CARE Leadership

Margrit E. Carlson, MD

Margrit E. Carlson, MD

Medical Director, UCLA Clinical AIDS Research and Education (CARE) Center

Background: Dr. Carlson has served as the CARE Clinic’s Medical Director since 2003. She completed medical school at George Washington University, and completed residency and an Infectious Disease fellowship at UCLA before being appointed as a clinical professor.

Specializations: HIV primary care, neurologic complications of HIV, novel therapies, and treatment of acute infection

Judith S. Currier, MD

Judith S. Currier, MD

Director, UCLA Clinical AIDS Research and Education (CARE) Center

Background: Dr. Currier completed medical school at Dartmouth followed by residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Infectious Disease fellowships at Beth Israel and Harvard Medical School.

Specializations: Infectious Diseases and Clinical Epidemiology, including the treatment and prevention of complications of antiretroviral therapy, gender-related issues in HIV therapy and the evaluation of antiretroviral treatment strategies in resource limited settings

Raphael J. Landovitz, MD

Raphael J. Landovitz, MD

Co-Director, UCLA Clinical AIDS Research and Education (CARE) Center

Dr. Landovitz joined the CARE Center in 2006 after training at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital. He also served as medical co-director for the Vietnam CDC Harvard Medical School AIDS Partnership in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He is an infectious disease and HIV clinician with both a clinical and research interest in HIV prevention, particularly the use of chemoprophylaxis as part of HIV prevention - PrEP,

Administration 

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Stewer Gutierrez

Administrative Assistant 3

I started working at the UCLA CARE Center on 2018. assists the MSO, physicians and Fund Manager with everything including accounting, human resources, invoice processing, staff reimbursements, and purchasing.

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Mina Jabarkhail

Executive Assistant/ Administrative Specialist

I started working at UCLA CARE Center August 2020. I moved here from Connecticut after getting engaged this past summer. I previously worked at Yale School of Medicine as a Senior Administrative Assistant. I currently provide administrative support to the Chief of Infectious Disease, Dr. Judith Currier. Some of my responsibilities include, managing her calendar, organizing meetings, and handling special projects as necessary.

Ryan Kofron

Ryan Kofron

Programmer/Analyst III, Supervisor

Ryan joined the CARE Center team in July 2013. Prior to coming to UCLA, he worked at the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods at Case Western Reserve University on a variety of childhood obesity and hypertension studies. In his free time, Ryan enjoys collecting and propagating plants, reading mystery novels, cooking all things vegan, and snowboarding.

Brooke Rodriguez

Brooke Rodriguez

CTU Business Manager

Brooke joined the CARE Center in February 2019. Prior to transferring to UCLA she worked as the HR & Payroll Coordinator at the UCR School of Medicine for 4 years. Her main responsibilities include financial oversight and fund management of all CTU related studies. She enjoys all things plants, Pilates, and kdramas.

Zachary Shapiro

Zachary Shapiro

Fund Manager/Administrative Analyst

I began working at the UCLA CARE Center in October 2019. I graduated from UCLA in June 2019 following undergraduate studies in Mathematics. I am responsible for managing various research projects from pre-award to post-award, and also handling department specific financial tasks, such as rent reconciliation and interdepartmental recharges. In my free time I love to watch sports and go backpacking.

Clinical Laboratory

Ste'von Afemata

Ste'von Afemata

SRAII/Lab Manager

Ste'von Afemata transferred to the CARE Center in 2003 after working at UCLA Medical Plaza Lab and Pathology since 2000. She is responsible for all research laboratory functions for CARE including processing, storage of samples, histology, cryopreservation (PBMCs/Pellets),

John Cabantac

John Cabantac

Laboratory Assistant 3

Prior to joining the CARE Center in 2017 as a lab assistant, John worked as an accountant in the Philippines. When he moved to Los Angeles, he decided to switch careers and work in healthcare.

Clinical Research Coordination

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David Choi

Study coordinator

David joined the CARE Center in 2015, after working as a study coordinator at other UCLA departments and at Cedars-Sinai, and completing an MPH at UCLA. His primary project has been REPRIEVE, the largest randomized trial to date in HIV, which is evaluating if a statin medication is effective to prevent heart disease among people with HIV. When free, David enjoys spending time with family, watching sports, and different sorts of DIY.

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Samantha Fortier

Public Admin Analyst

I started at UCLA CARE Center on August 26 2019. I work on clinical trials here at the CARE Center. Prior to working at the CARE Center, I worked at Boston Medical Center (BMC) in the Clinical Trial Infectious Disease Unit for 2 years. I worked on multiple studies ranging from Community-based participatory research (CBPR) and HIV translational research. I received my B.S at Pennsylvania State University. Afterwards, I received my MPH at Boston University focused on Epidemiology/Biostatistics.

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Maricel Gonzalez

Study coordinator

I joined the CARE Center team in 2001 as study coordinator assistant. Since then I have taken many different roles. I have experience working on numerous trials involving HIV treatment experienced and treatment naive, HIV Gene therapy, Oncology, and CURE agenda trials. During my working years at UCLA I have also taken a brief role with the UCLA VA DOM team before returning to the UCLA CARE Center as a study coordinator for DAIDS and pharmaceutical sponsored trials.

Aleen K.

Aleen Khodabakhshian, MD

Clinical Trials Unit Manager

Aleen joined the CARE Center team in July 2017. She majored in Biological Sciences at UCI and received her medical degree at St. George's University School of Medicine in 2016. During her time at CARE she has worked as a clinical research coordinator for the ANCHOR study and various NIH-funded clinical trials under AIDS Clinical Trials Group Network (ACTG). In July 2019, she accepted the position of Clinical Trials Unit Manager.

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Lisa Mark

Physician Assistant - Director of Operations CARE Center CRU

I am originally from Michigan but left the cold to go to the USC Primary Care Physician Assistant Program where I graduated in 1988. I worked at CIGNA Healthplans in downtown LA, Pacific Oaks Medical Group, and spent 18 years at USC in hematology/bone marrow transplant and HIV medicine with an emphasis in HIV malignancies. I did a brief stint at United Health doing pre-authorizations for oncology/radiation/ and genetic testing.

Neaka Mohtashemi

Neaka Mohtashemi

Staff Research Associate II

Neaka has been working at the UCLA CARE Center since 2017. A University of Chicago graduate with a degree in biology, Neaka's background has varied from working in a genetics lab at UChicago to working with senior management at Gilead on an HCV-related project.

Nicholas Pierce

Nicholas Pierce, MD

Clinical Research Coordinator

Nick began working at the CARE Center in the Summer of 2019 as a clinical research coordinator. Nick was previously a research project manager at a private rheumatology research center in Beverly Hills, CA where he coordinated, monitored, and developed clinical trial protocols.

Nikkole Valdez

Nikkole Valdez, MD

Senior Public Administration Analyst

Nikkole joined the CARE Center team in June 2016. She majored in Biochemistry at UCLA (Go Bruins!) and received her medical degree at UERMMMC in 2013. She began working in clinical research to provide opportunities for patients, diagnosed with hematologic diseases and cancer, to benefit from the new developments in global healthcare. 

Jasmine Warren

Jasmine Warren

Clinical Research Coordinator

I started working at the UCLA CARE Center in June 2021. Prior to working at CARE, I worked with Pediatric Infectious Disease Research. I served as a research coordinator for COVID-19 natural history studies of healthcare workers and first responders. 

Clinical Support Staff

Christine Jackson

Christine Jackson

Medical Assistant

Christine began working for the CARE Center in October 2005 as one of the clinic medical assistants as well as phlebotomist. She received her medical assistant certificate in 2000; she also received her phlebotomy license in 2005.

Mike Marcial

Mike Marcial

Management Services Officer

Mike has worked in the CARE clinic since 1997, starting as a temporary employee, and he became a full time staff member in 1998.

Sonia Salas

Sonia Salas

Medical Assistant

Joined the CARE Clinic in March 2008. She received her medical assistant certification in 2000. Her past work experience includes working at Central Medical Group, where she worked as an Authorization Coordinator and a Medical Assistant in the Pediatric, Internal Medicine and OB-GYN departments.

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Maria Tizol

Medical Assistant

I recently started working at UCLA CARE Center on September 2020. I graduated as a Medical Assistant on August 2007. My Previous experience was working at Central Neighborhood Health foundation as a Medical Assistant in the internal Medicine Department as well as a Referral Coordinator processing Authorizations.

Community Engagement

Alfredo Favela

Alfredo Freddy Favela

Prevention Outreach Coordinator

Mr. Favela joined the CARE Center team in July 2020 as the Prevention Outreach Coordinator. Mr. Favela is actively pursuing a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from Azusa Pacific University. His passion for public health, health equity, and understanding how viral transmission disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities and people of color, has led him to clinical research.

Data Management

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Melinda Kuo

DAIDS Data Manager

Joined CARE Center in December 1997 from Dept. of Biomathematics as data coordinator. As a data manager, I mainly work on DAIDS sponsored research studies to ensure data timeliness and data quality. Being a big animal lover, I enjoy spending time with my dogs.

Medical Care Coordination

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Jeannie Acdan, MSN, RN, PHN

Medical Care Manager, MCC and AOM Program Manager

Jeannie joined the UCLA CARE Center in 2017 as the Medical Care Manager for the Medical Care Coordination (MCC) program. Her role is to ensure that patients’ medical needs are coordinated and accomplished. Jeannie is also the Program Manager for a new program at the UCLA CARE Clinic, Ambulatory Outpatient Medical (AOM).

Emily Franklin

Emily Franklin, LCSW

Patient Care Manager/ Clinical Social Worker II

Emily Franklin has been the Patient Care Manager for the CARE Center’s Medical Care Coordination (MCC) Program since 2018. She has been working with the HIV community since 2013, and received her MSW from USC and BA in Psychology from UCLA.

Rosa Ramos

Rosa Ramos, BA

Sr. Administrative Analyst

Rosa Ramos received her BA in Human Services from CSU, Dominguez Hills and has been working with the HIV/AIDS community since 2016. She has extensive experience working in housing, unhoused populations, and benefits. Rosa began her career with the UCLA CARE Center in 2018 as the Medical Care Coordination Case Worker before transitioning to her role as Sr. Administrative Analyst for the Ryan White Program.

Michelle Simek

Michelle Simek, BA

Case Worker, Retention Outreach Specialist

Michelle Simek graduated cum laude from UCLA with a BA in Spanish and has worked in the HIV/AIDS field for over 20 years. Michelle began working at the UCLA CARE Center in 2013 in the research department prior to transferring to the MCC program. Her current position as Retention Outreach Specialist (ROS) involves recruiting for and retaining patients in the Medical Care Coordination (MCC) program.

Providers

Paul C. Adamson, MD, MPH

Paul C. Adamson, MD, MPH

Infectious Diseases

Dr. Paul Adamson is an Infectious Diseases physician and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He sees patients at the UCLA CARE Center, where he specializes in the treatment and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Debika Bhattacharya, MD

Debika Bhattacharya, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Background: Dr. Bhattacharya joined the UCLA faculty in 2006. She graduated from the seven-year accelerated medical program at Boston University, receiving her MD in 1997 and then trained in internal medicine at Baylor University in Houston, Texas and completed an infectious diseases fellowship at Stanford University.

Claire E. Brown, MD

Claire E. Brown, MD

Medical Provider

Dr. Claire Brown’s areas of interest are General infectious diseases, multi-drug resistant organisms, bone and joint infections, antibiotic stewardship.

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Mary C. Cambou, MD

Infectious Diseases

Dr. Cambou is an Infectious Diseases physician with broad interests in HIV and HPV co-infection, ranging from epidemiology to clinical trials. Dr. Cambou received a BA in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California (UC) Berkeley. During medical school at UC Los Angeles (UCLA), she received a ten-month, NIH-funded research grant to evaluate HIV and HPV epidemiology in women in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Emery H. Chang, MD

Emery H. Chang, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor

Background: Dr. Chang joined the CARE Center in 2005 as an HIV fellow after completing his Internal Medicine & Pediatrics residency at Tulane University and medical school at the University of Minnesota.

Kara Chew, MD, MS

Kara Chew, MD, MS

Associate Clinical Professor

Background: Dr. Chew joined the CARE Center in 2010 as part of her Infectious Diseases Fellowship at UCLA, following internal medicine residency and a junior clinical faculty position in the Division of General Internal Medicine at UCSF

Judith S. Currier, MD

Judith S. Currier, MD

Director, UCLA Clinical AIDS Research and Education (CARE) Center

Background: Dr. Currier completed medical school at Dartmouth followed by residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Infectious Disease fellowships at Beth Israel and Harvard Medical School. She currently serves as the Principal Investigator for the UCLA AIDS Prevention and Treatment Clinical Trials Unit and Vice Chair of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG).

Arielle Goldblatt

Ariella Goldblatt, MD

Undergraduate: UC Berkeley Medical School: UCSF Residency: MedStar Georgetown Track: Clinical Scholar Track Hometown: Cape Town, South Africa, but more recently Irvine, CA Academic/Clinical Interests: HIV, global health, adolescents, immigrant and under-served populations, public health 

Timothy Hall

Timothy M. Hall, MD, PhD

Dr. Hall is Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor, Dept of Family Medicine and Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has trained and studied at Harvard, UCSD, University of Chicago/NORC, Karlova Univerzita (Prague), the New Center for Psychoanalysis (Los Angeles), and UCLA.

Risa M. Hoffman, MD

Risa M. Hoffman, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor

Background: Dr. Hoffman graduated from Stanford University and received her MD from UCLA, and MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her adult Infectious Disease training at UCLA in 2008 and has remained with the Division as junior faculty where she works closely with both the UCLA Program in Global Health and the CARE Center.

Russell A. Johnson, MD

Russell A. Johnson, MD

Pediatrics| Internal Medicine

Dr. Johnson received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. Prior to medical school he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Melbourne in Australia and during medical school he was a Fogarty Scholar at the International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh. 

Theodoros Kelesidis, MD, PhD, MS

Theodoros Kelesidis, MD, PhD, MS

Infectious Diseases

Dr. Kelesidis is an infectious disease physician-scientist and HIV clinician. His research focuses on novel therapeutic agents that target increased systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, immune dysfunction and end-organ disease in chronic HIV infection. Dr. Kelesidis enjoys playing with his children and traveling.

Joshua N. Khalili, MD

Joshua N. Khalili, MD

Internal Medicine

Dr. Khalili is an internal medicine physician who practices traditional primary care, complex medical care for the UCLA Health Extensivist Program in Santa Monica, and HIV care at the UCLA CARE Center. He is board certified in internal medicine, and uses evidence-based methods and a multidisciplinary team approach to improve health outcomes for patients.

Ardis A. Moe, MD

Ardis A. Moe, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Background: Dr. Moe began her Infectious Diseases fellowship at UCLA and continued as an NIH-sponsored HIV Clinical Trials fellow, and then stayed on at UCLA as faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases. She maintains a clinical practice at the CARE Center and also at a Ryan White-funded HIV clinic in Van Nuys: Northeast Valley Health Corporation.

Noah J. Ravenborg, MD

Noah J. Ravenborg, MD

Internal Medicine

Noah Ravenborg is a Clinical Instructor of Internal Medicine and a primary care physician at UCLA Health. His clinical interests include adult primary care, preventive medicine, men’s health, HIV prevention and treatment, and LGBTQ health, including primary care for transgender patients and gender-diverse patients. Dr. Ravenborg is a certified HIV Specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine.

Tara Vijayan, MD

Tara Vijayan, MD

Travel Medicine| Infectious Diseases

Dr. Tara Vijayan works in the division of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Her clinical interests include general infectious diseases, HIV medicine, global health, infectious diseases in underserved populations, medical education and antimicrobial stewardship. She serves the medical director of antimicrobial stewardship and as the associate director for the scientific foundations of medicine for the school of medicine.

George C. Yen, MD

George C. Yen, MD

Internal Medicine

Dr. Yen graduated from the Suny Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine in 2011. He works in Los Angeles, CA and 3 other locations and specializes in Internal Medicine. Dr. Yen is affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center.

Peter Young

Peter D. Young, MD

Dr. Young is an internal medicine physician who practices general primary care as well as complex medical care for the UCLA Health Extensivist Program in Westwood and Santa Monica. He also provides HIV primary care at the UCLA CARE Center. Dr. Young is board certified in Internal Medicine and is certified as an HIV Specialist through the American Academy of HIV. 

Regulatory Affairs

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Irma Franco-Gonzalez

Regulatory Manager

Irma joined the CARE Center in 1998 as Dr. Judith Currier's assistant. She currently oversees the regulatory aspect of the CARE Center's ongoing clinical trials and is the program coordinator for the CARE Center's annual HIV symposium.

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Daniel Najera

Regulatory Coordinator/ Public Administration Analyst

Daniel joined UCLA in 2019. Prior to CARE he worked for the USC Sleep Disorders Center at Keck Hospital. He has over 6 years in research/regulatory experience and received his B.S in Business Administration in 2018. Daniel is responsible for the preparation, submission and maintenance of regulatory files at CARE.