COVID-19 Updates

Visit UC San Diego's Coronavirus portal for the latest information for the campus community.

Winter 2017 E-Newsletter

Department of Pediatrics eNews
Winter 2017 

Message from the Chair

Dear Department Faculty, Clinicians, Researchers, and Staff,

Our office has been very busy with various initiatives, whether in relation to program enhancements, clinical improvements, planning upcoming events or research activities. Examples are below:
  • Ninth Annual Pediatrics Research Symposium, May 10/11, 2018. Stay tuned for news on this year's Keynote Speaker, and other exciting details!
  • Our Research Discoveries book (2016) is now complete. Read about the remarkable innovations and successes by our research faculty; a PDF version can be viewed here.
  • The Department continues to focus on Childhood Diseases; our taskforce will be providing regular updates.
Our Semi-annual Faculty Meeting & Dinner on November 29th, was a resounding success with over 120 faculty and department leaders in attendance. I provided an overview of department achievements and current projects. Presenters included Drs. Gottschalk and Jeannie Huang on "Transitions of Care", while Dr. Gahagan presented on "Faculty Mentoring." The evening offered clinical and research faculty to re-connect and network with colleagues, and also learn about items of importance to the Department mission. The next bi-annual Faculty Meeting will be in Summer, 2018 (date TBA).

Lastly, I'm especially proud to report that our own Rob Knight, PhD, Division of Host Microbes and System Therapeutics, has been selected for the Massry Prize. Dr. Knight received this prestigious award for his pioneering work in microbiomes. Previous recipients have gone on to win Nobel Prizes, so this is a noteworthy achievement! Warm congratulations to Dr. Knight!

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

Vice-Chair Corner: Residency Program Update
Mark Sawyer, MD, Residency Program Director

Our current resident recruitment season, which started in October, is now in full swing. This year we begin the expansion of our program to recruit three additional residents for the 18/19 year.

This recruitment season marks our first where all of our Resident Recruitment activities are taking place in RCHSD's beautiful new Education and Office Building (EOB). The new location has meant less travel time for our staff and 200+ prospective residents, along with access to easy and comfortable interview spaces for faculty. We continue to rely on our faculty to help us meet with and evaluate the applicants, and we appreciate everyone's time commitment. All of these changes and continued efforts help us to reach our goal of growing our program and continue to recruit some of the best resident candidates in the Nation!

Vice-Chair Corner: Clinical Research
Tina Chambers, PhD, Vice Chair, Clinical Research, UCSD
with Christina Moran, Director of Clinical Research, RCHSD
Grant Writing Boot Camp
The University of California, San Diego's Office of Faculty Affairs just completed piloting its first grant writing boot camp. The purpose of the boot camp was to enhance research capacity and opportunity by training junior faculty to write a quality, review-ready grant proposals in six weeks, with valuable information and support from grant-successful faculty members. Participants worked with peer support and individually to prepare a research proposal and other accompanying grant documents with the goal of grant submission to a funding agency. We partnered with the grant writing boot camp directors and are currently exploring the possibility of rolling this training out within the Department of Pediatrics next year.
Neonatology Research Consortium Working Group Event 
On November 17, 2017, Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and the Department of Pediatrics at UCSD hosted a one-day working group event for neonatologists and fellows in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Led by Dr. Lance Prince and Dr. Mark Speziale, attendees worked together to develop a plan for community-wide research collaborations that can provide new, innovative solutions to complex neonate health problems. This event featured world-renowned keynote speaker Dr. Louis Muglia, Director of the Perinatal Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and consisted of 11 dynamic speakers who covered a variety of research needs in various specialties. This event was funded by the Rady Children's Hospital's Physician Development Fund.

For the Clinical Research Seminar Series, see the schedule for January-March, 2018 below. 

Upcoming Events

Clinical Research Seminar Series   
Date & Location 
"Using Genomic Studies to Provide Insight into Pediatric Disease" 
David Dimmock, MD 
January 23, 2018 
EOB Grand Conf Rm B 
"Optimizing Drug Dosing in Pediatrics Through Clinical Pharmacology" 
 Jennifer Le, PharmD  February 27, 2017
EOB Grand Conf Rm B 
"Leading a Complex, Multisite Clinical Trial"  Jane Burns, MD  March 20, 2017
7910 Frost St, Ste 440 
This seminar series is intended for physicians, nurses, and researchers interested in clinical research. At the conclusion of the clinical research seminar series, participants will be able to: understand and apply current practice guidelines in the area of clinical research, describe the latest advances in the field of clinical research, and identify and explain areas of controversy in the area of research.The University of California San Diego School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.The University of California San Diego School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 
Triton 5K
Sunday, April 15, 2018 (Save the date!)  

UCSD Campus
More info soon! 

Save the Date!
24th Annual Kurt Benirschke Lecture
Thursday, April 26, 2018,5:15-6:15 pm
Liebow Auditorium
, UC San Diego School of Medicine Campus
This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Oliver A. Ryder, Kleberg Endowed Director of Conservation Genetics for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and Adjust Professor in the Department of Evolution, Behavior and Ecology at UCSD.   A detailed invitation will be sent after the New Year.
2018 Research Symposium  
Thurs/Fri, May 10/11 @ RCHSD, EOB Auditorium
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.

Awards and In the News

Rob Knight Awarded Prestigious Massry Prize
To read more about the Massry Prize, featuring Dr. Rob Knight (pictured at right), click here.

Mapping Earth's Microbiome
A global team of more than 500 scientists, including Dr. Rob Knight, catalogues microbial diversity of Earth at unprecedented scale. To read the full story, click here.
Drs. Donald Durden and James Hagood, and others from Moores Cancer Center and Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, and colleagues in Mexico, identified a signaling pathway in macrophages that regulates the pro-fibrotic response to injury. Read more here.
A Steady Increase in Women Leading the Biggest Research Grants
Six of the top 10 research health science grants awarded to UC San Diego this year are led by women. And our own Dr. Christina Chambers, Professor in the Division of Dysmorphology-Teratology, heads four of those projects, which pulled in a grand total of $25.24 million. To read the full story, click here.  
Center for Community Health Staff Making a Difference 
Two staff members, Amina Sheik Mohamed and Elle Mari (pictured at left), from the Division of Academic General Pediatrics' Center for Community Health were each featured in prominent news coverage regarding their work, impact on their communities, and successes. To read their stories, click here.  

To read more news about our faculty and research, visit the Department of Pediatrics home page.  

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

Name (by last name)
Start Date
Lukas Austin-Page
Emergency Medicine
Mario Bialostozky
Emergency Medicine
Aleen Chin
Emergency Medicine
Salil Chitnis
Emergency Medicine
Ariel Cohen
Emergency Medicine
Cathleen Collins
Nicole Coufal
Kelly Fitzgerald
Emergency Medicine
Anusha Preethi Ganesan
Michael Gardiner
Emergency Medicine
Jennifer Giboney
Emergency Medicine
Nicholas Gloude
Jessica Haley
Maria Huang
Hospital Medicine
Geoffrey Jackman
Emergency Medicine
Andrew Johnson
Emergency Medicine
Weena Joshi
Emergency Medicine
Matthew Kline
Emergency Medicine
Katherine Mandeville
Emergency Medicine
James Martin
Emergency Medicine
Laurel Moyer
Mary Patterson
Matthew Pierce
Emergency Medicine
Manuela Raffatellu
Host-Microbe Systems and Therapeutics
Aparna Rao
Cardiology/Respiratory Medicine
Rohit Rao
Kathleen Ryan Loker
Infectious Diseases
Fareed Saleh
Emergency Medicine
Sara Sadrzadeh
Emergency Medicine
Kathleen Smith
Emergency Medicine
Suzanne Starling
Vulnerable Children
Jesse Stringer
Vanessa Tamas
Emergency Medicine
Eugene Tkachenko
Jackson Vane
Emergency Medicine
Michelle Vanstone
Emergency Medicine
Audra Wise
David Werho
Victor Wong
San Diego Magazine Announces
2017 "Top Docs" 

Thirteen Pediatric faculty MDs were named in 2017 in the annual San Diego Magazine "Physicians of Exceptional Excellence" survey! To read the list of UCSD Top Docs, click here. To read the full listing in the October issue of San Diego Magazine, click here.

"15 Tips For the Grantwriter" 
by Jouni Vesa, PhD, Senior Grant Writer 

The new grant cycle begins in January, so now is a good time to begin drafting your research proposals for upcoming deadlines. Below are 15 tips you should keep in mind before you start, and during, the writing process:
  1. Start working on time (watch those deadlines!, and allow extra time). 
  2. Read the application instructions carefully.
  3. Review the literature and cite relevant publications.
  4. Put together a research team which has experience and expertise in all proposed research fields.
  5. Propose scientifically/clinically important and innovative research.
  6. Do not propose an unrealistically large amount of work.
  7. Do not assume the reviewer knows what you intend to do; be clear in explaining what you mean.
  8. Proposed aims should not depend on the success of other aims.
  9. The specific aims page must match the rest of the application.
  10. Write a reader-friendly application by avoiding jargon and excessive language.
  11. Emphasize your past productivity and how your previous work has led up to the hypothesis to be tested.
  12. Explain in detail experimental elements that are essential to the proposed research, and be brief with elements that are common and well-known.
  13. Include statistical support for sample size calculations and statistical analyses.
  14. Give enough time for your collaborators to write letters. 
  15. Make sure your collaborators have enough time to read the application before submission. 
Happy proposal writing, and best of luck!

Join the 2017 Holiday Food Drive: Attendings vs. Residents
Food insecurity is a critical pediatric issue, and 1 in 5 children in San Diego County are food insecure. All donations from the 2017 drive will go to Feeding San Diego, which supplies food to children and families and provides education/advocacy around food insecurity. For every dollar donated to Feeding San Diego, 4 meals are provided to children and their families. Our Residents and Attendings will compete against each other to see who can raise the most money by December 31, 2017. Members from the losing team will have to wear silly costumes in the clinic and on rounds.To donate, go to our team website at, or, or Thank you for your help in this important cause! And a big thank you to Dr. Maya Kumar for organizing this year's event!

Your UC Behavioral Health Benefits
Can Help You Hang On

Sometimes, we all need a little help. With so many things to do and plan, day-to-day living can feel challenging. At times, you may even feel overwhelmed. UC's contracted behavioral health provider, Optum, can provide support, information and resources to help address issues affecting your personal life, work and well-being. Contact Optum for assistance with the concerns listed below, at or 1-866-342-6892.
* Stress or anxiety                           * Medication questions 
* Feeling down or depressed             * Counseling support
* Substance use concerns                * And more

Program Update

Effective January 1, 2018, the Newborn Nursery program, which includes Dr. Lisa Stellwagen, Medical Director-Newborn Services, along with Drs. Tia Hubbard and Michelle Leff (pictured at right), will be migrating from the Division of Neonatology to the Division of Academic General Pediatrics, Child Development and Community Health (ACC). This is a natural transition due to the interactions between newborn care and establishing general pediatric care. The Division of ACC welcomes the Newborn Nursery and its faculty and staff!

Happy Holidays!
The Department Chairs office and Business Services offices wishes you and yours a very happy season!

Please note that the Pediatrics Business Office will be closed from December 23, 2017 through January 2, 2018, returning January 3, 2018.  Most campus services, including VCHS Dean's Office, OCGA, ARC, the Library, and Mail Services, will be observing the campus holiday closure.

Parking Challenges and Solutions for the UCSD Campus

Due to current construction across the UCSD campus, Parking Services is working to alleviate some of these concerns with some new solutions:
  • Valet Parking -- There is a new parking solution near the School of Medicine that opened 9/27/2017.  New parking lot P-416 is a temporary lot offering 68 A spaces, 16 B spaces, and 3 ADA spaces.  This lot will also be operated as a valet lot (similar to the Osler lot P-610) between 8am and 4:30pm.  Please also use the following link for specific parking lot locations:
  • Parking Alternatives --Parking off-campus and using public transit is also an option. Faculty and staff may access public transit with the ECO Pass while students may use Triton U-Pass:
    • Miramar College - You must apply for a free Miramar College Transit Station Parking permit. After you print your permit, you can park at the lots specified on the application. From Miramar College, you can hop on the MTS Rapid 237 to get to campus.

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 claiming to be from a UC San Diego department. To find out how to protect yourself and the University from attacks, read more here.

Health Sciences Grant Funding Opportunities 
The Health Sciences Research Grant Committee is soliciting applications for grant funding for travel to scholarly meetings and for research support for funds. For additional information on both opportunities, visit the corresponding hyperlinks. 
Poster Printing Source 

A faculty member shared the name of an affordable local source for large poster printing. To learn more, visit SoCal Graphics' website.

UCSD Vendor Policy
Especially at this time of seasonal gift giving, be aware of possible conflicts of interests. Be careful to not accept gifts, meals, free items or perks from UCSD vendors. To read the policy, click here
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.

Pediatrics E-News  
Pediatrics e-News is formatted to be mobile device friendly. For our readers viewing from a PC, click option at top to view in browser. To view past issue of Pediatrics e-News, click here
Ideas for upcoming issues? Send your story suggestions and news to Melanie Marshall for possible inclusion in an upcoming edition of Pediatric e-News.

Facebook    Twitter