Research Opportunities for UCLA Medical Students

UCLA Medical students can apply to conduct global surgery research between their first and second years of medical school through the Short-Term Training Program in Global Health Research (Global STTP) offered through the UCLA Center for World Health. Global STTP is supervised by Daniel DeUgarte, MD, who graduated from the UCLA School of Medicine and UCLA General Surgery Training Program. He completed a master’s of science in clinical research and a certificate in global health. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the Division of Pediatric Surgery and the Co-Director of the Global Health Education Program in the UCLA Center for World Health. He has mentored several students and colleagues in research topics related to global surgery primarily in Mozambique. Students may identify other mentors who are conducting global surgery research.

UCLA Faculty Research in Global Surgery

Dr. Jorge Lazareff is Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Director of Humanitarian Missions for the UCLA Center for World Health. He has a robust relationship with the only children’s hospital in Nicaragua (Hospital Manuel de Jesus Rivera “La Mascota” in Managua). He is conducting research in surgical safety and barriers to care for the treatment of surgical congenital disorders with an emphasis on neural tube defects. In addition, he is conducting similar research in barriers to care for the treatment of neural tube defects at another partner site in Shanghai, China. The Shanghai Children’s Medical Center is one of the preeminent cardiac surgery and neurosurgery centers in the world.

Dr. Reza Jarrahy, an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Department of Pediatrics, and Dr. Bonnie Taub, an anthropologist who is Chair of the Latin American Studies Graduate Program with appointments in the Fielding School of Public Health and the Department of Antrhopology at UCLA, have received a UCLA transdisciplinary seed grant, as well as grants from the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute to examine how surgical care administered by foreign surgeons intersects with the cultural beliefs and traditions of the indigenous people they serve. This focus on “surgical anthropology” has generated multiple abstracts that have been presented at national and international surgical and anthropological meetings. Their work has supported the “At the Crossroads” symposia, a series of multidisciplinary conferences geared toward advancing global health efforts at UCLA and beyond.

UCLA Residents and Global Surgery Research

Opportunities exist for UCLA residents to perform research in global surgery and obtain a master’s of public health.

Shant Shekherdimian, MD, is a graduate of the UCLA General Surgery training program who completed the UCLA Executive Master of Public Health during his lab years. He is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Surgery, and advises the Armenian Ministry of Health. He is involved in evaluating the role of and implementing quality improvement and surgical safety in low to middle in low and middle income countries.

Catherine Juillard, MD, is a former Peace Corps volunteer and graduate of the UCLA School of Medicine and UCLA General Surgery Training Program. During her lab years, she obtained a master’s of public health at Johns Hopkins University and conducted research in Cameroon. She is currently completing trauma and critical-care training at the University of California, San Francisco.

Current general surgery resident, Justin Wagner, MD, is working with David Chen, MD, on education research to evaluate the efficacy of hernia training in underserved areas of Latin America through the nonprofit organization Hernia Repair for the Underserved, using the Operative Performance Rating Scale (OPRS), live teleproctoring using Google Glass technology, live-stream interactive lectures, and online resources.

Faculty Mentors

Please contact Chi Quach at if you are a UCLA faculty member in surgery who would like to be added to this list.

UCLA Surgery

Faculty Member Location(s) Topic(s)
Anthony Aldave, MD India Corneal transplantation outcomes
David Chen, MD Latin America Hernia; training surgeon; education
Daniel DeUgarte, MD Mozambique, Peru Burns; partnerships; transfusion practice; pediatric & general surgery; pediatrics
Ross Donaldson, MD Various Emergency care and trauma
Avital Harari, MD Tanzania General and endocrine surgery
Jorge Lazareff, MD China, Nicaragua Neurosurgery; spina bifida
Shant Shekherdimian, MD Armenia Quality improvement; surgical safety; education; partnerships


University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI)

Stephen Bickler, MD (UCSD)
Catherine Juillard, MD (UCLA)


Abstracts, Poster, and Presentations

  • Developing Effective Partnerships between Diaspora Communities and Home Countries; Lessons Learned From Armenia’s Post Independence Experience
    Shant Shekherdimian. Bethune Roundtable. June 5, 2014. Hamilton, Canada.
  • Bridging gaps with anthropology and surgery in global settings
    Taub B, Badaoui C, Ward RF, Siegel N, Jarrahy R. Consortium of Universities for Global Health. May 10, 2014. Washington, DC.
  • Assessment of Pediatric Burn Management in a Tertiary Care Center in Sub-Saharan Africa
    Martins D, Karan A, Johnson B, Amado V, Kulber D, Taela A, Hartford E, DeUgarte DA.  Pacific Coast Surgical Association.  February 15, 2014. Dana Point, CA.
  • Implementation and Analysis of Initial Trauma Registry in Iquitos, Peru
    Duron VP, DeUgarte DA, Salazar E, Garcia J, Upperman JS. Academic Surgical Congress. February 5, 2014. San Diego, CA.
  • Case Volume Distribution in the Mozambican Pediatric General Surgery Training Unit
    Martins D, Amado V, Johnson B, Karan A, Hartford E, Taela A, DeUgarte DA.  Academic Surgical Congress. February 5, 2014. San Diego, CA.
  • Cultural Awareness and Screening in a Global Surgery Setting
    Jarrahy R, Nguyen, PD, Taub B. February 4, 2014. San Diego, CA.
  • Surgical Management of Malaria Complicated by Peripheral Gangrene in Pediatric Patients
    Martins D, Amado V, Taela A, DeUgarte DA. Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. January 18, 2014. Santa Barbara, CA.
  • Developing a Collaboration to Improve General Pediatric Surgical Care in Mozambique
    Taela A, Shekherdimian S, Miller L, DeUgarte DA. Pan African Pediatric Surgical Association. Presentation. March 21, 2012. Cape Town, South Africa.
  • From research to policy: creation of an injury committee in Cameroon in response to prospective trauma registry data
    Juillard C, Steven K, Monono M, Etoundi G, Kouo Ngamby M, McGreevy J, Cryer G, Hyder A. Alliance of Surgery and Anesthesia Presence. August 29, 2011. San Diego, CA.
  • Developing A Long Term Collaboration To Improve Pediatric Surgical Care In Mozambique
    Shekherdimian S, Taela A, Miller LT, Hoffman R, Ismail M, Bernstein RM, DeUgarte DA. 4th Annual ASAP Meeting: Building Sustainable Surgical Systems. Poster Presentation. November 9, 2011. San Diego, CA.