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KD RESEARCH TEAM

 


   

Jane C. Burns, MD, is a native of San Francisco, California. She received her M.D. degree at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1978 and completed her pediatric residency and Chief Residency at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, Colorado. In 1983, Dr. Burns moved to Harvard Medical School and the Boston Children’s Hospital for additional training in pediatric infectious diseases and molecular virology. She joined the faculty at Harvard in 1986 and in 1990 moved to San Diego, California, where she joined the faculty at the University of California as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Burns moved up through the ranks and was appointed Professor of Pediatrics in 1999. She was Chief of the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology from 2000 to 2013. Currently, Dr. Burns is Director of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at UCSD/Rady Children’s Hospital where she leads a multidisciplinary team that cares for 90-100 new Kawasaki Disease patients each year and follows over 1,300 families in the KD Clinic. Her passion for studies of Kawasaki disease has spanned almost three decades with her first publication on KD in 1982. In addition to her academic pursuits, Dr. Burns is the mother of two daughters. Her husband, John B. Gordon M.D., is an interventional cardiologist who cares for adults with long-term sequelae of KD. Together, Burns and Gordon with a team from UCSD have launched The Adult KD Collaborative, a long-range epidemiologic and clinical study of cardiovascular biomarkers and functional studies in adults who suffered from KD in childhood.

    ​Adriana TremouletAdriana Tremoulet, MD, MAS attended medical school at the University of California, Los Angeles and then completed her pediatric residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. After completion of a fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, she joined the UCSD/RCHSD Kawasaki Disease Research Center in 2006. Dr. Tremoulet helps care for the over 90 children that are newly diagnosed with KD annually at RCHSD. Her research focuses on finding targeted treatments for children with KD and developing a diagnostic test for KD to reduce the number of children in whom the diagnosis is missed. As a Cuban-American, she is a fluent Spanish speaker and is working with colleagues in Latin America to better understand the impact of KD in this part of the world. Her “spare” time is spent with her husband and two daughters and performing flamenco dance.




Chisato Shimizu, MD, is a Project Scientist in the UCSD School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics.  Dr. Shimizu received her M.D. degree at Tokyo Women's Medical University in Japan.  Dr. Shimizu first encountered Kawasaki Disease (KD) working as a pediatrician in Yokohama, Japan.  In 1993, with her background and experience with KD, she came to UCSD to begin a fellowship with Dr. Burns where she studied molecular biological techniques.  In 1997, Dr. Shimizu returned to San Diego to rejoin Dr. Burns at the Kawasaki Disease Research Center (KDRC).  Dr. Shimizu has been in charge of the KD genetics project at KDRC.  Through that project, Dr. Shimizu works with researchers at the International KD Genetic Consortium, geneticists and pathologists in Japan, and researchers at the Biomedical Informatics at UCSD. Her research interests focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms in the development of Kawasaki Disease and aneurysm formation to lead to better treatments for KD children. 
Currently Dr. Shimizu works on the Whole Genome Sequence Project, the Calcium Signaling Pathway Project and TGFß/Myofibroblasts/Endothelial Cell related projects that support ongoing clinical studies. Dr. Shimizu also works on projects collaborating with the Medical Examiner's office studying remodeling of coronary artery aneurysms and myocardium that will lead to better care for patients long after the onset of KD.


Alessandra Franco, MD, PhD, is a native of Milan, Italy. Dr. Franco obtained the MD degree, specialization in Internal Medicine and PhD in Immunology at the University "La Sapienza" in Rome where she served as an Assistant Professor in the Internal Medicine department. Dr. Franco has been one of the first investigators capable to expand in vitro human T cells from the peripheral blood and tissues and to define their specificity (the current vaccine for hepatitis B is in part due to her contribution). Because of this unique expertise she has been invited to work as a visiting scientist in the US in 1991 where she has been working since. Prior to join the faculty at UCSD, Dr. Franco worked at Scripps Research Institute and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. Her discoveries include hapten recognition by T cells, the importance of carbohydrate antigens for T cell-based cancer immunotherapy that leaded to the development of a pan-carcinomas vaccine for cancer prevention/treatment and a novel role for B lymphocytes in expanding cytotoxic T cells. Dr. Franco's laboratory joined the KD team in 2006. Her work by studying memory T cells in acute KD defined that a pathogen exposure that occurred weeks prior to the symptoms or a recurrent infection is involved in the disease. With the development of new technologies to track the immune cells over time in KD patients under different treatments, Dr. Franco discovered the function of IVIG therapy and the immunological mechanism involved in additional therapies with cyclosporine A and infliximab. Dr. Franco is currently developing an optimized approach to overcome the lack of response to IVIG via short peptides derived from the constant regions of immunoglobulins.

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Kirsten B. Dummer, MD, is a pediatric cardiologist at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Dr. Dummer attended Northwestern University, earned her medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at Denver Children's Hospital. Her fellowship training included pediatric cardiology and subsequent advanced training in non-invasive imaging and adult congenital heart disease at Boston Children's Hospital. After completing her training in 2006, she joined the Children's Heart Clinic at Children's Minnesota, where she became medical director of cardiology at Children's Minnesota and led the fetal cardiology program at the Midwest Fetal Care Center. In September 2018, she joined Rady Children's Specialists of San Diego.
Dr. Dummer's interests include prenatal detection and management of fetal heart disease, identifying risk factors and predictors of outcome, and early diagnosis of fetal heart dysfunction in twin to twin transfusion syndrome.

  John Kanegaye  

John Kanegaye, MD, originally from Los Angeles, graduated from the New York University School of Medicine and completed his Pediatric residency at the University of California San Francisco. After a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, he became part of the original staff of the Emergency Department at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, where he is a senior attending physician and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of California San Diego. He has been a member of the Kawasaki Disease research team since 2002.

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Michael Gardiner, MD, is a member of the Emergency Medicine Division at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. He completed his undergraduate studies at UC Los Angeles, then obtained his medical degree from the University of Virginia. He completed his pediatrics residency at Children?s Hospital Los Angeles, followed by a pediatric emergency fellowship at Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, Texas, where he served as assistant research director. 
When not at work, Dr. Gardiner enjoys spending time with his wife and family. His interests include traveling, biking, hiking and seeking out the best new restaurants in town.

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​Lori Daniels, MD, is an adult cardiologist at the University of California, San Diego and Director of the Cardiovascular Care Unit.  She is a graduate of Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.  She completed her internship and residency at UCSD Medical Center and subsequently served as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine there.  She also completed her Fellowship in Cardiology at UCSD, serving as Chief Fellow during her final year. She received a Masters of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research, and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.   She is currently the director of the Coronary Care Unit at the UCSD Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center. Dr. Daniels joined the UCSD Kawasaki Disease Research Center in 2008.  She received an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant which helped launch the San Diego Adult KD Collaborative, a longitudinal study to learn about the long-term outcomes of adults with a childhood history of KD.  Her research interests focus on using biomarkers to assess cardiovascular risk in a variety of populations, including KD.

​   JohnGordon-pic.png ​John Gordon, MD,  is a cardiologist specializing in the care and treatment of adults with coronary artery disease.  He is a member of the San Diego Cardiac Center and performs procedures to open blocked arteries at Sharp Memorial Hospital. Dr. Gordon follows many adults in his practice who had KD in childhood. He and Dr. Burns have recently co-authored a major review paper summarizing the kinds of problems that adults can have after KD.
    ​AndrewKahn-pic.jpgAndrew Kahn, MD, PhD, is a cardiologist specializing in imaging the heart to measure its structure and function.  Dr. Kahn also has a doctorate in physics, which he applies to create the best images of the heart using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Dr. Kahn performs his imaging studies at the UCSD Hillcrest campus and at Jacobs Medical Center.  He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology.
​  Allison-Marsden-pic-small.jpgAlison Marsden, PhD, is a Professor and Wall Center scholar in the departments of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and, by courtesy, Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. From 2007-2015 she was a faculty member in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of California San Diego. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University in 1998, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in 2005 working with Prof. Parviz Moin. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in Bioengineering and Pediatric Cardiology from 2005-07 working with Charles Taylor and Jeffrey Feinstein. She was the recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface in 2007, an NSF CAREER award in 2011. She is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the American Physical Society, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. She received the UCSD graduate student association faculty mentor award in 2014 and MAE department teaching award at UCSD in 2015. She has published over 130 peer reviewed journal papers, and has received funding from the NSF, NIH, and several private foundations. She is currently on the editorial boards of several leading journals in biomechanics and computational biology. Her work focuses on the development of numerical methods for cardiovascular blood flow simulation, medical device design, application of optimization to large-scale fluid mechanics simulations, and application of engineering tools to impact patient care in cardiovascular surgery and congenital heart disease.
​   Wynnis Tom, MD, is an  Associate Clinical Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of California, San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. After completing her training in dermatology at Saint Louis University, she returned to the San Diego area to pursue a fellowship in pediatric dermatology and has since been an active faculty member in the Division of Dermatology.               

A special area of interest for Dr. Tom is chronic inflammatory skin disorders, particularly atopic dermatitis (eczema) and psoriasis, and managing patients who have more difficult disease that requires oral or other systemic medicines. She is studying how the genetic makeup may influence the course and response to treatment, along with associated complications such as secondary infection and cardiac health risks. She has an NIH K23 research career development award, with Dr. Jane Burns serving as primary mentor. Dr. Tom has been collaborating with the Kawasaki Disease research team to further detail the occurrence of inflammatory skin conditions during KD illness.

    

Sonia Jain, PhD., is a tenured Associate Professor in the Division of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics in the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine at UCSD. She joined UCSD at the end of 2002 after completing a Ph.D. degree in Statistics at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada. Her specialty is the Bayesian statistical analysis of medical data and developing new methodology to analyze complex data. Her areas of expertise include general Biostatistics and clinical trials, statistical genomics, nonparametric Bayesian statistical methods and computational techniques in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. Dr. Jain has more than ten years experience in the design and analysis of clinical data, including statistical methods for HIV, Cancer, and Glaucoma. Dr. Jain is currently serving as the lead Biostatistician/Bioinformatician on several NIH-funded studies in HIV, Kawasaki Disease, and Glaucoma, and is co-Director of the Biostatistics Core of the DOD-funded INTRuST Consortium in PTSD/TBI.
​    JihoonKim_small.jpg ​Jihoon Kim, PhD, is Principal Statistician for the Division of Biomedical Informatics. He has a master's degree in statistics and has extensive experience in supporting investigators in various statistical matters, including design of experiments, sample size calculations, implementation of software to support statistical analyses, and reporting results in scientific publications. Furthermore, he has a PhD in bioinformatics, and has led the development of open-source software for integration of gene expression data from diverse platforms.
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Koichi Miyata, MD, is a Pediatric Cardiologist from Tokyo and a visiting scholar in the Kawasaki Disease Research Center. His research projects involve risk factors/models and therapies related to coronary artery aneurysms.


​Hao Wang, MD, MS, is a research volunteer in the Kawasaki Disease research team, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSD. His passion includes applying the multi-omic approach to study the disease pathophysiology and machine learning in clinical outcome prediction.

​Ben Croker, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Pediatrics Department at UCSD. The Croker Lab studies inflammatory forms of cell death in immune cells during normal blood formation, inflammatory disease, infection, asthma and leukemogenesis.

The production, function, and death of neutrophils is critical for host defense against pathogens. We investigate how neutrophils regulate inflammation in disease. Our current research investigates the role of inflammatory cell death signaling in neutrophil cytokine secretion, NET formation, and neutrophil lifespan. The laboratory also studies a novel phenomena called shuttling, which involves the transfer of intracellular pathogens from neutrophils to macrophages. A clinical study of patients with Kawasaki disease and the COVID-19-associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) identified IL-1b+ neutrophils as a key immune cell targeted by intravenous immunoglobulin using a novel cell death pathway dependent on PI3-kinase and NADPH oxidase. 

KD & CLIMATE  STUDY TEAM






   
Jennifer Burney, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UCSD. Her research group quantifies the relationship between energy, water, and food and nutrition security, the environmental impacts of food production and consumption, and climate impacts on agriculture and land use.  They are particularly interested in the science, technology, and policy of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and the role that these compounds play in climate, food security and human health. Dr. Burney;s group uses methods from physics, ecology, statistics, remote sensing, economics and policy and work with data in the filed, and in the lab to find points of convergence between climate and development objectives.  Her group draws students from across UCSD including the Jacobs School of Engineering, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Divisions of Biological and Physical Sciences, and the School of Global Policy and Strategy.



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Dan Cayan, PhD, is a Research Meteorologist in the Climate Research Division of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD.  Dr. Cayan studies climatic influences on the transfer of heat and moisture between the ocean and atmosphere and the impacts of atmospheric circulation and precipitation on the surface hydrology over North America.  Regionally, he is studying climate variations over the West Coast and in particular over California.
Dr. Cayan directs the California Applications Program, a National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration-sponsored effort to improve climate information for decision makers in the California region and also directs the Scripps component of California Climate Change Center (CCCC), a multi-investigator effort sponsored by the California Energy Commission to assess potential climate change effects in California.



  
​Laurel DeHaan, is an Applications Programmer in the Climate, Atmospheric Sciences, and Physical Oceanography (CASPO) department at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). 
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​Charles Copeland, is a Research Data Analyst.

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KD & AEROSOLS  STUDY TEAM



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​Mark Thiemens, PhD,

Dr. Thiemens joined UC San Diego's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1980 from the Fermi Institute of Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago, and was appointed interim dean of the Division of Natural Sciences in 1999. In the year that followed, he led the creation of two new divisions from that entity in July 2000; the Division of Physical Sciences, to which he was appointed Founding Dean and the Division of Biological Sciences. As the founder and director of the cross divisional undergraduate Environmental Systems Program, Dr. Thiemens has applied his research on stable isotopes to a wide variety of environmental problems from global warming to atmospheric ozone chemistry to questions about the prospect of life on Mars. His laboratory has developed new techniques of understanding the composition of the early atmosphere of the Earth and the origin of life and the atmosphere of Mars. In 2006, the minor planet center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the clearinghouse for naming asteroids, designated a minor planet orbiting the inner part of the main asteroid belt 7004MarkThiemens in honor of his work with meteorites and extra-terrestrial materials and studies of the origin of the solar system. His other works have focused on understanding climate change from chemical clues embedded in the ice he collected at the South Pole, Greenland summit and in remote Tibetan glaciers and from rocket-borne collection systems. He has recently worked on the fundamental quantum physics of isotope effects and new techniques of nano imaging.


KD RESEARCH STAFF


Joan Pancheri 

Joan M. Pancheri, RN, BSN, CCRC, is a California licensed RN with over 30 years of Pediatric nursing experience in Orthopedics, Medical, Surgical, PACU, and Cardiology. In addition to her nursing background, Joan is a certified Clinical Research Coordinator with over 10 years of experience coordinating industry and investigator initiated pediatric clinical trials in the areas of Anesthesia, Otolaryngology, Ophthalmology, Infectious Disease, Cardiology and Kawasaki disease. She has been involved with the care of Kawasaki disease patients since 2002 and is currently the Kawasaki disease clinical care coordinator at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego and runs the weekly KD Clinic.

​    DeeAnna Scherrer
Sophia Hernandez joined the KD research team in January 2022 as a Lab Assistant and took over as Lab Manager in May 2022.  She comes with more than 20 years experience in both the biotech and clinical laboratory. She has emphasized experience in Blood Bank, Hematology, Pathology and Histology. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Biology. Some of her interests include gardening, traveling and hiking with her dog. Most recently she took a cross country road trip in October 2021.

Angie Rodriguez Verdin graduated from the University of California San Diego with a Bachelor's in Psychology with a specialization in Development and a minor in Ethnic Studies. She joined the Kawasaki Disease (KD) Research team in 2022 as the Clinical Research Coordinator Assistant for the Adult Kawasaki Disease longitudinal study. On her free time, she likes to go on runs to the beach, cook gluten free/vegetarian dishes, or spending time with friends and family. 


​Alka Sood is a UCSD alumna with a Bachelor's in Biochemistry/Cell Biology and a Master's in Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology.  She joined the Kawasaki Disease Research Team in 2012 and has worked with Dr. Burns on research projects involving the sequelae of Kawasaki disease in adolescents and young adults. Currently, she is involved in a collaborative study with the San Diego Medical Examiner's Office looking at the cardiovascular pathology in young adults with sudden death attributed to Kawasaki disease in childhood.






Emelia-pic.jpg

Emelia Bainto is a UCSD alumna and has been working at UCSD since she was an undergraduate student. She joined the Kawasaki Disease (KD) Research Team in 2015 as the Database Manager, Programmer/Analyst for the KD Climate study and Coordinator for the annual KD Parent Symposium.  She was previously employed at the Climate Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography for over 25 years where she was part of the research team that collaborated with Dr. Burns on the KD Climate study.