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September 30, 2003

Media Contact: Leslie Franz (619) 543-6163

Geriatric Psychiatry Specialist Named
Interim Director of UCSD Aging Institute

Dilip Jeste, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the UCSD School of Medicine, and Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging, has been named Interim Director of UCSD’s Stein Institute for Research on Aging (SIRA). He succeeds Dennis Carson, M.D., Professor of Medicine, who leaves the position after 13 years to become Director of the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Both appointments become effective November 10.

SIRA, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, was established to foster healthy aging by supporting advances in patient care through innovative research, training and education. SIRA brings together a critical mass of scientific talent, encourages and funds age-related research, purchases scientific equipment, supports student education, enhances patient care, and provides community education through a popular monthly newsletter and monthly lectures.

Jeste, a specialist in geriatric psychiatry, has been widely honored for his leadership in psychiatric research, education and clinical care. A member of the UCSD faculty since 1986, he serves as chief of the UCSD Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, which includes the Senior Behavioral Health Program, offering inpatient and outpatient services for older patients with mental health needs. He is also a geriatric psychiatrist with the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.

He is principal investigator of the Center for Community-based Research in Older People with Psychosis, a $7.5 million effort funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in partnership with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency’s Adult and Older Adult Mental Health Services. The goal of the project is to develop effective new therapies for middle-aged and elderly people with schizophrenia and other chronic psychotic disorders. He is also the principal investigator of two national research training grants in geriatric mental health.

Jeste earned his D.P.M. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Bombay, and his M.D. from the University of Bombay. He completed his residency in psychiatry at the Cornell Medical Center and his neurology residency at George Washington University Medical Center. Prior to joining the UCSD faculty he held positions in the Neuropsychiatry Branch of the NIMH, Saint Elizabeth Hospital; and at the George Washington University Medical Center.

He has published extensively in his field of specialty, and is in the Institute of Scientific Information’s list of the world’s most cited authors comprising less than 0.5% of all the publishing researchers of the last two decades. He has served as president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry as well as the International College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology. He is Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, and was lead author of the widely cited 1999 report, “Consensus Statement on the Upcoming Crisis in Geriatric Mental Health: Research Agenda for the Next Two Decades,” published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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