Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program


Geriatric Psychiatry Fellows 2023-24

Hua Chai, MD, PhD, PGY-5

I am in year one of a two-year UCLA clinical/research Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship, which allows me to pursue my interests in both clinical geriatric psychiatry and basic research.  In addition to providing holistic clinical care to older adults with neuropsychiatric conditions, I am exploring how astrocytes change in the aging brain using animal models.  In the future, I aim to explore astrocytic contributions to neuropsychiatric illnesses such as delirium to discover new avenues for prevention and treatment.  Beyond clinical work and research, I am committed to increasing representation in academic psychiatry through mentorship and structural change.

Hometown: moved around a lot so influences from Xi’An, China, Nashville, TN, and Mahwah, NJ.

Education: Amherst College (BA), UCLA (MD, PhD)

Residency: UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Hobbies/Outside Interests: I enjoy watching variety shows especially music/dance competitions, going to escape rooms, eating delicious foods, and traveling to experience different cultures and places.

What I’m looking forward to most: Continuing to grow in this vibrant city that I have called home for 12+ years.  

Steven Nomura, MD, PGY-5

My special interests are in graduate medical education, psychedelic-assisted therapy, and models of care for integrative medicine. I chose the UCLA Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship to expand my clinical acumen in areas such as neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurology to develop into a more well-rounded psychiatrist.

Hometown: Redlands, CA 

Education: University  of Southern California (BA Biological Sciences), Loyola University, Chicago Stritch SOM (MD)

Residency: Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA

Hobbies/Outside interest(s): spending time with my wife and our 17-month old boy (and our dog Chili), ceramics (wheel throwing), music, tortilla making, bouldering, golf

What I’m looking forward to most: personal and professional growth over the next year 

Johanna Keller, MD, PGY5

My special interests during the UCLA Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship include optimizing quality of life and maintaining a patient-centered approach to treating older adults with neurocognitive disorders. Another area of interest is addressing ethical considerations in dementia diagnosis, disclosure, and management. I recently submitted an abstract with Dr. Brandon Yarns to the AAGP Annual Meeting 2024 (American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry) entitled, “Association Between Caregivers’ Pain Severity and Relationship Stress Among Persons Living With Dementia and Their Caregivers During COVID-19.”

Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA

Education: Barnard College (BA in German Studies), University of Oklahoma College of Medicine (MD) 

Residency: LAC+USC Psychiatry Residency 

Hobbies/Outside interests: Spending time with my four dogs, hiking, reading, camping and spending time at the beach 

What I’m looking forward to most: Learning more about the aging process and how to best approach this special patient population 

David Carlson, MD, PGY-5

My special interests during the UCLA Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship include “successful aging” in older adults through addressing their cognitive, physical, and psychological wellbeing.  I am also pursuing avenues on how to change the narrative about aging and healthcare equity. My clinical interest is on Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) and as a psychiatry resident, participated in Dr. Brandon Yarn’s ISTDP clinical research. 

Hometown: San Diego, CA by way of Penticton, BC, Canada

Education: UC San Diego (BS, Physiology and Neuroscience), UC San Diego (MD)

Residency: UCLA Semel Institute and Greater Los Angeles VA Psychiatry Residency

Hobbies/Outside Interests: Spending time with my wife and young son, crosswords and trivia games, reading and learning, writing, optimizing my exercise routine                                                         

What I’m looking forward to most: continuing this amazing journey in Los Angeles and growing as a psychiatrist!

  1. Carlson DM, Yarns BC. Managing Medical and Psychiatric Multimorbidity in Older Patients. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, Aug 2023
  1. Gabrielian S, Hamilton AB, Gelberg L, Koosis ER, Hoffmann L, Carlson DM, Young AS. “Enhancing the implementation of psychoeducational interventions for homeless-experienced persons with serious mental illness.” Implementation Research and Practice, 2023, In Review
  2. Yarns BC, Holiday KA, Carlson DM, Cosgrove CK, Melrose RJ “Pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s Disease”  Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 2022