Research Faculty Biographies
Lillian Gelberg, MD
Dr. Gelberg is a family physician, health services researcher, and professor in UCLA’s Department of Family Medicine and School of Public Health. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, co-director of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute, and associate director of the UCLA Primary Care Research Fellowship. Her current research focuses on clinical trials to promote healthy lifestyle change in low income populations using leading behavior change methodologies supported by wireless technology. Over the past 2 decades, Dr. Gelberg has conducted community-based health services research to improve the health of our nation’s most vulnerable populations, and has developed the art and science of collecting data under the most difficult field conditions, including the shelters, meal programs, parks, streets, and busy community health centers of Los Angeles County. Dr. Gelberg has served as PI or Co-PI of more than 25 NIH funded grants, and has published over 100 articles and book chapters. She received the Academy Health 1995 Young Investigator Award and 1997 Article of the Year Award, 2001 Family Practice Excellence in Research Award from the California Academy of Family Physicians (first recipient), George F. Kneller Endowed Chair at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (first recipient), and 2009 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine’s Curtis Hames Award which honors individuals who through the course of their career, have contributed in a major, outstanding manner to the development of family medicine research. Dr. Gelberg is an alumna of UCLA (BA biology ’77, MSPH public health/health services ‘97), Harvard University Medical School (MD ‘81), Montefiore Residency Program in Social Medicine (family medicine residency ‘84), and the RWJF UCLA Clinical Scholars Program (health services research fellowship ‘86) and Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program (faculty development award).
Keith Heinzerling, MD, MPH
Keith Heinzerling, MD, MPH, Assistant Clinical Professor. Dr. Heinzerling received his BA in Human Biology and his MD from Stanford University. He completed residency in Internal Medicine/Primary Care at NYU Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital where he was Chief Resident in Medicine. He then completed the UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, during which he obtained an MPH from UCLA School of Public Health. Dr. Heinzerling’s current research and clinical activities are devoted to the discovery, development, and dissemination of effective medications for the treatment of addiction. He is the Principal Investigator on several clinical trials of potential medications for methamphetamine addiction and a study investigating possible genetic influences on response to anti-addiction medications. Dr. Heinzerling is the Medical Director for the UCLA Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and the UCLA Hollywood Research Clinic.
Rose Maly, MD, MSPH
Dr. Rose C. Maly is Associate Professor of Family Medicine. Dr. Maly received her BS in Biological Sciences and BA in Philosophy from UC Irvine. She received her MD from the UC Irvine College of Medicine and an MSPH from the UCLA School of Public Health. Dr. Maly did her residency in Family Medicine at UCLA, followed by a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at UCLA. Her honors include the New Investigator Award from the American Geriatrics Society and appointments as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar and as an American Cancer Society Research Scholar for which she was the first to receive a research grant in excess of $2 million dollars from the American Cancer Society. Her research focus is on patient-physician communication and its impact on health-related quality of life and functioning, cancer survivorship, as well as quality of care. She has used a new diagnosis of breast cancer as a paradigm to highlight elements of patient-physician communication that are key in impacting these outcomes during a particularly vulnerable period in a patient's illness experience. Dr. Maly passionately believes that the patient-physician relationship itself is one of the most healing aspects of medical practice. She has particularly focused her research on special patient populations including the medically underserved, ethnic minorities, and the elderly that may suffer disproportionately from the consequences of poor patient-physician communication. Dr. Maly has a continuity practice in Geriatric Medicine at UCLA and teaches Doctoring courses for medical students which target topics not typically covered in a traditional medical school curriculum, including such areas as medical ethics, health care disparities, complementary and alternative medicine, and hospice and palliative care that are nonetheless critical to excellence and humanity in the practice of medicine.
Gerardo Moreno, MD, MSHS
Assistant Clinical Professor in Family Medicine. Dr. Moreno attended the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for his medical degree and completed his post-doctoral clinical training in Family Medicine at UCSF-San Francisco General Hospital. While at UCSF, he developed an interest in workforce and language access policy issues. He joined the faculty in 2010 after completing a post-doctoral research fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at UCLA. While a clinical scholar, Dr. Moreno received training in community-based participatory research (CBPR) and obtained a Masters of Science in Health Services from the UCLA School of Public Health. His roots in California’s Central Valley provide him with strong motivation to conduct research that improves the health of vulnerable populations. Dr. Moreno recently conducted a study using principles of CBPR to investigate interpersonal care, self-care behaviors, and the quality of care among Latinos with diabetes, including migrant/seasonal agricultural workers, receiving care in a community/migrant health center. This experience introduced him to aging-related issues for those with chronic conditions and activated his interest in the life trajectory of chronic disease among Latinos. His current project focuses on exploring the relationships between physical activity and biological markers of health among elderly Latinos. Dr. Moreno has published on important issues addressing medical education, healthcare workforce, and language access issues; has a continuity clinic at the Mid Valley Comprehensive Family Health Center; and trains family medicine residents and medical students.
Michael A. Rodríguez, MD, MPH
Michael A. Rodriguez, MD, MPH, is Professor, Vice Chair of Research and George F. Kneller Endowed Chair in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is Co-Director of the Multicultural Research Network on Health and Health Care (http://www.multiculturalhealthcare.net/
) and Associate Director of the UCLA Training Program on Addiction Medicine in Primary Care as well as the Primary Care Research Fellowship. Dr. Rodriguez completed his undergraduate training at the University of California, Berkeley, attended medical school at UCLA, and completed his residency at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He obtained his public health degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Stanford University, and a Picker/Commonwealth Scholar at UCSF. He is a leading researcher and policy expert in the areas of the role of the healthcare system in addressing intimate partner violence and the healthcare needs of Latino populations across the age spectrum. He publishes and lectures internationally on the topics of violence prevention, medical education, quality improvement in primary care and health disparities with focus on immigrant and Latino populations. Dr. Rodriguez has been a violence prevention consultant with UNICEF, the Pan American Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Training Needs of Health Professionals to Respond to Family Violence. Dr. Rodriguez has expertise in the principles of community-oriented primary care and the development of initiatives and policies focused on improving the health status of individuals, families and communities. Dr. Rodriguez also trains UCLA faculty, fellows, residents and medical students while volunteering at a community health center serving uninsured patients in Los Angeles.
Steven Shoptaw, Ph.D.
Dr. Shoptaw is a licensed psychologist and Professor in both the Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. He is Director of the Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, which focuses on the prevention and treatment of chronic health problems, particularly addiction and HIV/AIDS. Since the early 1990’s, Dr. Shoptaw has conducted a series of clinical studies in community clinic settings, primarily on topics that involve the development of medical and behavioral interventions to treat substance abusers. As the Director for the Intervention Core for the UCLA Center for HIV Identification Prevention and Treatment Services, Dr. Shoptaw works with a team of colleagues to develop funded research on application of the next generation of technological advances (e.g., using cell phones, Internet) and biomedical approaches (microbicides, stem cells) to preventing HIV transmission. He is the Director of a NIDA-funded Center of Excellence on medication development for methamphetamine abuse. He is also the Site Director of a newly-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network study. Dr. Shoptaw eagerly seeks out opportunities to mentor new investigators interested in academic careers along these topics and has mentored more than a dozen pre- and post-doctoral students. He was recently awarded a T32 Training Program on Addiction Medicine in Primary Care by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. All of these experiences in conducting clinical trials in addiction medicine have shaped Dr. Shoptaw’s agenda in the Department of Family Medicine to integrating addiction medicine into primary care settings, particularly those clinics that serve low-income patients.
Derjung Mimi Tarn, MD, PhD
Derjung Mimi Tarn, MD, PhD is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Tarn obtained B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, and her medical degree from New York Medical College. She completed a Family Medicine residency at the University of Southern California-Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in 2002, where she was a Chief Resident during her last year. Following her residency training, Dr. Tarn went to UCLA for a National Research Service Award (NRSA) Primary Care Research fellowship. She also was a UCLA Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) program fellow, and during her research training obtained a Ph.D. in Health Services with an emphasis in Pharmaceutical Economics at the UCLA School of Public Health.
Dr. Tarn’s research combines qualitative and quantitative skills to understand physician-patient communication about medications. She has developed tools to understand conversations about new and continued medications, and described a medication prescribing communication index. Her analyses, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Patient Education and Counseling, and American Journal of Managed Care, have demonstrated deficiencies in the ways physicians and patients communicate when patients receive new prescriptions. These findings have led to Dr. Tarn’s endeavors to develop behavioral interventions to improve prescribing education. To provide the groundwork for the intervention development, she conducted and analyzed focus group discussions with physicians, patients, and pharmacists. These results are reported on in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Tarn currently is piloting a physician- and patient-targeted intervention to improve discussions when new medications are prescribed.
William Vega, Ph.D.
Dr. Vega is Emeritus Professor of Public Health, U.C. Berkeley, and an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academies of Science. Dr. Vega has conducted community and clinical research projects on health, mental health, and substance abuse in various regions of the United States and Latin America. He has published over 170 articles and chapters on these topics, in addition to several books. Dr. Vega was cited in ISIHighlyCited.com Web of Science in 2006 in the top one-half of one percent of most highly cited researchers in the social science literature world-wide. Dr. Vega is also Co-Director of the Multicultural Research Network on Health and Health Care-UCLA. In 2002, Dr. Vega was awarded the Culture, Community, and Prevention Science Award by the Society for Prevention Research, and the National Award of Excellence in Research by a Senior Scientist by the National Hispanic Science Network Dr. Vega is a founding member of the International Consortium of Psychiatric Epidemiology of the World Health Organization, and past member of the Institute of Medicine-Board of Population Health and Public Health Practice and the IOM Ethnic Health Disparities Roundtable, Council Member of the Fogarty International Center–NIH, and National Advisory Council Member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Advisory Group for Health Policy Scholars.