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Early Treatment Clears Baby of HIV - 03/07/2014

A second baby has been found to be cured of HIV/AIDS at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach. Dr. Jag Batra, a pediatric infectious disease physician here at Harbor-UCLA and Miller Children's Hospital, is a part of the medical group that worked on the case.

Four hours after birth, the baby was tested for HIV and immediately started on a drug regimen -- a high dosage usually reserved for the amount that is used to treat the virus.

What is now apparent is that early treatment is what kills the virus before it is able to take root. Doctors caution that the word cure not be used because on-going treatment is still necessary for the baby. Doctors will consider pausing treatment at some point to see if the baby is still virus-free at age 2.

The mother of the now HIV-free baby is mentally ill and did not take the drugs prescribed to her that would have protected her baby.

Dr. Rotter Featured in American Health Journal - 02/28/2014

Dr. Jerome Rotter has been featured in the February edition of American Health Journal on the topic of "Personalized Medicine." The segment, which airs February 28th at 5:30pm on KOCE/PBS SoCal Public Television, is on the topic of Personalized Medicine, and is also available online right now.

In the on-camera appearance, Dr. Rotter emphasizes the importance of personalized medicine representing the entire mosaic of patient populations, a similar chord he strummed in our interview of him this past October in which he praised the diverse patient population of Harbor-UCLA and cited it as a principle reason for his choosing to come to Harbor-UCLA.

Westerly School Students Donate Books to Harbor Pediatrics - 02/19/2014


On Tuesday February 11, Harbor Pediatrics received a much appreciated donation of books for our pediatric patients from the Westerly School in Long Beach. The books were donated and delivered by 4th and 5th grade students from Westerly.

The students said it did not take them long to gather the books. "We got all the books and organized them yesterday," said 4th grader Kaaya whose favorite book is "The Kingdom Keepers". Dr. Adam Jonas, Chair of Pediatrics, wondered who did "all the heavy lifting." "All of us," they chorused in perfect unison.

Fifth grader Samantha likes fantasy books; 5th grader Ivy likes the Hunger Games series; Tyler likes books with action, too. There were plenty of all those genres in the two large carts of books the students hauled in.

"Over one hundred," estimated Mr. David Perram, Director of Student Affairs at Westerly School who accompanied the students. The load skewed heavily towards fiction, including many classics, but also included a healthy number of useful encyclopedias, science, and history books as well.

Special Guest Grand Rounds Lecturer Dr. Martinez presents: The Early Origins of Asthma - 02/18/2014

Dr. Kenny Y.C. Kwong has a question directed at faculty, housestaff, nurse practitioners, and any other interested parties:

"Are you tired of seeing room after room of asthma kids in the ED? Getting tachy and cranky from second hand albuterol from a step down room full of wheezing patients? Feel like shouting 'WHY IS THERE SO MUCH ASTHMA?'"

Odds are, you have had that thought. Dr. Kwong is bringing in a guest lecturer to demystify asthma on February 20th.

Dr. Fernando Martinez from The University of Arizona will be presenting Grand Rounds "The Early Origins of Asthma: Insights from the 30th Anniversary of a Birth Cohort."

Dr. Martinez is a nationally and internationally renowned pediatric pulmonologist who has been pivotal in developing the current paradigms of asthma pathogenesis. He started the Tuscon respiratory cohort and Tuscon Respiratory study 30 years ago. Similar to other famous cohorts such as the Farmingham study, Dr. Martinez's cohort has been instrumental in developing the currently accepted theories of origins of asthma.

Harbor Peds Present at LDN WorldSymposium - 02/12/2014

Several Harbor-UCLA pediatricians and LA BioMed faculty will be present and presenting at the 10th Annual WORLDSymposium 2014 which is being held in San Diego. The four day event brings together lysosomal storage disease researchers from across the world to share and discuss their various research and findings on the disease group.

Dr. Dickson, who has done impactful research on MPS I, will be co-chairing the Translational Research II portion of the symposium. During that time, LA BioMed researcher Shih-hsin Kan will be presenting on his collaboration for a new treatment on MPS III using Intracerebroventricular enzyme replacement therapy.

Princess Tea and Arts and Crafts in the Playroom - 02/10/2014

Pediatric patients on Monday morning who were up early for a hospital visit were greeted in the child life playroom by Girl Scouts and theater students in the guise of beloved Disney characters: Princess Jasmine, Merida from Brave, Megera from Hercules, Peter Pan, and the Fairy Godmother.

Sarah Strangeland, along with her classmates from Chino Hills High theater class came up with the idea for Princess Tea for her Girl Scout project. The princesses crowned patients with paper crowns and supplied plenty of arts and craft activities for the children.

I asked one of the visitors, who would only go by the name Cinderella, what she got out of the experience. "Playing with the kids is my favorite part," she said. "Making them smile hopefully makes them feel better. The feeling I get making these kids smile is indescribable."

In all, 48 bookmark crafts, 48 valentines day bear crafts, 48 paper crowns, and 100 princess stickers were donated.

Thanks to the following for dressing up and spreading Disney magic:

Virginia Stangeland
Kim Bryant

Dr. Boros Takes Part in Study That Sheds Light on Cancer Cells Behavior - 02/03/2014

Associate professor of pediatrics Laszlo G. Boros, MD, was a cohort in a recent study that has given us a better understanding of the workings of cancers and tumors.

The study, published in a Nature, has linked and measured a new set of reactions that cancer cells use to generate energy and substrates together to reproduce. These pathways were known as separate reactions not involved in cancer before this study.

At the center of the paper is what is known as the Warburg effect. The Warburg effect is how efficiently a cell produces energy by lactate synthesis from glucose. This study counts the energy and substrate producing details of an alternate Warburg effect, in which glucose is broken down into serine, glycine, CO2, and lactate molecules and produces new cells.

Harbor Pediatrics Hosts Esteemed Professor Dr. Robert Sege - 01/23/2014

Harbor-UCLA Department of Pediatrics is hosting esteemed pediatrician Robert Sege, MD, PhD, FAAP, for several speaking events as part of a visiting professorship.

Harbor Pediatrics is honored to host Dr. Sege thanks to a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics. He will be speaking at three events:

1) On the topic of "Early Brain Development, Balancing ACES with HOPE"
as part of Harbor-UCLA Pediatric Grand Rounds on Thursday, January 23rd
at 8:30am in the Parlow Library Auditorium.

2) On the topic of "Home visiting in the medical home-- becoming part of the early childhood neighborhood." Though an AAP, California Chapter 2 Town Hall Meeting, it is open to all non-Chapter 2 members. This takes place in the Assembly Room on Thursday, January 23rd from 6pm-9pm. Dinner will be served. Please RSPV to Charity Bracy, charity.bracy@aap-ca.org.

2013 Holidays at Harbor Pediatrics - 01/23/2014

We thank our benefactors for their contributions and enthusiasm during the month of December. This wonderful Christmas would not have been possible without you.

We are thankful for not only your donations, but your creativity as well. Many donors made their skills their gifts. The Torrance Craftsmen Guild hand-made ornaments, hung them up on a Christmas tree in our pediatric play room. Upon discharge, every child left with an ornament to hang on their Christmas tree. Girl Scouts Troop donated care bags filled with knitted caps, crayons, and activities worth about $600 to help pediatric patients cope while in the emergency department. Vosges Haut-Chocolat from Beverly Hills donated their time and resources with a fun and tasty truffle-making class. Aaron Ableman from Balance Edutainment, the company behind Pacha's Pajamas donated over 500 CDs and made a special appearance from Northern California to perform songs during the Christmas Toy Ride.

10 Questions: Marina Capella - 01/10/2014

Today we asked 10 8 questions with Marina Capella, MD
Marina,

If money were no object, what would you buy?
A Vit-A-Mix mixer. I've wanted one for 5 years, but it's too expensive!

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
I don't know.

What product do you never go cheap on, for the sake of quality?
Food - I even feed my four pet rabbits organic fresh veggies from Whole Foods.

Alarm clock goes off in the morning…do you hit snooze?
Always. In fact, I set my alarm 15 minutes early just so I can hit the snooze button. Getting out of bed is hard. It should not be rushed.

What was your favorite subject in med school?
Human physiology, by far. I like knowing how things work.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere where I can SCUBA dive.

Would you rather live without music or tv?
Music, definitely. I listen to NPR most of the time. I'm probably the least music-savvy person on earth!

In 10 years I’ll be…