Research Opportunities: Residents and Medical Students

Endocrine Surgery Research Opportunities

Resident research.

UCLA residents interested in endocrine surgery research are encouraged to contact us in January of their intern year, as all are expected to compete for the Gerald S. Levey Surgical Research Award (PDF) >

Residents from other programs are required to have salary support from either their home institutions or extramural funding sources. We are able to help residents prepare competitive applications for research awards, but this must be done at least one year in advance.

More information on resident research awards and deadlines >

Student Research: UCLA Medical Students

Description.

Our group accepts 1-3 highly qualified first- and second-year medical students per year.  We require a minimum 1-year time commitment, generally starting in the Spring quarter of first year and ending with the onset of third year clerkships.  All of our past students have been supported by either the Internal Medicine Chiefs’ Fellowship or the Short Term Training Program (STTP):
http://www.medstudent.ucla.edu/current/research/

The motivated student can expect to publish first- or second-authorship manuscripts commensurate with their effort and skill in working as a part of our research team (see publications).  Previous students have given podium presentations at national meetings and even won research awards.

Aims.

Taking on a student represents a considerable time investment on our part.  Students are expected to work at least 10 hours per week on their projects.  Our group routinely works on nights and weekends to meet deadlines.  All students perform literature searches, write background/introduction sections for our manuscripts, and gather data.  

It is our priority to provide motivated students with an enriching research experience that bolsters their credentials to create a competitive residency application.

Stipend.

Summer stipends are described in the UCLA Medical School website above.

Timeline.

Given the competitive nature of these positions, we advise students to contact us in January of their first year, as deadlines for the Internal Medicine Chiefs’ Fellowship and Short Term Training Program (STTP) lie in February and March, respectively.  Every year we receive a number of last-minute applications that end up being unsuccessful.

How to apply.

Please email your CV to Dr. Yeh or Dr. Livhits and contact Dalena Nguyen via email ([email protected]) or phone at 310-794-9220 to set up a brief interview.

Get to know some of our lab students!

Angela Chen (Class of 2020): I conducted and contributed to retrospective research, prospective research and case study. Notably, I directed a comprehensive retrospective review of the association between pregnancy and thyroid cancer using the California Cancer Registry database. I participated in research on biochemical and skeletal outcomes of parathyroidectomy for normocalcemic primary hyperparathyroidism. Most recently, I have been involved in a prospective study on the outcomes of molecular testing for diagnosing thyroid nodules with indeterminate pathology. As a member of the Endocrine Surgery Lab, I was able to learn, develop and refine my abilities to conduct clinical research. The support and guidance provided by the attending faculty, residents, statisticians, and other members of the group was exceptional. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to receive high caliber training with Dr. Yeh, Dr. Livhits, Dr. Leung and colleagues. If you have diverse research interests, I would encourage you to consider applying to the Endocrine Surgery Lab. Regardless of whether you will be a future endocrine surgeon, the skills and knowledge you gain will be transferrable to all specialties in medicine. Endocrinology as a field is highly diverse and incredibly important to learn about. You will find a welcoming, nurturing, educational experience with the Endocrine Surgery Lab.

Patrick Chin (Class of 2022): The project I am currently working on is a study of how molecular markers identified in cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules relate to their surgical histopathology upon resection. Hopefully, this work will give us more insight into these molecular marker test's ability to prognosticate high and low risk cancer. Working with the residents, Dr. Livhits and Dr. Yeh has been a great experience and very educational- if you are considering doing research here, I highly encourage you to reach out!

Kimberly Yan (Class of 2022): I joined the UCLA Endocrine Surgery Research Group in the hopes of finding a collaborative and interdisciplinary team conducting innovative research. In less than a year of working with the group, I conducted a research project and submitted an abstract to a major research conference on my project investigating the trends in thyroid cancer incidence and incidence-based mortality within the state of California. Under the guidance and mentorship of clinician-researchers like Dr. Yeh, Dr. Livhits and Dr. Leung and their team of residents, biostatisticians, and administrative support, I have achieved so much as a first-year medical student and learned skills that will help me throughout my medical education.

UCLA Research Opportunities
Catherine Zhu taking questions from the surgical faculty during her presentation on the use of Molecular Markers for indeterminate thyroid nodules at the 2019 Longmire Scientific Day.
Eric Kuo presenting his work next to his PI, Masha Livhits at the 2017 American Thyroid Association meeting in Vancouver, Canada.
Eric Kuo presenting his work next to his PI, Masha Livhits at the 2017 American Thyroid Association meeting in Vancouver, Canada.
From left: Adi Shirali, Lina Hu, Catherine Zhu, and Max Schumm at the 2019 American Association of Endocrine Surgery Conference to present their research and exchange findings with surgeons across the nation.
From left: Adi Shirali, Lina Hu, Catherine Zhu, and Max Schumm at the 2019 American Association of Endocrine Surgery Conference to present their research and exchange findings with surgeons across the nation.
The team visited Duke University for the 2018 American Association of Endocrine Surgeons meeting. From left: James Wu, Masha Livhits, Michael Yeh, Yasmine Assadipour, and Eric Kuo. More information on resident research awards and deadlines >
The team visited Duke University for the 2018 American Association of Endocrine Surgeons meeting. From left: James Wu, Masha Livhits, Michael Yeh, Yasmine Assadipour, and Eric Kuo.

More information on resident research awards and deadlines >

From left: Medical school student Max Wang presents his research at the 2018 American Thyroid Association Meeting alongside Dr. Masha Livhits and Dr. Michael Yeh.
From left: Medical school student Max Wang presents his research at the 2018 American Thyroid Association Meeting alongside Dr. Masha Livhits and Dr. Michael Yeh.
From Left: Medical students Alfonso Ocampo, Max Wang, and Calvin Wong happy to answer all your questions while presenting their work at the 2018 Josiah Brown Poster Fair.
From Left: Medical students Alfonso Ocampo, Max Wang, and Calvin Wong happy to answer all your questions while presenting their work at the 2018 Josiah Brown Poster Fair.
From Left: Ki Wan Park, Angela Chen, and William Thi presenting their work at the 2017 American Thyroid Association Meeting.
From Left: Ki Wan Park, Angela Chen, and William Thi presenting their work at the 2017 American Thyroid Association Meeting.
Angela Chen (right) with her PI, Angela Leung at the 2017 American Thyroid Association Meeting.
Angela Chen (right) with her PI, Angela Leung at the 2017 American Thyroid Association Meeting.