Recent Growth in the School of Medicine

Establishing infrastructure and launching the clinical enterprise for the School of Medicine has required rapid growth in the ranks of faculty and staff

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Developing educational programs, establishing infrastructure and launching the clinical enterprise for the School of Medicine has required rapid growth in the ranks of faculty and staff. Each edition of this newsletter will include a section like this, dedicated to welcoming our most recent faculty and staff hires. Look for the list of new clinical faculty appointments in the upcoming UCR Health e-newsletter.

Staff Appointments

Alfredo Hernandez, Biomedical Sciences
Lab Assistant

Alfredo assists with projects in the lab of Dr. Zheng to reveal the functional roles of splicing regulators and NMD factors in neural development.

Charles Scruggs, Student Affairs
Director, Health Professions Advising Center

Charles manages the Pre-Health Professions Advising Center serving 1500 UCR students annually through workshops and guest speaker programs, peer mentoring, and professional staff advising.

Sarah Blevins, Undergrad Medical Education
Medical Education Coordinator

Sarah coordinates the daily operational activities in the areas of year 1 and year 2 medical education, and assists in implementing the Standardized Patient (SP) Program’s educational objectives.

Lawanda Hall, Student Affairs
Learning Skills Specialist/Counselor

Lawanda provides leadership, direct academic retention services, evaluation and assessment of students with potential learning disabilities, and develops programs for at-risk medical students.

Alaxis Timothy, Biomedical Sciences
Administrative Assistant

Alaxis provides essential and high-level administrative support for all functions and day-to-day operations for the staff and faculty in the Division of Biomedical Sciences.

Judy Salas, Clinical Affairs
Administrative Assistant

Judy provides administrative coordination and support to the Chair of Psychiatry and the Chair of OB/GYN. She provides programmatic and administrative support on a wide range of issues, projects, programs, academics and on matters of importance to the School of Medicine.

Janet Duke and Michelle Fulbright, Undergraduate Medical Education
Clerkship Coordinators

Janet and Michelle coordinate the clinical clerkships which are part of the medical center- or community-based components of years 3 and 4 of the curriculum. The clerkships consist of medical students rotating through various clinical settings under the supervision of UCR clinical faculty.

Dora Bolivar, Clinical Affairs
Senior Billing Analyst

Dora is responsible for the complex management, analysis, development and education of all activities related to the professional fee billing operation for UCR Health

Kimberly Dawson, Clinical Affairs
Women’s Health Administrator

Kimberly plays a essential role in helping to shape the evolution of the School of Medicine’s Medical Group clinical financial and operational functions with a focus on Women’s Health.

Ross French, Dean’s Office
Digital Communications Coordinator

Ross oversees web, mobile and social media communications for the School of Medicine. He plans and manages the activities required to create and maintain a digital presence for the medical school.

Jeff Swain, Undergraduate Medical Education
Faculty Development Program Director

Jeff provides leadership for the development and implementation of comprehensive, coordinated programs, curriculum, systems and support for faculty and instructional development that promote excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, and technology. He collaborates with faculty, leadership and other colleagues in the implementation of faculty and instructional development programming that supports campus plans and initiatives.

Damiano Angoli, Biomedical Sciences
Staff Research Associate

Damiano assist in projects related to neurodegeneration and neuroprotection of mouse model of multiple sclerosis in the laboratory of Dr. Tiwari-Woodruff.

Lorra Baldes, Clinical Affairs
Clinical Affairs Analyst

Lorra supports the administrative needs of the UCR School of Medicine faculty/physician practices. She is responsible for supporting all aspects of the credentialing, re-credentialing and privileging processes for all UCR healthcare providers.

Tanisha Burrus, Student Affairs
Outreach Coordinator

Tanisha is involved in the development and implementation of various activities for the Medical Scholars Program (MSP), Future Physicians Leaders (FPL), and Medical Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) pipeline programs at the UCR School of Medicine.

Jo Gerrard, Dean’s Office
Grant Writer, Contract & Grant Operations

Jo drafts and edits content for extramural funding proposals, grant progress reports, letters of intent and concept papers.

Louis Heredia, Biomedical Sciences
Lab Assistant

Louis assists in projects related to neurodegeneration and neuroprotection of mouse model of multiple sclerosis in the laboratory of Dr. Tiwari-Woodruff.

Alma Hernandez, Clinical Affairs
Clinical Affairs Analyst

Alma provides administrative and special project support to Dr. Kim.

Mosen Istwani, Clinical Affairs

Mosen supervises and performs professional work in primary care medicine involving the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of patients at Riverside Community Hospital (RCH).

Michael Jenson
Clinical Compliance Project Manager

Mike collaborates with appropriate central offices and UCOP to develop, implement, and revise clinical related policies, procedures, and processes for the clinical enterprise in the School of Medicine.

Bobbie Lynn, Graduate Medical Education
Residency Program Coordinator

Bobbie manages the resident recruitment and selection process, resident onboarding activities, and participates in the long term development of the Residency Programs for the UCR School of Medicine.

Sophia Rodriguez, Clinical Affairs

Sophia provides programmatic support to the Student Affairs unit.

Danielle Saunders, Clinical Affairs
Practice Manager

Danielle oversees the daily operations of the UCR Neurosciences clinical practices, and will serve in advancing the UCR neuroscience service line.

Carie Wilkens, Strategic Resource Center
Senior Human Resources Consultant

Carie works collaboratively with leadership, managers, and supervisors to implement the medical school workforce plan, including the recruitment and hiring of key mission critical positions; and advises on all HR related activities.

Alexa Williamson, Biomedical Sciences
Lab Assistant

Alexa will assist in projects in the laboratory of Dr. Coss.

Omar Casillas, Information Technology
Instructional Support Analyst

Omar provides instructional support in the classrooms and clinical skills area in the SOM Education Building, as well as the Orbach Science Library.

Jim Dillon, Information Technology
Help Desk and Active Directory Technician

Jim will answer the help desk line (Ext. 2-7676) and reply to e-mail service requests (

Faculty and Academic Appointments

Nicholas DiPatrizio, Biomedical Sciences
Assistant Professor

Professor DiPatrizio’s research is dedicated to elucidating the complex integrative neurobiology and physiology that controls food reward, sensory processing, and energy balance.

Martin Garcia-Castro, Biomedical Sciences
Associate Professor

Professor Garcia-Castro’s research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern the formation and differentiation potential of neural crest cells.

Spencer Wang, Biomedical Sciences
Junior Specialist

Spencer provides support in the laboratory of Dr. Nair

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-2969

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