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The Cutting Edge

New Institute Fosters Unified Approach to Curing Pediatric Diseases

UCLA Children's Discovery and Innovation InstituteThe new UCLA Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute will become a magnet for leading pediatric physicians to share ideas. Photo: Michelle Tolentino

The newly launched UCLA Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute brings together pediatric physician-scientists and faculty experts from a variety of fields across the UCLA campus to drive multidisciplinary research collaborations focused on children’s health and disease. The goal is to speed the translation of groundbreaking pediatric research findings into clinical practice – locally, nationally and globally.

“We are expanding our well-developed foundation to build a dynamic, interdisciplinary support system for our pediatric physician-scientists that fosters new avenues for innovation,” says Sherin Devaskar, MD, physician-in-chief of Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, assistant vice chancellor for children’s health and holder of the Mattel Executive Endowed Chair in the UCLA Department of Pediatrics. “This new paradigm will lead to advancements that can improve the health of children faster and more efficiently.”

The institute will pioneer advancements in pediatric medicine in four key research areas: the brain and behavior; nutrition and metabolism; cancer; and inflammation, infection and immunity. Efforts in each area will focus on prevention, screening and treatment, as well as providing training opportunities for the next generation of pediatricians and mentorship programs that enable younger physicians and scientists to learn from UCLA’s cadre of experts.

Children are not “small adults,” pediatricians stress, and they experience illnesses and treatments differently than adults. The UCLA Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute is well-positioned to collaborate with a wide variety of researchers across campus who have expertise not only in science and health but also in the unique challenges young people face.

“Interdisciplinary research as envisioned by the institute is fundamental to the discoveries that pave the way to major improvements in health,” says A. Eugene Washington, MD, MSc, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and vice chancellor for health sciences. “Having access to a variety of specialists and experts with different points of view can be invaluable in nurturing innovations that can ultimately benefit children around the world.”

For more information on the UCLA Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute, go to: uclahealth.org/cdii


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