Harbor-UCLA Pediatric Interview Series
Dr. Shom Dasgupta is a first year resident in the Department of Pediatrics. Since 2007, Dr. Dasgupta has served as a fieldworker and staff physician for the non-profit organization Wuqu' Kawoq, which focuses on healthcare, language revitalization, clean water, and the treatment of malnutrition in Guatemala, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Speaking both Spanish and the Mayan language Kaqchikel, Dr. Dasgupta works on Wuqu' Kawoq’s malnutrition interventions and trains local community health workers to provide basic primary care and health surveillance in rural communities.
Dr. James Marrone was a resident at Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics from 1997-2000. Jim received his medical degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. About a year after completing his residency he took a position at the LBJ Tropical Medical Center in Pago Pago, American Samoa, and has been there ever since. The LBJ Tropical Medical Center is a public hospital, and the only hospital in American Samoa (a U.S. Island Territory with a total population of about 70,000). The hospital is located near the center of the main island, Tutuila, approximately 2,500 miles South/Southwest of Hawaii.
Dr. Dickson is an active investigator in the field of medical genetics, publishing numerous papers in the past several years. She is the senior author on a significant paper on MPS I (mucopolysaccharidosis I) published in the December 1, 2010 issue of Science Translational Medicine entitled “Replacing the enzyme alpha-L-iduronidase at birth ameliorates symptoms in the brain and periphery of dogs with mucopolysaccharidosis type I” (click here for abstract). In this study, Dr. Dickson and her co-investigators employed a new approach by starting enzyme therapy early in life. This treatment prevented nearly every aspect of MPS I disease. This research suggests that early intervention with enzyme therapy could be life-altering for children born with MPS I disease, as there is a test available that identifies children with MPS I at birth.