Inquiry Faculty & Staff

Inquiry Leadership

Dr. Rita Redberg
Director, Inquiry Curriculum

Dr. Redberg joins the Inquiry Curriculum from the UCSF Division of Cardiology. Rita is Core Faculty for the Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and has research interests in the use of medical procedures and devices. She studies the regulatory process for medical devices and the strength of evidence that supports them, particularly high-risk devices, both before and after they are marketed. She is a strong proponent of high-quality data to support safety and effectiveness for medical devices, in order to provide the best quality and appropriate medical care and advice. Dr. Redberg has testified before Congress multiple times on these issues. In addition to her role as Director of the Inquiry Curriculum, Dr. Redberg has served as an Inquiry Advisor and participated as a mentor throughout her time at UCSF

Matt Trojnar

Matt Trojnar, MPA

Inquiry Curriculum, Manager

Core Inquiry Curriculum
Name Role
Susana Aranas   Susana Aranas Coordinator 
Michelle Hermiston   Michelle Hermiston, MD, PhD Director
John Turnbull   John Turnbull, MD Director
Inquiry Immersion
Name Role

Nilikha Singhal   Nilika Singhal, MD

Director, SOM

ashley-peabody-headshot-square   Ashley Peabody

Designing and Conducting Research
Name Role
Rebecca Graff   Rebecca Graff, ScD Director
ashley-peabody-headshot-square   Ashley Peabody Coordinator
Deep Explore
Name Role
Christina Middleton   Christina Middleton Lead, Inquiry Curriculum
Rita Redberg   Rita Redberg, MD, MS Director 
GME Pathways
Name Role
Kristina Sullivan, MD   Kristina Sullivan, MD Director
Gabby Negussie-Retta   Gabby Retta, MS, CRC Coordinator
Inquiry Funding Office Faculty and Staff 
Name Role
Mallar Bhattacharya   Mallar Bhattacharya, MD Director
 Meyeon Park  Meyeon Park, MD Co-Director
Carmen Cobb-Walsh, MD   Carmen Cobb-Walsh, MD

Interim Co-Director &

Director of Global Outreach

 Avila Omokaro  Avila Omokaro, MHA Coordinator
Inquiry Student Advising

Kirsten KangelarisDr. Kirsten Kangelaris is a hospitalist studying acute organ dysfunction in sepsis and, more recently, COVID-19. Her interests outside of research include mentorship and clinical research education. She leads her divisional Works in Progress group and serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine and as the Associate Director of the Academic Hospital Medicine Fellowship.



Anil Makam, MD, MAS Dr. Anil Makam is a hospital medicine physician at SFGH and an NIH-funded health services and policy researcher. He uses observational and prospectively collected data and advanced analytic techniques to study the care delivered to hospitalized adults and their outcomes, with a focus on post-acute care for older adults and the safety-net hospitals for uninsured, low-income, and historically marginalized individuals. He is also deeply passionate about mentorship, evidence-based medicine, and critical appraisal. At UCSF he is the Co-Director of the CTSI K-Grant Writing Workshop and Co-Director of Academic Development & Research for his Division at SFGH. Nationally, he is an Evidence Author for the Institute of Clinical and Economic Review, a leading voice in assessing the value of medical innovations.

Sara NewmannDr. Sara Newmann is an OBGYN at ZSFG. She is a clinician, educator and researcher. She practices general Obstetrics and Gynecology and has expertise in family planning. She is a Bridges Coach and the OBGYN clerkship site director at ZSFG. Her research focuses in general on increasing access to contraception and abortion and specifically has focused on: cervical preparation for second trimester surgical abortion, integration of family planning and HIV services in Western Kenya, family planning and masculinities in Western Kenya and family planning for people experiencing homelessness.



Rita RedbergDr. Rita Redberg, a cardiologist, has research interests in health care policy, particularly relating to regulation of devices, and is an experienced student mentor and mentoring awardee. She serves as the Director of the Deep Explore Curriculum and Inquiry Advisors Board and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow working in the Senate in 2003-4 and the editor of JAMA Internal Medicine from 2009-2023.



Robert RodriguezDr. Robert Rodriguez is the Vice Chair of Clinical Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine who practices in the ED at San Francisco General. His research interests include issues pertaining to trauma, critical care, infectious disease and health care access for underserved populations, especially immigrants. He served on the Biden/Harris Covid Advisory Board, as an advisor to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and has led multiple national teams examining Covid-19 vaccinations and treatments for populations whose primary health care access occurs in EDs. He has served as a mentor for over 160 learners, winning a number of awards, including the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr award, CTSI resident mentor of the year and the American College of Emergency Physicians Humanitarian of the Year Award for California.

 ​​​​Alan ShindelDr. Alan W. Shindel ​​graduated from the school of medicine at Washington University in Saint Louis in 2002. He completed his residency training in urology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2007. After completion of his residency he started a 3-year research and clinical fellowship in andrology (men’s reproductive and sexual health) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) under the direction of Drs. Tom Lue and Ira Sharlip. He joined the faculty of urology at the University of California Davis (UC Davis) in 2010 as an assistant professor of urology; he was promoted to associate professor of urology in 2014. His clinical practice at that time was devoted towards care of patients with sexual concerns, urinary tract symptoms, and chronic pain syndromes. During his time at UC Davis he served in numerous capacities on the medical school admissions committee and was director of the medical student rotations in urology. He was the Inaugural Editor in Chief for Sexual Medicine, an open access journal of the International Society for Sexual Medicine from 2012 to 2015 and resumed these duties in 2020. In 2015 he left UC Davis to serve as a Medical Director at Genomic Health Inc, a manufacturer of genomic based tests for prostate cancer. After two years at Genomic Health Inc. Dr. Shindel returned to UCSF in 2017 as an Associate Professor of Urology and was promoted to Professor in 2021. He has served as a Coach for the UCSF BRIDGES Curriculum since 2018.

Chris StewartDr. Chris Stewart in addition to his career as a pediatrician specializing in child abuse, is an expert in global health and in violence and trauma. Dr. Stewart has been involved in a number of international projects including works in Vietnam that earned him the UCSF Chancellor's Award for Public Service. He is the former Pathways Board Chair and also former Director of the Global Health Pathways to Discovery Program.