About the Regional Research Committee

The Regional Research Committee reviews proposals and allocates funds from Kaiser Permanente’s Direct to Community Benefit Investment fund for worthwhile research. This fund is provided from Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and the regional Permanente Medical Groups. It represents an investment by Kaiser Permanente to contribute broadly to societal knowledge on issues in clinical effectiveness of different care programs and health care delivery. In Southern California, $600,000 is available annually for investigator-initiated research.

Want to learn more about the Regional Research Committee? Read our FAQ or contact us.



Download a printable list of committee members.

Regional Research Committee

Dr. Bechien Wu

Bechien U. Wu, MD

Chair (since 2018)
Stephanie Tovar headshot

Stephanie Tovar, MS

RRC Manager

Antelope Valley

Dr. Jonathan Truong headshot

Jonathan Hien Truong, MD

Area Research Chair (since 2015)

David Bronstein, MD

Vice Area Research Chair (since 2019)

Baldwin Park

Dr. Gaurav Khanna headshot

Gaurav Khanna, MD

Area Research Chair (since 2012)

Bobeck Modjtahedi, MD

Vice Area Research Chair (since 2019)


Dr. Eugene Chu headshot

Eugene A. Chu, MD

Area Research Chair (since 2015)
Dr. Rajeev Attam headshot

Rajeev Attam, MD

Vice Area Research Chair (since 2018)

Fontana/San Bernardino

Conrad W. Liang, MD, PhD

Area Research Chair (since 2022)
Dr. Steve Lee headshot

Steve S. Lee, DO

Vice Area Research Chair (since 2016)

Los Angeles

Dr. Mingsum Lee headshot

Mingsum Lee, MD, PhD

Area Research Chair (since 2023)
Javed Sheikh, MD

Javed Sheikh, MD

Vice Area Research Chair (since 2023)

Orange County

Dr. Emily Whitcomb headshot

Emily L. Whitcomb, MD

Area Research Chair (since 2021)

Ali Ghobadi, MD

Vice Area Research Chair (since 2021)

Panorama City

Ahmed Dehal, MD

Area Research Chair (since 2024)

Regional Laboratory

Darryl Palmer-Toy, MD, PhD

Area Research Chair

Riverside/Palm Springs

Dr. Rachid Elkoustaf headshot

Rachid A. Elkoustaf, MD

Area Research Chair (since 2018)
Dr. Vivienne Hau headshot

Vivienne S. Hau, MD

Vice Area Research Chair (since 2018)

San Diego

Dr. Shawn Menefee headshot

Shawn Menefee, MD

Area Research Chair (since 2017)

South Bay

David S. Cohen, MD

Area Research Chair (since 2022)

West Los Angeles/Kern

Dr. Michael Fassett headshot

Michael J. Fassett, MD

Area Research Chair (since 2007)
Dr. Daniel Lang headshot

Daniel T. Lang, MD

Vice Area Research Chair (since 2010)

Woodland Hills/Ventura

Dr. Armen Aboulian headshot

Armen Aboulian, MD

Area Research Chair (since 2022)

Monique George, MD

Vice Area Research Chair (since 2022)

Research & Evaluation

Dr. Deborah Young headshot

Deborah Rohm Young, PhD, MBA

Area Research Chair (since 2021)


Full Committee Review
Funding Support: $8,000–$55,000

Spring funding opportunities:
1. Traditional Grant – Open to all
2. RRC-GME Research Program Development Grant – Open to GME faculty only

Funding cycle: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024
Letter of Intent Due Proposal Development RRC Proposal Due RRC Review Meeting RRC Decision Letter
Friday, Feb 10, 2023
Deadline: 11:59 p.m.
Feb. 10 – March 17, 2023 Friday, March 17, 2023
Deadline: 11:59 p.m.
Thursday, May 11, 2023 Friday, June 2, 2023
Fall funding opportunities:
1. Traditional Grant – Open to all
2. RRC-GME Research Program Development Grant – Open to GME faculty only

Funding cycle: January 1 – December 31, 2024
Letter of Intent Due Proposal Development RRC Proposal Due RRC Review Meeting RRC Decision Letter
Friday, July 21, 2023
Deadline: 11:59 p.m.
July 21 – Aug. 25, 2023 Friday, Aug. 25, 2023
Deadline: 11:59 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023 Friday, Nov. 10, 2023

For assistance, email Regional-Research-Committee@kp.org

RRC Proposal Submission Calendar_2023


RRC Funding Opportunities

The Regional Research Committee is seeking letters of intent for potential research proposals to be reviewed for funding. The committee’s goal is to support innovative physician-led projects that will impact practice.

You may apply for either a Traditional Grant or the RRC-GME Research Program Development Grant. Please review the eligibility criteria and funding guidelines listed below.

    Eligibility criteria

    Traditional Grant: SCPMG partner or full-time associate physicians, Kaiser Permanente Southern California residents or fellows, or full-time Kaiser Permanente employees can apply for this grant. Retired SCPMG physicians, full-time staff in the Department of Research & Evaluation and other regional departments are not eligible.

    RRC-GME Research Program Development Grant: Open to Graduate Medical Education faculty only.

    Funding guidelines

    The RRC allocates funds for studies that add to the evidence base for high-quality medical care. Funding is available to support small, scale pilot studies and data review studies. RRC funding awards range between $8,000 and $55,000 (maximum limit). Physician time must be donated to the project. Funding support is available for one year. Only one project may be funded within 12 months. An investigator or team of investigators are not allowed to have separate studies funded by the RRC in the same funding cycle or overlapping funding cycles. During the 12-month funding period, all study-related activities must be completed, including all analyses.

    Interested applicants should only apply for one grant. To access the letter of intent template, select one of the links below.

    Terms and conditions of award

    The total project period for each award is one year. Regional Research Committee funding awards range between $8,000 and $55,000 (maximum). Reasonable travel expenses, necessary to the conduct of the project, are allowed. Funds for books and equipment are not allowed.

    The award also does not provide salary support for personnel employed at other institutions. Reimbursement for physician time is not provided. With permission of their chief of service, physicians can spend their educational half-day and educational leave doing research. It should be remembered that each physician involved in research projects, regardless of source of funding, must have local administrative clearance for time involved in the form of signatures from the chief of service and area medical director.

    If you have questions, please contact us at Regional-Research-Committee@kp.org

    Researcher of the Year

    Each year, the Southern California Permanente Medical Group recognizes a physician or surgeon for their outstanding contribution to research at Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

    John K. Nguyen, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center was named 2021 Researcher of the Year.

    Dr. Nguyen is the director of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at Downey Medical Center. Read more about Dr. Nguyen and the Researcher of the Year award.


    Previous Researchers of the Year

    Shireen Fatemi, MD (2020)
    Panorama City Medical Center
    Jashin J. Wu, MD (2013)
    Los Angeles Medical Center
    Brian S. Lim, MD (2019)
    Riverside Medical Center
    John J. Sim, MD (2012)
    Los Angeles Medical Center
    Lester D. Thompson, MD (2018)
    Woodland Hills Medical Center
    Neal M. Lonkey, MD (2011)
    Orange County Medical Center
    Gary W. Chien, MD (2017)
    Los Angeles Medical Center
    Malcolm G. Munro, MD (2010)
    Los Angeles Medical Center
    Gerald D. Levy, MD (2016)
    Downey Medical Center
    Maher Abbas, MD (2009)
    Los Angeles Medical Center
    Donald S. Fong, MD (2015)
    Baldwin Park Medical Center
    Albert Yuh-Jer Shen, MD (2008)
    Los Angeles Medical Center
    Robert S. Namba, MD (2014)
    Orange County Medical Center
    Michael Schatz, MD (2007)
    San Diego Medical Center