Geriatrics Spotlight 

Every week, we will feature one of our talented faculty, staff, or trainees.

Brian Nguyen
Brian Nguyen
[email protected]
Research Assistant


What are your roles in the Division?
Brian provides administrative support and drives progress for the research projects for Drs. Sei Lee and Alex Smith.

What's a "fun fact" about you (hidden talent)?
The first paper Brian wrote in college was on Alzheimer’s disease. One year later, his grandparents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and he started volunteering / working for an Alzheimer’s lab. Coincidentally, he now works on Sei and Alex’s projects, which are also about dementia.

Brian survived a lightning storm…once, he went with his friends to Zion National Park. Along the way, there were hail and lightning, but they were trying to capture a photo of the summit. As his friend took a photo, a lightning bolt struck just in a few miles away from him, as dangerous as it was, the lightning made it into the photo! 

What is your favorite aspect of your role at UCSF and why?
Brian’s favorite aspect of his role is learning from Sei, Alex, and other investigators about the thought processes that go into their work. He also enjoys hearing about other projects (ie: Theresa on music and ethnography), learning and understanding the academic material, and how everything fits together, understanding responsibilities within academia, how to create lasting working relationships with other researchers, and wrangling logistics to make research possible.

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?
Brian enjoys writing scripts for short films, creative writing, guitar, taking photos. He has submitted one of his films for festival track, so fingers crossed he hears back. Previously, he has won 2 awards (best picture and best writing), so stay tuned for content within the last half of this year.

What is the best advice you’ve ever heard?
When he was younger, one of his history teachers paraphrased “civility costs you nothing but buys you everything.” Now that he’s moving through life experiences, he feels it is important to ask for support and remember we all need each other to accomplish things. Respect, genuine concern, and acknowledgement for others goes such a long way.

Who is someone you admire, and why?
Brian admires many people, but the quality he admires most in a person is kindness. There are many people who are smart and capable, but there needs to be more who will use it to help and benefit others as well.

What would you like to accomplish by the end of this year?
He’d like to finish studying for MCAT (shooting to take the test in February) so that one day he can be a doctor specializing in family medicine or perhaps psychiatry. He’s also trying to shoot a short film inspired upon exploring homelessness, and its impact on our relationships.


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The Division of Geriatrics fosters healthcare transformation by finding new ways to improve the health of older persons.


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