The Jackuelyn Harris Stein Institute Medical Student Geriatric Award

“I transferred into UC San Diego undergrad from a community college in my early twenties, then had to apply twice to be accepted to med school,” says UC San Diego senior medical student David Carlson. “After that, and being treated for a brain tumor as a med student, I know nothing is guaranteed but almost everything is possible.” 

David has been awarded the Jackuelyn Harris Stein Institute Medical Student Geriatric Award. David completed his undergraduate training in physiology and neuroscience at UC San Diego. Subsequently, as a medical student here, he has demonstrated exceptional commitment to research. David has been working with Dilip V. Jeste, MD, on two research projects including physical aging in patients with schizophrenia and use of healthcare technology in senior housing facilities, focusing on physical and cognitive outcomes. David’s interest in geropsychiatry comes from his desire for understanding neurobiological as well as psychosocial underpinnings of behavior. 

At the same time, he enjoys patient interactions. He was elected by his classmates as the student representative for MS2 “Mind Brain and Behavior” block, serving as the liaison between students and staff. David’s research interest is exemplified by two published abstracts on which he is a coauthor—one in the journal Anesthesiology, titled “Analgesic equirements and implications for discharge readiness” and another one in the Journal of Neurochemistry, titled “Activation of 7- containing nicotinic receptors on astrocytes triggers AMPA receptor recruitment to glutamatergic synapses.” David has also put on a series of lectures for his medical school community based on what he has learned through his own experiences.

“I look forward to caring for patients and examining the role of wisdom, resilience, optimism, and social connections in mental health and wellness,” said David, who will pursue his residency in psychiatry at UCLA.​