Medicine 401 Teaching Award Winners Announced

The winners of the 2015 Medicine 401 Teaching Awards were announced at an awards ceremony on May 27. Granted by the third-year medical students each year, the awards go to residents and attending physicians for their excellence in teaching on the wards at the Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System and the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest.

The winners:

VA Wards Resident Award: Dr. Tyler Woodell
Hillcrest Wards Resident Award: Dr. Michelle Pearlman

VA Wards Attending Award: Dr. Mara Zulauf
Hillcrest Wards Attending Award: Dr. Darcy Wooten

“There were many kind words of praise and admiration in the comments from the students who worked with Drs. Pearlman and Woodell,” said residency program director Simerjot Jassal, MD. “Congratulations to these outstanding doctors!”

The medical students’ comments included the following.

Dr. Michelle Pearlman

Dr. Michelle Pearlman

Of Michelle Pearlman, MD: … Really focused on teaching … worked hard during the rotation to make sure we were achieving our own goals and learning as much as possible … gave excellent feedback … made great teaching points during rounds … great example of professionalism … will make an excellent teacher … great role model … clear and detailed expectations … we knew exactly what to work on and how to succeed … one of the best residents with whom I have worked … gave frequent feedback enabling me to improve daily … strong leadership skills, a positive attitude, and a great work ethic … will make an amazing GI fellow and attending.

Dr. Pearlman has matched to a fellowship program in gastroenterology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Dr. Tyler Woodell

Dr. Tyler Woodell

Of Tyler Woodell, MD: Always made it a priority to have a teaching point every day … always willing to make sure all of our questions were answered and that we were engaged in patient care … went out of his way to make sure we had a good learning experience … an exceptional model physician who I would recommend to any student as a preceptor and any patient as a doctor … focused on making sure that we learned as much as possible … carved out time to talk through our assessment and plans with us … took time on rounds to talk through key issues with us …both a fantastic role model for compassionate patient care and bedside manner as well as an engaging teacher … clearly loved to teach … not only an outstanding teacher, but also very compassionate with patients.

Dr. Woodell has matched to a fellowship program in nephrology at Oregon Health & Science University.

New Division Chief and Vice Chief of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Announced July 28, 2014, by Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine

Dr. Nicholas Webster

Nicholas Webster, PhD

I am pleased to announce that an internal review committee has selected Dr. Nick Webster as the new chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Nai-Wen Chi has been selected to serve as vice chief.

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD

I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Nick Webster, who accepted the role of interim division chief after I stepped down in 2010. In leading the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism for the past four years, Dr. Webster has done an important service for the division and the department.

Nick Webster, PhD, professor of medicine, is Associate Director for Shared Resources at the Moores Cancer Center and holds a joint appointment as a Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. He is a highly respected researcher and thought leader in the field of endocrinology and metabolism.

Dr. Webster earned his B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University and his Ph.D. from Stanford University.  After a post-doctoral fellowship at the CNRS in Strasbourg, France, he joined the UCSD faculty in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 1989 and was promoted to Professor in 2006.

Dr. Webster has been very active in service to the University and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS).  He has held a number of leadership positions at UCSD, including Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Facilities in the Office of Research Affairs, where his portfolio included oversight of the animal welfare program and university-wide shared resources.  Dr. Webster has served as chair of a number of university committees, including the Radiation Safety and Surveillance Committee, the Animal Program Oversight Committee, the Recruitment and Admission Committee for the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, the Shared Resources Oversight Committee, and the Research Space Committees at the VASDHS.

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Webster has maintained an active research program, which is broadly focused on the mechanisms of hormonal signal transduction and gene regulation in different developmental and disease contexts.  He actively participates in the Center for Reproductive Science and Medicine, the Diabetes Research Center, and the Center for Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer.

Nai-Wen Chi, MD, PhD

Nai-Wen Chi, MD, PhD

The newly appointed vice chair of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dr. Nai-Wen Chi, is a researcher and board-certified endocrinologist at the UCSD Medical Center and the VA. Dr. Chi earned his M.D. from National Taiwan University prior to receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he was mentored by Dr. Richard Kolodner in investigating the molecular machinery that maintains the yeast mitochondrial genome.  Dr. Chi then completed his medical residency and endocrine fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  During his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, he was mentored by Dr. Harvey Lodish in identifying novel insulin-signaling molecules that regulate vesicular trafficking.

Dr. Chi joined the UCSD faculty in 2000 and has been the director of the Endocrine Fellowship since 2005.  His clinical interest focuses on dysnatremias while his research program takes biochemical and genetic approaches to investigate the pathophysiology of diabetes and obesity.

Please join me in giving your enthusiastic support to Drs. Nick Webster and Nai-Wen Chi in their new positions of leadership in the Department of Medicine.

UC San Diego Health System Excels in Patient Safety

Awarded an “A” in Spring 2014 Hospital Safety Score

Designed to rate how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections, the latest Hospital Safety Score honored UC San Diego Health System with an “A” – its top grade in patient safety. The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group (Leapfrog), an independent industry watchdog. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom

Joachim H. Ix Named Chief of Nephrology-Hypertension

January 2, 2014

Announcement from Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD
Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair

Dr. Joachim Ix

Dr. Joachim Ix

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Joachim H. Ix, who has served as interim chief of the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension since Dr. Roland Blantz retired in 2012, has been selected as the new chief of the division. His new appointment was effective December 17, 2013.

Dr. Ix has managed the division with effectiveness and wisdom during his year as interim chief, balancing and advancing its activities during a time that has brought particularly difficult fiscal and managerial challenges to all of us. I am confident that the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension will continue to grow in clinical and academic stature with his leadership.

Joachim H. Ix, MD, MAS, is professor of medicine and professor of family and preventive medicine at UC San Diego. He is active as a clinical specialist in the diagnosis and management of kidney disease patients at both UC San Diego Health System and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS). He directed the VASDHS chronic kidney disease clinic in 2008-2009 and subsequently the VASDHS Dialysis Unit from 2009-2013.

A creative and productive clinical trialist and epidemiologist, Dr. Ix investigates the contributions of altered calcium and phosphorus homeostasis to cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease. He has more than 140 published articles in peer-reviewed journals. His active National Institutes of Health funded studies include a 5-year U01 cooperative project, begun in September of this year, in which he will conduct a phase 2 clinical trial to test the efficacy of nicotinamide (vitamin B3) on phosphorus homeostasis and other components of mineral metabolism in CKD patients. He is also PI of a recently funded R01 award evaluating the contributions of kidney tubule dysfunction and injury to progression of kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, and was recently funded as PI of an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award.

He was elected a fellow of the American Society of Nephrology in 2010 and is associate editor of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, a standing member of the NIH Study Section on Kidney Nutrition Obesity and Diabetes (KNOD) and a member of the SPRINT Trial Chronic Kidney Disease Advisory Group.

Dr. Ix is a dedicated teacher and mentor and an active contributor to his division’s instructional efforts at all levels, including the nephrology fellowship program and the School of Medicine curriculum. In 2010, he received the Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition for outstanding teaching contributions in the third-year Medicine Core Clerkship course.

Dr. Ix earned his Bachelor of Science degree at UC San Diego and his medical degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He received his specialty training, nephrology fellowship training, and MAS in biostatistics and epidemiology at UC San Francisco. He joined the UC San Diego faculty in 2007.

UC San Diego Health System Ranks #1

UC San Diego Health System is once again ranked among the nation’s best in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013-14 “America’s Best Hospitals” issue. The magazine placed UC San Diego Health System #1 in the San Diego metropolitan area with national rankings in 10 specialties—placing it among the country’s most prestigious institutions. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Doctor and patient. Stock photo.

Rankings for UC San Diego Health System Internal Medicine Subspecialties

In the nation’s Top 50:

High Performing:

Details of the rankings for UC San Diego Health System are published online here.

Graduating Interns Honored at Intern Awards Event

2013 Intern Awards

Graduating interns and continuing residents at the 2013 Intern Awards. Photo by Will Collins, MD.

At a popular wine bar not far from the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, the trainees in the Internal Medicine Residency Program fulfilled a UC San Diego tradition on May 23 when they honored their graduating interns with the annual Intern Awards.

Involving many sincere awards and a few affectionate roasts, the event gathered all the graduating interns as well as the residents who will proceed to their next year of training at UC San Diego on July 1.

Awards were peer selected and were presented by the current chief medical residents.

The awards recognize the graduating interns from all four training tracks: categorical, preliminary medicine, combined medicine-pediatrics and the Physician-Scientist Training Program.

UC San Diego Health System Named One of the Nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics

UC San Diego Medical CenterUC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest

University of California, San Diego Medical Center has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® for the second time by Truven Health Analytics, formerly the health care business of Thomson Reuters. Truven Health Analytics is a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


UC San Diego Health System and Qualcomm Life Join Forces to Improve Care Remotely

2net™ Platform provides physicians with state-of-the-art patient monitoring platform

UC San Diego Health System is collaborating with Qualcomm Life, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to pilot the 2net Platform and Hub for remote patient monitoring. Qualcomm Life’s innovative 2net™ technology collects patients’ clinical information from wireless medical devices and transmits it to UC San Diego Health System physicians, to supplement information already available. This system provides a rapid, automated way to collect patient data in near real-time, analyze the readings, and suggest follow up actions with the patient, if needed.. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Marlene Millen, MDQuoted in the UCSD Newsroom story is Marlene Millen, MD, clinical service chief of the Internal Medicine Group and medical director of the Internal Medicine Group Hillcrest for UC San Diego Health System.

Dr. Millen and Dr. Deanna Hill, both primary care physicians in the Fourth & Lewis Medical Offices, are overseeing the pilot project. With the help of the clinic’s nurse case manager, they are reviewing the real-time data online and providing medical follow up with patients if needed.

While this is just a pilot project at present, Drs. Millen and Hill are hopeful that such monitoring will become a reality in patient care in the future.

Dr. Millen, pictured above left, is associate clinical professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She trained in internal medicine here at UCSD and was chief medical resident in 2004-2005.

In 2012, Dr. Millen was named on the “San Diego’s Top Doctors” list for the third straight year.

Dr. Deanna HillDr. Hill (left), a new member of the UC San Diego Health System faculty, is assistant clinical professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She is accepting new patients.

After her internship and residency training in internal medicine at UCLA, she spent two years at Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Primary Care Center before coming to UCSD.

Protein May Be Key to Psoriasis and Wound Care

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder in which skin cells proliferate out of control. For some hard-to-heal wounds, the problem is just the opposite: Restorative skin cells don’t grow well or fast enough. In a paper published in the June 21, 2012 issue of Immunity, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine describe a molecule that may lead to new treatments for both problems. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Richard GalloThe principal investigator of this collaborative study is Richard L. Gallo, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Dermatology at UC San Diego.

The other Department of Medicine co-authors are Tissa Hata, MD, professor of medicine, Clinical Service Chief for Dermatology at the Perlman Ambulatory Care Center and Director of the UCSD Dermatology Clinical Trials Unit; Beda Mühleisen, MD; and Paul Kotol.

More information:

  • Read the article summary in Immunity.
  • Citation: Yuping Lai, Dongqing Li, Changwei Li, Beda Muehleisen, Katherine A. Radek, Hyun Jeong Park, Ziwei Jiang, Zhiheng Li, Hu Lei, Yanchun Quan, Tian Zhang, Yelin Wu, Paul Kotol, Shin Morizane, Tissa R. Hata, Keiji Iwatsuki, Ce Tang, Richard L. Gallo, The Antimicrobial Protein REG3A Regulates Keratinocyte Proliferation and Differentiation after Skin Injury, Immunity, Available online 21 June 2012, ISSN 1074-7613, 10.1016/j.immuni.2012.04.010.
  • Dr. Gallo’s laboratory website

UC San Diego Health System Highlighted in Healthcare Equality Index 2012

Named as “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by National Survey

UC San Diego Health System has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the Healthcare Equality Index 2012 report, an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. The academic health system earned top marks for its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients and their families, who can face challenges in accessing adequate health care. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom