn Allen, MS

MS, Management & Administration, Pepperdine University, California
BA, Education, California State University, Long Beach

Marilyn Allen is a nationally-known expert in the fields of Oriental medicine legislation, medical ethics and malpractice, practice management, and small business marketing.  In addition to holding positions of Editor for Acupuncture Today and Director of Marketing at the American Acupuncture Council, Marilyn has worked with the World Health Organization for the standardization of acupuncture point location and terminology and has been instrumental in clarifying and teaching Good Manufacturing Practices as they relate to acupuncture practitioners and clinical herb formulation. Marilyn is currently working with the International Organization for Standards (ISO) to advance the integration of Oriental medicine into mainstream health care systems.
Medical Ethics Laws; Practice Management pain, and served on examination committees for the national acupuncture boards and the California acupuncture licensing boards.
Chief Practical Examiner

Michael Apelian, OMD, LAc

OMD, Post-graduate Institute of Oriental Medicine
OMD, California Acupuncture College

After studying biomedicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, Michael Apelian received his doctorate in Oriental Medicine from California Acupuncture College in 1985 and completed postgraduate studies in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China, earning him a second doctorate of Oriental medicine in 1989. In 1998, he served as Dean of the Department of Nutrition at Curenteur University where he taught nutritional medicine and clinical lab analysis. He has maintained a thriving practice in Santa Monica for nearly 30 years with a specialization in nutritional medicine, and regularly provides continuing education seminars for acupuncturists throughout California.

Clinical Supervisor

Saadat Bagherigaleh, MD (Iran), MSc, NCCAOM Diplomate

MD, Shahid Beheshi Medical University
MSc, New England School of Acupuncture

Dr. Bagherigaleh is an acupuncturist, medical doctor, and educator. She received her Master’s degree in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine from the New England School of Acupuncture at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, where she completed a thesis entitled “Development of Therapeutic Alliance in Acupuncture Treatments in a Veteran Population.” She received her medical degree from the Shahid Beheshi Medical University in Tehran, Iran, and worked as an ER physician. Dr. Bagherigaleh has been a faculty member at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, where she also served as a postdoctoral research fellow in Western and Eastern medicine. In addition, she contributes as a guest editor and reviewer for the Medical Acupuncture Journal.

Shaun Bornstein, DAOM, LAc.

Emperor’s College

My primary interest and philosophy is self-cultivation. Through wider understanding of microcosm to macrocosm of us as human beings and how we fit into the world as it stands today provides a profound foundation to becoming a balanced practitioner. My thesis Capstone was a systematic review of the effectiveness of acupuncture for vasomotor symptoms on post chemotherapy breast cancer patients. Through the analytic process, it was evident that Traditional Oriental Medicine cannot fit into the mold of the established “Golden Rule” of clinical trials. (i.e., use of sham acupuncture as the inactive control and/or acupuncture administered by physical therapists).

Working under Dr. Bong Dal Kim has taught me the beauty and the mystery of the unknown and the possibility to realize the infinite depth of our medicine albeit one baby step at a time. Working under Dr HuaBing Wen has taught me the benefits of having a conventional medicine education background. Learning the “Main Street” language of medicine can elevate an acupuncturist’s practice by increasing the opportunity to engage with the conventional medical community thus demystifying the ideas of Traditional Oriental Medicine.

Sabine Braunsberg, LAc

AS, Santa Monica College
MTOM, Emperor’s College

Sabine Braunsberg has been a licensed Acupuncturist and practicing herbalist since 2005. She has also maintained a private practice in Pacific Palisades dating back to 2010. Prior to studying and working at Emperor’s College, Sabine was enrolled at the nursing program at Hawaiian Pacific University while running competitive cross country on an athletic scholarship. She went on to receive an Associate’s degree in Science for Physical Education/ Kinesiology from Santa Monica College and is an assistant coach who trains upper level competitive runners for the LA Marathon Run.

Clinical Supervisor

Matthew Cavaiola, MS, ND, LAc

ND, Bastyr University

Dr. Cavaiola is a Naturopathic doctor who takes a natural approach to treating issues related to hormonal imbalances (adrenal, thyroid, menopause, low testosterone), in both men and women. He also uses natural approaches to treat both acute and chronic pain syndromes including low back and knee pain, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Matthew employs many different treatment modalities in his practice including: Functional Medicine, IV therapy, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement, Prolotherapy, Platelet-rich Plasma therapy (PRP), Nutrition and Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy. Dr. Cavaiola received his Naturopathic medical degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Delaware, and Master of Science in Acupuncture from the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture. Dr. Cavaiola has served as Assistant Professor/Core Faculty in the Department of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, California. He is a co-owner of Conscious Human Medicine Naturopathic, Inc., in Santa Monica.

Christine Chang, DAOM, LAc

DAOM, MTOM, Emperor’s College
BA, Accounting, Feng Chia University

Dr. Christine Chang’s interest in Oriental medicine developed after a successful, decade-long business career in Taiwan.  She earned her Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine in 2001 and quickly began consulting for some of the industry’s largest herbal medicine suppliers in 2002.  Currently, Dr. Chang is an American delegate to the International Organization for Standards (ISO) that is advancing the integration of Oriental medicine into the mainstream health care system. She maintains a thriving private practice and is well known for her vast knowledge and experience with Chinese herbal medicine.  Dr. Chang has previously served on the board of directors of American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM).

Chinese Herbal Medicine & Nutrition; Chinese Medical Terminology; Clinical Supervisor

Joey DeStefano, DAOM, LAc.

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine

An integrative health practitioner since 2000, Dr. DeStefano’s passion for the East Asian healing arts grew from a lifetime of training in the martial arts of Japan and China. He rediscovered a love of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) while attending weekend workshops at the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, CA in the early-’90s. After a successful career in environmental sciences and engineering, he decided to return to school to formally study TCM in 2005, after already accruing almost two decades of training and experience in Asian bodywork therapy, including the use of external herbal therapies, with a distinctive style incorporating techniques from both Eastern and Western manual therapy traditions. He has two busy practices in Los Angeles and Orange County, specializing in pain management and general health. In addition, he provides acupuncture services at Loyola Marymount University and Loyola Law School, under contract with LMU’s HR Wellness programs. Dr. D earned his Bachelor of Health Science, with honors, from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, specializing in Tui Na Manual Therapy, and studied under Sifu Bill Helm, TS for several years. Thanks to arrangements made by Sifu Helm, he traveled to Shanghai, where he participated in an externship at the Tui Na Center of Yue-Yang Integrative Medicine Hospital, completing additional studies in Tui Na at Shanghai University of TCM. He earned his master’s degree at Emperor’s College, graduating with highest honors. While at Emperor’s, he gained extensive experience in the treatment of behavioral health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and addiction, while building on his earlier orthopedics and pain management training. His interest in integrative healthcare, especially pain management, led to integrative medicine residencies at the Disney Family Cancer Center, Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center at the Venice Family Clinic; and the HIV+ Community Clinic at Being Alive LA. Subsequently, he completed an academic doctorate at Pacific College, with a focus on integrative medicine and the treatment of neurological disorders, especially movement disorders. In addition to training in East Asian medicine, he earned a B.A. in Political Science and Theology, and a M.Sc. in Environmental Science from Loyola Marymount, and is completing a M.A. in Pastoral Theology from St. Joseph’s College of Maine. Lovingly accused of being able to bend time, in his spare time, he is an avid family historian/genealogist, an artisanal bread baker, as well as a professional opera singer and voice-over artist.

Liu Dong, PhD, OMD, LAc

Beijing University of TCM

Dr. Liu Dong is an internationally acclaimed Doctor of Oriental Medicine Practitioner and Qi Gong Master. A graduate of the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1987, he has conducted scientific research on the medical effects of Qi Gong in China, Japan, United States (Harvard School of Medicine), and France (National Health and Medical Research Institute in Marseille and Marmottan Hospital in Paris). He is a powerful Qi Gong healer with a profound knowledge of medicine along with many years of experience treating patients with Qi Gong therapy, including China’s former president, Deng Xiao Ping, and other dignitaries. The Liu Family method is listed in the Chinese Ministry of Health Record of Qigong Methods, reserved for only the most historic and renown lineages. Dr. Liu Dong has published numerous books and articles on Traditional Oriental Medicine.

Clinic Supervisor

Patrick Downie, DC

DC, National College of Chiropractic

Patrick Downie graduated from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois, in 1996. He then pursued additional clinical training in orthopedics and neurology. Widely regarded to be among the preeminent western medicine instructors in complementary medicine education in the country, Dr. Downie was Co-Director of an NIH CAM research grant at Rush University College of Nursing, practiced as a staff Chiropractor at Northwestern Medicine’s Center for Integrative Medicine, and served as both a professor and Bioscience Department Chair at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Chicago. Dr. Downie is an active member of the American Association of Anatomists. Dr. Downie currently serves as a teaching faculty member in both the MTOM and the DAOM programs at Emperor’s College, as well as a Capstone Advisor in the DAOM program.

Doug Eisenstark, LAc

MTOM, Emperor’s College
MFA, Film, Art Institute, Chicago
BA, Photography, Hampshire College

Doug Eisenstark earned a Master’s in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Emperor’s College in 1996 and spent the early part of his career working in addiction recovery and drug detoxification settings such as the Clare Foundation, Turnabout ASAP, and Chrysalis. Developing an interest in helping patients with Hepatitis C, he completed postgraduate instruction in Advanced Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in Shanghai and Beijing, China. Eisenstark is a highly regarded clinician and scholar having been featured in the British Journal of Chinese Medicine, the California Journal of Chinese Medicine, Caregiver Magazine and Acupuncture.com. He has worked on several publications with Beijing People’s Publishing House, and his co-authored textbook,  Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine, will be published in 2013.
Case Review; Chemical Dependency; Clinical Supervisor

Elizabeth Fine, DAOM, MSW, LAc

DAOM, MTOM, Emperor’s College
MSW, Denver University
BA, Columbia University

Elizabeth Fine holds a Masters in Social Work with a Women’s Health concentration. In 2002, she completed her Master’s program in Traditional Oriental Medicine at Emperor’s College, graduating with high honors. She holds hospital privileges at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and lectures both locally and nationally. Her professional interests in women’s health and wellness include treating infertility, PMS, menopausal syndrome, breast cancer, anxiety, and depression, as well as supporting the healing of other imbalances that affect women’s lives and well-being.  
Clinical Supervisor

Rachael Garcia, DAOM, MM, LAc.

Emperor’s College

Dr. Garcia maintains private practice in Los Angeles and teaches in the master’s and doctoral programs at Emperor’s College. She completed both master’s and doctoral degrees from Emperor’s College, with concentrations in classical and Japanese acupuncture. Through advanced studies with Mazin Al-Khafaji she was issued a diploma in practical Chinese medical dermatology from the Avicenna Centre. A massage therapist for 20 years, she currently studies tui na and orthopedics with Dr. Benny Lin and sports acupuncture and anatomy with Matt Callison. She is certified in pediatric acupuncture by Rebecca Avern, and acupuncture facial rejuvenation by the American Acupuncture Council. Dr. Garcia studied Italian and music at Yale University and classical music and opera at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Mahtab Ghagar, DAOM, L.Ac.

MTOM, Emperor’s College

DAOM, Five Branches University


Mahtab Ghagar completed her education in Naturopathy in 2003 and subsequently enrolled in the Chinese Medicine program at the Lifu International Medical College of Chinese Medicine in Germany. In 2005 and 2008, over the span of six months, she has successfully achieved completion of 900 hours of academic and clinical studies in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicinal in Beijing, China and obtained certifications in these fields.
She obtained a Master’s degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine with an emphasis in Korean Concentration from Emperor’s College in 2017, and later pursued a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Five Branches University. Mahtab Ghagar furthered her education at the Institute of Classical Five-Element Acupuncture, expanding her proficiency and understanding in the profound framework of the Body-Mind-Spirit medicine. Throughout recent years, she has immersed herself in the art of Japanese Acupuncture through an apprenticeship under the guidance of a distinguished acupuncturist in Osaka, Japan. Furthermore, she has acquired certification from the Japanese Acupuncture program in Kyoto, Japan. Mahtab Ghagar operates her private practice in Santa Monica and Torrance, California.

Bruce Gustafson, DAOM, LAc.

Emperor’s College

Dr. Bruce Gustafson received both his DAOM Doctorate degree and his Master’s degree from Emperors College. He has been the Associate Dean of the Master’s Program since 2017, and he also thoroughly enjoys his roles, his courses, and the students as a teaching faculty member. His doctoral Capstone research and clinical project was entitled “Acupuncture and TCM in the Treatment of Idiopathic Male Infertility.” In previous life pursuits, he received a BA degree in Clinical Psychology, and worked in mental health collaborative care settings. Later, he founded and ran a specialty architectural products consulting and distribution business for over 30 years. Still, drawn from an early age to the medical and healing professions, science and east/west philosophies and practices, after traveling a few different roads and careers, he discovered his way back to this profession, and is thrilled to play a part in it. In addition to his academic roles, Dr. Bruce is a California licensed acupuncturist, an NCCAOM Board Certified Diplomate OM, and maintains a private clinical acupuncture and integrative medicine practice, specializing in Men’s Health, Andrology, PTSD and TBI. Dr. Bruce is a participating member in the American Society of Andrology (ASA); the American Society of Acupuncture (ASA); the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction (SSMR) and the Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR). He is a member of CSOMA and served on the CSOMA Executive Board for 6 years.

Mahboubeh Hashemi, BS, ND, BCB

ND, Bastyr University

Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi is a Naturopathic doctor and co-owner and president of Conscious Human Medicine Naturopathic, Inc., in Santa Monica. Dr. Hashemi has received specialized training in Biofeedback from the HeartMath Institute and Stens Corporation. Dr. Hashemi has also performed extensive work with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) and the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation (IAFNR). Dr. Hashemi earned her undergraduate degree in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego, and her Naturopathic medical degree from Bastyr University, California. Dr. Hashemi teaches in both the DAOM and MTOM programs.

Fritz Hudnut, DAOM, LAc

DAOM, MTOM, Emperor’s College
BFA, Painting, Tyler School of Art, Temple University

Dr. Fritz Hudnut, DAOM, graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine in 1999, and cum laude with a doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental medicine in 2006, both from Emperor’s College. He is an advocate of the life benefits offered by deep meditation, which he explores in his two books, Surfing the Timeless Wave, Volumes I and II. In his clinical practice, Dr. Hudnut specializes in the treatment of mental-emotional health, addiction, chemical dependency and hypertension.
Clinical Supervisor

Kamron Jafari, DAOM, LAc.

Emperor’s College

Donnielle James, LAc.

Emperor’s College

Dr. James specializes in orthopedics and chronic pain conditions, Gynecological Disorders, and trauma & anxiety related to addiction issues. Has been a clinic supervisor since 2018 and also Academic Faculty at other TCM schools Education Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine Santa Monica, California January 2006-March 2011 Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine, Pepperdine University Los Angeles, California September 2001- April 2003 Master of Arts: Psychology with honors. University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon June 1996- September 1999 concentrations: Cognitive Science, Biopsychology, Social Psychology Bachelor of Arts: Psychology & Sociology 1998; Minor in Business Administration; Post- Baccalaureate Certificate Substance Abuse Counseling & Education, 1999

Jin Kim, DAOM, LAc, Dipl OM

DAOM, MTOM, Emperor’s College
BS, Physics, University of California Los Angeles

Dr. Kim is a licensed acupuncturist in the state of California and holds the Diplomate of Oriental Medicine from NCCAOM. He has worked with some of the Fortune 500 companies in high-tech industries for more than 20 years as an entrepreneur and research scientist. In that capacity, Dr. Kim has carried out numerous government-funded research projects. Dr. Kim received his Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 2018 and was invited to teach in both the clinic and classroom.
Korean Acupuncture, Clinical Supervisor

Jian Feng Li, LAc

TCM University of Beijing, China

Jian Feng Li received his initial medical training at Chui Yang Liu Medical College in Beijing, China, advanced training in Orthopedics at TCM Academe, Beijing, and additional education at TCM University of Beijing, Beijing, China, graduating in 1986. He has been an instructor of Acupuncture and Oriental medicine for more than 20 years. Specializing in Orthopedics, Pain, Herbal Medicine, Post Surgical Maintenance, Internal Medicine, Jian Feng Li is a clinical supervisor in the Master’s clinic at Emperor’s College.

Clinical Supervisor, Tui Na

Pamela Maloney, PhD, DHM, LAc, DiplAc

PhD, Economic Design, Pacific Western University
DHM, Doctorate of Homeopathic Medicine, Hahnemann College
MTOM, Emperor’s College
MA, Kinesiology for Dance, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Pamela Maloney, PhD, has been in private practice for over thirty years, specializing in integrated Oriental Medicine, Homeopathic Medicine, Ergonomics, and Traditional Naturopathy. She has taught connective tissue dissection at Pepperdine University for eight years and is a featured guest speaker for several organizations, including the YMCA and the American Association of University Women. She has held multiple faculty and clinical supervisor positions in both masters and doctoral programs at several Oriental Medicine institutions. Dr. Maloney is the author of Being Your Best, Radiant Health and Timeless Beauty, as well as several articles on the benefits of natural medicine and integrative health care.
Clinical Supervisor

Jacques MoraMarco, DAOM, OMD, LAc

DAOM, Emperor’s College
OMD, California Acupuncture College, Los Angeles
BS, Biology, Loyola University, Los Angeles

Among the first licensed acupuncturists in the United States in 1977, Dr. Jacques MoraMarco, OMD, has over forty years of experience in clinical medicine, academia and college administration. Prior to completing his doctorate in Oriental medicine at California Acupuncture College, he studied at the Institute of Oriental Medicine Studies in Los Angeles and completed postgraduate work at Ecole Europeene d’Acupuncture in Paris where he received extensive training in Nogier-style French auricular system. Much of his clinical career from the 1980s to 1990s specialized in the treatment of AIDS patients, during which time he also held faculty and administrative positions at several Oriental medicine institutions. He is the author of two books, The Complete Ginseng Handbook and The Way of Walking, and a co-founder of the International Sun Tai Chi Association.
Academic Dean; Clinical Supervisor; Tai Chi, Qigong

Ariella Morrow, MD, MPH

MD, Northwestern University

Ariella Morrow, MD, MPH, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Brandeis University and went on to complete her Master’s in Public Health at the University of Southern California with an emphasis in Biostatistics and a focus in Epidemiology. She received her medical degree from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. Prior to her doctorate, Dr. Morrow taught in the MPH program at Northwestern University. She completed her internship and residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center‘s department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Morrow is a senior faculty member for the DAOM program here at Emperor’s College in addition to her teaching in the MTOM program. She has co-authored numerous medical publications in prestigious journals such as the Annals of Internal Medicine and Cancer. Dr. Morrow has been an advocate of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine while being a hospitalist at the Stanford Medical Group at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Robert Newman, LAc

MSTCM, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
BS, Biology, University of California, Irvine

Robert Newman is Dean Emeritus of Clinical Training at Emperor’s College, and currently serves as a teaching faculty member in the Master’s Program. Dean Newman was instrumental to the Chinese Herbal Medicine Project at The Learning Garden, Venice. Prior to his position at Emperor’s College, Newman served as Chinese herb garden curator at Nanjing Institute of Botany in China, taught Chinese medicine at San Francisco State University, and was on faculty at American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine where he developed an extensive Chinese herbal medicine garden project. Robert Newman is widely known as one of the leading experts on Chinese medical plant identification in North America.

Former Dean of Clinical Training; Herbal Medicine Review

Terry Oleson Ph.D

UC Irvine

Dr. Oleson received his BA in Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1967, his MA in Psychology from California State University at Long Beach in 1971, and his PhD from UC Irvine in 1973. He went on to conduct a postdoctoral scholarship at UCLA at that time, where he conducted pioneering research in auricular diagnosis and auriculotherapy. His most recent text on this topic was the “Auriculotherapy Manual: Chinese and Western Approaches to Ear Acupuncture” was published by Elsevier Harcourt Publishing in 2014. Dr. Oleson is currently a teaching faculty member in the Emperor’s College MTOM and DAOM programs.

Jonghee (Ann) Park, DAOM, LAc.

Emperor’s College

Dr. Ann J. Park has been practicing clinical acupuncture since 2000, specializing in the Korean style of body and mind technique called Dong-Ui medicine. Dr. Park has earned her master’s degree of acupuncture and oriental medicine in Dongguk university and completed her education in the doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine in Emperor’s college in Santa Monica. Dr. Park has worked with many practitioners specialized in chiropractic, orthopedic, oncology and psychology. Dr. Park believes that continuous studying and researching in a variety of medical field can utmost benefit the patient with evidence based and personalized treatment. Even to this day, Dr. Park strives to improve herself in knowledge and education.

Derek Plonka, DPT, MTOM, LAc, CSCS

DPT, Temple University
MTOM, Emperor’s College

Dr Plonka is a licensed acupuncturist and a Doctor of Physical Therapy. He is the founder of Insight Physical Therapy, a comprehensive physical therapy outpatient clinic in Santa Monica, specializing in orthopaedic, neurological, gait analysis (orthotic fitting), and sports rehabilitation, from adolescents to geriatrics. He previously worked at UCLA Medical Center, managing a caseload of orthopaedic and neurological patients and at Grossmont Hospital in acute orthopaedic, neurological, cardiac, wound care, transitional care, and rehabilitative care.

Yi Qiao, MD (China), MPH, LAc

MPH, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles
BMed, Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Dr. Yi Qiao completed her integrative medical training at the prestigious Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1987, and after three years of full-time clinical practice she joined the faculty at Emperor’s College. Since 1991, Dr. Qiao has contributed enormously to the field of Oriental medicine in the United States through serving as a Commissioner for the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), being involved in two acupuncture research projects, and publishing two learning resources, Traditional Chinese Medicine Study Guide, Diagnosis and Traditional Chinese Medicine Study Guide, Herbal Medicine. Currently, she is on staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she conducts NIH-funded research in the Cardiology department and is the co-director of the Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine department of the Akasha Center in Santa Monica, California.

Oriental Medicine Diagnostic Methods; Oriental Medical Theory

Sergei Shaginyan, PhD (Russia), MD (Russia), LAc

MD, State Medical University of Russia
PhD, Neurology, Academia of Medical Sciences of the USSR
MSTOM, Samra University of Oriental Medicine

Dr. Sergei Shaginyan graduated from the Moscow Medical School in Russia in 1981 where his training included specializations in Pediatric Neurology and Psychiatry. After practicing Western medicine for several years, Shaginyan completed a postgraduate fellowship (PhD) in General Neurology at Academia of Medical Sciences of the USSR, Russia. A long-standing interest in integrated medicine, nutrition and meditation led Dr. Shaginyan to pursue training in Oriental medicine at the former Samra University of Oriental Medicine in Los Angeles from 1998 to 2001. Dr. Shaginyan has served as a research assistant at UCLA’s Department of Neuro-muscular Pathology and joined the faculty at Emperor’s College in 2011.
Western Clinical Nutrition

Steven Shomo, DAOM, LAc., AP, GCPH, GCDMH, ERYT, WFR

DAOM, Emperor’s College

Dr. Steve Shomo is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, NCCAOM board certified and is licensed in multiple states. He has completed postgraduate studies in Japan and the United States with specializations in; public and global health, disaster mental health (traumatic stress/PTSD), motion induced somatic response, pain management, emergency and disaster response. Dr. Shomo is a wilderness first responder and instructor, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and the Training and Logistics Coordinator for the Colorado Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps, the nation’s first acupuncture based federally approved MRC responding to disasters and critical incidents. Dr. Shomo is a VA provider and has privileges at several Colorado hospitals. His integrative humanitarian travels have included; the Syria/Jordan border (treatment of spinal cord injuries, sniper fire, and amputees), rural Kenya (hospital based care and education), and remote regions of Panama (integrative mobile clinics in indigenous Ngobe villages). In addition, Dr. Shomo has provided acupuncture services and led teams for numerous disaster responses across the country.

Denise Stevens, DAOM, LAc

DAOM, Emperor’s College

Dr. Stevens received her Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Emperor’s College in 2013. She teaches in the Master’s program and is the clinical supervisor of the auricular acupuncture clinic at the college. Dr. Stevens maintains a private practice in Santa Monica.

Clinical Supervisor

David Twicken, DOM, LAc

MTOM, Emperor’s College
MBA, Claremont Graduate School
BS, Northeastern University

David Twicken has studied, practiced and taught Chinese medicine and Taoist healing arts for more than twenty-five years. He has published eight books, including I Ching Acupuncture, The Balance Method; Clinical Applications of the Ba Gua and I Ching; The Eight Extraordinary Channels, A Handbook for Clinical Practice and Nei Dan Inner Meditation. Twicken is recognized internationally for his scholarly and clinical work and is a regular contributor to Acupuncture Today.
Classical Chinese Medicine; Clinical Supervisor; Medical History; Point Function; Qi Gong; Tai Chi

Chungling Wang, MD (China), DOM, LAc

MMed, Dalian Medical School
BMed, Liaoning Chinese Medical Institute

Dr. Chungling Wang completed her BMed in 1980 and went on to earn her MMed in 1984 with a focus on the intersection of Eastern and Western medicine. In 1998, Wang was invited to the American Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Exchange Conference where she was honored for her research on the effectiveness of Chinese medicine in the treatment of heart disease and angina. She has written more than twenty academic and clinical medicine articles focusing on the application of Chinese medicine in the treatment of diseases of the large and small intestine, chronic and digestive ulcers, gastritis and atypical hyperplasia, as well as chronic nephritis and albuminuria. Dr. Wang previously served as Director of Internal Medicine at Dalian Chinese Medical Hospital, specializing in cardiovascular and digestive system diseases, and began teaching at Emperor’s College in 2006.
Clinical Supervisor

Hua-Bing Wen, MD (China), LAc

MMed, Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Dr. Hua Bing Wen began his studies at the age of sixteen with a deep thirst for knowledge and problem-solving that has followed him throughout his career. He earned his BMed degree from the prestigious Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1987, graduating with highest honors. He continued his studies to earn his MMed in Integrated Clinical Medicine in 1990, spending the following two years as an emergency physician at Dong Zhi Men Hospital, and an additional two years as an attending physician in the department of internal medicine at the same hospital. His scientific publications involve various areas such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and integrative chemotherapy. Dr. Wen has a private practice in Los Angeles specializing in internal medicine with a focus on diabetes and related conditions. Dr. Wen has been a faculty member at Emperor’s College since 2002.

Clinical Oriental Medicine

Lorraine Wilcox, PhD, LAc

PhD, American College of Complementary Medicine
MSTOM, Samra University of Oriental Medicine

Dr. Lorraine Wilcox, PhD, is an experienced translator of Chinese medical texts and an accomplished author on various Chinese medicine topics. She completed her PhD in classical Chinese medicine in 2007, writing her dissertation on the use of moxibustion during the Ming Dynasty. Her published works include Moxibustion: The Power of Mugwort Fire; Moxibustion: A Modern Clinical Handbook; Raising the Dead and Returning Life: Emergency Medicine of the Qing Dynasty; The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Vol. V; and Outline of Female Medicine by Xue Ji (translation), as well as numerous research articles in a variety of professional journals. In her clinical career, Wilcox served as staff acupuncturist at the Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic in Los Angeles from 1995 to 2005 where she helped to introduce complementary and alternative medicine treatments into HIV care. Wilcox has been teaching Oriental medicine since 1990 and joined the faculty at Emperor’s College in 2010.
Acupuncture Clinical Protocols; Oriental Medical Theory

James E. Williams, OMD, LAc

Sino-American University of Oriental Medicine

Dr. Williams has a well-deserved reputation earned for his pioneering work in Integrative Medicine given his twenty-five years of academic and clinical accomplishments with an excess of 100,000 patient visits. He has served as a professional advisor to national health companies, hospitals and medical groups, including world famous Scripps Health. Dr. Williams has lectured internationally including Cuba and Mexico, and has been an educational leader having served as the academic dean of the East West College of Natural Medicine. He is an internationally published author of numerous scientific papers, articles on Ethnography and Biodiversity.

Joseph Chang Qing Yang, PhD (Japan), MD (China), LAc

PhD, Psychiatry, Kobe University
MMed, Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
BMed, Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Dr. Joseph Yang earned his BMed in Chinese medicine in 1984 and his MMed in 1987 with a specialization in diagnosis and pharmacology. He immediately joined the faculty at Heilongjiang University teaching courses in the fundamental theories of medicine while serving as attending physician at Heilongjiang University Hospital until 1994. Yang pursued his doctorate studies in psychiatry at Kobe University, Japan, and his research was published in the US Journal of Biological Psychiatry earning him an invitation to the Shanghai International Medical Conference. From 2001 to 2008, Dr. Yang held the position of Scientist/Laboratory Supervisor at Teco Diagnostics, a Chinese herbal medicine manufacturer, where he was involved in product development and research. He currently maintains a private practice in Santa Monica, California, and has been on faculty at Emperor’s College since 2002.
Acupuncture Clinical Techniques; Clinical Supervisor; Oriental Medical Theory; Psychology & Psychiatry

Amina Fairouz Zebboudj, MD (Algiera)

MD, National Institute of Higher Education in the Medical Sciences, Algiers, Algeria

Dr. Zebboudj received her medical degree from the National Institute of Higher Education in the Medical Sciences, Algiers, Algeria, served as a resident in general surgery at the University of Algiers, and earned a Diplome Universitaire, Abdominal and Pelvic Anatomy at Université René Descartes, Paris, France. Dr. Zebboudj worked as a physician in the departments of emergency room surgery, intensive care, and psychiatry in hospitals in France. She has also served as the a medical coordinator and physician with Doctors-Without-Borders in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the pediatric and cholera units; in Burundi in the pediatric unit; and in the Fassalia refugee camp, in Fassalia, Mauritania. From 2005-2020, she was on faculty at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, where she was recipient of the faculty of the year award by the University’s Institute for Student Academic Enrichment. Dr. Zebboudj is an author of peer-reviewed articles on molecular biology and genetics.

Christina Zhang, MD (China), LAc.

Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology

2018-Present, Clinic supervisor at Emperor’s College; 2001-present, SRA School of medicine, UCLA/Urology; 2001-2003, Clinic supervisor at Emperor University of TCM; 1998-2000, poctdoc. School of Medicine, UCSF/Anatomy; 1996-1998, Research Staff at Bionike, South SF; 1991-1996 Assistant professor at Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Institute of Virology /Viral immunology; 1988-1991 Resident at Beijing Institute of TCM and Clinic Immunology; 1987-1988 Intern at Beijing Friendship Hospital /Physiology & Pathology.

Helena Zhang, PhD (France), LAc

PhD, Social Science, University of Aix-Marseille III
Diploma in Oriental Medicine, Ling Gui Ecole de Qi Gong et Médecine Chinoise
MSOM, South Baylo University

Dr. Helena Zhang, PhD, offers a rich and unique background as an Oriental medicine practitioner. She received her PhD in Social Science at the University of Aix-Marseille III and her diploma in Oriental medicine at the Ling Gui Ecole de Qi Gong et Médecine Chinoise in Paris, France. Upon relocating to the US, Zhang studied Oriental medicine at South Baylo University in California where she received her Master’s in Oriental medicine. Over the course of her successful career, she has lectured on Oriental medicine topics including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and medical qi gong at medical associations and professional conferences throughout the world, including France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, China and South Africa. Because of her important contributions to the advancement of Oriental medicine in Europe, Dr. Zhang was awarded the prestigious “Excellence Eiffel Scholarship” by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France. In her private practice in Santa Monica, California, she specializes in women’s health. Zhang speaks fluent English, French and Chinese.

Acupuncture Point Location; Chinese Herbal Medicine; Oriental Medical Theory; Qi Gong