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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Joy J. Goto, Ph.D.

Office Location: Science Building Room 366
Office Phone: 559.278.2530

Joy J. Goto earned a B.S. in Chemistry from UC Davis and Ph.D. in Chemistry from UCLA. She was the recipient of the UCLA Alumni Association distinguished dissertation year award and a Collegium of University Teaching fellowship. Dr. Goto was a John Douglas French Alzheimer s Foundation research fellow in the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at the Center for Aging, Genetics, and Neurodegeneration at Harvard Medical School and a Beckman Senior Research Fellow in the Neurosciences Division at the City of Hope Beckman Research Institute in Duarte, Calfiornia. She was a visiting Assistant Professor of chemistry in the Joint Science Department of Scripps, Claremont McKenna and Pitzer Colleges prior to joining Fresno State in 2007. Dr. Goto uses her training in bioinorganic chemistry and neuroscience to contribute to the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, oxidative stress and metal homeostasis.

Areas of Specialty


The Goto laboratory is focused on three majors projects using fruit flies or human neuronal cultures to investigate neurochemical functions and neuromuscular electrophysiology and behavior as a model for neurodegenerative disease and oxidative stress. Project 1: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – Parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS-PDC) is one such disease her lab investigates, where a non-natural amino acid produced by cyanobacteria is implicated in the progression of ALS-PDC. Proteomic, electrophysiological  and behavioral experiments are conducted to investigate this fruit fly model of the disease. Project 2: The interaction of specific proteins involved in the abnormal proteolytic processing in Alzheimer’s Disease is investigated using coimmunoprecipitation and RIMI facility microscopy. Project 3: Oxidative stress and transition metal ion homeostasis is investigated in fruit flies as a model of aging.

Teaching and Mentoring

Dr. Goto teaches courses from general chemistry laboratory (CHEM 1BL) to upper-division biochemistry (CHEM 150, 155A, 155B), and graduate level biochemistry with CHEM/BIOL 242 (Techniques in Protein Purification and Analysis). She has taught a non-majors chemistry course relating the relationship between chemistry and society (CHEM 10 and CHEM 10H - honors). Most recently she taught CSM10 (The Scientific Method), to first-year College of Science & Mathematics majors in biology, chemistry, computer science, earth & environmental sciences, mathematics, and physics, focusing on the theme of water and sustainability.

Her interdisciplinary background reflects itself in her research and teaching. The undergraduate and graduate students working on research projects in Dr. Goto’s laboratory have been from diverse academic fields including chemistry, biology, biotechnology, public health and psychology. Dr. Goto is currently the faculty co-advisor for the Fresno State Chemistry Club and advisor for the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). She has served as the pre-pharmacy advisor for the Chemistry Department.

Her mentoring has also included serving as the faculty co-coordinator of the Fresno State LSAMP program. She is a faculty representative for the CSU AAPI Initiative and faculty advisor to student clubs: Amerasia, Magkaisa, and the student written Asian Pacific Review[broken link].