Ashkan F. Ara, MD, MPH
5th-year STAR Fellow (Rheumatology + PhD in Health Policy and Management/Pharmacoeconomics)
- Undergrad/MD – IUMS (Tehran, Iran)
- Research fellowship in EBM – IUMS (Tehran, Iran)
- MPH in epidemiology – UC Irvine
- Research fellowship in clinical epidemiology – UC Irvine
- Internal medicine residency – UC Irvine
About Me: I often joke that I wear many hats—doctor, researcher, triathlete, Kamado grill master—but the ones I'm most proud of are "world's luckiest husband" and “world’s happiest brand-new dad" (if we're not counting my two fluffy fur babies). Hailing from Iran, I hit the jackpot by landing in Los Angeles—the ultimate home away from home for Iranians :)
When I'm not diving into the intricate world of medicine and research, you'll find me cherishing moments with my family, firing up my Kamado grill (because, let's be real, everything tastes better grilled), prepping for my next triathlon, or falling down the Twitter (X?!) rabbit hole!
Professionally, my heart beats for a medley of passions: neuro-rheumatology, machine learning, decision science, pharmacoeconomics, and pharmacoequity.
Why UCLA? UCLA beckoned me with its unique career development offered through the STAR program. But that's not all; UCLA Rheumatology provides the ultimate training ground with a diverse program and an exceptional case mix across four distinct settings. Top it off with nationally-recognized mentors, and you've got a winning combo.
Plus, let's not overlook the irresistible perks that come with proximity to UCLA's main campus, the unbeatable SoCal weather, and, of course, the local gem affectionately known as "Tehrangeles" or "Persian Square." I mean, what's not to love?
Arissa Young, MD
Third year STAR fellow
- Medical School - Tufts University School of Medicine
- Internal Medicine Residency – Vanderbilt University
About Me: Arissa is originally from New Jersey. She went to Tufts University where she majored in Biology and met her husband, Alex de Castro-Abeger. After two years living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, she returned to Tufts for medical school (alongside her husband). She and Alex then ventured to Nashville, Tennessee where they completed residency at Vanderbilt. While there, they adopted a cat (Shea) and a dog (Dodger) and welcomed their first child, Adalyn in May 2021!
Why UCLA? Arissa chose UCLA in large part because of the STAR program. She was involved in immunometabolism research during residency and plans to pursue a career as a physician-scientist. Los Angeles is also home to her husband’s entire family.
Clinical/Research Interests: Immune related adverse events related to immune checkpoint inhibitors, T cell immunology, and cancer/autoimmune overlap.
Hobbies: Trying out new restaurants, traveling, hiking, yoga, cycling.
Second Year Fellows
Vincent Tran, MD
About Me: Grew up in Minnesota. My family owned a small Chinese restaurant where I worked at a cook during high school and college. I attended University of Minnesota for college and medical school. Decided to branch out for residency and ended up training at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. I married my wife while in residency who is from Los Angeles and we are beyond ecstatic to be in sunny LA for fellowship training!
Why UCLA? UCLA was my number 1 program on my rank list for many reasons. One of the major strengths is rotating at 4 different hospitals where you see an incredible range of pathology in a county, VA, community, and tertiary care setting. You get to work with many faculty that are leaders in their field. The culture is incredibly collaborative, friendly, and supportive.
Clinical/Research Interests: I am undifferentiated for now but am interested in SLE, RA, crystalline arthropathy, medical education, MSK Ultrasound
Hobbies: Weight lifting, biking, hiking, video games, reading, exploring different ethnic foods in LA.
Travis Welsh, MD
About Me: I am originally from North Carolina but grew up throughout the Southeast (and Iowa) before settling for a while in Georgia for undergraduate and medical school. I headed out to Texas for residency and then spent a little extra time as a hospitalist before starting my time here at UCLA.
Why UCLA? The UCLA Rheum Fellowship allows you to interact with and treat the full spectrum of rheumatologic disease in a demographic that spans the broad diversity of people characteristic of LA. I was drawn to the rigorous clinical exposure coupled with opportunities to work with down-to-earth faculty that are leaders in their field.
Clinical/Research Interests: I have a particular interest in mechanical MSK disorders, preventative health, and care delivery.
Hobbies: I spend most of my free time doing something music-related, whether that is playing guitar, producing music, or catching music shows. I particularly enjoy electronic and R&B music.
Victor Tran, MD
- Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles
- Medical School: University of California, Irvine
- Internal Medicine Residency: University of California, Irvine
About Me: Growing up in Orange County, I had aspirations to become a professional basketball player. When I only grew to be 5'7'', I decided it was best to switch career tracks. While at UC Irvine for residency, I developed a curiosity for the complex diseases within rheumatology, and that curiosity was nurtured by many wonderful mentors there. I am excited to become my patient's advocate as their clinician, advisor and supporter.
Why UCLA? UCLA provides very strong clinical training taught by many well-respected and motivated clinician educators. Additionally, there is a wide variety of clinical sites, diverse patient populations, and severe/rare disease that is bountiful at an esteemed tertiary care center like UCLA. Rheumatology fellowship is relatively short, so you want to be exposed to as much as possible! The beaches, street food, fancy restaurants, entertainment, and weather are also well appreciated!
Hobbies: My new obsession is golfing, primarily because it's frustratingly difficult. I'm an amateur home cook and enjoy exploring new restaurants. Love basketball and bigtime Lakers fan. Playing tennis and teaching tennis is a ton of fun. Can't say no to laying on the couch watching the latest movie/TV show.
Samuel Good, MD
Second Year STAR Fellow
About Me: I grew up in the Bay Area and then left and moved back several times throughout my life, first to Ohio, then Japan, then Connecticut, then Wisconsin, then Massachusetts. My extended family is still in California, and I am very happy to be back.
Why UCLA? The program here has a great balance of clinical rigor in a welcoming environment. We have multiple training sites, all of which serve different patient populations, and see a wide variety of disease processes. Most importantly, though, everybody here is extremely friendly. It also doesn't hurt that Los Angeles is a great place to live.
Clinical/Research Interests: I am particularly interested in health disparities research.
Hobbies: Reading, spending time with my family, going to the beach, the Golden State Warriors.
First Year Fellows
Alana Haussman, MD
- Medical School: California Northstate University
- Residency: University of Colorado
About Me: My name is Alana and I grew up in Napa, California. I stayed in Northern California at Berkeley for undergrad followed by California Northstate for med school and explored the mountains surrounding Denver at the University of Colorado for residency. I now live in Santa Monica with my husband and our stunning dog. I love to play tennis, ski, see live music, and eat great food.
Why UCLA? I chose UCLA because of the warmth of the faculty, and opportunities for mentorship. I also considered the excellent clinical training via diversity of training sites, specialty care clinics, dedicated didactics, and high patient volumes. It didn’t hurt that this fellowship exists in city with endless activities, incredible food, and near-perfect weather.
Clinical/research interests: I have a specific interest in the intersection between rheumatology and pulmonary medicine and am excited about clinic research. At UCLA I already have an amazing mentor who is helping me lay the groundwork for a research career in this area.
Amy Trang, MD
- Medical School: Oakland University William Beaumont
- Residency: Rush University
About Me: I’m originally from the San Gabriel Valley and went to UCLA for undergrad. I ventured off to Michigan for medical school then relocated to Chicago for residency. I really enjoyed my time in the Midwest; the sunrises, autumn leaves, and summer patio weather were unlike anything I've experienced before. I had a lot of fun biking the lakefront with my husband, but felt it was time to go back to my roots where my entire family and in-laws reside. I’m now living in Santa Monica and have been loving my weekly runs to the beach!
Why UCLA? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach in rheumatology. With one of the largest faculty departments in the country, there is so much to learn from every clinician here. I’m thankful that our educators truly take the time to teach and are equally as warm and supportive. I also enjoy the opportunities to rotate at all of our sites, as it gives me a better idea of what I want my future practice to look like.
Clinical/research Interests: general rheumatology; I’ve been seeing great cases of vasculitis so far which have been especially intriguing!
Hobbies: hiking, camping, running (trying to muster up the courage to sign up/train for one more marathon…), reading, home cooking, amateur food photography.
Candice Wang, MD
- Medical school: College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
- Residency: University of California, Irvine
David Kellner, MD
- Medical School: UCLA
- Residency: UCLA
Eunice Adu-Dapaah, MD
- Medical School: University of Ghana
- Residency: LSU Health Shreveport
About me: My name is Eunice and I am from Ghana. I grew up in the Southern part of Ghana in a city called Kumasi. I am one of three girls. I briefly lived in Baltimore and moved to Shreveport for residency. I have two adorable kids.
Why UCLA? What stood out to me during the interview season was the warmth and collegiality of the fellows and faculty as well as the diverse faculty. I think UCLA rheumatology is a strong program with a solid clinical, research, and ultrasound curriculum. In this one place, you get the opportunity to interact with world-renowned rheumatologists who have contributed so much to the field. I am humbled by the opportunity to interact and learn from the faculty here. I enjoy seeing different disease presentations at the various hospital and clinic sites. I am learning a lot from our well-structured didactics, grand rounds, and core content review.
Clinical/research interests: General rheumatology. I am also fascinated by lupus, vasculitis, and myositis disease presentations.
Hobbies: I love music, reading, and watching soccer. Learning how to play the cello is on my bucket list!