Joseph DiStefano, Ph.D.


Department of Computer Science
Department of Medicine

4711 Boelter Hall
310-825-7482 | 310-825-2273 (fax)


  • BEE, CCNY, 1961
  • MS, University of California, Los Angeles, 1964
  • Ph.D, University of California, Los Angeles, 1966

Awards and Recognitions

  • Lockeed-Martin Award for Teaching Excellence, 2006
  • UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, 2003
  • Senior Fulbright-Hays Scholar, Italy, 1979
  • Distinguished Teaching Award in Engineering, 1971

Research Interests

  • Dynamic systems biology modeling and simulation
  • Human disease models, their dynamics and optimal control (treatment)
  • Physiological, pharmacological and toxicological systems applications

Professor DiStefano’s research areas include systems biology, biocybernetics, PK/PD, multicompartmental and other dynamic systems modeling and optimization methodology, expert systems aplications in life sciences research, endocrine system physiology and control, optimal experiment design, thyroid hormone regulation & metabolism in mammals and fishes, and disease (cancer, HCV, diabetes) process dynamics and optimal therapies.

Recent Papers

  1. Meshkat N., Anderson c., DiStefano J.J. 3rd. “Alternative to Ritt’s pseudodivision for finding the input-output equation of multi-output models.” Math Biosci. 2012 Sep;239(1):117.
  2. Ben-Shachar R., Eisenberg M., Huang S., Distefano J.J., “Simulation of Post-thyroidectomy Treatment Alternatives for T3 or T4 Replacement in Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Patients,” Thyroid. 2011 Dec 2. (Epub ahead of print)
  3. Meshkat N., Anderson C., Distefano J.J. 3rd, “Finding identifiable parameter combinations in nonlinear ODE models and the rational reparameterization of their input-output equations,” Math Biosci. 2011 Sep;233(1):19-31. Epub 2011 Jul 18.
  4. Eisenberg M.C., Santini F., Marsili A., Pinchera A., DiStefano J.J. 3rd, “TSH regulation dynamics in central and extreme primary hypothyroidism,” Thyroid. 2010 Nov;20(11):1215-28.
  5. Nichols J.W., Breen M., Denver R.J., Distefano J.J. 3rd, Edwards J.S., Hoke R.A., Volz D.C., Zhang X., “Predicting chemical impacts on vertebrate endocrine systems,” Environ Toxicol Chem. 2011 Jan;30(1):39-51.
  6. Meshkat N., Eisenberg M., Distefano J.J. 3rd, “An algorithm for finding globally identifiable parameter combinations of nonlinear ODE models using Gröbner Bases,” Math Biosci. 2009 Dec;222(2):61-72. Epub 2009 Sep 6.
  7. Eisenberg M., Distefano J.J., “TSH-based protocol, tablet instability, and absorption effects on L-T4 bioequivalence,” Thyroid. 2009 Feb;18(2):103-10.
  8. Eisenberg M., Samuels M., DiStefano J.J. 3rd, “Extensions, validation, and clinical applications of a feedback control system simulator of the hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid axis,” Thyroid. 2008 Oct;18(10):1071-85.
  9. Eisenberg M., Samuels M., DiStefano J.J. 3rd, “L-T4 bioequivalence and hormone replacement studies via feedback control simulations,” Thyroid. 2006 Dec;16(12):1279-92. Erratum in: Thyroid. 2007 Apr;17(4):378.
  10. Ferl G.Z., Kenanova V., Wu A.M., DiStefano J.J. 3rd, “A two-tiered physiologically based model for dually labeled single-chain Fv-Fc antibody fragments,” Mol Cancer Ther. 2006 Jun;5(6):1550-8.