Manuel Perioperative Health Equity Lab


At the Perioperative Health Equity Lab we are working to uncover and address disparities in perioperative healthcare, and further solutions to help influence equitable care for vulnerable surgical patient populations. Our work addresses multiple significant national public health priorities including postoperative outcome disparities, improving healthcare communication, shared decision-making, healthcare quality improvement, and controlling healthcare costs. 

Values and Commitments

The Manuel Perioperative Health Equity Lab is committed to diversity and inclusion not only in clinical perioperative care, but in medical education and research as well. Our team is diverse in backgrounds and identities, which informs the work we do. We are committed to working towards justice, equity, and inclusion.  

In this lab we believe:

  • Health is a Human Right
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Indigenous Rights Matter
  • Immigrants are Welcome
  • No Human Being is illegal
  • Intersectional Feminism is for Everyone
  • Science is Real
  • Love is Love
  • Truth and Justice Matter
  • Kindness matters

Please see UCSF Office of Diversity and Outreach page for more details on institutional commitments and information at



Research Priorities

Perioperative Care of Language Minority Patients

Our current primary research focuses on identifying, understanding, and reducing disparities in perioperative healthcare. In particular, current projects seek to understand the perioperative experiences of non-English speaking surgical patients, and explore how limited English proficiency is associated with differential care and perioperative management, which influences their postoperative outcomes and healthcare experiences. Ultimately, this research program has strong potential to improve perioperative healthcare quality and equity.

Perioperative Patient Blood Management

Blood transfusion in the operating room can be life-saving. However, blood is a scarce resource and blood transfusion has been identified by the AMA and Joint Commission and as one of the most commonly overused therapies. Our transfusion project team is dedicated to optimizing patients’ perioperative outcomes and minimizing exposure to blood products, using them only when the evidence best supports it.

Funding Partners


Solmaz Manuel, MD (she/her) – Associate Professor, UCSF School of Medicine

Dr. Solmaz Poorsattar Manuel is a physician-researcher-educator in the UCSF Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care. Clinically, Dr. Manuel specializes in Acute Pain, Regional Anesthesia, and Neuroanesthesia. Academically, Dr. Manuel is interested in health care disparities, quality improvement in perioperative care, and medical education. You can find her in the operating room, teaching in the medical school, with her research team, biking with her kids, coaching youth sports, creating mixed-media artwork, or eating out around San Francisco.

UCSF Profile

Zer Keen Chia (he/him) – Medical student at UCSF

Zer Keen is a Bay Area native who obtained his bachelors at Northwestern University. He is interested in anesthesiology and critical care medicine. Outside of medicine, he enjoys hiking, photography, painting, and watching Formula 1.

Mandeep Kaur (she/her) – Medical student at UCSF

Mandeep is a medical student in the San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME). Prior to UCSF, she graduated as a President’s Scholar from Fresno State with bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry. She intends on incorporating her enthusiasm for community service and research into an impactful career advancing the health of medically underserved regions, like the San Joaquin Valley. Outside of medicine, Mandeep enjoys crafting, trying new recipes, and ice cream.

Kevin Nguyen (he/him) – Medical student at UCSF

Kevin is from San Jose and graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from UCLA, where he conducted both basic and clinical research in the departments of ophthalmology and cardiology. Kevin is currently involved with a year-long research project studying how patients' English proficiency status is related to perioperative outcomes. He is planning to pursue a residency in Anesthesiology and hopes to continue contributing to research on minority and immigrant population health.

Asha Bucklin (she/they) – Clinical Research Coordinator

Asha is a Research Coordinator with a passion for health disparity work especially around nutrition and food access in immigrant communities. Asha previously worked in the non-profit sector around environmental education and health access. They are currently in a post-baccalaureate program and working towards a medical degree with reduction in health disparities at the forefront of their career. When not working or studying Asha is an avid backpacker, reader, and baker.

Gala Moreno Lepe (she/her) – Clinical Research Coordinator

Gala is a first-generation medical student from Marlborough, MA. She earned a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University and worked on community-based research projects with underserved communities in the Bay Area. Outside of medicine, she enjoys traveling and being outdoors.


For questions or concerns please contact Asha Bucklin at [email protected]



Perioperative Health Equity Research Intern

Significant disparities by self-identified race, ethnicity, primary language, and immigration status exist in the utilization of surgical procedures and the perioperative care for individuals seeking surgical treatment. It is unlikely that the observed differences are solely due to differences in disease burden or biological reasons. Our team is interested in investigating how health literacy, healthcare interactions, socioeconomic factors, cultural beliefs, stereotypes, and implicit bias contribute to disparities in perioperative health care.

Patient Blood Management Research Intern

Blood is a scarce resource and blood transfusion has been identified as one of the most commonly overused therapies. Furthermore, overtransfusion of blood products has been found to contribute to increased complications and morbidity. Our transfusion project team is dedicated to optimizing patients’ perioperative outcomes and minimizing exposure to blood products, using them only when the evidence best supports it. There are multiple questions related to transfusion of blood products in the operating room we would like to explore. These questions include how to best optimize patients for potential high blood loss surgery, how to minimize need for transfusion, what causes overtransfusion, how to influence physician behavior to reduce overtransfusion, how to implement institution-wide educational campaigns, and how to reduce waste of blood products.

To Apply

We welcome one or more UCSF medical student to join us in identifying a specific area of interest and exploring an important research question. Research students will have ample opportunities to become more familiar with mixed research methods. Appropriate literature review, study design, data collection and analyses will be performed in student’s area of interest to prepare for conference poster presentation and manuscript submission. We anticipate a level of effort that would (at a minimum) lead to manuscript second author, although opportunities for primary authorship exist.

Please send an email to Dr. Manuel to discuss potential projects that would fit a Summer Explore, Deep Explore, or Yearlong research timeframe.