Our Faculty2020-10-07T23:36:09+00:00


Over 100 full-time faculty in the Department of Medicine are involved in the teaching program. All faculty members at each of our three training facilities have faculty appointments at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. The staff includes general internists and internists in the subspecialties of allergy, cardiology, clinical pharmacology, critical care, endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, hematology, infectious disease, intensive care medicine, nephrology, oncology, pulmonary medicine and rheumatology.



Sonny Lee, MD

Dr. Lee received his M.D. from New York Medical College. After completing internship and residency in the Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics (Med-Peds) Residency at Loma Linda University, he stayed on as faculty. He has been Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics since 2003 and is participating in the Maintenance of Certification for both the American Board of Internal Medicine as well as the American Board of Pediatrics. He has been involved in Graduate and Undergraduate Medical Education since completing residency in 2003 and has served as Associate Program Director and Program Director of the Med-Peds Residency prior to assuming the role of Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Loma Linda University. He remains passionate about resident education and, in particular, relishes assisting residents achieve whatever career goal they have in mind. He is married with two daughters. He loves sports of all kinds (watching, playing) but particularly loves watching his daughters play softball and soccer.

Associate Program Director LLUMC

Jayaram Chandrasekar, DO

Dr.Chandrasekar is originally from the Bay Area and completed his B.S in Biotechnology at UC Davis and received his D.O. degree from Touro University-California. He then completed internship and residency at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA. He stayed on for an extra year as a chief resident before moving to Loma Linda University Medical Center in 2017 with his wife, and is currently board certified in Internal Medicine since 2017. He is passionate about teaching medical students and residents alike, challenging and mentoring them to reach their full potential. He recognizes the intricate balance between service and education on the wards and prioritizes education whenever possible. He is also an Internist at the SACH clinic and serves as the associate clerkship director for the Internal Medicine clerkship at Loma Linda. He is a strong advocate of resident wellness and enjoys brainstorming solutions to continually improve the MOD rotation at Loma Linda. He recently had a baby girl with whom he enjoys spending time with outside of the hospital. His other interests including tennis, hiking, and travel, with New Zealand and Australia next on his bucket list. 

Associate Program Director LLVAH

Denise Townsend, MD

Denise Jackson Townsend received her MD degree from the University of Florida School of Medicine.  She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center.    She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatric medicine.   After completing residency, she joined the Faculty Medical Practice at LLU and practiced there in the outpatient office and also covered the inpatient resident MOD service.  During this time, she also  held several other positions, Medical Director for the Internal Medicine Continuity clinic at Loma Linda, Medical Director for Loma Linda University Hospice and Medical Director for Loma Linda University Home Heath.  After working at Loma Linda University for 19 yrs, she transitioned to the Loma Linda VA where she has worked for the past 8 years, first in the outpatient setting and currently as a hospitalist.  During her time at the VA, she has also worked with  residents and medical students on the  MOD inpatient service.  She enjoys working with residents and medical students and is passionate in regards to promoting healthy life styles for patients and housestaff.

She is married to Michael A. Townsend, and they have 3 daughters.

Associate Program Director RUHSMC

Minho Yu, DO

Dr. Yu received his Bachelors degree from UCSD, went on to medical school at the Western University of Health Sciences, in Pomona, CA. He was a star resident in internal medicine program at Loma Linda, and later served as a chief medical resident at Riverside University Health Systems Medical Center during the 2007-2008 academic year. He has been an attending physician there since that time.
In 2011, he was appointed to the APD position and has served in that capacity very well. Dr. Yu is dedicated to the development of residents as skilled physicians, and emphasizes evidence-based care. Our office receives much unsolicited praise for his teaching ability as an attending on the RUHSMC ward service. Additionally, he leads teaching sessions at the Simulation Lab on campus.

Department Chair

Douglas Hegstad, MD, MACP

Department Chair since 2009, Dr Hegstad embraces the trust our trainees place in us and the obligation and joy for faculty members to “pay forward” their own opportunities. He has overseen renewal and growth of the faculty, more than doubling the faculty employment at the University.

A graduate of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Dr. Hegstad did his internal medicine residency training at Loma Linda University and served as Chief Medical Resident at its Riverside General Hospital (now Riverside University Medical Center) affiliate. For nearly a decade, he served as Chair of its Department of Medicine.

He has served as Governor of the Southern California Region II Chapter of the American College of Physicians and President of the American College of Physicians California Chapters. For more than a decade, he was a member of the College Health and Public Policy Committee. He served as Public Relations spokesman for the College, doing radio and television appearances. In 2011, he was awarded Mastership in the American College of Physicians.

He has had a long-standing engagement in education. He has served as the Department of Medicine Student Education Director and has been recipient of the University’s “Teacher of the Year Award.”

He and his wife Alane live in Loma Linda. In off hours, you will find Dr. Hegstad riding his mountain bike, trapping gophers, or doing home-improvement projects.

Education Vice Chair

Lawrence Loo, MD

Dr. Loo received his M.D. degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and subsequently completed his Internal Medicine residency and Chief Resident year at Loma Linda University and affiliated hospitals.  This was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Primary Care and Faculty Development from Michigan State University. He is currently board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Master in the American College of Physicians.  He maintains staff privileges at all three of the major hospital affiliates of the IM residency program including Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC), Loma Linda VA Healthcare System (LLVAH), and Riverside University Health System (RUHS).  He currently serves as the Vice-Chair for Education and Faculty Development within the Department of Medicine, helping to coordinate the continuum of professional development from medical student education, graduate medical training including the IM residency and fellowships, and continuing medical education. He currently is Professor of Medicine in the both the Departments of Medicine and Medical Education.  Dr. Loo’s professional career has been as a clinician-educator and his current scholarly activities have focused on the teaching and evaluation of Evidence-based Medicine, Professionalism, and Professional Identity Formation.  He immensely enjoys working with students, residents, fellows, and faculty who wish to pursue an academic career in medical education.

Vice Chair of Research

Bryant Nguyen, MD

Dr. Nguyen is Vice-Chair of Research and Professor of Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Basic Sciences. He is also Head of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, as well as Director for the Medical Intensive Care Unit.  He received M.D. degree from the University of California, Irvine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, and went on to complete a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at Loma Linda University.

Dr. Nguyen joined the faculty of Loma Linda University in 2003.   His research includes multi-disciplinary critical care delivery, early intervention and novel therapies in severe sepsis, lactate clearance and biomarkers discovery. Having co-authored Early Goal-Directed Therapy (EGDT), Nguyen led LLUMC as one of the earliest adopters of the sepsis resuscitation bundle. His list of over 100 publications and dedication to bridging the gap between research and clinical practice has taken him across the country and around the globe. More recently, Dr. Nguyen has developed special interest in clinical informatics and partners with Information Services at LLUMC to develop predictive analytics in order to better patient care and increase research productivity in the Department.


are committed to LLUMC’s Mission of Whole Person Care, we take a holistic approach to our residents training them to be well-rounded, compassionate and caring physicians.