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Veterans Health
Research at NCIRE

NCIRE is dedicated to advancing Veterans health through scientific research and discovery.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco VA Health Care System, the largest VA research program in the U.S. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We partner with federal sponsors to support our work.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe they deserve nothing less than the best and most innovative health care research we can provide.

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Awards and Honors

2017

Thomas Neylan, MD
Staff Physician, Mental Health Service and Director, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders Program, SFVAHCS
Professor in Residence of Psychiatry, UCSF

  • Dr. Tom Neylan initiated a new research grant this year; “Treatment of Disturbed Sleep in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.”

Alexander Smith, MD, MS, MPH
Staff Physician, Geriatrics Service, SFVAHCS
Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF

  • Alex Smith, MD, MPH was elected President of the UCSF School of Medicine Alumni Board this summer. In this capacity, Dr. Smith represented UCSF Alumni at the White Coat Ceremony in August. In the wake of the Federal Administrations decision to end DACA, he is organizing the Alumni to apply pressure to residency programs across the country to implement a "citizenship-blind" admissions process. Residents may be the most vulnerable trainees, as they are considered employees, not students, and are often paid with federal funds.
  • Click here to view Dr. Smith's letter in the UCSF School of Medicine Alumni eNewsletter.

Dolores Shoback, MD
Staff Physician, Medical Service, SFVAHCS
Professor of Medicine, UCSF

  • 2017 - Parathyroid Medal from the Fondazione Raffaella Becaglia (F.I.R.M.O), Florence, Italy, presented at the 3rd International Symposium on the Extracellular Calcium-Sensing Receptor, Florence, Italy

Rebecca Sudore, MD
Staff Physician, Geriatrics Service, SFVAHCS
Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF

Louise Walter, MD
Staff Physician, Geriatrics Service, SFVAHCS
Professor of Medicine, UCSF

2016

Rebecca Brown, MD
Staff Physician, Geriatrics Palliative and Extended Care
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

  • Awarded 2016 Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Best Published Research Award
  • Received the 2016 American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Junior Investigator of the Year Award
  • Won the 2016 American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Outstanding Junior Research Manuscript Award

Paul D. Blanc, MD, MSPH
Chief of Occupational Medicine, San Francisco VA Health Care System
Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

  • The Sahlgrenska Academy Board designated him as the world’s leading occupational medicine researcher and awarded him the 2016 honorary doctorate

Daniel Bikle, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Dermatology
San Francisco VA Health Care System and University of California, San Francisco

  • Received the Louis V Avioli Founders award in September 2016 from the ASBMR (formerly known as American Society for Bone and Mineral Research). This is one of the two top awards from the leading international organization for bone and mineral research

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John R. McQuaid, PhD
Associate Chief of Mental Health for Clinical Administration
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of California San Francisco

  • Received the 2016 Besyner award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Psychological Association

Ken Covinsky, MD, MPH
Staff Physician, San Francisco VA Health Care System
Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

  • Recognized for outstanding research at the 2016 National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) Meeting in Quebec Oct 24-27, 2016 for his substantial work contributions pertaining to career development training in grant writing

Sei J. Lee, MD, MAS 
Senior Scholar, San Francisco VA Quality Scholars Fellowship, Geriatrics Division
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California San Francisco

  • Won the American Geriatrics Society Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation in February 2017. This national award recognizes outstanding achievement in clinical research addressing healthcare problems of older adults by an investigator who is actively involved in direct patient care. The award takes into consideration independence of thought and originality in research

Shira Maguen, PhD
Mental Health Director OEF/OIF Integrated Care Clinic, Staff Psychologist
PTSD Program, San Francisco VA Health Care System
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry,
University of California, San Francisco

  • August 2016, Won the Division 18 Peter J.N. Linnerooth Award that recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions in clinical research, service delivery, program development, administration, and/or policy contributions in the areas of suicide prevention, posttraumatic stress disorder, or provider burnout related to working with active duty military, veterans and military families

Michael Steinman, MD
Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatric
San Francisco VA Health Care System and the University of California, San Francisco

  • One of Dr Steinman’s publications on diabetes in older adults was selected as one of the 10 most important articles on medical overuse
  • January 2017, elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation

Rebecca Sudore, MD
Staff Physician, Geriatrics Palliative and Extended Care
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

  • Elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) in April 2016

John R. Teerlink, MD, FACC, FAHA, FESC, FHFA, FHFSA, FRCP(UK)
Director, Echocardiography, Director, Heart Failure Program
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

  • April, 2016, Elected as Fellow of Heart Failure Association of European Society of Cardiology

Duygu Tosun-Turgut, PhD
Co-Director, Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIND)
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Assistant Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging
University of California, San Francisco

  • Won the Michael J. Fox Foundations Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) Data Challenge for $25,000. The Foundation, sponsors the landmark biomarkers PPMI study and asked data analysts to provide a model of either Parkinson's disease subtypes or baseline predictors of progression using PPMI data. Such tools could accelerate testing of new Parkinson's treatments by helping researchers design trials and choose study volunteers

2015

Mehrdad Arjomandi, MD
Attending Physician, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Associate Professor of Medicine, Director Human Exposure Laboratory
University of California, San Francisco

  • Received the 2015 Breathe California Clean Air Award for his significant contribution to the understanding of the health effects of exposure to pollutants

Rebecca Brown, MD
Staff Physician, Geriatrics Palliative and Extended Care
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

  • Received a commendation from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The commendation recognized her work as a faculty member in the San Francisco Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Training program teaching police officers about aging and how aging in the criminal justice system affects police work

Brian Borsari, PhD
Clinical Research Psychologist/Health Behavior Coordinator
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Professor in Residence, University of California, San Francisco.

  • Selected and Awarded at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) 49th Annual Convention in Chicago to be among their first cohort of ABCT Fellows. The fellowship honors researchers, clinicians, and educators who have made outstanding contributions to cognitive behavioral therapy or related areas over a sustained period

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Ken Covinsky, MD, MPH
Staff Physician, San Francisco VA Health Care System
Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

  • Selected as the 2015 recipient of the Hal S. Luft Mentoring Award in Health Services and Health Policy Research. This award is sponsored by the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and is given to one faculty member at UCSF each year for excellence in mentoring

Judith Ford, PhD
Senior Research Career Scientist, San Francisco VA
Health Care System
Professor in Residence, Psychiatry Department, University of California, San Francisco

  • Elected to a 3 year term on the Society of Biological Psychiatry Council (SOBP)
  • Elected to serve a 1 year term on the nominations committee for the American College of
    Neuro-Psychopharmacology (ACNP).

Millie Hughes-Fulford, PhD
Director, Hughes-Fulford Laboratory, San Francisco VA Health Care System and NCIRE
Professor, School of Medicine University of California San Francisco

Retired Scientific Advisor to the Undersecretary, Retired Science Astronaut

  • Received the Founders Award from the American Gravitational Biology and Research Society (ASGSR). This is the highest honor given by the society to a member for distinguished scientific contributions and leadership in the field of gravitational research and space life sciences

Karunesh Ganguly. MD, PhD
Physician, Neurology Service,
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
University of California San Francisco

  • One of 2015’s New Innovator Award Recipients for his work in the Neuro-prosthetic Control of an Anthropomorphic Exoskeleton in Tetraplegics

S. Marlene Grenon, MDCM, MMSC, FRCSC
Associate Professor of Surgery, San Francisco VA Health Care System and in the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, University of California, San Francisco

  • Received the Society for Vascular Surgery Womens Leadership Training Grant Award

John R. McQuaid, PhD
Associate Chief of Mental Health for Clinical Administration

San Francisco VA Health Care System
Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of California San Francisco

  • Awarded a Presidential Citation for his unwavering service to the nation’s Veterans through psychological research, teaching, clinical work and organizational leadership

David L. Pennington, PhD
Assistant Director, Addiction Research Program, San Francisco VA Health Care System
Assistant Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco

  • Received a NARSAD Young Investigators award in 2015 sponsored by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to investigate Alcohol Approach Bias Modification (AABM), a cognitive training intervention to reduce heavy drinking in veterans with alcohol use disorder

Michael Steinman, MD
Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, San Francisco VA Health Care System and the
University of California, San Francisco

  • Received the Mid-Career Award for Excellence in Mentoring from the Society of General Internal Medicine

Rebecca Sudore, MD
Staff Physician, Geriatrics Palliative and Extended Care
San Francisco VA Health Care System
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

  • Selected as the 2015 recipient of the American Geriatrics Society's Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award. This award was established to recognize outstanding achievement in clinical research addressing health care problems of older adults by an investigator who is actively involved in direct patient care. AGS recognized Rebecca for her exceptional contributions to geriatrics research and the care of culturally diverse, vulnerable older adults. They acknowledged the tangible and useful interventions that she has created that are used in real world care and her high impact research that has directly improved the care of older adults
  • Made it to the Let's Get Healthy California Innovation Finalists Challenge, sponsored by the California Department of Public Health and the California Health and Human Services Agency, this challenge received submissions from community and health advocates, health care providers, community based organizations, civic and data enthusiasts, and many other individuals working to positively impact the lives of Californians. PREPARE will be among a select group of innovators that were featured at the Let's Get Healthy California Statewide Innovation Conference on January 26, 2016 in Sacramento
  • Inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation

Kristine Yaffe, MD
Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry and Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic, San Francisco VA Health Care System
Roy and Marie Scola Endowed Chair in Psychiatry, Vice Chair Department of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Epidemiology, University of California, San Francisco.

  • Award for Research in Geriatric Psychiatry from the American College of Psychiatrists.

Judy Yee, MD, FACR
Chief of Radiology, San Francisco VA Health Care System
Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging

University of California, San Francisco

  • Elected to a one year term as President of the Society of Abdominal Radiology in 2015

Benjamin M. Yeh, MD
Professor in Residence, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging
University of California, San Francisco

  • Received the Academy of Radiology Research Distinguished Investigator Award for 2015