Trainees - Comings and Goings

2018-9 PGY-I 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. 





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, and she plans to continue similar lines of inquiry at UCSD with a goal of developing technologies for precise CNS delivery of drugs for mental illness.  





2018-9 PGY-II Research Track Resident

Sara Timtim, M.D.

Sara

Sarah received her B.S. at Stanford University where she conducted studies and co-authored a report on the use of adjunctive therapies in treatment-resistant Bipolar Disorder. She then completed her M.D. training at the University of Illinois College of Medicine – Rockford. Sara was a member of our inaugural class of the UCSD R25 Summer Research Fellowship, studying longitudinal cognitive measures in children, as part of a multi-site NIH investigation of brain imaging and cognition across development. As a Research Track Resident, she plans to study neuroimaging biomarkers of antidepressant sensitivity in depression.

    2018-9 PGY-III Research Track Residents

    Juan Molina, M.D.

    Juan Molina, M.D.

    Juan joined us from the University of South Florida, where he received his M.D. degree. Prior to medical school, he trained in neuroimaging at the Clinical Brain Disorders Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health. His research has focused on neurocognition and genetics in schizophrenia. As a Research Resident, he is studying the use of experimental medicine models to develop novel therapeutics for schizophrenia.


      Matthew Klein, M.D., Ph.D.

      Matthew Klein, M.D., Ph.D.

      Matthew came to our research track after completing his MD/PhD at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His thesis focused on how neurons control local gene expression to maintain efficient synaptic transmission, and how these mechanisms go awry in Autism Spectrum Disorders. As a Research Track Resident, Matt is studying rodent models of habenula dysfunction relevant to affective disorders.


      2018-9 PGY-IV Research Track Residents

      Samantha Friend, M.D., Ph.D.

      Samantha Friend, M.D., Ph.D.

      Samantha joined us from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where she received her M.D, and her Ph.D in Immunology. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on T cell regulation, and her current research interests include the role of immune function in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders.


      Yash Joshi, M.D., Ph.D.

      Yash Joshi, M.D., Ph.D.

      Yash graduated from Temple University School of Medicine where he received both his M.D and Ph.D degrees, the latter in Pharmacology. His research focus has been the cellular basis for neurodegenerative disorders, using cross-species models. His current research focuses on neurophysiological biomarkers predicting gains from targeted cognitive training in disorders of impaired cognition.


      Natassia Gaznick, M.D.,Ph.D.

      Natassia Gaznick, M.D.,Ph.D.

      Natassia completed her MD,PhD (Neuroscience) at the University of Iowa studying the role of the basal ganglia and insula in human drug craving. Her current research focuses on addiction therapeutics.







      2018 Graduation Class of Research Track Residents

      • Mercedes Szpunar, M.D., Ph.D.: Mercedes will start a VA Academic Fellowship in Health Issues of Women Veterans; 
      • Alejandro Meruelo, M.D., Ph.D.: Alejandro has submitted his NIAAA K-23 application, and will join the UCSD Biological Psychiatry and Neuroscience Fellowship;
      • Nate Miller, M.D., Ph.D.: Nate will pursue Community Psychiatry and join our Health Sciences Clinical Faculty. 

      2018 Psychiatry Summer Research Fellows 

      Julian Lane is a rising MSII from Howard University. He completed his B.S. (Neuroscience) and M.S. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) at Johns Hopkins University. His Summer research project examined the utility of mindfulness-based interventions for smoking cessation in psychiatric populations.  

      Damien Roland will start his MSII year at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He received his B.S. (Biological and Physical Sciences) from the University of Houston, and his M.S. (Biological and Medical Sciences) from Mississippi College. His Summer research project includes a clinical trial for refractory anxiety disorders. 

      2017 Psychiatry Summer Research Fellows

      Brandi Quintanilla joined us after her first year at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. She received her B.S. in Biology from The University of Texas Pan American, and a Masters in Biomedical Science from The University of North Texas Health Science Center. Brandi spent her UCSD Summer Research Fellowship in the clinical research program of Dr. Cristian Achim, studying alterations in the mitochondrial biogenesis in postmortem brains from patients with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. She presented her findings at the 2017 meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Palm Springs, CA.

      Cecilia Rangel-Garcia joined us after her first year at UCSD School of Medicine. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. Cecilia spent her UCSD Summer Research Fellowship in the clinical research program of Dr. Victoria Risbrough, studying the role of early life stressors in later risk for, and manifestations of, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans. 

      2016 Psychiatry Summer Research Fellows

      Jade Avery joined us after her first year at the Dartmouth University Geisel School of Medicine. She received her B.A. in Biological Sciences from The University of Chicago. Jade spent her UCSD Summer Research Fellowship in the clinical research program of Dr. Walter Kaye, studying the effects of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) on Bulimia Nervosa (BN). Her specific project assessed changes in alexithymia in BN patients, pre- vs. post-DBT.

      Maria Ceron joined us after her first year at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She received her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University in Psychological and Brain Sciences. She spent her UCSD Summer Research Fellowship in the clinical research program of Dr. Robert Anthenelli, studying the effects of a novel NMDA antagonist on craving and abstinence in chronic smokers. Maria's research report focused on the role of the prefrontal cortex in the genesis of impulsivity in addiction.

      2015 Psychiatry Summer Research Fellows

      Joshua Dyer came her as a first-year student at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has four years of military experience as a Navy Corpsman, including two years serving with a marine infantry unit. He studied neurobehavioral predictors of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with Drs. Dean Acheson and Victoria Risbrough. Joshua completed his medical school training and matched for a Psychiatry Residency Training Program in Southern California.

      Robert Cox joined us as a first-year medical student at Drexel University College of Medicine. His undergraduate studies were in molecular cell biology, and his clinical interests include Addiction Psychiatry. Robert’s summer project focused on the neural and molecular basis of addiction phenotypes in laboratory animals, working in the laboratory group of Dr. Athina Markou. Robert completed medical school and matched for an ER Residency at Texas Medical Center in Houston.

      2014 Psychiatry Summer Research Fellows

      Sara Timtim joined us after her first year at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. She received her B.S. from Stanford University in Environmental Engineering. Sara spent her summer fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Terry Jernigan, Professor of Cognitive Science, Psychiatry, and Radiology and Director of the UCSD Center for Human Development. She then completed her M.D. training and joined our Research Residency Track in 2017!

      Brian Becerra joined us after his first year at Stony Brook University. He received his B.S. in Human Biology from UCSD. Brian spent his summer fellowship in the laboratory of David Feifel, M.D., Ph.D., a former UCSD Research Track Resident and UCSD Professor of Psychiatry. Brian completed his medical training and matched as an Internal Medicine Resident at the University of California, Irvine.