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2022 UC San Diego Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program

The 2022 UC San Diego Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program is in full swing this summer, with 16 trainees working on aging research with UC San Diego faculty mentors.
Funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), this training grant has been offered at UC San Diego for over 25 years. Each summer up to 18 medical students from UC San Diego and across the country receive a stipend to decipher aging-related issues with UC San Diego faculty mentors. The program also aims to offer medical students a unique opportunity to gain clinical exposure to geriatrics and geriatric psychiatry.
Thank you so much to our trainees, mentors, and speakers for making this program a success!

Announcing the New MSTAR MPIs

It is with great pleasure that we announce new leadership for our Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program. Following the recent retirement of Dr. Dilip Jeste, Alison A. Moore, MD, MPH, FACP, AGSF, Professor and Chief of the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care, Interim Chair of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging and current co-Principal Investigator of MSTAR at UC San Diego, has agreed to serve as the program Principal Investigator. She will lead the program alongside co-PIs Ellen Lee, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry at UC San Diego, and Benjamin Han, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor in the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Palliative Care in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego.

Alison Moore, MD, MPH

Ellen Lee, MD.

Ben Han
Benjamin Han, MD, MPH

This Summer's MSTAR Students and Mentors

Nicole Muehleisen, Anxiety and Driving Patterns in Older Adults: A LongRoad Study
Mentor: Dr. Linda Hill

Veronica Gandara, Pupillometry as an Early Risk Marker of Alzheimer's Disease
Mentor: Dr. Eric Granholm

Heejung (Julie) Kim, Pulse Pressure and Conversion to amnestic MCI and Alzheimer's Disease
Mentor: Dr. Guerry Peavy

Heejung (Julie) Kim, Pulse Pressure and Conversion to amnestic MCI and Alzheimer's Disease
Mentor: Dr. Guerry Peavy

Dahlia Kaki, Perceptions on Dementia Risk and Access to Care Amongst Arab Refugees in San Diego
Mentor: Dr. Tala Al-Rousan

Mikayla Sonnleitner, Characteristics of Older Adults with Positive Neurocognitive Screens in the Geriatric ED
Mentor: Dr. Edward Castillo

Kelly Watanabe, Thoracic Aorta Calcification and Left Ventricular Structure and Function Relevant to Heart Failure: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
Mentor: Dr. Matthew Allison

Kerri Niino, Development of Loneliness and Social Isolation Following Spousal Loss: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies on Widowhood
Mentor: Dr. Dylan Jester and Dr. Brent Mausbach

Jesse Most, Investigating Macular Structure-function Relationships in Retinal and Macular Disease
Mentor: Dr. Shyamanga Borooah

Uyen Nguyen, Non-contrast MRI Comparing Healthy Premenopausal and Postmenopausal Ovarian Tissues
Mentor: Dr. Rebecca Rakow-Penner

Bao Luu, Relationships between AD and Inflammatory Biomarkers in People Living with HIV
Mentors: Dr. Erin Sundermann and Dr. David Moore<

Cooper Haaland, A Method to Stratify Fragility Fractures to Identify High Risk Patients to Target Treatment and Decrease Patient Morbidity
Mentor: Dr. William Kent

Teini Elisara, Melanoma: Outcomes, Knowledge, Beliefs & Behaviors in the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Community
Mentors: Dr. Alison Moore and Dr. Charisse Orme

Sophie Dickinson Neurofibrillary Tangle Distribution in Posterior Cortical Atrophy versus Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease<
Mentors: Dr. Annie Hiniker

Ji Hyun Kang, Acute Inhibition of Lysine Deacetylates Does Not Impact the Force Generating Capacity or Fatigability of Mouse Skeletal Muscle

Varun Rachakonda, Topographic 3R/4R and 4R tau seeding activity in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Alzheimer's Disease
Mentor: Dr. Annie Hiniker