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Dr. Aladdin Shadyab's latest publication in Alzheimer's & Dementia explores the potential of bumetanide, a loop diuretic, as a candidate for repurposing to treat Alzheimer's disease (AD). This research, funded by the USC UCSD Epstein Family Alzheimer's Disease Research Collaboration, supports the "Powder for Pennies" (P4P) program. The P4P initiative aims to develop and test a pipeline of repurposed medications and natural products for early development studies targeting AD. Read it here.

Dr. Toluwalasé Ajayi has been named Secretary of the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees for 2024-2025. See more here.

Dr. Kiana Aran hosted a panel with astronaut Kate Rubins, exploring how space research can transform health on Earth. Read it here.
Dr. Aladdin Shadyab's new paper in Neurology Journals finds faster biological aging in blood predicts future cognitive decline. This could help target aging biology to improve cognitive health and longevity. Read it here.
Dr. Gary Buckholz quoted in Hospice Business article "How Palliative Care is Changing in Today’s Health Care Environment" read it here.
Jennifer Reichstadt, Program Manager for the San Diego Imperial Geriatric Education Center and Education Director for our division, talks about the work of this Center and its importance here in our local community, and how this center is making a significant impact on geriatric education on The Brian Devore Connection. Watch it here.
Dr. Khai Nguyen has been accepted into the 2024-2025 Harvard Macy Institute's Art Museum-based Health Professions Education Fellowship, presented in partnership with the Center for Visual Arts in Healthcare at Brigham & Women's Hospital and the Harvard Macy Institute. It prepares participants to be leaders in art-museum based health professions education (MBE-HP). Fellows develop pedagogical skills in MBE-HP and learn innovative ways to use art and the art museum to advance health professions educational goals, skills and attitudes. Read more about it here.
Dr. Ian Neel featured in UC San Diego's "Why UC San Diego School of Medicine?" promo video. Watch it here.
"How Trauma Gets Under the Skin" study co-authored by Dr. Anthony Molina featured in UC San Diego Today. Read it here.
Dr. Aladdin Shadyab's new paper published this week in Circulation American Health Association Journal. Overall, their findings reinforce current guidelines supporting blood pressure level targets below 130 mmHg. Read it here.
Ian Neel, M.D., speaks to Good Housekeeping Magazine on how to combat imflammaging, or the chronic inflammation that happens in our bodies as we get older. Read it here.
Aladdin-Shadyab AARP.pngDr. Aladdin Shadyab is interviewed by The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) about his research on aging, longevity, and living well. Read it here.
A new publication of Drs. Benjamin Han and Alison Moore's research in Journal of General Internal Medicine entitled "Experiences of Aging with Opioid Use Disorder and Comorbidity in Opioid Treatment Programs: A Qualitative Analysis" Read it here.

Dr. Khai Nguyen has co-authored a paper entitled "Asian Cohort for Alzheimer's Disease (ACAD) pilot study on genetic and non-genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's disease among Asian Americans and Canadians" Read it here.

Dr. Alison Moore is quoted in the New York Times article "The 7 Keys to Longevity." Read it here.

Dr. Benjamin Han was interviewed for The Washington Post article "Seniors are embracing marijuana, which offers relief -- and risk" Read it here.

Dr. Benjamin Han featured in The New York Times article "Why Some Seniors are Choosing Pot Over Pills." Read it here.

Dr. Alison Moore is quote in mHealth Intelligence article "Using a Smartphone Attachment to Make Neurological Screenings Equitable" Read it here.

Congratulations to Rabia Atayee, Jennifer Kim, and Tammy Rubenzik (as well as 2022-2023 Hospice and Palliative Care fellow, Brandon Perkovich) on their publication in Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy (JPPCP), “Use of Fosaprepitant for Management of Suspected Antimicrobial-Associated Nausea: A Case Report.” Read it here.

Congrats on the recent publication by Dr. class="profile-listing-data">Tolúwalàṣẹ "Làṣẹ" Àjàyí, “Self-Reported Medication Use Across Racial and Rural or Urban Subgroups of People Who Are Pregnant in the United States: Decentralized App-Based Cohort Study” published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR). Read it here.

Schmitt.pngWe are excited to welcome Dr. Stephanie Schmitt (she/her), as she joins our Outpatient Palliative Medicine at UCSD and Inpatient Pediatric Palliative Care at Rady Children's Hospital. Dr. Schmitt was born in Chicago, Illinois. After medical school, she moved to San Diego where she completed her residency and chief residency in Pediatrics at UCSD/Rady Children's Hospital. She did her Palliative Medicine fellowship at UCSD and Scripps Health and is excited to continue working alongside this amazing team! Outside of work, she loves finding new hiking trails and eating every taco she can get her hands on

IMG-gradpiccropped.jpegWe are excited to welcome Isabel Mancilla as she joins us as a Lab Assistant in The Molina Lab. UC San Diego alumna, Isabel Mancilla, received her bachelor's degree in biology with special interests in public health and longevity. As an undergraduate, she supported successful aging projects through the Stein Institute for Research on Aging through the Molina Lab. Outside of work, she loves to play tennis, play video games, and go to the gym. She is excited to join the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Palliative Care at UCSD.

Lin-Wang.jpg class="OYPEnA text-decoration-none text-strikethrough-none">We are excited to welcome Lin Wang (she/her), as she joins the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care as a Research Coordinator for Molina Lab. Lin is originally from Beijing, China and came to San Diego as a visiting scholar. Since then, she has completed her postdoctoral training at UC San Diego and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and joined the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center at UCSD as a research associate and lab manager. She is excited to become a part of the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Palliative Care and continue her study on mitochondria in the context of healthy aging. When not working, she loves hiking, trail jogging, and backpacking.

ctimes-logo.svgDrs. Alison Moore & Benjamin Han's study is featuring in the Chicago Sun Times "More Older Adults Are Trying Pot - Some for the First Time" Read it here.


We are excited to welcome Dr. Eddie Lam, as he joins UC San Diego as an Associate Physician in the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Palliative Care. He will serve as a physician in our ambulatory geriatrics clinic in La Jolla as well as inpatient services in La Jolla and Hillcrest.

Dr. Lam was born in Vietnam but grew up in Garden Grove, California. He pursued a Geriatrics fellowship in hopes of being a better provider for the growing older adult population. Outside of work, he loves to play and watch basketball (go Lakers!). He is returning to Southern California after four years of training in the Bay Area, and is delighted to join this Division of outstanding faculty, staff, and trainees. Being new to San Diego, he welcomes any tips for things to do or eat!

Zaida.jpgWe are excited to welcome Dr. Zaida Albarracin (she/her), as she joins VA San Diego full-time, as a Palliative Medicine physician in the Department of Medicine, Section of Geriatrics, and Palliative Care.

Dr. Albarracin is originally from South America and practiced as a gastroenterologist with a subspecialty in endoscopy ultrasound. Due to life circumstances, she moved to the United States, and started her medical career all over again. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Oregon Health and Science University and her Palliative Medicine fellowship at the University of Miami/West Palm Beach campus. She comes to us after having been employed by The Permanente Medical Group, in Northern California. She isexcited to join the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care at the VA/UCSD.

Dr. Albarracin is passionate about providing the best quality of care to her patients. Her research focuses on gender disparities, and diversity in medicine, quality improvement, and social medicine. One of her passions is to travel around the world and explore different cultures, foods, and beautiful beaches.

mahapatra_gargiWe are excited to welcome Dr. Gargi Mahapatra, PhD (she/her), as she joins UC San Diego full-time, as an Assistant Project Scientist for the Molina Lab in the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Palliative Care, at UC San Diego Health Sciences.

Dr. Mahapatra holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Wayne State University and is an experienced translational scientist. Her research focuses on aging, and age-related neurodegenerative disorder, specifically Alzheimer's disease, and her expertise lies in mitochondrial biology, bioenergetics, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology. Her work has resulted in novel findings elucidating peripheral mitochondrial changes accompanying cognitive decline, inspiring new directions for research strategies on early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Mahapatra was born and raised in India and moved to the USA to pursue graduate studies. She joins UCSD from her previous position as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This is her first position at the UCSD School of Medicine and she is excited to join the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care.

congrats.pngThe Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care, award the 2023 Exemplary Division Member Award to Janet Davis, NP III. Janet has worked with UCSDH Population Health since 2018 and has been instrumental in helping Dr. Parag Agnihotri build the UCSD at Home program. This program now has served thousands of high-risk patients and functions as the eyes and ears for our UCSDH primary care providers. Congratulations, Janet, for being our 2023 Exemplary Division Member. We thank her for her excellence!Janet Davis, NP III, has worked with UCSDH Population Health since 2018. She is a caring and experienced clinician, always available to help the team, providers and her patients. She frequently offers to take future MDs and NPs along with her. In fact, it is a rare day when she does not have a student by her side training them about our vulnerable seniors and having them accompany her in home visit in an effort to help keep our seniors healthy and safe at home. She started with UCSDH helping with accurate documentation and educating providers about HCC coding and quickly pivoted to helping Population Health and Dr. Parag Agnihotri build up the UCSD at Home program. This program now has served thousands of high-risk patients over the past 4 years and functions as the eyes and ears for our UCSDH primary care providers. We are in the process of publishing some of the amazing work that this team has accomplished and Janet is a key contributor to the program's success. Always ready to lend and ear, correct a medication, educate and counsel families and care givers, support providers and staff. She works tirelessly and humbly serving our vulnerable home confined seniors, educating future providers and patients and supporting and contributing to the innovative efforts of our UCSD at Home program. She is a role model for us all.

Janet Davis, NP: It's her dedication, passion, and vision that helped shape and build UCSD Population Health for what it is now. Even during the height of Covid when this disease was still unknown to us, Janet had bravely visited our vulnerable seniors in their homes, to ensure their safety and well-being. Even during the time of her own family health crisis, she still made herself available in our times of need. Janet also thinks “outside of the box”, always coming up with innovative ways to improve our program. She even obtained her notary public certification to expedite the processing of our patients' advance directive as she completes them in their own homes. As a new member of the team in 2019, Janet served as my resource person during the critical time of my transition. We are fortunate indeed to have Janet in our team, she is our “ROCK STAR” to help us stand strong and solid at UCSD Population Health.

fellows_orientation.jpgJoin us in giving a warm welcome to our Geriatrics Fellows of 2023-24!!! Mayra Bugarin, Kathryn Dere, and Jennifer Kim. We are thrilled to have them and excited for the year to come!
oasis-opening.pngAlison Moore, Lindsey Yourman (San Diego CountyChief Geriatric Officer), andJordan Marks (San Diego County Assessor) at the opening of Oasis in Rancho Bernardoon June 24, 2023.
Reva Nafsu.jpegCongrats to Clinic Nurse Reva Nafsu getting her RN degree!!!
Wayne-Kepner.jpgCongratulations to Wayne Kepner who hasbeen selected as a recipient of the 2023 Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance use and Addiction (AMERSA) Growing a Diverse Workforce Award!AMERSA is committed to promoting diverse health professionals and pre-professional students to attend the AMERSA annual conference through conference attendance awards. Congratulations Wayne!!
ian-neel.pngCongratulations to Dr. Ian Neel on hisinterview in the San Diego Union Tribunes article "10 thinkers, 200 words, one question: What's your advice for San Diego's college grads?"In print on May, 27th and online to read here.
Anthony MolinaCongratulations to Anthony Molina, PhD, for his latest paper style="font-size: 16px; line-height: 32px;">"Are Skeletal Muscles the Key to Treating Heart Failure?" featured in UC San Diego Health Sciences blog. Read it here.
Leo_MellerNhi_NguyenCongratulations to Leo Meller & Nhi Nguyen on receiving the Tragen Family Fund Award.Read more about them and this award.
nihal-croppedSpotlight: Nihal Satyadev, graduating medical student, MSTAR alum, and co-founder of the Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's. Members of our division have had the pleasure to work with Nihal Satyadev over the last few years. He will soon start a residency program in neurology at Mayo Clinic – Florida. Read more about his journey and plans for the future, along with the incredible YMAA.
Anthony MolinaCongratulations to Anthony Molina, PhD, recipient of this year's Geriatrics & Gerontology Exemplary Division Member of the Year Award!
Rabia AtayeeCarlota.DurazoCongratulations to Rabia Atayee, PharmD, BCPS & Carlotta Durazo, LCSW, APHSW-C on being awarded the Palliative Care Values in Action Award!!

Kyle_Edmonds_KP.jpgDr. Kyle Edmonds joins the SOM Committee on Academic Personnel!

The Health Sciences Faculty Council has approved Dr. Kyle Edmonds appointment to the SOM Committee on Academic Personnel (SOMCAP) for the Member At Large position. The appointment is for a 3-year term beginning September 1, 2022 and ending August 31, 2025. Congratulations Dr. Edmonds!

MSTAR cropped

The Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program is funded by the National Institute on Aging and has been offered at UC San Diego since 2005. Each year, this popular program provides up to 18 medical students from across the nation an opportunity to conduct 8 to 12 weeksof summer research guided by the mentorship of a UC San Diego faculty member.


Dr. Anthony Molina, Scientific Director of Stein Institute for Research on Aging, on UCTV for their Public Lecture Series. How Can Geroscience Teach Us About Healthy Longevity.

Dr. Alison Moore, Interim Director of Stein Institute for Research on Aging, on UCTV for their Public Lecture Series. Global Healthy Aging: A Review of Efforts to Support Healthy Aging from Around the World.

Drs. Alison Moore &Benjamin H Hanarticle in NBC San Diego News, "Stoned California Seniors Headed to ERs By the Thousands, UCSD Study Says" Read the article.

Drs. Alison Moore & Benjamin H Han new paper in AGS Journal finds a sharp increase in cannabis-related ED visits among adults age 65+ in California. Read the article.


Dr. Khai Nguyen op-ed in San Diego Union Tribune, "Opinion:Here's what you need to know about the flu, COVID-19 and RSV ‘tripledemic'" Read the article.

Dr. Benjamin Han is interviewed for the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) "Ask the Expert: Benjamin Han, MD, MPH, on public health for older adults, opioid use disorder, and his 2022 Terrie Fox Wetle Rising Star Award" Read the article here.

Dr. Benjamin Han, Dr. Stacy Han (3rd year UCSD Internal Medicine resident) and NYU's Dr. Joseph Palamar publishnew paper in The Journal of General Internal Medicine that finds that an estimated 18.6% of US adults with HTN binge drank in the past 30 days & those that did were also more likely to use stimulants. Read the article.

Dr. Ian Neel quoted in Neurology Advisor in an article discussing the link between dementia and COVID. Read the article.

Khai NguyenDr. Khai Nguyenwrites about "The Growing Demand for Age-Friendly Care in the United States forCommunitee Health Accreditation Partners blog.Read the blog.

Dr. Khai Nguyen was featured with a piece entitled "Opinion: On Dr. Seuss' Birthday, Health Care for 'Obsolete Children' Hasn't Really Changed." Read the article.

Dr. Khai Nguyen has also been featured on Institute for Healthcare Improvement's age-friendly blog. Read the blog.


Congratulations to our affiliate faculty member, Dr. Melody Schiaffino, on her promotion toVoluntary Assistant Clinical Professor in the department of Medicine at the UC San Diego Health Sciences!

Dr. Biren Kamdar, affiliate faculty of our division, was senior author on a paper researching the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of students applying to medical school. Read the article.

ariana-stickel.jpegDr. Ariana Stickel, a funded scientist in our AD-RCMAR program, published findings from a study showing the combination of obesity and cardiovascular factors cause cognitive decline in Latinos. Read the article.

Learn more about how to assess if an older adult needs caregiving help in this AARP article featuring our own geriatricians, Ian Neel, MD and Lindsey Yourman, MD!

Congratulations to Maile Karris, MD, an HIV specialist in our division, who was recently featured in the news discussing Conversation, compassion and community: Planning for healthy futures with HIV!

Did you know that seniors rarely discuss drinking with their doctors? Read the article featuring our own faculty member, Benjamin Han, MD, MPH. Dr. Han has also had his research featured in the news based on his recent study showing that older adults with functional impairment are at higher risk of medical cannabis use, as well as prescription opioid and tranquilizer/sedative use and misuse. Read the news release. Be sure to also read his blog post titled: Does Grandma Really Understand the Potential Risks of Cannabis?

Congratulations to Dr. Marquine for leading a collaborative project aimed at developing neuropsychological normative data for Spanish-speaking adults living in the U.S., titled the Neuropsychological Norms for the U.S.-Mexico Border Region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS). Her work will benefit many patients and clinicians working with Spanish-speakers in the U.S. This impactful work has been published in a special issue of The Clinical Neuropsychologist. Read the publication.

Dr. Benjamin Han co-edited a special issue of the American Society on Aging's journal Generations focused on substance use and older adults titled,Substance Use Is a Critical Health and Mental Health Issue for Older Adults.



News Archives

UC San Diego Geriatrics Ranked #13 in the Nation!

Thanks to everyone for their part in getting us to this wonderful place! We are proud to be ranked #13 among geriatrics programs in USNWR! Our division's mission is to optimize the experience of aging through excellence in clinical care, inspired teaching and transformative research. In the last year, UC San Diego became the first healthcare system in San Diego to be recognized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as an Age-Friendly, Health System-Committed to Care Excellence and our population health programs keep seniors healthy, supported and safe in their communities.

Dr. Benjamin Han co-edited a special issue of the American Society on Aging's journal Generations focused on substance use and older adults titled, Substance Use Is a Critical Health and Mental Health Issue for Older Adults.


What is the time to benefit of statin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular events in adults aged 50 to 75 years?

prescription on a clipboard for statins

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis in hopes of pinning down the time to benefit (TTB) of statin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular (CV) events in older adults. Read Dr. Yourman's publication on JAMA Internal Medicine: "Evaluation of Time to Benefit of Statins for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Adults Aged 50 to 75 Years. A Meta-analysis."


Do you want to learn more about the UCSD Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care?

Division Chief, Alison Moore, M.D., M.P.H., FACP, AGSF and Chief of Clinical Services, Khai Nguyen, M.D., M.H.S. discuss the importance of age-friendly clinical care, the journey that led us to rank #13 among Geriatrics programs in the Nation, and the divsion's teaching and research efforts. Featured on UCSD TV.


San Diego Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging (SD-NSC)

Dr. Molina from the UC San Diego Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care, along with Rusty Gage, Martin Hetzer and Tatyana Sharpee of Salk Institute, Malene Hansen and Peter Adams of Sanford Burnham Prebys, will lead the key research and development cores of the San Diego Nathan Shock Center (SD-NSC), a consortium with the Salk Institute, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and UC San Diego, to study cellular and tissue aging in humans. The Center is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health expected to total $5 million over the next 5 years (NIA grant number P30AG068635). Salk Professor Gerald Shadel led the successful grant proposal and is the director of the center. Read more.


Study Finds Older Adults Using Cannabis to Treat Common Health Conditions

Data indicate 61 percent of patients who used cannabis began after age 60. “Pain, insomnia and anxiety were the most common reasons for cannabis use and, for the most part, patients reported that cannabis was helping to address these issues, especially with insomnia and pain,” said Christopher Kaufmann, PhD, co-first author of the study and assistant professor in the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego. Read more.


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the San Diego Refugees community.

One of our San Diego Alzheimer's Disease Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (AD-RCMAR) Scientists, Dr. Tala Al-Rousan, wrote an article published in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Read more.


cannibidiol buds and extract next to elderly hands

Reasons older individuals are turning to marijuana

An article published in the April 2020 issue of The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, written by UCSD medical student Kevin Yang, and co-authored by division members, Alison Moore, M.D., Khai Nguyen, M.D., Reva Nafsu, RN, and Christopher Kaufmann, Ph.D., explores the reasons older individuals are turning to marijuana. Read more.


Senior living facilities restrict readmission to prevent coronavirus

April 2, 2020 in San Diego, California (Eduardo Contreras / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Our Clinical Services Chief, Dr. Khai Nguyen has been featured in an article from the San Diego Union-Tribune regarding senior living facilities restricting readmissions to prevent COVID-19 spread. Read the article.


We don't know enough about Latinos and Alzheimer's, and that's a huge problem.

by Hector Gonzalez, Associate Professor of Neurosciences at UC San Diego to L.A. Times. Feb 19, 2020. Read the article.


10 Priorities for a Decade of Action on Healthy Ageing, by the World Health Organization.

The 10 Priorities provide the concrete actions that are needed to achieve the objectives of the WHO Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health. WHO carried out a series of consultations with experts, WHO staff and key stakeholders to identify those actions that would be transformative. Each priority is crucial for getting the world to the point where it can take on a decade of concerted action. Many are inextricably linked and all will require collaboration with many key partners. Healthy Ageing will not become a reality without focused global action. These 10 priorities provide the path forward.


UC San Diego Health Part of National Initiative to Improve Senior Patient Care

First in San Diego to implement evidence-based approach to provide high quality of care to seniors

December 02, 2019 | Michelle Brubaker

UC San Diego Health is at the forefront of addressing the complex needs of seniors, recently becoming the first health care system in San Diego to join the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative and be recognized as Committed to Care Excellence by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The designation acknowledges UC San Diego Health's implementation of a set of evidence-based interventions designed to improve care for older adults.

UC San Diego Health joins more than 100 health systems across the nation that are part of the initiative. The goal of IHI is for 20 percent of hospitals and health systems in the United States to be recognized as age-friendly by 2020.

The initiative is based on a series of practices known as the four Ms, which focus on addressing essential elements of care for senior patients: What Matters: Knowing and aligning care with each older adult's specific health outcome goals and care preferences across all settings of care. Medication: Prescribing appropriate medications in doses that do not interfere with quality of life. Mentation (Cognitive Function): Preventing, identifying, treating and managing dementia, depression and delirium. Mobility: Ensuring older adults are able to move safely every day, both to maintain normal, healthy functions and to prevent injury. Both cognitive function and mobility can decline significantly for older adults during hospitalization. In an Age-Friendly Health System, evidence-based protocols, such as physical exercises and daily cognitive stimulation, are used to prevent decline and may reduce the length of a person's hospital stay, plus increase the likelihood that an individual can return home versus transferring to a skilled nursing facility. UC San Diego Health has spearheaded the four Ms at the Medicine for Seniors clinic in La Jolla and Senior Behavioral Health program in Hillcrest, with the goal of implementing the four Ms care approach in other areas of the system.


Benefits and Risks of Alcohol Use in Adults and a Review of Unhealthy Drinking in Older Adults — Research on Aging

Learn more about risks and benefits of alcohol use in older adults from Dr. Alison Moore, Chief, Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Moore discusses alcohol-medication interactions, comorbidity issues, current research and more. Watch the video.