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Trainees - Comings and Goings

2021-22 PGY-I Research Track Residents

Jack Hunt, M.D., Ph.D.

Jack joins us from the University of Wisconsin, where he earned an M.D. and Ph.D. (Cellular and Molecular Biology). In his doctoral work under the mentorship of Dr. Barbara Bendlin, he investigated neighborhood-level social disadvantage as a risk factor for neurodegeneration and cognitive decline in older adults.

Jacqui Kulbe, M.D., Ph.D.

Jacqui joins us from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where she completed her doctoral studies in Neuroscience.  She worked under Dr. Edward Hall within the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center. Her dissertation focused on assessing putative neuroprotective compounds in a rodent model to traumatic brain injury, with a specific emphasis on attenuating mitochondrial dysfunction and scavenging lipid peroxidation-derived aldehydes. She has published extensively in the field of traumatic brain injury and is the recipient of an NINDS F30 NRSA Fellowship.

2021-22 PGY-II Research Track Resident

Monica Castillo, M.D., M.S. 

Monica earned her B.S. at Stanford University and her M.S. and M.D. at Loyola University in Chicago. Her research has focused on inflammatory biomarkers and novel therapeutics in Bipolar Disorder. In our program, she is continuing to study the role of inflammation in psychopathology under the mentorship of Dr. Suzi Hong.

2021-22 PGY-III Research Track Residents 

David Adamowicz, M.D., Ph.D.

David earned his M.D. and Ph.D. (Neurosciences) at UCSD. He studied age-related neurodegenerative disease under Dr. Rusty Gage at the Salk Institute. Before his time at UCSD, David worked in the Hyman Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, studying tau pathology and loss of synaptic plasticity in Alzheimer's disease. His current projects focus on inflammatory biomarkers in neurodegenerative and psychotic disorders, under the mentorship of Drs. Dilip Jeste and Ellen Lee.

Tom Dixon, M.D., Ph.D. 

Tom received his M.D./Ph.D. at the Tufts School of Medicine MSTP after finishing his B.A. in Chemistry from Pomona College. His doctoral studies were in the field of Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology where he investigated in vitro human neuromuscular junctions using novel tissue engineering techniques. Tom’s current research focuses on electrophysiological and cytoarchitectural analyses of stem cell-derived brain organoids after pharmacological, magnetic or electrical manipulations. He is working in the laboratory of Dr. Alysson Muotri.

2021-22 PGY-III Research Track Residents 

Monica Federoff, M.D., Ph.D. 

Monica received her medical training at the University of California, Irvine. She conducted research at the NIH and earned her Ph.D. in Neurogenetics from the University College London in a program sponsored by the National Institute of Aging. Monica has published extensively on the genetic regulation of neurodegenerative disorders. Her current studies , with the mentorship of Dr. Michael McCarthy, focus on the molecular genetics of circadian rhythm disturbances in Bipolar Disorder, using iPSC-derived neurons.

Sarita Shah, M.D., Ph.D. 

Sarita completed her medical studies at Baylor College of Medicine and received her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Rice University. Her doctoral studies focused on tissue engineering and targeted drug delivery systems. Sarita's current work focuses on developing a bioengineered organoid model of neural tube development, ultimately aiming to identify specific genetic mutations associated with neural tube defects. She has joined the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Gleeson.

2021 Graduation Class of Research Track Residents 

  • Sara Timtim, M.D. is pursuing a Post-doctoral Fellowship in PTSD/Trauma Research at the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco VA MIRECC

2020 Graduation Class of Research Track Residents
  • Matthew Klein, M.D., Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and is funded by a VA Career Development Award and a Young Investigator Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
  • Juan Molina, M.D. is an Assistant Professor in the UCSD Department of Psychiatry, pursuing studies in the clinical neuroscience of schizophrenia, funded by his VA Career Development Award and BBRF Young Investigator Award.
2019 Graduation Class of Research Track Residents
  • Samantha Friend, M.D., Ph.D. is an Attending Psychiatrist with the San Diego VA Center for Stress and Mental Health and is continuing her translational studies supported by a new VA Career Development Award.
  • Yash Joshi, M.D., Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the UCSD Department of Psychiatry, pursuing transdiagnostic electrophysiological studies supported by his VA Career Development Award and BBRF Young Investigator Award. 
  • Natassia Gaznick, M.D., Ph.D. is an Addiction Psychiatrist pursuing clinical and clinical research activities affiliated with UCLA. 

2018 Graduation Class of Research Track Residents

  • Mercedes Szpunar, M.D., Ph.D. is pursuing academic research with an appointment at the Harvard Medical School Center for Women’s Mental Health, Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • Alejandro Meruelo, M.D., Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in our UCSD Department of Psychiatry, pursuing research supported by his NIAAA K-23 Award.
  • Nate Miller, M.D., Ph.D. is pursuing Community Psychiatry. 

Past Psychiatry Summer Research Fellows and their Current Positions

Our program sponsors two students from under-represented groups to attend UCSD for 10-12 weeks of intensive Psychiatry research and career mentorship during the Summer between the MS-I and MS-II years. Of the 9 students who have thusfar completed our program and graduated from medical school, 6 have gone on to "match" in Psychiatry Residency Training programs, including 2 who matched with Psychiatry Research Residency Tracks!

Uzoma Ahiarakwe is an MS-II at Eastern Virginia School of Medicine.

Lauren Pedersen is an MS-II at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Chinelo Okolo is an MS-IV at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University School of Medicine.

Simone Boney is an MS-IV at the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine.

Damien Roland is an MS-IV at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.  

Julian Lane, MD is a Psychiatry Resident at the Morehouse University School of Medicine.

Brandi Quintanilla DO, MS is a Psychiatry Research Track Resident in the UT Department of Psychiatry.

Cecilia Rangel-Garcia MD, MPH is a Psychiatry Resident in the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry.

Jade Avery, MD is a Psychiatry Resident at Columbia University.

Maria Ceron, MD is a Surgery Resident at UF College of Medicine.

Joshua Dyer, DO is a Psychiatry Resident at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

Robert Cox, MD is an Emergency Medicine Resident at Texas Medical Center.

Sara Timtim, MD completed the UCSD Psychatry Research Residency Track and is a Post-doctoral Fellow in PTSD/Trauma Research at the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco VA MIRECC.

Brian Becerra, MD is a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Medicine at UC Irvine.