Alan B.C. Dang
Staff Surgeon, Orthopaedic Spine Surgery, SFVAHCS
Assistant Professor in Residence, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, UCSF
Dr. Dang’s research seeks to develop new methods and techniques for studying biomechanics after an an acute, traumatic injury on the battlefield as well as the consequences of chronic wear and tear that reflects normal aging. He was the first researcher in the USA to be granted access to Toyota Motor Company's digital human model (THUMS) and modify the automotive safety tool for use in orthopaedic research to use computer modeling and simulation to study spinal biomechanics.
Director, Liver Clinic, SFVAHCS
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, UCSF
Dr. Monto has been involved with the national VA Hepatitis C Resource Center Program since its inception in 2001. He has co-written many national VA management recommendations, including those related to hepatitis C management, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. His research focuses on liver disease progression related to chronic hepatitis C infection, and particularly the role of co-factors (alcohol intake, intrahepatic fat, HIV infection, anti-HCV therapy) in altering disease progression.
MD, MS, MPH
Staff Physician, SFVAHCS
Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF
Dr. Smith is a palliative medicine physician and Co-founder of the blog/podcast GeriPal.org and set of online prognosis calculators ePrognosis.org. His research is primarily focused on estimating and communicating prognosis for older adults with serious life limiting illnesses, including dementia.
Staff Surgeon, Orthopedic Sports Medicine, SFVAHCS Assistant Professor in Residence, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, UCSF
Dr. Dang’s clinical interest revolves around restoring and preserving musculoskeletal function, with a research focus on cartilage injury and repair. His research focuses on developing clinically relevant injury models, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture in mice, and seeks to identify key mediators of cartilage degeneration with the goal of being able to externally modulate these signals through surgical, pharmacologic, or environmental interventions.
Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, UCSF; Attending Physician, SFVAHCS
Alfred Kuo graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in biochemistry; and then went on to receive a PhD in biochemistry and his medical degree at UCSF as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program. He was a resident in orthopaedic surgery and a research fellow at the University of California, Davis before completing a fellowship in lower extremity reconstruction at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego.
Kuo has received numerous awards and has published papers in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, the Journal of Arthroplasty, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, and the Journal of Cell Biology. Here at UCSF, he works closely with Hubert Kim, MD, PhD at San Francisco Veterans Medical Center and continues his clinical and translational research.
Amy L. Byers
Research Health Science Specialist, SFVAHCS
Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine (Division of Geriatrics), UCSF
Dr. Amy Byers leads an independent program and oversees the Byers Lab. Dr. Byers is a Research Career Scientist at the SFVAHCS, and Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Medicine (Division of Geriatrics) at UCSF. The Byers Lab focuses on determining the incidence, prevalence, risk factors, and outcomes of late-life mental health disorders and behaviors, with a focus on late-life suicide and neuropsychiatric disorders using large, epidemiologic, and administrative datasets that include national probability samples, VA data, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data, and national suicide attempt and death data. The Byers Lab has been funded by several agencies, including NIH (i.e., NIMH, NIA, and NIMHD), Department of Defense, and VA. Dr. Byers is PI of the first VA R01-level grant longitudinally investigating suicide and suicidal behavior at a national level in older U.S. Veterans. Dr. Byers’ NIH-funded research program currently focuses on suicide and suicide-related behaviors and dementia risk among older Veterans and individuals reentering the community from incarceration. Furthermore, Dr. Byers has been funded by the UCSF’s Older Americans Independence Center to provide innovative methodologic advancements to estimate associations of late-life suicide risk linked to specific medications.
Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco; Staff Psychiatrist, PTSD Clinical Program, San Francisco VA Medical Center.
Anne Richards, M.D., M.P.H., is a PTSD and sleep researcher in the Stress and Health Research Program at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. Dr. Richards completed her undergraduate education at Harvard University and subsequently received her M.D. and M.P.H. from Columbia University. Dr. Richards has expertise in the treatment of PTSD and sleep disorders gained through years of experience treating male and female veterans with PTSD with medication and psychotherapy. In 2015, she transitioned from a predominantly clinical role at the SFVAMC/UCSF to a research-focused career at SFVA/UCSF. She conducts both translational and clinical research. She is the Principal Investigator for The Richards Lab at UCSF, whose fundamental mission is to advance treatment for veterans and other individuals suffering from stress-related sleep disturbances and mental illness.
Associate Professor of Medicine, and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF
Chief of Endocrinology and Metabolism, SFVAHCS
Dr. Schafer is an endocrinologist who focuses on skeletal health. One of her research emphases is osteoporosis treatment. She also studies the relationships between bone, fat, and glucose metabolism. Currently, she is investigating the effects of bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) on calcium metabolism and skeletal health.
Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF
Anthony J. Baker, Ph.D. has a longstanding interest in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate cardiac muscle contraction in health and disease. We use multiple approaches to monitor cardiac function in experimental preparations that span a range of complexity from contraction of myofilaments in-vitro, intact single cells, electrically stimulated intact cardiac muscle, intact hearts in-vitro, and intact hearts in-vivo. A major goal is to investigate new therapies to treat heart failure.
Heart failure is a leading cause of death and disability and new therapies are needed to treat this devastating disease. Research in the Baker lab focuses on both of the major pumping chambers of the heart, the left ventricle (LV) and right ventricle (RV).
We are investigating the mechanisms causing failure of the LV subsequent to a heart attack, where blood flow stops to a region of the heart resulting in death of muscle cells in that region, termed a myocardial infarction (MI). We are studying the weakened border-zone immediately adjacent to the MI. We are investigating the mechanisms that cause gradual enlargement of this weakened border-zone, ultimately leading to dilation of the heart and LV failure. We are investigating treatments to stabilize the border-zone to slow or halt the progression to heart failure after MI.
We are also investigating the mechanisms involved in failure of the RV. RV failure is relatively understudied and poorly understood. It has been assumed that an understanding of RV failure can be extrapolated from studies of LV failure. In contrast, we have found that the RV has distinctive properties compared to the LV, and the regulation of RV contraction in heart failure differs compared to the failing LV, suggesting that treatment strategies for the failing RV should be tailored to the distinctive biology of the RV.