Harbor-UCLA Pediatric Interview Series
Among her duties as Director of Level II Nursery, Perinatal Clinical Research Center and Co-Director of the Medical Student Education here at Harbor Pediatrics, Dr. Lynne Smith studies the effects of prenatal methamphetamine exposure. We caught up with Dr. Smith to discuss her findings and more.
The primary focus of Dr. Lynne Smith’s research efforts is to determine the effects of prenatal drug exposure on the developing brain. In collaboration with colleagues, she has utilized non-invasive brain imaging techniques in children exposed to drugs in utero. Collectively, these efforts are intended to develop appropriate interventions for exposed children and their families.
Can you tell me about the published paper, Effects of Prenatal Methamphetamine Exposure on Behavioral and Cognitive Findings at 7.5 Years of Age
The Sim Center has come a long way since 2011, when it was only beginning in earnest. Many of the programs and features that are present today existed only in the minds of Dr. Tom Kallay, Director of Simulation and Skills Center at Harbor-UCLA and his indispensable Simulation Coordinator Johnny DiBonaventura.
In 2011, there was no control room, no high definition televisions, and no video recording. There was, however, blue Cold War-era carpet -- a furry reminder that the space in which the Sim Center currently occupies was once a part of modest military barracks.
The carpet is gone now. Tiled floors now lie at the foot of million dollar equipment that peppers the Simulation Center, which today stands vastly improved and more widely used compared to its early days in 2011.
Who Uses the Sim Center?
Left to Right: Drs. Mehra, Gotesman, Karandikar, Dasgupta, and Mrs. Dasgupta
For the denizens of rural Guatemala, access to medicine is sparse, and more advanced medicine like surgeries are out of reach. The resources that are available, such as the state-of-the-art facilities in Guatemala City, are not accessed by enough people due to the lack of traveling means. Many aren't even even aware the facilities exist. Including the usual sicknesses that people contract, the people of Guatemala face the highest rate of chronic child malnutrition in the Western hemisphere, with rates often higher than 80% in rural areas.
Since 2007, Dr. Shom Dasgupta has been going to Guatemala as a fieldworker and staff physician for the non-profit organization Wuqu' Kawoq. We profiled his work here in a Resident Spotlight in 2011.