Research Faculty

Research Leadership

Ken Covinsky

Ken Covinsky, MD, MPH

Professor of Medicine
Co-Director of Research
Edmund G. Brown Sr., Distinguished Professorship in Geriatrics
Staff Physician (SFVAMC)

Research Interests:

Disability following hospitalization
Psychosocial determinants of disabilty in older persons
Outcomes of Disability


Michael Steinman

Michael Steinman, MD

Professor of Medicine
Director of Research Training
Associate Director, UCSF Pepper Center for Aging Research
VA Director, UCSF National Clinician Scholars Program
Visiting Research Scientist and Interim Director of Research, San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living
Staff Physician, SFVAMC

Research Interests:

Medication use in older adults -
Training in patient-oriented aging research


Louise Walter

Louise Walter, MD

Professor of Medicine
Chief, Division of Geriatrics
Staff Physician (SFVAMC)

Research Interests:

Cancer screening in older adults
Personalized Prevention


Research Faculty

Theresa Allison

Theresa Allison, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine
Professor of Family & Community Medicine
Medical Consultant, Home Based Primary Care, San Francisco VA Medical Center

Research Interests:

Music and Dementia Caregiving Relationships
Quality of Life and Activities Programs in Long-term Care Settings 
Health-related Benefits of Choir Programs for Older Adults
Palliative Care for People Living with Dementia
Home Based Medical Care


John Boscardin

John Boscardin, PhD

Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Research Interests:

Analysis of longitudinal and repeated measures data, treatment of missing data, Bayesian statistical modeling, and computational statistics
HIV/AIDS, brain injury, health disparities, diabetes, stroke, ageing and frailty, and scleroderma, with colleagues in a wide variety of disciplines, including geriatrics, psychology, psychiatry, pediatrics, ophthalmology, immunology, virology, gastroenterology, epidemiology, neuroimaging, neurosurgery, neuroscience, cardiology, health services, and rheumatism.


Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Research Interests:

Improving quality of life for vulnerable older adults
Care delivery models for vulnerable older adults
Social determinants of health


Meredith Greene

Meredith Greene, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Director Ward 86 Golden Compass Program
Physician in Ward 86 (ZSFG)

Research Interests:

Improving care for older adults living with HIV infection
Creating a novel geriatric HIV program at Ward 86 at ZSFG
Streamlining operations and quality improvement projects in Housecalls Program



Matthew Growdon

Matthew Growdon, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Geriatrician, Inpatient Services

Research Interests:

Aging research and the intersection between clinical medicine, public health, and practice reform.
Specific interests in dementia, delirium, health services research, polypharmacy, adherence, and the history of medicine.
Currently focused specifically on measurement and mitigation of problematic prescribing among people with dementia.



Krista Harrison

Krista Harrison, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Director of Analytic Research Operations

Research Interests:

Improving systems of care for older adults with serious illness and their caregivers
Geriatric palliative care for older adults living at home with dementia
Hospice and home-based primary care and palliative care

Health policy and public health ethics


Ashwin Kotwal


Ashwin Kotwal, MD, MS

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Staff Physician (SFVAMC)

Research Interests:

Loneliness and social isolation among older adults
Prognostic models
Cancer screening decision making



Kenneth Lam

Kenneth Lam, MD

Adjunct Assistant Professor 
Geriatrician, San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living (SFCJL)

Research Interests:

Measurement and categorization of disability in older persons
Evaluation of equipment and caregiving to support disability
Decision-making around institutionalization


Alex Lee

Alexandra Lee, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor 

Research Interests:



Sei Lee

Sei Lee, MD

Professor of Medicine
Senior Scholar Emeritus, San Francisco VA Quality Scholars Fellowship
Staff Physician (SFVAMC)

Research Interests:

Mortality Prediction and Lagtime to Benefit for Preventive Interventions
Geriatric Outcomes and Glycemic Control in Older Adults
Alzheimer’s Dementia Screening in Older Adults
Measuring and Improving Healthcare Quality for Frail Elders


John Newman

John Newman, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Assistant Professor (Buck Institute)
Staff Physician (SFVAMC)

Research Interests:

Molecular mechanisms of aging
Metabolic interventions to prolong healthspan and longevity in mice
Epigenetic gene regulation by metabolic signals
Mechanisms of dietary restriction and ketone bodies in health and longevity


Edgar Pierluissi

Edgar Pierluissi, MD

Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit, SFGH

Research Interests:

Aging and Vulnerable Populations
Care of Hospitalized Older Adults
Quality Improvement


Christine Ritchie

Christine Ritchie, MD, MSPH

Adjunct Professor of Medicine
Harris Fishbon Distinguished Professorship in Clinical Translational Research in Aging

Research Interests:

Symptom Experience and Burden in Advanced Illness and Multimorbidity
Care Delivery Models and Quality Measures for Complex Serious Illness
Supportive Care in Cancer and Dementia
Emerging Technology in Chronic Serious Illness


Janice Schwartz

Janice B. Schwartz, MD

Professor of Medicine, Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF
Visiting Research Scientist, Jewish Home of San Francisco

Research Interests:

Improving medication therapy in older patients
Dietary supplement and vitamin use
Adherence to medications


Alex Smith

Alex Smith, MD, MS, MPH

Professor of Medicine
Staff Physician (SFVAMC)

Research Interests:

Improving quality of life in late life disability
Communication about prognosis in the frail elderly
Health services use at the end of life


Rebecca Sudore

Rebecca Sudore, MD

Professor of Medicine
Staff Physician (SFVAMC)

Research Interests:

Advance Care Planning
Health Literacy and Vulnerable Populations
Medical Decision Making


Vicky Tang

Victoria Tang, MD, MAS

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Staff Physician (SFVAMC)

Research Interests:

Geriatric Surgical Care
Clinical Epideminology
Medical Decision Making


Brie Williams

Brie Williams, MD

Professor of Medicine
Staff Physician (SFVAMC)
Director, Amend
Director, the Criminal Justice & Health Program at UCSF

Research Interests:

Vulnerable older adults
Older Adults in the Criminal Justice System
The Intersection of Medicine and the Law in Health Policy