Mentors

Faculty involved with the training program are classified into one of three distinct categories: primary mentor, secondary mentor or distance consultant.  After discussion, fellows will select a primary mentor whose research expertise overlaps with the research interests of the fellow and who can provide a tangible research experience that focuses on that area of interest.  The fellow will also be assigned a secondary mentor who will provide training and research expertise from a discipline usually distinct from the primary mentor’s.  The distant consultants are faculty from outside the San Diego area that will be available to the trainees for additional mentoring or technical consultation.

Primary Mentors:  

Matthew Allison MD, MPH is the Division Chief and a Professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego.

Cheryl Anderson, PhD, MPH, MS is the Interim Department Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health and a Professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine.

Christina Chambers, PhD is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and is a Clinical Professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her research focuses on environmental causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes and childhood disabilities. She has led a number of national and international complex longitudinal cohort studies and clinical trials of prenatal exposures and child health and development, and has worked in collaboration with researchers from all over the world to link multiple sources of large, detailed data and biorepositories to answer study questions. She has extensive government and industry funding and is an NIH-funded Principal Investigator on several grants. Dr. Chambers has successfully mentored 4 K-Award fellows, 9 post-doctoral fellows, and 4 visiting scholars.

Lori B. Daniels, MD, MAS is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, as well as Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health. She is also the Director of the Coronary Care Unit. She is the recipient of the UC San Diego Cardiovascular Division Fellow’s Teaching Award, UC San Diego Internal Medicine Graduating Housestaff Teaching Award and the UC San Diego Cardiology Zipser Family Award for clinical excellence, humanitarianism, and teaching. Dr. Daniels’ research focuses on using biomarkers to assess cardiovascular risk in a variety of populations to include young adults with a childhood history of Kawasaki Disease. She has received an AHA Postdoctoral Research Grant, an American College of Cardiology/Guidant Foundation Research Grant in Women’s Cardiovascular Health, and an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant.

Linda Gallo, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University.

Todd Gilmer, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health and focuses on health insurance and risk adjustment, diabetes care, and mental health services research. Dr. Gilmer specializes in research design and data analysis, the use of large data sets including those from Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans, national surveys and census data, and mixed data sets that combine epidemiological data with health insurance claims, and the evaluation of community based interventions to improve chronic disease care including cardiovascular disease to low-income populations.

Eric Hekler, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health.  He is the Director of the Center for Wireless & Population Health Systems within the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego, and the faculty member of the Design Lab at UC San Diego.

Linda Hill, MD, MPH is a Professor and Director of the UC San Diego Exercise and Physical Activity Training Center, Director of the Training Research and Education for Driving Safety, Program Director of the General Preventive Medicine Residency, and the Refugee Health Assessment Program. Dr. Hill has over 35 years experience in working with non-profit community health centers, where she has an active practice, has designed behavioral interventions for multicultural populations. She currently serves as principal and co-investigator on studies addressing exercise and physical activity, bone health, obesity, injury prevention, driving safety, inflammation, and employee wellness.

Joachim H. Ix, MD, MAS is a Professor and Chief of Nephrology, with appointments in the Department of Medicine and Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego.

Andrea LaCroix, PhD is the Division Chief and a Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego.

Paul J. Mills, PhD is the Division Chief and a Professor of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego.

Mark G. Myers, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego.

Kevin Patrick, MD, MS is an Emeritus Professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego.

John P. Pierce, PhD is an Emeritus Professor in the Division of Health Policy at UC San Diego in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health and at the Moores Cancer Center. He is a behavioral epidemiologist who has conducted numerous randomized trials in cancer prevention but now focuses mainly on tobacco control research, particularly the analysis of large scale national data sets such as the PATH study.

Nicholas Schork, PhD is Director of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at the Scripps Translational Science Institute; Director of Research, Scripps Genomic Medicine; and Professor, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Schork’s interest and expertise is in the areas of quantitative human genetics and genomics, especially the design and implementation of methodologies used to dissect the genetic basis of complex traits and diseases. Dr. Schork has been selected as a member of a number of scientific journal editorial boards, is a frequent participant in NIH related steering committees and review boards, and has also been on the advisory board of five companies. He is currently Director of the Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core of the NIA-sponsored Longevity Consortium and a member of the NHGRI’s Genetic Association Information Network (GAIN) data analysis committee. Dr. Schork has published over 400 scientific articles and book chapters on the analysis of complex, multifactorial traits and diseases.

Greg Talavera, MD, MPH is a Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the San Diego State University-GSPH.

Sortorios (Sam) Tsimikas, MD is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology and Director of Vascular Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at UC San Diego.

Shu-Hong Zhu, PhD is a Professor in the Division of Global Health, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego and the Director of the Center for Tobacco Cessation.

Secondary Mentors:

Happy Araneta, PhD
Elva Arredondo, PhD 
Tarik Benmarhnia, PhD
Ryan Bradley, ND, MPH
Harvey Checkoway, PhD 
Michael H. Criqui, MD, MPH
Sheila Gahagan, MD, MPH
Deborah Kado, MD 
Britta Larsen, PhD
Sarah Linke, PhD, MPH
Rohit Loomba, MD 
Bess Marcus, PhD
Elena Martinez, MPH, PhD
Loki Natarajan, PhD
Dena Rifkin, MD, MS 
James Sallis, PhD
Murray Stein, MD
Zvinka Zlatar, PhD