December 3rd, 2019

Congratulations to Raji Nagalla for being awarded the National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship from the NIH. A well-deserved award for all the hard work and dedication poured into becoming an amazing physician-scientist in the future. Raji has also served as a leader in our UCI MSTP, and her leadership has helped shape our program and has been vital in improving our program further.

December 2nd, 2019

Congrats to Haytham Effarah for making onto the Department of Physics Student Spotlight. Best wishes on his journey through his Physics PhD and training as a physician-scientist.

Student Spotlight: Haytham Effarah

May 29th, 2018

The UCI MSTP will be representing at the 2018 AHEAD Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico from July 17-21, 2018. Please drop by and say Hi if you’re in the area!

May 15th, 2018

Congratulations Bassem on being this year’s recipient of the MSTP Outstanding Service Award/Dean’s Award. Thank you for your years of dedication and commitment to making our program great. You have made a great impact on our program, and have certainly left big shoes to be filled.

May 15th, 2018

This year we are seeing the following students off back to med school. Congratulations on finishing your PhD! What an amazing accomplishment. To celebrate, the program will be hosting a small celebration on Thursday, May 17th from 5:00 – 7:00pm in Gross Hall 4th floor conference center on the Medical Education Campus. We will be honoring each student’s accomplishments throughout their grad years over hors d’oeuvres and drinks. All MSTP students, faculty mentors and advisors are invited.

April 17th, 2018

Logan Hubbard is defending the same week as Megan! On Friday, April 27th, 2018 at 1:30PM Logan will be defending his dissertation , “Comprehensive Cardiac Computed Tomography: Translating Medical Physics into Medical Practice” in Med Ed Telemedicine Theater, B001. Abstract attached.

Please come and support your fellow MSTPer!

Great job, Logan!



Comprehensive Cardiac Computed Tomography: Translating Medical Physics into Medical Practice

Logan Charles Hubbard

Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering

University of California, Irvine, 2018

Professor Sabee Molloi, Chair

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. As a risk factor, CAD and its resultant ischemic cardiomyopathy are strongly predicative of future cardiac events. While coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography is a powerful tool for assessing CAD risk, it is fundamentally limited in that it can only assess the morphological severity of segmental CAD, but cannot define the physiological severity of concurrent mutli-vessel, diffuse, and microvascular disease. Hence, guidelines recommend additional physiological assessment of CAD, in conjunction with CT angiography, for more objective indication of patient risk. The primary modalities used for physiological assessment are single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), stress echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), static positron emission tomography (PET), and static CT. However, such modalities only provide metrics of relative perfusion; hence, they still cannot appreciate the true physiological severity of multiform CAD. Fortunately, absolute perfusion measurement with dynamic CT can overcome these limitations, where the spatial distribution of absolute rest and stress perfusion in mL/min/g combined with physiological cutoff thresholds can be used to reliably stratify patient risk and properly guide intervention. Nevertheless, current dynamic CT perfusion techniques are known to be quantitatively inaccurate and deliver unacceptably high effective radiation doses per imaging exam, precluding their widespread clinical use. As such, there is a major unmet clinical need for an accurate, low-dose CT technique for combined morphological and physiological assessment of multiform CAD.

This dissertation research addresses that unmet clinical need through the development, validation, and preliminary clinical translation of an accurate, low-dose, comprehensive cardiac CT technique based on first-pass analysis (FPA). The comprehensive technique can accurately assess vessel-specific stress and rest perfusion, while simultaneously providing cardiac functional analysis (CFA), CT angiography, and coronary flow reserve (CFR), respectively. Thus, morphological and physiological assessment of CAD is feasible using a single low-dose exam, making comprehensive CT-based assessment of multiform CAD more accurate, accessible, and impactful to patients in need.

April 10th, 2018

Megan Curran will be defending her dissertation, “Enduring functional consequences of early-life insults: Mechanisms, prediction and intervention” on April 24th at 1:00 PM in Med Ed Telemedicine Theater, B001. Please come and support your fellow MSTPer!

Great job, Megan!

Megan Curran defense flyer

March 29th, 2018

Bassem Shoucri will be defending his dissertation, “Environmental Chemicals and the Developmental Origins of Obesity” on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 11:00 am in Nat Sci I Room 1114. (Flyer attached) Please come and support your fellow MSTPer!

Great job, Bassem! We’re so proud.

Bassem Shoucri defense

March 16th, 2018

Please join me in congratulating our 2018 MSTP graduates! Best wishes on the next leg of your journey.

Sarah Cousins – University of Virginia (Psychiatry)

Suzanne Klaus – University of Arizona COM at Tucson (General Surgery)

Don Wei – UCLA Semel Institute for Neurosciences (Psychiatry/Research)

March 9th, 2018

Ron will be defending his dissertation today, “Neuroprosthetic Approaches to Selective Facial Nerve Stimulation” on March 9th at 3:30 pm in Natural Sciences II, Room 3212. Please come and support your fellow MSTPer!

2018.03.09_Ronald Sahyouni_Defense Announcement

Great job, Ron!