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Fellows

Class of 2024, First Year Fellows

Betty Pham, MD

Undergraduate | Stanford University
Post-Graduate | Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Residency | University of California, Irvine/Children's Hospital Orange County
Email | b6pham@health.ucsd.edu 

Clinical and Research Interests | To determine the genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible for lung defects in congenital diaphragmatic hernia with her mentor, Dr. David McCulley. Dr. McCulley has generated new mouse models of Congenital Diaphragmic Hernia to identify the mechanisms of abnormal lung and pulmonary vascular development. 

Carolyn Fall, MD

Undergraduate | University of California, Berkeley
Post-Graduate | University of California, Irvine
Residency | Loma Linda University
Email | cfall@health.ucsd.edu 

Clinical and Research Interests | To explore the epidemiology of perinatal outcomes with her mentor, Dr. Tina Chambers. Dr. Chambers is a professor of pediatrics at UCSD and Vice Chair of Clinical Research for the Department of Pediatrics. She is a perinatal epidemiologist, whose research is focused on environmental exposures and pregnancy and child health outcomes including birth defects.

Ishani Jhamb, MD

Undergraduate | Government Medical College Chandigarh
Post-Graduate | Government Medical College Chandigarh
Residency | University of Nebraska Medical Center
Email | ijhamb@health.ucsd.edu 

Clinical and Research Interests | To study pediatric brain disease conditions and understand causes to develop new treatments with her mentor, Dr. Joe Gleeson. Dr. Gleeson has directed research that has led to the identification of over 100 genetic causes of pediatric brain disease. His lab has spearheaded the Middle East Pediatric Brain Disease Cohort with more than 5000 families with recessive disease.


Class of 2023, Second Year Fellows

Sandra Aziz, MD

Undergraduate | University of Texas at El Paso
Post-Graduate | Texas Tech University School of Medicine – El Paso
Residency | University of New Mexico 
Email | saaziz@health.ucsd.edu 

Clinical and Research Interests | Evaluating the feasibility of role playing for fellows to practice skills for giving serious news using a virtual platform. In this pilot study, trainees (neonatal and obstetrics/gynecology fellows) will be video recorded while participating in a simulation scenario with a standardized patient to learn skills for delivering serious news. In each session, one neonatal fellow and one obstetrics/gynecology fellow will be selected to give serious news to the standardized patient, and the remaining will observe and debrief after the session. Descriptive statistics will be used for numeric data obtained from the survey. For open-ended answers, thematic analysis will be utilized.  

Jennifer Barnard, MD

Undergraduate | University of California, Los Angeles
Post-Graduate | Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Residency | University of California, San Diego
Email | jmbarnard@health.ucsd.edu 

Clinical and Research Interests | To evaluate the impact of prenatal and maternal characteristics, neonatal practices, post-NICU medical care, and outcomes for children born prematurely with and without BPD. To identify risk factors for development of BPD and to characterize subtypes of BPD.

Keriann Schulkers Escalante, DO, MPH

Undergraduate | University of Minnesota
Post-Graduate | Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Virginia Campus
Residency | Inova Children’s Hospital
Email | kschulkersescalante@health.ucsd.edu 

Clinical and Research Interests | In collaboration with the Center for Microbiome Innovation, her scholarly project study proposes to use milk, saliva and stool samples collected from a cohort of preterm infants from the study: "The Association Between Milk Feedings, the Microbiome and Risk of Atopic Disease in the Preterm Population (MAP) Study." 



Class of 2022, Third Year Fellows

Emily Batton, MD

Undergraduate | University of California, Los Angeles
Post-graduate | Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center
Residency | University of Chicago - Comer Children's Hospital
Email | ebatton@health.ucsd.edu

Clinical and Research Interests | As a non-native Spanish speaking medical provider, Dr. Batton is interested in investigating how language differences between medical providers and parents of NICU patients affects parental satisfaction and newborn health outcomes. Literature has shown that Spanish speaking NICU parents with limited English proficiency are four times more likely to misunderstand their child’s diagnosis and feel less technically and emotionally prepared at NICU discharge compared to English speaking parents. However, little is known about their experience with communication in the NICU. Along with Dr. Krishelle Marc-Aurele, Dr. Batton plans to interview Spanish-speaking parents with a baby admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit about their experiences with communication in the NICU. Quantitative and qualitative analysis will be performed to examine challenges that prevent Spanish-speaking parents from learning about and participating in their child’s care. Guidance will be provided by Samantha Hurst, PhD, MA ,a medical anthropologist and Professor of qualitative methods and mixed methods research design for UCSD’s Public Health and Doctoral Programs.

Samantha Hietalati, MD

Undergraduate | Hamline University
Post-graduate | University of Minnesota Medical School
Residency | Louisiana State University
Email | shietalati@health.ucsd.edu

Clinical and Research Interests | Retrospective chart review in collaboration with the Departments of Pathology and Obstetrics/Gynecology to review neonatal outcomes in the infants born to mothers in the UCSD Obstetric Database as part of the Center for Perinatal Discovery.  Mentor: Mana Parast, MD, PhD.

Meghana Karmarkar, MD

Undergraduate | University of California, Los Angeles
Post-graduate | Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center
Residency | University of California, Los Angeles
Email | mkarmarkar@health.ucsd.edu
Clinical and Research Interests | Dr. Karmarkar focuses her research on quality improvement (QI) and patient safety. Currently, she is creating and implementing a clinical pathway to screen and manage NICU patients that are at risk for neonatal delirium. The NICU at Rady Children's Hospital has a unique population comprised of medically complex patients that have prolonged hospitalizations. These patients are often on multiple medications for pain and sedation, and require mechanical ventilation for extended periods of time - these factors, which if combined with an underlying acute illness, can lead to neonatal delirium. Although delirium is widely recognized in adult and pediatrics ICUs, it is not commonly diagnosed in the neonatal population. The goals of her QI project are to increase neonatal delirium screening rates for NICU patients and to decrease the overall use of benzodiazepine and opioid medications. Dr. Karmarkar is working with Dr. Laurel Moyer and Dr. Willough Jenkins on this project, who are providing their expertise in the areas of quality improvement and child psychiatry, respectively. Through this project, Dr. Karmarkar hopes to further her knowledge on QI methodology and how processes can be implemented in the healthcare system to improve patient outcomes.

Pamela Del Rosario, MD

Undergraduate | University of California, Irvine
Post-graduate | Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica
Residency | Maimonides Medical Center
Email | pdelrosario@ucsd.edu
Clinical and Research Interests | Basic Science Research: Prince Lab with Dr. Lance
Prince and Graduate Researcher Sean Lund to investigate the molecular mechanisms that prevent the newborn lung immune system from detecting GBS. Results will identify new potential therapeutic strategies and approaches for treating newborn pneumonia.  QI Project: CPQCC Simulating Success project with Dr. Erika Fernandez to implement simulation-based neonatal resuscitation training programs in our NICU with the goal of improving resuscitation team performance during preterm and term deliveries.