Year 2. July 3. It’s July. Welcome On Board!

July marks an exciting time of year in the department of medicine (DoM). During this time, we welcome many new members into our community. They join us as skilled clinicians, innovative researchers, and talented trainees who share our commitment to advancing our tripartite mission. On behalf of the department, I extend a warm welcome to the newest members of our community. We are thrilled to have you join the DoM. We are deeply committed to your success, growth, and well-being. I encourage you to explore the resources available to you through the DoM, and UCLA Health, and to make connections with our exceptional faculty and staff who are happy to help you settle into your new roles.

Throughout our hospitals and community practices, the following people will be joining us during the month of July to provide the high-quality patient care that we are recognized for. They include:


  • Peter Hanna, Assistant Professor-In-Residence
  • Justin Hayase, Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor
  • Xinjiang Cai, Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor
  • Lua Jafari, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Marwah Shahid, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Tomohiro Yokota, VA-CHS Assistant Professor-in-Residence


  • Olivia Jordan, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor


  • Laura Bernet, Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor
  • April Armstrong, Professor
  • Jonathan Fisher, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor


  • David Meriweather, Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Christopher Paiji, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Vivy Tran Cusumano, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Alexander Nguyen, VA-CHS Assistant Clinical Professor


  • Qiuxua Li, Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Lauren Beshay, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Sylvia Rivera, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor


  • Alexandra Klomhaus, Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Utpal Sandesara, Assistant Professor-in-Residence
  • Jorge Daniel Flautero Arcos, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Lisle A. Winston, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Paige Dobalian, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Brian Lonquich, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Robert Yamane, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Rachel Sarnoff, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor


  • Minori Ohashi, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor


  • Mina S. Sedrak, Associate Professor
  • Paul T. Spellman, Professor
  • John K. Lee, Associate Professor-in-Residence
  • Adam E. Singer, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor


  • Mavis Peng, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Varsha Prasad, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Ye Tian, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Bianca Lavelle, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Sarah Soliman, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Danny Xu, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Kevin KIm-Hak, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Aretha Kou, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Kevin Maniar, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor


  • Michael Yashar, Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor


  • Iheanacho Emeruwa, Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor
  • Samih Khauli, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Kevin Landefeld, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Lawrence Benjamin, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Richard Watson, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor
  • Jane Fazio, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor


  • Gloria Yiu, Health Sciences Clinical Instructor.

Last December, we shared with you the results of our fellowship match day. Join me in welcoming the following 99 fellows who will be joining us across 20 advanced training programs, representing 22 states, 12 countries, 20 with advanced degrees in addition to their MD’s, and 13 identifying as URIM.

Allergy & ImmunologyHospice and Palliative Medicine
Adult Congenital Heart DiseaseInfectious Diseases
Advanced Heart Failure & Heart TransplantInterventional Cardiology
Cardiovascular DiseaseNephrology
Clinical Cardiac ElectrophysiologyPain Medicine
Endocrinology, Diabetes, and MetabolismPediatric Dermatology
GastroenterologyPulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine
Geriatric MedicineRheumatology
Geriatric and Palliative MedicineSleep Medicine
Hematology and Medical OncologyTransplant Hepatology
Interventional Pulmonology

We also welcome 73 trainees who matched into our categorical internal medicine residency program, STAR-PSTP, primary care tracks, medicine-pediatrics, and dermatology. Across the five programs, 18 states and 28 medical schools are represented, 47 incoming residents are women, and eight identify as underrepresented in medicine. Say hello to the interns below as they assume their patient care responsibilities in our hospitals and community practices:

While we welcome the newest members of our team, we also share well wishes for the resident and fellow trainees who are moving on to the next step of their journey as leaders in medicine. Many will continue their training here at UCLA, others will be flying the bruin flag high at other leading institutions across this country. Regardless of where our trainees go, I want them to know that they will always have a home in the department of medicine, where their mentors will continue to walk alongside them and ensure that they have the knowledge and guidance needed to succeed in whichever path they choose to pursue. So where are our trainees heading next? Click below to find out!

We celebrated our graduates from the fellowship and residency programs throughout the month of June. I invite you to enjoy a selection of images from these celebrations by clicking on the link below.

Our graduation celebrations will continue next week as I look forward to celebrating the graduates of the National Clinician Scholars Program and other advanced specialty training programs! Stay tuned.


From June 15th – 18th, I was pleased to join our fellows and other leading endocrinologists from across the country at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting ENDO2023. Over 7,000 participants descended into Chicago for this global meeting to discuss patient care, advancements in research and medicine, and lead presentations which spanned science, clinical care, and social implications in the field of endocrinology. I was pleased that five of our fellows presented posters addressing various areas of endocrinology during ENDO 2023.

L to R: Drs. Vivek Bose, Amit Sumal, Dianne Cheung, Estelle Everett, E. Dale Abel, Carolina Hurtado.

Below are their posters and images from ENDO 2023 which captured the depth and breadth of research performed by our trainees with support from our dedicated faculty who serve as their mentors.

  • Rakhee Barai, MD: Elevated Vitamin D 1,25-DiOH Leading to the Diagnosis of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma with Excessive Vitamin D Intake Confounding the Clinical Picture

  • Vivek Bose, MD: Finasteride induced Hyperglycemia

  • Maralee Kanin, MD: Beyond Guidelines: Treatment of Concurrent Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Metastatic Bone Disease

  • Megan McConnell, MD: Unilateral Adrenal Hyperplasia Causing ACTH-Independent Hypercortisolism

  • Megan McConnell, MD: Functional Transformation of an Initially Non-functional Paraganglioma in a Patient with Cyanotic Congenital Heart Disease

  • Amit K. Sumal MD: A Case of Severe Type B Insulin Resistance Successfully Treated with Combined Immunosuppressive Therapy

The journey to independence as an academic researcher is a long one. It is gratifying when our junior colleagues successfully compete for and are awarded grants that are specifically designed to jump start their careers.

Benjamin Seligman, MD, PhD Awarded Grant for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists' Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR)from the National Institute on Aging

Benjamin Seligman, MD, PhD from the division of geriatric medicine at the VA-Wadsworth was awarded a Grant for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists' Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) from the National Institute on Aging. The GEMSSTAR provides support to early faculty members who have recently completed their training in any specialty or discipline and are starting a career in clinical aging research in their specialty area. The award will support Dr. Seligman’s research which

“looks at whether frailty alters the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine among different groups of older adults: those aged 65 and above and those aged 50-64. Frailty measures physiologic vulnerability and is associated with poor outcomes after infections.”

He adds,

“It is important to know if frail individuals receive the same benefits as others from vaccination. Looking across ages is also important as recommendations for flu vaccination have changed for those 65 and above with new, high-potency formulations on the market. Understanding whether frailty blunts vaccination, a key tool against respiratory illnesses, will help us better care for the health of older adults.”

Arpan Patel, MD and Elizabeth Videlock, MD, PhD Awarded 2023, UCLA CTSI Institutional KL2 Translational Science Awards 

Two DoM faculty from the division of digestive diseases, Arpan Patel, MD and Elizabeth Videlock, MD, PhD, were selected as recipients of UCLA CTSI 2023, Institutional KL2 Translational Science Awards. The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) supports the next generation of clinicians and researchers with the career development training opportunities that help improve human health. The award provides three years of funding for Dr. Patel and Videlock’s translational research which they described below:

Arpan Patel, MD:

“The proposal entitled, "Contingency Management for Patients with Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease Following Liver Transplantation" intends to test a behavioral intervention called "contingency management" to support abstinence for patients with alcohol-associated liver disease who may be at risk for returning to drinking following liver transplantation. Contingency management is a behavioral intervention that entails providing patients monetary incentives as a reward for reinforcing abstinence from substance use disorders. I will be working with my primary mentor Steve Shoptaw, PhD for this grant.”

Dr. Patel adds: 

“This research is important to me because there is little evidence for what psychosocial interventions are effective in improving alcohol use disorder in this population, and I am glad to be contributing to this research space.  I am honored for the CTSI to support me so that I can grow into a leader in clinical trials to support patient-centered care for individuals living with liver disease.”

 Elizabeth Videlock, MD, PhD:

“Parkinson’s Disease (PD) may begin in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The overall goal of this research is to identify intestinal pathogenic mechanisms in PD that may lead to the identification of gut-biomarkers for early diagnosis as well as gut-directed therapies to halt progression of disease in the premotor phase. The proposed research addresses the hypothesis that mitochondrial dysfunction in the intestinal epithelium causes PD via the gut brain immune axis through two specific aims. The first aim will determine the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in mediating the response of the intestinal epithelium to pathologic α-Synuclein.

This will be accomplished through measurement of inflammation and mitochondrial stress in duodenal tissue, isolated crypts and intestinal organoids from a PD model. The second aim will test the hypothesis that impaired mitophagy in the intestinal epithelium causes persistent central pathology and motor deficits in a gut-seeding PD model. This will be accomplished through duodenal injection of α-Synuclein preformed fibrils in mice with intestinal epithelial-specific Parkin knockout and wild type mice.”

Congratulations Ben, Arpan and Liz!


After a three-year hiatus, DoM Grand Rounds is returning on a NEW DATENEW TIME and IN-PERSON! This Thursday at noon, I invite you to join me at Tamkin Auditorium in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to celebrate the return of in-person DoM Grand Rounds! Kicking off the series for the academic year is Eric Yang, MD who will be discussing "Clearing the Growing Wilderness of Cardio-Oncology: Predictions for 2023." I look forward to welcoming faculty and trainees in-person to this important learning venue where we will hear from our experts about the latest in medicine and research.



Whatever your holiday plans for July 4, I wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday. We will eat fruit. The plum tree in our backyard was laden with fruit, the last of which we picked over the weekend.

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