Welcome to the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior Department of Psychiatry! We are glad that you are interested in our residency training program, and we welcome your application. You can find instructions on the application process here and feel free to call or send us an email if you have any questions. We look forward to meeting you!
James Spar M.D.
James E. Spar, MD is Professor and Director of Residency Education in the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Director of the Adult & Geriatric Inpatient Unit (4N) of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. He is a graduate of UCLA, the UCLA School of Medicine, the UCLA general psychiatry residency training program, and a Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry at UCLA. He was the first Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at UCLA, from its inception in 1998, to 2004, and was the director, beginning in 1981, of one of the first Fellowship programs in geriatric psychiatry (which was funded by NIMH) in the U.S. He has authored 3 books and 39 articles and book chapters related to geriatric psychiatry, and was a major contributor to the drafting of several California statutes related to civil competency. He has an active practice of forensic geriatric psychiatry, frequently serving as an expert consultant and witness, mainly on issues of capacity and undue influence.
Joseph Pierre M.D.
Joseph M. Pierre, MD is the Co-Chief of the Schizophrenia Treatment Unit at VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center; a Health Sciences Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; and the Associate Director of Residency Education at the UCLA Semel Neuropsychiatric Institute and VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. He is a graduate of MIT, the UCLA School of Medicine, and the residency training program at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. He has extensive clinical experience working with individuals with psychotic disorders, substance abuse, and patients with dual diagnosis. Dr. Pierre is also an active clinical researcher, focusing on clinical trials in schizophrenia and on the treatment of prodromal psychosis in young patients at high risk. In 2005, he received Young Investigator Awards from both the International Congress of Schizophrenia Research and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He has authored over 50 papers, abstracts, and book chapters related to schizophrenia and antipsychotic medications. Dr. Pierre is highly involved in resident and medical student education and has received several awards for excellence in teaching including the 2012 UCLA NPI Housestaff Teaching Award. He has presented research findings and lectured to audiences both nationally and internationally and has served as an expert witness consultant in forensic/legal cases involving schizophrenia, the intersection of psychosis and religion, and side effects of antipsychotic therapy.
Laurie Casaus M.D.
Laurie Casaus, MD is the Associate Director of Residency Education at UCLA Semel Neuropsychiatric Institute. She grew up in Southern California and attended UCLA as an undergraduate. After attending USC for medical school, she happily returned to UCLA for residency and has remained at UCLA since graduating from residency in 2006. She is an inpatient attending and is the Medical Director of the UCLA Aftercare Schizophrenia program, in addition to serving as the Associate Training Director. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two beautiful children, Olivia and Sean.
Housestaff Education Coordinator
As Housestaff Education Coordinator, Jennifer has overall responsibility for the administration of the UCLA Psychiatry Residency and Fellowship Training Programs. She works directly with the Program Directors to develop and implement all aspects of the curriculum and recruitment.
Assistant Program Coordinator
As Assistant Program Coordinator, Lauren works closely with the Housestaff Education Coordinator to provides support to the UCLA Psychiatry Residency and Fellowship Training Programs. She also works directly with the Program Directors and Chiefs to assure the programs run smoothly and all resident and fellow needs are met.
Dulce provides administrative support to the Program Coordinator and assists in taking care of the day-to-day needs of the residents. She also helps to coordinate the resident didactic program.
Housestaff Education Coordinator
Jennifer provides administrative support to the Program Coordinators and assists in taking care of the day-to-day needs of the residents and fellows.