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August/September 2016 E-Newsletter


Department of Pediatrics eNews

Aug/Sept, 2016


Message from the Chair

Dear Department Faculty, Clinicians, Researchers, and Staff,

I have much news to report for the Department. First, I wish to congratulate Dr. Krishelle Marc-Aurele for her selection for the Whitehill Prize for 2016, for  the Department of Pediatrics, by the Academy of Clinician Scholars (AoCS). The Whitehill Charitable Trust was established in 1995 by J.L. Whitehill to recognize excellence by junior faculty in clinical medicine teaching, chosen by the Chief Residents. Dr. Marc-Aurele will be awarded $500, a personalized plaque, and will be recognized at the 2016 AoCS Fall General Meeting. Congratulations, Dr. Marc-Aurele! We are proud of you!

And I'm very pleased to mention the new Seed Grant opportunities available, under the leadership of Dr. Rob Knight (please see the story below for greater details). This brings great funding possibilities for our students and post-docs. 

As you will see in the story immediately following that many new faculty and physicians started in August and September. Our recruiting continues to be very active with 16 open searches across 9 divisions (ACC, Cardiology, Critical Care, Dysmorphology, Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, HMST, Infectious Diseases, and our newest Division: Vulnerable Children). Thank you to all of you who are involved in reviewing or interviewing candidates, scheduling or transporting candidates, and ultimately, helping us secure our newest, amazing faculty.

Our Biannual Report is nearing completion, and getting ready for final review prior to be printed,  bound and mailed to our affiliates. If your division has not yet turned in your biannual report materials, please be sure to send it to my offices by Sept 9th. 
Looking ahead,

Gabriel G. Haddad, MD

Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Neurosciences

Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego

Physician-in-Chief & Chief Scientific Officer, Rady Children's Hospital - San Diego



Please join us in welcoming our newest Physicians or Researchers who have newly approved appointments or start dates with the Department of Pediatrics in August or September.

Name Division ​Start Date
Pamela Borja-del RosarioCardiology​9/1/16
Eulalia ChengRespiratory Medicine​9/6/16
Amy ChongHospital Medicine​9/1/16
Hilda DingHematology-Oncology​9/1/16
Jennifer Elster
Lauren Gist
Academic General Pediatrics, Child Development & Community Health
Begem LeeHospital Medicine​9/1/16
Lawrence Ma
Academic General Pediatrics, Child Development & Community Health​08/31/16
Laurel MoyerNeonatology​9/1/16

Olga Rose Academic General Pediatrics, Child Development & Community Health
Xin Sun
Respiratory Medicine​9/2/16
Vanessa Tamas
Emergency Medicine​8/1/16
Helen Wang
Academic General Pediatrics, Child Development & Community Health
Doug Wilson Academic General Pediatrics, Child Development & Community Health

Vice-Chair Corner:

Clinical Affairs

Mike Gottschalk, MD/PhD

One of my aim's this year, as Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs, is to develop the process and infrastructure to improve the transition of our adolescent/young adult patients from pediatric to adult health care. Recently Dr. Patience White, an internationally recognized expert in the field of transition and co-director of the Got Transition program, presented Grand Rounds at RCHSD. Dr. White reviewed the six core elements of health care transition including transition policy, transition tracking and monitoring, transition readiness, transition planning, transfer of care and transfer completion. In addition, she met with members from several divisions to discuss their process for transition. We intend to use these elements as a guide to creating a transition program for all of our patients with chronic illness. To begin the program, Drs. Jeannie Huang and White have created a new pediatric Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 4 Module on Transition, which is available to all faculty. The module is designed to prepare the pediatric provider with the skills for transitioning their patients. Included are roadmaps based on the core elements of Health Care Transition, assessment tools and clinical handouts. The next steps are to review each core element to determine how much can be generalizable to develop a common process for every specialty and what elements will need to be specialty specific. The ultimate goal is a robust program integrated unobtrusively into routine clinical care.


Vice-Chair Corner: Residency Program Update

Mark Sawyer, MD, Residency Program Director 


The academic year is well underway now with the residents settled into their new roles. I want to thank all the faculty who have attended morning report in the past months. We have had an average of four to five faculty members at Morning Report during July and August which is good, but we can always use more. When we have a critical mass of faculty, it stimulates robust discussion which is very beneficial for the residents and students. I realize that there are some cases presented at Morning Report which may not lend themselves well to comments from all subspecialists, but the Chief Residents try very hard to involve all faculty in the discussion. They will also be trying to notify faculty who are assigned to attend on a specific day when the case won't lend itself to their expertise so that they can choose not to attend.

We continue to have regular Professor's Rounds and Multidisciplinary Professor's Rounds as part of the noon teaching conference series and all are invited to attend. These are case-based discussions in which a panel of primary care physicians for Professor's Rounds and subspecialists for Multidisciplinary Professor's Rounds discuss how they would approach the evaluation and treatment of the case. The discussions are very lively and informative. Please consider attending.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Lisa Stellwagen (pictured at right) who has joined the residency  program as an Associate Program Director. Although Lisa will still be spending most of her time in the UCSD Newborn Nursery, we are so happy to have her working with the program. Her main focus will be on two big projects for the program: Resident's Balance of Life and Evaluation and Feedback. For the latter, we will be working with each division to transition the basis for evaluations from ACGME milestones to a more intuitive and user friendly format, Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA's). For those not familiar with this evaluation approach, professional activities are routine things that pediatricians do (e.g. evaluate a sick newborn). The basis for evaluation becomes "does this learner have the skills, knowledge and maturity to be trusted to perform this professional activity and with what level of supervision?" As part of this transition we will be assisting each division in updating their rotation's goals and objectives. The other good news is that New Innovations recently launched an iPhone app, Armis, to further ease the burden of evaluation...stay tuned for updates on this. 

Planning is well underway for the next residency recruiting and selection process which begins in September. We will be starting residency applicant interviews on November 1st, and as usual, will be relying on faculty to help us meet with and evaluate the applicants. We appreciate the time commitment involved for our faculty, but there is nothing more important to our residency program and the future of our Department than to continue to recruit excellent residents. Allison Reinhardt will be reaching out to individual faculty to start setting aside dates when you can be available to help us. Thank you in advance for helping with this important process.


Vice-Chair Corner: Clinical Research
Tina Chambers, PhD, Vice Chair, Clinical Research (pictured at left)
and Christine Moran, Director, Research Administration (not pictured)
Rady Children's Hospital - San Diego

Academic Enrichment Fund Awardees 
We are excited to announce that for Fiscal Year 2017, the Academic Enrichment Fund awarded nine Clinical Research projects, four Infrastructure projects, and six Fellowships for a nineteen awards, totaling nearly $1 million. Congratulations to the awardees! To view the listing, click here.  

Clinical Research Seminar Series Update
We just completed another successful year of the Clinical Research Seminar Series. Topics throughout the academic year ranged from "The Informed Consent Process" to "Logistics of an Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trial", with over 150 individuals participating throughout the year. All our past seminars are recorded and available on the RCHSD Research Administration intranet site, and our upcoming seminars are listed here:  
  • "Minimally Invasive Research Strategies," Dr. George Chiang, Tues,  Sept 20, 2016, 12:00-1:00 pm, MOB 113
  • "Statistic Essentials for the Non-Statistician Involved in Pediatric Clinical Research," Dr. Lily Xu, Tues, Oct 18, 2016, 12:00-1:00 pm, MOB 113
  • "Grant Writing Essentials," Dr. Victor Nizet, Tues, Nov 8, 2016, 12:00-1:00 pm, 7910 Frost Street, Suite 440 
  • "The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act & Pediatric Health Research," Andrew Walton, Tues, Jan 17, 2017, 12:00-1:00 pm, MOB 113
The Clinical Research Seminar Series at RCHSD is intended for researchers (physicians, nurses, fellows, and research staff) interested in clinical research. The overall goal of this seminar series is to provide attendees with information on best practices, current regulations, and guidelines pertaining to clinical research at RCHSD and UCSD as well as provide clinical research resources. CME Continuing Education Credit Hours are awarded to those who attend.

Annual Research Symposium
The Department of Pediatrics and RCHSD are pleased to announce that starting in 2017, the Pediatric Translational Research Symposium and the Ed Quigley Clinical Research Symposium will be combined to form a 1 1/2 day "Bench to Bedside" Research Symposium. This exciting and collaborative symposium will bring together pediatric basic science and health services researchers for a series of talks, poster presentations, and networking opportunities. 2017's topic is "The Next Generation Faculty", and will be Thursday and Friday, January 12-13, 2017 in Rady's new Education Office Building (EOB). More info to come soon.
Research Resources
RCHSD and UCSD collaborate to provide many Research resources to investigators. Please find a summary of these resources here. If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to reach out to

Division Highlight: Host Microbe Systems & Therapeutics -- Announces "Seed" Grants for Microbiome Science

UC San Diego's Center for Microbiome Innovation, Department of Pediatrics, Collaborative Center for Mass Spectrometry, UC San Diego Microbiome and Microbial Sciences Initiative, School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, are all working in concert to support rounds of seed grants for microbiome science, with three years of funding available to jump start microbiome research in San Diego. The group, under the leadership of Dr. Rob Knight, is especially interested in sparking new research collaborations with a microbiome focus that will lead to exciting new science and extramural funding. Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis until the funds are depleted. Students and postdocs are especially encouraged to apply in their own right as investigators. To read more, click here

2016 Academic Review Update
As of July 1, 2016, 80 UCSD faculty files were up for review and/or advancement. Of those, 77 have been approved, with three submitted for committee review. A big thank you to the Review and Appraisal Committee (RAC) for all of their hard work and accomplishments! 
2016 Review and Appraisal Committee 
Chair:  Kenneth Lyons Jones, MD (pictured)

Members: Seema Aceves, MD/PHD; Christina Chambers, PHD/MPH; Erin Fisher, MD; Sheila Friedlander, MD; Sheila Gahagan, MD/MPH; Michael Gottschalk, MD/PHD; Jae Hong Kim, MD; Charles C. King, PHD; Bret Pickering, MD; William Roberts, MD; Julie Ryu, MD; Robert Sheets, MD; Mark Speziale, MD/PHD; Adriana Tremoulet, MD/MAS  

Division of Respiratory Medicine Welcomes Their Newest Researcher
Dr. Xin Sun (pictured at right), who started in September, was recently informed that she and her team are newly selected for funding from SPARC, a major NIH Common Fund Initiative to map neuronal innervation of peripheral organs. Specifically, Dr. Sun's team proposed to decipher the molecular code and anatomical location of neurons that control lung function. Dr. Sun is a Yale and UCSF trained developmental geneticist. Her lab studies the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of pediatric diseases using mouse models. While their recent focus has been on lung-associated diseases, their work also encompasses skeleton, heart, diaphragm, and more recently the peripheral nervous system. Prior to UCSD, Dr. Sun was on the faculty of the Genetics Department at University of Wisconsin-Madison since 2002. She also directs the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Mouse summer course and has extensive expertise in genetic mouse models of diseases. She will be a fantastic addition to our Department's stellar research team, and looks forward to collaborating with many investigators throughout UCSD and related institutions. Congratulations, Dr. Sun and team on this award, and a warm welcome to UCSD! 
The Department of Pediatrics in the News

UCSD Researcher Working to Better Understand Rare Seizure Disorder 
CDKL5 is a rare, non-hereditary genetic condition resulting in early onset seizures which are incredibly difficult to control, according to the International Foundation for CDKL5 Research. This disorder is often associated with severe neurodevelopmental impairment, as well. Harper Howard, age 5, passed away on January 8, 2016 from complications related to the condition. Harper's parents made the decision to donate their daughter's brain and skin tissue to CDKL5 research in hopes of advancing a better understanding of the disorder and to bring about a treatment that would help other children with CDKL5. Researchers at UCSD are utilizing Harper's donation to aid their research, focusing on the causes of CDKL5 and any potential treatments. "We want to understand the gene that leads to the disorder and how that gene expression affects the cell, and how it creates problems in the patient...and finding treatments and drugs that can interfere with the pathway of CDKL5," commented Dr. Alysson Muotri, Department of Pediatrics researcher and Associate Professor in the Division of Genetics. To read the full story, click

New UCSD protocol reduces hospital stay and medication used to treat newborns born addicted to drugs
A new treatment plan at UCSD Medical Center's Newborn Nursery  is dramatically reducing the time it takes to treat babies born already exposed to drugs. The plan involves keeping those infants with their mothers who exposed them to drugs during her pregnancy. Research shows infants who remain in the care of their mothers spend significantly less time in the hospital, and can often be treated for drug with drawl without drugs like methadone. Department faculty, Dr. Lisa Stellwagen, Clinical Professor, says in most cases the women stopped using drugs before as soon as they found out they were pregnant. However; because they were being treated for drug use during their pregnancy their babies are exposed to those drugs too, and ending treatment during pregnancy can increase the risk of still-born deaths. When the baby is born, the newborn often goes through withdrawal. Under the new treatment program, babies are observed with mom at the hospital where they learn how to sooth their child without medication and is generally released within one to three weeks. Doctor Stellwagen added that, in most cases, these babies go on to develop normally.

The Center for Community Health, UCSD Department of Pediatrics, has received a $3.4 million, four-year Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive  grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. Working with Northgate Gonzalez Markets and other community partners, the Center will develop, implement, and evaluate a multi-tiered intervention program which enables low-income, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) consumers across San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties to make healthier food choices and purchase more fruits and vegetables by providing incentives at the point of purchase. To read the full story, click here.

Attention UCSD Staff -
2016 Staff @ Work Survey
Aug 29th - Sept 30th

YOUR OPINION COUNTS! Please plan to participate in this year's Staff @ Work survey, which will measure 6 key dimensions of staff satisfaction with the University, the Department's mission and goals, diversity and climate, and the effectiveness of the Department, your supervisor, your unit and yourself.
  • Check your inbox starting Aug 29 for your email invitation (applies to UCSD career or per-diem staff employees only)
  • Access the survey through your unique link listed in the email
  • Complete in one sitting OR save progress and submit by Sept 30
  • Survey should only take 10 minutes of your time
  • Your responses remain anonymous
  • Redeem a gift of your choice: UCSD baseball camp, mug or water bottle
  • **Important - Do not delete your email invitation because your survey link cannot be re-sent**
Your participation is critical...we are aiming for 100% participation. Please complete the survey today. You are a valuable and essential part of what makes the Department and University successful, so please do complete your survey. To read more about the survey, click here.  


Pediatric Grand Rounds Schedule Announced for 2016/17

The Department and programs have worked hard to create and exciting, varied and robust list of speakers for this new academic year. To view the complete schedule and list of speakers, clickhere.


Upcoming Events

Postdoc Appreciation Month 
September 1st-30th
September is Postdoc Appreciation Month at UC San Diego!  Be sure to express your appreciation to your Postdocs for all they do to support your research and programs! 

UC Retirement Planning Counselors Available
Thursday, September 1st, 1-3pm
UCSD Medical Center, Hillcrest Auditorium
This is an opportunity to meet retirement counselors from UC's Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC) to better understand UC retirement benefits, eligibility rules for retiree health, the steps to take when ready for retirement, and answer your questions. There will similar events in December, April and July 2017, at multiple sites. 

Community Walk  
Nine Months Matter...A Walkfest for Healthy, Alcohol-Free Pregnancies 
Friday, September 9th from 9 am-12 pm
Ingram Plaza at Liberty Station
2640 Cushing Road, San Diego 92106
Join the Movement to Celebrate Healthy, Alcohol-Free Pregnancy. UC San Diego's Center for Better Beginnings, Rady Children's Hospital Auxiliary and SoCal NOFAS are hosting a FREE community festival and walk to promote healthy, alcohol-free pregnancies. The inaugural event will feature healthy pregnancy information booths, fun activities, prizes, and "Mocktails for Moms-to-Be" contest at participating restaurant Fireside by the Patio. Join the movement: all nine months of pregnancy matter! To learn more and register, click here.

Clinical Research Seminar:  
"Minimally Invasive Research Strategies"
Tuesday, September 20th,  12:00-1:00 pm
This seminar, presented by George Chiang, MD Chief of Pediatric Urology and Fellowship Director, RCHSD/ Assoc.  Prof., Surgery, UCSD, will discuss how to strategize research without funding, leveraging existing datasets for research purposes, and publish without punishment. This seminar is intended for physicians, nurses, and researchers interested in clinical research. RSVP by Friday, September 16, 2016 to or 858-246-1743.
CTRI Special Seminar & Workshop: Life Course Perspective Research 
October 24th (Seminar)/October 25th Workshop
UCSD Campus, Altman CTRI Building, 9452 Medical Center Dr., La Jolla
Join the Center for Life Course Research at UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) for a skill-building seminar and workshop on the life course perspective research approach. This special event is led by Professors Kuh and Hardy with leading life course epidemiology experts presenting. The Seminar is $50 for faculty and other professionals, and $25 for students and trainees; the Workshop is $25 (everyone). To REGISTER, click here

2016 Department Holiday Party and Dinner
Saturday evening, December 3rd

2017 Research Symposium 
Thursday, January 12th - Friday, January 13th (this year, a multi-day event!)
Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, in the new Education Office Building (EOB) Auditorium
The Pediatric Translational Research Symposium and the Ed Quigley Clinical Research Symposium have combined for a 1 1/2 day "Bench to Bedside" 2017 Research Symposium! This exciting and collaborative symposium will bring together pediatric basic science and health services researchers for a series of talks, poster presentations, and networking opportunities, on the topic of "The Next Generation Faculty."



Beware of Email Phishing Scams
UC San Diego faculty, staff, and students are often the target of attempts to gain login credentials or personal information, also known as phishing. Phishing is the practice of requesting confidential information in an email that looks like it came from an institution such as a university, bank, IRS, USA or other government, law firm, the Post Office, UPS, FedEx, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, or any store or social media. There has been a recent increase in phishing attempts that claim to be from a UC San Diego department. To find out how to protect yourself and the University from attacks, read more here

Frontiers of Innovation Scholars Funding Opportunity
The "Frontiers of Innovation" program is a campus-wide effort to support the primary research initiatives of the UC San Diego Strategic Plan. One component of this program provides funding for up to 80 Ph.D. students and 20 postdoctoral fellows working with mentors in at least two different divisions, and up to 100 undergraduate students working in labs, programs, or centers with a multidisciplinary focus. The deadline for receiving applications for this funding opportunity is October 12, 2016, with funding available in January 2017. Detailed information on the application and selection process, eligibility, and administrative guidelines is available here.  

DEA Fee Exemptions
UCSD faculty physicians and Advance Practice employees, licensed in California, may apply for a fee-exempted Drug Enforcement Administration certificate for sole use at UCSD locations and RCHSD locations. There is no charge for the DEA registration if a UCSD Medical Center address and mail code is used. To learn more, click here

Reminder: Mental Health Services Available Just a reminder....UCSD faculty, residents, fellows and medical students can access the HEAR (Healer Education Assessment and Referral) Program which offers confidential support and resources for those who may be dealing with personal and emotional challenges. The goals of the program are to educate medical students, house-staff and faculty members about burnout, depression, and suicide; provide confidential, online assessment of stress, depression and other related issues; make personalized referrals to local mental health clinicians and other community resources. Counselors may be accessed by calling (858) 642-2913 or via the HEAR website. Those wishing to remain anonymous may complete Stress & Depression Questionnaire, accessible from the web site. An experienced clinician will review questionnaires and will leave a personal response that will include an assessment and any recommendations for further evaluation or follow-up.  UCSD Staff and others can access the FSAP (Faculty and Staff Assistance Program) for similar services via the FSAP website.  

Child Care Resources
Did you know that UCSD has childcare centers, with full- or part-time options, for UCSD faculty and staff? To learn about UCSD childcare services and resources, click here. For those looking for child-care near RCHSD, Rady's Alexa's PLAYC offers an award-winning, play-based curriculum for children 18 months to five years. Another option near RCHSD is Together We Grow, a special place where medically fragile and typical children grow together in an inclusive environment.
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Send your story suggestions and news to Melanie Marshall for possible inclusion in an upcoming edition of Pediatric e-News.


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