​​Program Co-Directors

Dr. Paul Insel and Dr. Neil Chi are the MST Program Co-Directors. Drs. Insel and Chi oversee all aspects of the MSTP.


​Dr. Paul Insel, MD is Co-Director for the UCSD-MSTP. He has been with the MSTP since 1989, serving as its Director and Co-Director. He is a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine at UC San Diego.

Dr. Neil Chi, MD, PhD is the Co-Director for the UCSD-MSTP. He has been involved with the MSTP since 2009 and became Co-Director in 2015. He is Professor of Medicine & Cardiology. and Assistant Dean of Physican Scientist Education at UC San Diego. 

Associate Directors

Dr. Christopher Glass is an MST Program alumnus. He is a Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Medicine and is widely recognized for his research on the regulation of transcription. 

Dr. Mary Lewinski is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health and is the Chair of the MSTP Admissions Committee. She is also an alumna of the UCSD MSTP. She interacts closely with Drs. Insel and Chi, MSTP Staff, and the SOM Admissions Committee in the admissions and recruitment processes.

Dr. Lori Wan is a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Director of the Academic Community in which MSTP students reside. She monitors the didactic efforts of trainees and advises them regarding academic and non-academic issues, clinical opportunities, residency applications and careers. Dr. Wan is also the Director of the Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program.

Assistant Directors

​Drs. Rafael Bejar Aaron Carlin, Nicole Coufal, Jeff Gold and  Michael Lam are alumni of the UCSD MSTP and are the faculty mentors of each "Sib-Tree House," which includes MSTP trainees from each entering class. Thus, each of the faculty mentors oversees a portion of the MSTP cohort, organizes activities with their respective Sib-Tree House, and meets individually with trainees in their House.​


Dr. Rafael Beja​is a Associate Professor of Medicine. He is trained in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology, with a special interest in hematologic malignancies. He specializes in the care of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and related blood disorders. As of 2020, he has taken a partial leave to serve as the Chief Medical Officer for Aptose Biosciences.


Dr. Aaron Carlin is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Medicine. He is an Infectious Disease physician-scientist, Clinical Associate in Molecular Microbiology, and Director of the UCSD Emerging Virus High-Containment Research Program. The Carlin laboratory investigates the mechanisms by which emerging and reemerging pathogens cause disease in humans and develops novel infectious disease diagnostics and treatments.

Dr. Nicole Coufal is a Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and has been and Assistant Director of MSTP since 2019. She is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric critical care. Her research group conducts basic and translational research into the role of innate immunity in human brain development, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.


Dr. Jeff Gold is a Clinical Professor of Neurosciences with board certifications in Neurology (with a special qualification in Child Neurology), Epilepsy, and Clinical Neurophysiology. He is a Child Neurologist at Rady Children's Hospital - San Diego. He specializes in the treatment of children with epilepsy. He is also the Medical Director of Neonatal Neurology at UC San Diego and Rady Children's.

Dr. Michael Lam is an Associate Physican Diplomate of Medicine at UC San Diego. He specializes in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep.

MST Program Management 

Jacqueline Azize-Brewer, Ph.D. is the MST Program Manager. Her office is located in the School of Medicine, MSTP Office Suite, Medical Teaching Facility, Room 182. You can contact Jacquie by phone at 858-534-0689, and by email at  

MSTP/SURF Program Coordinator

Alanna Hower, M.S. is the MSTP & SURF Program Coordinator. Her office is located in the School of Medicine, MSTP Office Suite, Medical Teaching Facility, Room 182. You can contact Alanna by phone at 858-534-0689, and by email at ahower@health.ucsd​.edu

SURF Co-Directors

Dr. Albert Hsiao, MD, PhD, FNASCI is an Associate Professor of Radiology at UCSD and Co-Director of the SURF Program. Additionally, he is the Director of Augmented Imaging/Artificial Intelligence Data Analytics (AiDA) Laboratory and Co-Director  of the Clinican-Scientist Radiology Residency Program.

Dr. Dorathy Tamayo-Murillo is the SURF Co-Director. She is a Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiology at UCSD.

Wellness Advisor

Dr. Dhakshin Ramanathan is the MSTP Wellness Advisor. He is an Assistant Professor in Residence for the Department of Psychiatry. As well as a Staff Physician at the VA San Diego Medical Center. He is a UCSD MST Progam alumnus and the Co-Director of the Neural Engineering and Translational Labs.


LGBTQ+ Co-Advisors

Dr. Jason Duran, MD, PhD is an Associate Director in Clinical Development at Ionis Pharmaceuticals in Carlsbad. Additionally, he is an Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiologist. He is the MSTP LGBTQ+ Co-Advisor along with Dr. Davey Smith


Dr. Davey Smith, MD, MAS (he/his/him) is Professor in the Department of Medicine. He codirects the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Center, the San Diego Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the PREPARE Institute.

MSTP Representatives

Dr. Neal Swerdlow is the MSTP representative on the Hillcrest campus. He is a Program alumnus and is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry. His office is located in the Clinical Teaching Facility, Room # B-420 (CTF is at UCSD Hillcrest). 

Dr. Jesse Dixon is the MSTP representative at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences) from UC San Diego. 

Dr. Evan Snyder is the MSTP representative at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP). He is Professor of the Human Genetics Program, the Sanford Children's Health Research Center, and the Center for Genetic Disorders and Aging Research. He is the Director of the Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine and the Stem Cell Training Program. He received his MD/PhD from the University of Pennslyvania MSTP.​

Dr. Jeffery Kelly is the MSTP representative at Scripps Research​. He is a Professor of Chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Unviersity of North Carolina.