Research Fellowship

The UCSF Division of Geriatrics is a national leader in aging research and offers premier training opportunities for physicians, other health professionals, and post-doctoral candidates interested in careers involving aging research and health care improvement.

We aim to be the nation's premier training programs in aging research and health care improvement. Our programs are distinguished by the combination of superb didactic experiences in UCSF’s renowned Advanced Training in Clinical Research program and world-class mentoring from leading faculty in our division. For fellows primarily interested in research, we place a priority on having fellows demonstrate early academic productivity, such as presentations at major national meetings and publications in high-profile journals, which will make them highly sought-after by the completion of fellowship. For fellows interested in policy and programmatic leadership in health care improvement, we offer excellent hands-on learning and networking opportunities in addition to a solid grounding in research and scholarship. Many former fellows have gone on to highly successful careers in academia, government, and not-for-profit organizations.

Examples of our former fellows include:

Louise Walter, MD (1999-2001)

Current Position: Professor of Medicine and Chief, UCSF Division of Geriatrics

Other accomplishments: International leader in cancer screening for older adults


Erwin Tan, MD (2000-01)

Current Position: Director, Senior Corps and Strategic Advisor for Veterans and MilitaryFamilies, National Service Agency

Other accomplishments: White House Fellow


Alexander Li, MD (2001-03)

Current Position: Deputy Director of Care Transitions and Systems Integration, Los Angeles Dept. of Health

Other accomplishments: Chief Executive Officer, Ambulatory Care Network ,Los Angeles Dept. of Health Services


Jayna Holroyd-Leduc, MD (2002-04)

Current Position: Associate Professor, University of TorontoCalgary Division of Geriatrics

Other accomplishments: Medical Coordinator of Informatics, University of Calgary Dept of Medicine.


Brie Williams, MD (2005-07)

Current Position: Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF Division of Geriatrics

Other accomplishments: International leader in health care for older adutls in the criminal justice system.


Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH (2007-09)

Current Position: Current position: Consultative geriatrics practice (http://drkernisan.net/about/)

Other accomplishments: JAMA publication focusing on hospital quality indicators


Christine Kistler, MD, MASc (2008-10)

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of North Carolina Division of Geriatrics

Other accomplishments: Expertise in decision-making around the care of older adults


Caroline Stephens, PhD APRN (2010-12)

Current Position: Associate Professor, UCSF School of Nursing

Other accomplishments: National expert in integrating palliative care into nursing homes; use of technology to improve nursing home care.


John Newman MD, PhD(2011-13)

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Medicine, UCSF Division of Geriatrics

Other accomplishments: Rising star in translational research on biology of aging; recipient of prestigious NIA Beeson Career Development Award


Jessica Eng, MD MPH (2012-14)

Current Position: Assistant Professor, UCSF Division of Geriatrics

Other accomplishments: Medical Director, SFVAMC PACT Intensive Management Program


Meredith Greene, MD (2013-15)

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Medicine, UCSF Division of Geriatrics

Other accomplishments: Emerging national expert in care of older HIV-infected adults; spearheading innovative programs at UCSF targeted at this population.


Linda Park, PhD ANP (2013-15)

Current Position: Assistant Professor, UCSF School of Nursing

Other accomplishments: National expert in the use of texting to improve medication compliance in cardiovascular disease


Victoria Tang, MD (2013-16)

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Medicine, UCSF Division of Geriatrics

Other accomplishments: Emerging national expert in the surgical and hospital care of older adults; “pre-hab” clinic to optimize older adults before surgery


Overall Structure of Fellowship

Mentored research and formal didactic training are the cornerstones of the research and health care improvement fellowships. In addition, fellows enjoy access to a range of conferences and resources that further enhance the training experience.

Mentorship

The Division of Geriatrics takes mentorship very seriously, and considers it the central element of fellowship training. Research fellowship director Dr. Michael Steinman and co-director Dr. Alex Smith, along with senior research faculty Drs. Kenneth Covinsky, Kenneth Covinsky, Louise Walter, and Christine Ritchie personally mentor many of the research fellows. These and other division faculty are widely regarded as superb mentors and have been recognized with multiple local and national mentoring awards. In addition, a number of faculty outside the Division of Geriatrics work closely with our group and are available for mentorship and research collaboration. Fellows interested in the operational side of health care improvement are matched with dynamic, well-respected leaders in quality improvement at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, the regional VA network, or parts of the University of California, San Francisco system.

Didactic Training

Fellows enroll in UCSF’s Advanced Training in Clinical Research (ATCR) program, an intensive year-long course on research methods for fellows andjunior faculty across UCSF pursuing careers in clinical, epidemiologic, and health services research. Fellows may extend their studies for a second year and obtain a master's degree in clinical research. Coursework includes classes on epidemiologic methods, introductory statistical analysis, advanced statistical methods, statistical computing, clinical trials, database management systems, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, publishing and presentingclinical research, and an ongoing seminar. Additional elective courses are available in decision and cost-effectiveness analysis, medical informatics, clinical research with diverse communities, and outcomes research. For more information, please visit the ATCR website.

Local and National Conferences

Division of Geriatrics Works-in-Progress (WIP) Conferences

This weekly conference provides a venue for faculty and fellows to present ongoing academic work to the entire division. Both educators and researchers are encouraged to present their projects. Research manuscripts and grants, quality improvement projects and educational evaluations are all common topics at our WIPs.

National Conferences

All research fellows are strongly encouraged to present their work at national conferences starting in the first year of fellowship. In addition to national meetings of the American Geriatrics Society and Society of General Internal Medicine, fellows in the VA Quality Scholars Program also attend three other conferences each year, including the Quality Scholars Summer Institute, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement National Conference, and the VA Health Services Research and Development Annual Conference.

Other Resources

Research trainees have access to on-site biostatistical support, computer and database support, and a core analytic laboratory, providing extensive resources to support research.

Which Fellowship Track is Right for Me?

A variety of research tracks and funding mechanisms are available, but the core experience of research fellows in each of these pathways is largely the same. Applicants interested in research are encouraged to discuss these options with the research fellowship directors Dr. Steinman and Smith to determine which track is best suited for that candidate's needs. Similarly, candidates with an interest in health care improvement leadership are encouraged to contact the Quality Scholars Directors Drs. Jessica Eng and Sei Lee. Although the research focus of the Division is on clinical epidemiology and health services research, the Division has also nurtured successful fellows in the basic sciences.

The UCSF Aging Research Fellowship Program

This pathway is designed to provide the highest quality training for physicians, health professionals, and post-doctoral candidates interested in careers involving research. For those interested in clinical geriatrics, this fellowship can be offered in conjunction with clinical geriatrics fellowship training at UCSF, with research occurring before, after, and in some cases concurrent with clinical training. Research training generally requires 2 or more years before fellows successfully enter a junior faculty position. Training in this program is supported by a grant to the Division of Geriatrics from the National Institutes of Health.

The VA National Quality Scholars Program

Learn more about the program by visiting our VA National Quality Scholars Program page.

Division Faculty

Closely Affiliated Faculty

Please click on the below links or browse our research faculty page to learn more about our research faculty and their interests.

  • Louise Walter, MD - Chief, UCSF Division of Geriatrics
  • W. John Boscardin, PhD - Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Kenneth Covinsky, MD, MPH -Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics
  • Sei Lee, MD - Associate Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics
  • Edgar Pierluissi, MD - Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics
  • Alex Smith, MD - Associate Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics
  • Michael Steinman, MD - Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics
  • Rebecca Sudore, MD - Associate Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics
  • Victor Valcour, MD - Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics
  • Brie Williams, MD - Associate Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics
  • Deborah Barnes, PhD, MPH - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
  • Kristine Yaffe, MD - Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Epidemiology
  • Rebecca Brown, MD – Assistant Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics
  • John Newman, MD, PhD - Assistant Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics
  • Christine Ritchie, MD, MSPH – Professor of Medicine in Geriatrics

Fellowship Contact Information

For more information about research fellowship training, contact Elaine Chow, Program Coordinator at:

Elaine Chow
Education Coordinator
UCSF Division of Geriatrics
4150 Clement St. VA181G
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 221-4810 x 24453
echow@medicine.ucsf.edu

Also, questions may be directed to:

Alex Smith, MD
Co-Director, UCSF Aging Research Fellowship Program
San Francisco VA Medical Center / UCSF
4150 Clement St, Box 181G
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 221-4810 x24684
aksmith@ucsf.edu
Michael Steinman, MD
Director, UCSF Aging Research Fellowship Program
San Francisco VA Medical Center / UCSF
4150 Clement St, Box 181G
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 221-4810 x23677
mike.steinman@ucsf.edu

For more information about the VA Quality Scholars Program, contact:

Sei Lee, MD MAS
Director, VA Quality Scholars Program
San Francisco VA Medical Center
4150 Clement St, Box 181G
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 221-4810 x24543
sei.lee@ucsf.edu
Jessica Eng, MD
Associate Director, VA Quality Scholars Program
San Francisco VA Medical Center
4150 Clement St, Box 181G
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 221-4810 x23679
jessica.eng@va.gov