SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) has selected two promising medical researchers for the Grunfeld Scholars Research Development Initiative. This initiative, currently in its third year, invests in early-career clinician-scientists to grow the pipeline of future leaders in medical research related to the health of Veterans, and preserve SFVAHCS’ legacy as a pre-eminent medical research institution.
The Grunfeld Scholars Research Development Initiative is named for Carl Grunfeld, M.D., Ph.D., SFVAHCS’s associate chief of staff for research and development. Dr. Grunfeld is a renowned clinician-scientist who has contributed over four decades of research excellence to the SFVAHCS.
“Our previous classes of Grunfeld Scholars have been very successful,” said Dr. Grunfeld. “I know that this year’s scholars will also show their commitment to improving the lives of Veteran patients through research via their dedication to the profession of healing.”
The scholarship program was open to clinician-scientists who:
- Have completed, or will soon complete, a research fellowship with at least three first-author original publications in peer review journals.
- Are currently eligible to apply for VA or National Institutes of Health (NIH) Career Development Awards (CDA), VA Merit Review, the NIH Research Project Grant Program, or other comparable funding.
Applicants were subject to a competitive selection process that included a review of their application by two SFVAHCS research committees. The selected Grunfeld Scholars will receive dedicated, protected time outside of their existing clinical work to pursue their research goals. They will receive this protected time for a duration of two years as they apply for grants, with the possibility of an extension. The program does not provide monetary funding for research.
The 2022 Grunfeld Scholars are below:
Li-Wen Huang, MD
Dr. Li-Wen Huang is an Assistant Professor in the UCSF Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Medicine and a medical oncologist taking care of older patients with hematologic malignancies at the SFVAHCS. Her research focuses on understanding the interactions between aging, cancer and cancer therapies, and geriatric syndromes such as functional or cognitive impairment. Her long-term goal is to understand how we can improve care for older adults with cancer. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and toddler, pursuing photography in nature, and curling up with a good fiction novel.
Michael Jacob, MD, PhD
Dr. Michael Jacob is a physician-scientist, staff psychiatrist at the SFVAHCS and assistant professor of psychiatry at the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. Dr. Jacob’s research investigates heart-brain interactions in serious mental illness (SMI). He utilizes multimodal neuroimaging methods (EEG, ECG, and fMRI) to probe how cardiac, vascular, and metabolic activity is coupled to brain neural activity in support of cognitive function. Through this work he hopes to characterize the pathophysiology of comorbid (occurring together) cardiometabolic and neuropsychiatric disease and identify novel treatment approaches. Dr. Jacob is a Bay Area Native and currently resides in San Francisco with his wife and two young children, where they enjoy finding new and unexplored playgrounds.
On July 25, 2022, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., the two 2022 Grunfeld Scholars will be holding a web-based symposium, giving web-based presentations of their ongoing research work. If you are interested in attending, please email Kevin.Buth@va.gov to RSVP and request call-in information.
About San Francisco VA Health Care System
The San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) is a comprehensive network that provides health services to Veterans through the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and eight community-based outpatient clinics in Oakland, Santa Rosa, Eureka, Ukiah, Clearlake, San Bruno and downtown San Francisco. The SFVAHCS has a long history of conducting cutting-edge research, establishing innovative medical programs, and providing compassionate care to Veterans. SFVAMC has several National Centers of Excellence in the areas of epilepsy treatment, cardiac surgery, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV and renal dialysis. SFVAMC’s $81 million research program is one of the largest in the Veterans Health Administration. SFVAMC has been affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Medicine for more than 60 years.