SFVA Division of Rheumatology

About       UCSF Rheumatology

The Rheumatology Division at the San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) is a combined clinical and research unit that serves patients with rheumatologic and musculoskeletal conditions. 


David I. Daikh, MD, PhD, Division Chief

Dr. Daikh is VA Division Chief, directs the VA rheumatology clinic and is program director of the UCSF Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program.  He is actively involved in translational research of immune function in patients with autoimmune disease and clinical research studies of gout.  Dr. Daikh is a member of the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators and is currently President of he American College of Rheumatology

Lianne S. Gensler, MD     

Dr. Gensler’s clinical research focus is on autoimmune inflammatory spine disease.  She directs the UCSF Ankylosing Spondylitis Clinic and is a national leader in spondyloarthritis. She also serves as the Rheumatology Elective Director for the UCSF Internal Medicine Residency and organizes the UCSF rheumatology fellowship teaching conferences.  She has served as a VA Quality Scholar and was a UCSF Medicine Chief Resident based at the VA.  Dr. Gensler is currently Executive Committee Chair of the Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment (SPARTAN) Network. 

Christine Hsieh, PhD     

Dr. Hsieh is a principal investigator in the IRL.  She studies innate immune mechanisms that contribute to inflammation and wound healing during traumatic brain injury, focusing on the role of macrophage and microglia cells.  Dr. Hsieh also directs the VA Cell Analysis and Sorting Core facility.

Mary (Mimi) Margaretten-Olds, MD, MS    

Dr. Margaretten-Old’s scholarly interests include quality improvement and patient safety.  She is a UCSF School of Medicine Bridges Coach and attends in the VA Rheumatology Clinic where she sees patients and teaches medical students, resident and fellows.

Mary C. Nakamura, MD    

Dr. Nakamura’s research focus is on mechanisms of innate immune function and she has distinguished herself as a leader in the field of osteoimmunology, a topic on which she speaks nationally and internationally.   Dr. Nakamura co-directs the mentoring program for the UCSF Clinical Rheumatology and Immunology Training Grant and is a course organizer for the second year Pathogens and Host Defense medical school course.

Gabriela Schmajuk, MD, MS   

Dr. Schmajuk is a quality and health services researcher with particular interest in medication utilization and safety.  She served as a VA Quality Scholar and was a UCSF Bechtel Scholar.  In addition to her own research program, she leads the data analysis core for the ACR Rheumatology Informatics and System for Effectiveness (RISE) national clinical registry. 

William Seaman, MD

Dr. Seaman is a longstanding leader in the field of NK cell research, former chief of Medicine at the VA and past Associate Chair for Research for the Department of Medicine.  He attends in the VA Rheumatology Clinic where he sees patients and teaches medical students, resident and fellows.


Education         Rheumatology Fellowship

Education and training of UCSF students, residents and fellows is an integral part of the clinical activities of the VA Rheumatology Division. 

SFVA EntranceIn addition to case-based teaching in rheumatology clinic and as attendings on the Inpatient Medical Service, VA rheumatology faculty organize a weekly UCSF rheumatology fellow teaching conference, a monthly rheumatology fellow and resident journal club and frequently provide teaching in other teaching conferences at the SFVAHCS, including the Medical Practice Resident conference, PRIME teaching conferences, and Medicine M&M Conference.  VA rheumatology faculty also mentor post-doctoral research fellows and junior faculty within rheumatology and others divisions across the Department of Medicine.  The VA Rheumatology Division has the leadership role for the UCSF Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program, one of the largest and most visible rheumatology training programs in the country, as well as administration of the NIH funded UCSF Clinical Rheumatology and Immunology T32 Training Grant.

Patient Care

Clinical services to veterans include the twice weekly VA Arthritis Clinic; the Rheumatology Consult Service that provides direct consultations and eConsults for inpatients and outpatients at the SFVAHCS.  

Rheumatology services include Northern California VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics and the Yountville Veterans Home; and specialty telemedicine care for veterans living in remote norther California locations.  These clinical services are provided by members of the UCSF Department of Medicine largely based at the SFVAHCS and two advanced practice nurse practitioners.


The VA Rheumatology Division also maintains a broad research portfolio based in the VA Immunology Research Laboratory (IRL), including programs in basic, translational, clinical and health services research.  

The IRL also manages the Cell Analysis and Sorting Core research facility that provides a wide range of flow cytometry capabilities and services to VA and UCSF researches. 

Dr Gabriela Schmajuk co-directs the Quality and Informatics Lab (QUIL) at UCSF. The mission of QUIL is to improve patient outcomes. We use EHR data to develop and test measures of quality and medication safety. We are funded by the Agency for Research and Healthcare Quality (AHRQ), the National Institutes of Health (NIAMS), the Rosalind Russell/Ephraim P. Engleman Rheumatology Research Center.

Dr. William Seaman's laboratory is interested in the cell surface receptors that either activate or inhibit leukocytes that are involved in the regulation of immunity and autoimmunity. These cells include T cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and cells of monocyte/macrophage lineage.