Our Expert Team

Chief

Christina Charles-Schoeman, MD

Christina Charles-Schoeman, MD

Chief of Rheumatology / Professor of Medicine

Research Interests: Myositis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dr. Charles-Schoeman graduated magna cum laude with a BS degree in Chemistry from Yale University. She completed her medical degree and training in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at UCLA where she also earned her Master of Science degree in Clinical Research through the Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program.

Full Time Clinicians

Thanda Aung, MD, MS

Thanda Aung, MD, MS

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: Gout, Osteoporosis

Dr. Aung graduated from the Institute of medicine (1) Burma, in 1998 and later trained in Internal medicine and Geriatric medicine in Liverpool, United Kingdom. There she specialized in Orthogeriatrics for years with strong interest in Osteoporosis, while receiving Master of Science in Geriatric medicine from Keele University School of Medicine, MRCP and FRCP titles from the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh.

Ramandeep Bains, MD

Ramandeep Bains, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Medical Board Certifications - Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2014
Rheumatology, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2017
Fellowship - Rheumatology, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center Internal Medicine GME, 2015-2017
Residency - Internal Medicine, Alameda County Medical Center - Highland Campus, 2011-2014
Degree - St. George's University School of Medicine/Grenada, MD, 2011

Kristal S. Choi, MD

Kristal S. Choi, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Dr. Kristal Choi is a general rheumatologist who practices in Santa Monica. She enjoys treating the full spectrum of rheumatic diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, vasculitis, myositis, scleroderma, gout, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. She is also skilled in musculoskeletal ultrasound and ultrasound-guided joint and soft tissue injections. 

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Karla M. Criner, MD

Clinical Instructor

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Tamara G. Dahhan, DO

Tamara G. Dahhan, DO

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: Rheumatology, Osteoporosis and Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Dr. Dahhan earned her medical degree at Western University of Health Sciences. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and her fellowship in Rheumatology at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Dahhan is board certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending quality time with family.

Lauren M. Freid, MD

Lauren M. Freid, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Medical Board Certifications - Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2017
Fellowship - Rheumatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 2017-2019
Residency - Internal Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, 2014-2017
Degree - Jefferson Medical College, MD, 2014

Mark E. Hall, MD

Mark E. Hall, MD

Clinical Instructor

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Medical Board Certifications
Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2018
Fellowship
Rheumatology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2018-2020
Residency
Internal Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2015-2018
Degree
Texas Tech University-Paul L Foster School of Medicine, MD, 2015

Marian Kaldas, MD

Marian Kaldas, MD

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: Rheumatology

Dr. Marian Kaldas is a Southern California native and has been part of the UCLA family since her high school years when she won a scholarship for doing over 1000 hours of hospital volunteering. She received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at UCLA, her medical degree from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and completed her internship, residency and fellowship in Rheumatology all with UCLA.

Tanaz A. Kermani, MD

Tanaz A. Kermani, MD

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interests: Rheumatology, Vasculitis

Dr. Kermani received her medical degree from New York Medical College. She completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in rheumatology at Mayo Clinic, Minnesota. She then stayed on at Mayo Clinic and pursued an additional 2 years of clinical and research experience in the field of vasculitis through a prestigious fellowship awarded by the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium.

Yaqoot Khan, DO

Yaqoot Khan, DO

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Dr. Yaqoot Khan graduated with a DO degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2001. After completing her Internal Medicine residency and a Rheumatology Fellowship at NYU Langone Hospital- Long Island, she pursued a post-doc research fellowship at the same institution.

Maryann Kimoto, DO

Maryann Kimoto, DO

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Medical Board Certifications - Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2017
Fellowship - Rheumatology, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, 2017-2019
Residency - Internal Medicine, Allegheny General Hospital, 2014-2017
Degree - Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill, DO, 2014

Kathleen Kolstad, MD, PhD

Kathleen Kolstad, MD, PhD

Clinical Instructor

Research Interest: intersection of rheumatology and dermatology as well as women's health and rheumatic disease

Dr. Kate Kolstad is a general rheumatologist who practices in the Santa Barbara/Montecito area. She enjoys treating the full spectrum of rheumatologic conditions. She started her career as a basic scientist, completing her PhD in Molecular Cell Biology at UC Berkeley.

Eric Liu, MD

Eric Liu, MD

Clinical Instructor

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Dr. Liu grew up here in Los Angeles and graduated from St. George's University for my medical degree. I completed my residency and rheumatology fellowship at SUNY Upstate University Medical Center. My interest is in general rheumatology and its wide variety of rheumatic diseases. I completed the USSONAR training course and have an interest in applying and incorporating musculoskeletal ultrasonography for patients. 

William J. Martin, MD

William J. Martin, MD

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: Rheumatology

Dr. Martin grew up in Washington State. He attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Upon graduation, Dr. Martin was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania for two years where he taught high school chemistry and biology. Later Dr. Martin attended medical school at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science/Chicago Medical School, in North Chicago, Illinois, graduating in 2006. 

Geraldine M. Navarro, MD

Geraldine M. Navarro, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: Rheumatology

Dr. Geraldine Navarro earned her medical degree from UCLA School of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. She completed her fellowship in rheumatology at UCLA School of Medicine.

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Sravani Penumarty, MD

Clinical Instructor

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Dr. Sravani Penumarty practices general rheumatology at Westwood. She treats a wide spectrum of conditions, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, myositis, vasculitis, gout, and connective tissue diseases. She frequently performs joint and trigger finger injections. She also specializes in doing skin biopsies for rheumatic skin conditions.

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Olga N. Popel, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor

Research Interest: Rheumatology

Medical Board Certifications: Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 1985
Rheumatology, American Board of Internal Medicine, 1988
Fellowship: Rheumatology, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 1983-1985
Rheumatology, Southern California System of Clinics California, 1985-1986
Residency: Internal Medicine, St. Mary's Medical Center, 1979-1983
Degree: University of North Dakota Medical School, MD, 1979

Rania M. Shammas, MD

Rania M. Shammas, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: Rheumatology

Dr. Rania Shammas is a board certified rheumatologist and an assistant clinical professor of rheumatology at UCLA. She was born and raised in Los Angeles. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went to Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons for medical school, where she was part of the Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society and received the Joseph Garrison Parker Award for arts in medicine.

Mihaela B. Taylor, MD

Mihaela B. Taylor, MD

Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Dr. Taylor received her M.D. degree from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila in Bucharest, Romania, and completed her rheumatology fellowship at Loma Linda in June 2004. 

Benedict K. Tiong, MD

Benedict K. Tiong, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: Rheumatology

Dr. Ben Tiong completed medical school at New York Medical College and did his internship and residency in internal medicine at Harbor-UCLA. He completed rheumatology fellowship at UCLA. Dr. Tiong completed his undergraduate education at UCLA and grew up in Los Angeles. He practices general rheumatology and treats the full spectrum of diseases, including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, Spondyloarthritis, Osteoarthritis, and Lupus.

Linh Y. Truong, MD

Linh Y. Truong, MD

Clinical Instructor

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Dr. Linh Truong is a general rheumatologist practicing at UCLA Westwood and Santa Monica clinics. She enjoys She enjoys treating the full spectrum of rheumatic diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, vasculitis, myositis, scleroderma, gout, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.

Chen Xie, MD

Chen Xie, MD

Clinical Instructor

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Dr. Chen Xie practices general rheumatology in downtown LA and at the Veterans Affairs Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center. He enjoys caring for patients with all types of autoimmune and joint conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, spondyloarthropathies, lupus, vasculitis, and scleroderma.

Howard H. Yang, MD

Howard H. Yang, MD

Clinical Instructor

Research Interest: Rheumatology

Dr. Howard Yang is a Southern California native and grew up in Orange County. He received his medical degree from St. George's University. He completed his internal medicine training in University of Hawaii on the beautiful island of Oahu. He developed his interests in rheumatology and later completed his rheumatological training in Loma Linda University.

Lisa Zhu, MD

Lisa Zhu, MD

Clinical Instructor

Research Interest: General Rheumatology

Dr. Lisa Zhu is a general rheumatologist who practices in Encino. She enjoys treating the full spectrum of rheumatic diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, vasculitis, myositis, scleroderma, gout, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.

Researchers/Clinicians

Sangmee Bae, MD

Sangmee Bae, MD

Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor

Research Interests: Myositis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dr. Bae received her medical degree from Yonsei University College of Medicine in South Korea. She came to UCLA where she started out her research in rheumatology and remained for her training in both internal medicine and rheumatology. She is an active researcher in inflammatory myositis and a member of the International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group.

Ernest Brahn, MD

Ernest Brahn, MD

Professor of Medicine

Research Interest: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dr. Brahn received his MD degree with Honors from the University of Chicago in 1978, and did his internal medicine residency at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. He then completed a rheumatology & immunology fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women's Hospital, and continued on as a member of the Harvard Medical School faculty prior to joining UCLA in 1986.