Luis R. Castellanos, MD, MPH, Appointed Director of Diversity in Medicine and Faculty Outreach for the Department of Medicine

February 27, 2017

An announcement from Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine

Luis Castellanos, MD, MPH

Luis Castellanos, MD, MPH

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Luis R. Castellanos, MD, MPH as Director of Diversity in Medicine and Faculty Outreach for the UCSD Department of Medicine.  Dr. Castellanos is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Cardiology.

In his new role, he will work to promote the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse medical professionals, including internal medicine residents and faculty, from underrepresented in medicine minority (URM) groups within the Department of Medicine.  Dr. Castellanos has demonstrated a sustained commitment to the critical mission of improving diversity and promoting inclusion in the medical field in order to better serve the members of our diverse community.

Dr. Castellanos graduated from UC Davis summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School.  He first joined UCSD as an Internal Medicine resident in 2003. He was then completed a prestigious Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University/Commonwealth Fund Program, obtaining a Masters in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Castellanos subsequently completed a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at UC Davis where he was selected as the Chief Research Fellow for his involvement in clinical research that addressed vulnerable populations.  He joined the faculty at UCSD in 2010.

As part of his clinical service, Dr. Castellanos travels to the Imperial Valley to provide cardiac care to underserved populations from El Centro, Brawley and neighboring communities.

Dr. Castellanos’ research focuses on health outcomes and inequities involving racial and ethnic minority groups.  He has co-authored peer-reviewed articles in the American Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Cardiac Failure.  Dr. Castellanos was awarded a research grant from the Clinical and Translation Research Institute to study the effectiveness of a home-based cardiac rehabilitation program in patients with coronary heart disease who live in rural communities.  He has been invited to present his research at national conferences such as the American Heart Association and the National Hispanic Medical Association annual meetings where he has been a strong advocate for improving cardiovascular heath of vulnerable populations.

Dr. Castellanos has been recognized by the UCSD Clinical Advancement and Recognition of Excellence in Service and received the National Center for Leadership in Academic Medicine Award in 2013. Most recently, Dr. Castellanos was selected as a UCSD LEAD (Leaders for Equity, Advancement and Diversity) Fellow.

Non-Invasive Test Optimizes Colon Cancer Screening Rates

Underserved populations need options for colorectal cancer screening if screening rates are to be improved, study finds

Organized mailing campaigns could substantially increase colorectal cancer screening among uninsured patients, a study published in the August 5 online edition of JAMA Internal Medicine reveals. The research also suggests that a non-invasive colorectal screening approach, such as a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) might be more effective in promoting participation in potentially life-saving colon cancer screening among underserved populations than a colonoscopy, a more expensive and invasive procedure. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Samir GuptaLead investigator in the study was Samir Gupta, MD, MSCS, associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Gupta specializes in screening for and preventing colorectal cancer and polyps.

Before he joined the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine faculty in January 2013, Gupta was assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. He was a National Institutes of Health KL2 Clinical Scholar there from 2007 to 2010, earning his Masters of Science in Clinical Science (MSCS) degree.

Gupta sees patients at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and UC San Diego Health System.

Citation for the study report: Gupta S, Halm EA, Rockey DC, et al. Comparative Effectiveness of Fecal Immunochemical Test Outreach, Colonoscopy Outreach, and Usual Care for Boosting Colorectal Cancer Screening Among the Underserved: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;():-. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9294. |  Full text (UCSD only)

More Information:

  • Gupta’s academic profile
  • Gupta’s clinical profile
  • JAMA Network Author Video: Samir Gupta, MD, MSCS, discusses Comparative Effectiveness of Fecal Immunochemical Test Outreach, Colonoscopy Outreach, and Usual Care for Boosting Colorectal Cancer Screening Among the Underserved: A Randomized Clinical Trial.  |  Watch video  (UCSD only)
  • Gupta is an organizer and speaker at the UCSD Division of Gastroenterology’s 7th Annual Research Symposium on Malignancies of the Digestive System  |  Details