News and Events
Last week, we welcomed the Genomic Outcomes division to Harbor Peds as they founded the LA BioMed Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences. The team will be employing a research methodology known as genome-wide association study (GWAS).
What Is GWAS?
A Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) is an approach that involves rapidly scanning markers across the complete set of DNA of many people to find genetic variations associated with a particular disease.
Understanding Human DNA
A 13 year, $3 billion endeavor that began in 1989 and combined the work of scientists across the world, the Human Genome Project sought to map the human genome.
The writing may have always been on the wall for Moin's ascension, or at least ever since he switched specialties to Categorical Pediatrics and came to Harbor for residency where he has been ever since.
Moin was chief resident during his final year as a fellow in the Clinical Genetics and Medical Biochemical Genetics in the UCLA Intercampus Medical Genetics Training Program. "I loved being a fellow at Harbor. Our training program allowed us to spend significant time working with physicians at UCLA in clinical and laboratory settings."
A few weeks ago the USDA released its new standards for snacks in schools that will go into effect next school year in 2014. These new guidelines will form the minimum required standard for nutritional options in cafeterias made available to children across the country. Christine Hoyer, a registered dietitian with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center had kind words to say about the new guidelines.
When asked, she said this is something she and other clinical dietitians have been clamoring for. "Myself and my other team members at Harbor are always trying to increase healthy foods in our patients diets, so these changes [in schools] are very welcome."
The USDA reviewed nearly 250,000 comments from parents, teachers, school food service professionals, and the food and beverage industry when coming up with the new guidelines.
As the obesity epidemic continues to rage on, intrepid researchers are required to tackle this issue that looms over so many and threatens our prosperity. One such person stepping up to the job is new faculty member Yang Lu, PhD., who is joining us as a Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Principal Investigator.
Dr. Yang comes to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center by way of the University of Southern California where she was Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Pediatrics and Price School of Public Policy, after being a Scholar-in-Residence. Prior to that, she received her PhD in Policy Analysis from Pardee RAND Graduate School where she became a Post-Doctoral Fellow.
When asked what attracted her to Harbor-UCLA, she cited the "supportive environment and the opportunity to develop a research program in health outcomes."
The Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce that this summer, a new team is joining our ranks to begin a new institute that is focused on improving the health of the diverse communities served by Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Please join us in welcoming Jerome Rotter, M.D., Kent Taylor, Ph.D., Ida Chen, Ph.D., and Xiuqing Guo, Ph.D.
Dr. Rotter and his team are pioneers in their field, specializing in the study of the genetics of common chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Their research is hyper-focused on the effects of these diseases in Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians, facilitating a more personalized diagnosis for patients which reflect the diversity of Harbor-UCLA.
Dr. Rotter and his colleagues will found the LA BioMed Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences. They will make use of core technologies used to analyze genomics – the entirety of a human’s genetic makeup.
Dr. Patricia Dickson, Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics, is the recipient of a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I).
The grant will provide funds for Dr. Dickson to test whether improved effectiveness resulting from early enzyme therapy for treatment of MPS I occurs because of a diminished humoral immune response against the enzyme.
MPS I, also called Hurler, Hurler-Scheie, or Scheie syndrome, causes physical and neurological damage, usually beginning in childhood and resulting in severe disability and early death. MPS I patients are partially treated via enzyme replacement therapy, requiring lifelong hospital visits for intravenous administration.
The annual Pediatric Resident Graduation and Awards Dinner took place on June 15th at the Long Beach Hyatt Hotel.
Congratulations to all of our graduates!
Tomorrow when we celebrate our Independence Day, many children will end up hospitalized from mishandling fireworks.
In 2011, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated about 9,600 people for fireworks related injuries. In 2010, 61% of emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the head. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-19.
Although we see fireworks stands on just about every corner, fireworks are not permitted everywhere. In fact, many cities have out-right banned fireworks for personal use. Be sure to check with your local police department to determine whether or not fireworks are allowed in your area.
As an alternative, consider taking your children to a professionally handled fireworks show. Kids can have just as much fun watching a spectacular show with fireworks reaching closer to the stars at a local park or any venue with professionals at hand.
Tips on Staying Safe
"Smart Snacks" are coming to a school near you.
Nearly one third of children in America are at risk for preventable diseases like diabetes and heart disease due to being overweight or obese. If left unaddressed, health experts tell us that this generation may be the first to live shorter lives than their parents.
While the school lunches have their own criteria of health to measure up to, school snacks sold in vending machines can be just as detrimental to children's overall health. As a result, the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required the USDA to come up with new nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools, not just the federally-funded meals program. Smart Snacks in Schools will provide "healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will support their great efforts," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack."
Congratulations are in order for Assistant Professor Jennifer Yee M.D. who has received a grant from UniHealth Foundation to begin The Be Forever Fit Program here at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Dr. Yee plans to establish The Be Forever Fit Program as a pediatric weight management clinic that will be modeled after the ultra successful UCLA FIT Clinic, but this two-year project will be tailored to serve the more unique patient population of Harbor-UCLA.
The clinic will strengthen the primary care physician's role in obesity evaluation and management through resident education, and provide the community's other clinics with a resource for managing their own obese patients. Participants can expect such perks as referrals to their local YMCA.
Dr. Yee completed her pediatric endocrinology fellowship training here at Harbor-UCLA and became a faculty member in 2007. Her main research interest is in the mechanisms of the development of obesity.