A Salute to 100 Trailblazing Women of UCLA Health
“We believe that when women and girls are empowered to live to their full potential, everyone benefits exponentially.” - Melinda Gates
Women’s Equality Day is being celebrated August 26, 2020, honoring the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, establishing women’s right to vote. To mark the date, we wish to honor 100 women of achievement at UCLA Health.
We also want to acknowledge that despite the passage of the 19th Amendment granting the rights of all people to vote, discriminatory practices did not protect that right for Black Americans and other people of color. It wasn’t until nearly a half-century later, with the signing into law of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that everyone was able to exercise their right to vote.
The work ahead of us remains significant. But as the past has taught us, when we knock down walls, we open doors. We know there are thousands of women at UCLA Health who are making an impact daily. Honoring the following trailblazers is just the beginning of the stories we will share.
The 100 in 100 are merely some of the thousands of women who show up to UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine every day to provide our patients the best health care experience in California, and to lead the world with groundbreaking research and education.
MD, MPH; assistant professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a pediatrician at the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar
Dr. Barnert serves as an adviser to the California state legislature and to U.S. Congress on juvenile justice policy. Her research contributed to the passage of California SB 1322, which decriminalized child victims of commercial sexual exploitation; to AB 2992, which requires police officer training on commercial sexual exploitation of children; and to SB 439, which excludes children 11 and younger from the juvenile justice system.
MD, CM; chief of the division of infectious diseases at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and a professor of pediatrics
With more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Aldrovandi is a world-renowned lecturer and author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. She has led research into general pediatric infectious diseases and cared for HIV-infected children and their families.
MPA; president of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences
Spisso is a nationally recognized academic health care leader with more than 30 years of experience. She was named to Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Most Influential Women Leaders in 2019, LA Business Journal’s 500 Most Influential Leaders in Los Angeles in 2020 and Modern Healthcare’s Top 50 Clinical Leaders of 2020 in the U.S.
MD, PhD; first female dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Martin is among only a handful of women to lead a medical school in the United States. A neuroscientist who studies learning and memory, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.
PhD, MBA, RN, FACHE; chief nursing executive for UCLA Health and assistant dean in the UCLA School of Nursing
"With more than 30 years of experience as a nurse leader, Dr. Grimley is responsible for the overall delivery and management of nursing practice, education, professional development, research, administration and clinical services.
MD; associate clinical professor for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
A clinician educator, Dr. Glazier is president of the UCLA Health Faculty Practice Group, a 1,200-plus member academic practice and one of the largest physician groups participating in the California health care industry.
PhD; professor of Health Policy and Management and co-director of UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Cancer Control and Survivorship Program
Dr. Bastani has led multiple studies targeting low income, ethnic minority and immigrant populations. She led a National Cancer Institute post-doctoral career development program with a heavy focus on transdisciplinary cancer control training and disparities research.
MD; assistant dean for equity and inclusion at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and section chief of thoracic imaging
Dr. Brown serves as the vice chair of the UCLA College of Applied Anatomy. She is the recipient of multiple teaching awards including the Excellence in Education Award and the Serge and Yvette Dadone Clinical Teaching Award.
MD; assistant professor of emergency medicine and medical director of clinical effectiveness for UCLA Health
Dr. Briggs-Malonson is a nationally recognized adviser, speaker and author. In 2015, she was named among the “Top Healthcare Professionals Under 40” by the National Medical Association.
MD; Henry E. Singleton Chair in urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and chief of urology at the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center
Dr. Bennett was the first female faculty member when she joined UCLA Urology in 1996, and in 2015, she received the “Secretary’s Coin” from former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald for her work promoting patient-centered care.
PhD; UCLA professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences
Dr. Bearden directs the UCLA Center for Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS) program for at-risk youth, chairs the Women’s Leadership Group of the Society for Biological Psychiatry and the DSM-V Serious Mental Disorder Review Committee, and she is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the Association for Psychological Science. Dr. Bearden was named to the scientific council of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation in 2017. The foundation represents the nation’s top non-governmental funder of mental health research grants.
DNP, RN, NEA-BC; chief nursing officer, Ambulatory Care, UCLA Health System; associate adjunct professor, UCLA School of Nursing; dean and founder of the UCLA Medical Assistant Program
Batiste-Brown is a nationally recognized nurse executive with more than 20 years nursing experience overseeing ambulatory care clinical practice and policy, leading efforts in community outreach and system-wide improvements in clinical care. She was elected 2020 president-elect of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing. She was president of the Association of California Nurse Leaders Los Angeles Chapter in 2018.
PhD; Joaquin M. Fuster Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and co-director of the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment
Dr. Bookheimer has published more than 215 articles in the field of neurological and neurodevelopmental disabilities and has been a leader in the field of autism neuroimaging.
PhD; director of basic and translational research at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of biological chemistry and pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; member Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research
By investigating how stem cells and cancer cells use nutrients to fuel growth, Dr. Christofk aims to develop new approaches for manipulating metabolism and treating cancer.
BSN, RN, CCTN; registered nurse in the Liver Transplant Service (8 North); Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
Chin has served as chair of the 8 North Unit Practice Council, Sepsis Champion, chair of the UCLA Health Empirical Outcomes Council, and currently chair of the Ronald Reagan Transformational Leadership Council. She is among the first clinical nurse chairs of the new Professional Governance model that started in 2018 and has been integral in ensuring the right processes are in place, so nurses at the bedside can be transformative leaders on their units and significantly influence outcomes for patients and nursing practice.
MD, MSHS; assistant professor of medicine, division of general internal medicine and health services research, at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Casillas has worked extensively to close the gap on health disparities for Latinos using telemedicine and other electronic health tools.
MD; orthopaedic oncology surgeon at UCLA Orthopaedic Center in Santa Monica
Dr. Bukata leads a quarterly support/advocacy group of women surgeons in all specialties at UCLA Health.
PhD; interim director and research director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative and associate professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Cooper is internationally recognized for her research on the potential therapeutic and adverse effects of cannabis and cannabinoids, the chemical constituents of the cannabis plant.
MD; interim chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Translational Pathology Shared Resource
Dr. Dry helped develop the Pathology Research Portal, which handles more than 50,000 biofluid samples annually in support of more than 350 research studies and clinical trials.
MD; professor of surgery and anesthesiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and vice chair for critical care, chief of surgical critical care, associate chief of trauma and emergency general surgery and associate chief of trauma and emergency general surgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
Dr. Dicker has devoted her career to violence prevention. She is the founding director of the San Francisco Wraparound Project and is a member of the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention advisory board.
Annabelle de St. Maurice
MD, MPH; assistant professor of pediatrics, division of infectious diseases and co-chief infection prevention officer at UCLA Health
Dr. Annabelle de St Maurice, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor of pediatrics, division of infectious diseases, and co-chief infection prevention officer at UCLA Health. Among her many accomplishments she was on the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she studied emerging viral pathogens.
MD; chief of the UCLA Division of Infectious Diseases
Dr. Currier is among the top-funded NIH investigators in the country and serves as chair of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, the world’s largest HIV research network.
MBBS; co-director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program
Dr. Crooks is a pediatric bone marrow transplant physician in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Mattel Children's Hospital, UCLA. She studies how blood stem cells can be isolated and manipulated to improve the results of bone marrow transplants, a treatment for a variety of blood diseases, including leukemias.
MD; physician-in-chief of Mattel Children’s Hospital and holder of UCLA’s Mattel Executive Endowed Chair in the department of pediatrics
Dr. Devaskar is a highly accomplished pediatrician/neonatologist, researcher and educator, who has served on several national committees and organizations that have furthered pediatric research and clinical practices for decades. Dr. Devaskar was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2012.
MD, PhD; professor of medicine and cardiology, physiology and bioengineering at UCLA
Dr. Demer is executive director of the UCLA specialty training and advanced research (STAR) program that offers the opportunity to combine clinical fellowship or residency training with formal, advanced research training leading to a graduate degree, coordinated with clinical training.
MD; professor of medicine and director of the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program
Dr. Elmore is a National Institutes of Health-funded investigator who has done groundbreaking research on the accuracy of mammography and is studying how artificial intelligence could improve cancer diagnosis.
MD; professor of neurology and co-director of the UCLA Seizure Disorders Center
Dr. Eliashiv was one of the first researchers to locate seizures in the brain using magnetoencephalography — a neuroimaging technique for mapping brain activity. She is a commission member of the International Board of Epilepsy. She has studied neurocysticercosis in Peru and Ecuador, nodding syndrome in Uganda, and has conducted outreach in Morocco to alleviate the global health burden of epilepsy.
Dr. Eleryan is UCLA Health's first Black female Micrographic Surgery Dermatology Oncology Fellow. She is passionate about addressing the lack of diversity in the field of dermatology, and is leading a UCLA research study on the issue.
MD; assistant professor of medicine in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the adult cystic fibrosis program at UCLA
Dr. Eshaghian played a central role in obtaining accreditation for the adult cystic fibrosis program that offers specialized services to this unique population.
MD; distinguished professor and director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Cancer Control and Survivorship Program
Dr. Ganz, a pioneer in the assessment of quality of life in cancer patients and survivors, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2007 and served on the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors and on the American Society of Clinical Oncology Board of Directors.
PhD, RN, NE-BC; executive director, Nursing Practice, Education and Research, UCLA Health; adjunct assistant professor, UCLA School of Nursing
Dr. Galuska led the establishment of an evidence-based nursing leadership development program to assure that nurses are prepared to lead as well as partner in health care management, leadership and transformation.
MD, PhD; director of urologic research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and member Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research
A surgeon-scientist, Dr. Garraway has received the Donald S. Coffey Career Development, Young Investigator, and Challenge Awards from the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
MD; medical director of the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
A practicing neonatologist for more than 20 years, Dr. Garg has shaped neonatal care at Mattel Children’s to meet patients and families with diverse needs and backgrounds and has received the Excellent Physician Award.
Ph.D.; professor and chair of molecular, cell and developmental biology; member Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and member of the executive committee for the International Society for Stem Cell Research
A stem cell biologist specializing in pluripotency and germline cell differentiation, her laboratory specializes in developing novel treatment options to improve women’s reproductive health and the birth of healthy children.
IBCLC; International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, UCLA Health
Colvin-Thomas is a very strong advocate for breastfeeding who came to us from L.A. County, so she is an expert in navigating MediCAL and payor barriers to get services to all of our patients. She set up the breast pump exchange program at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica with MediCAL-approved pumps so all moms can get a pump in the hospital and start pumping. This is really important for NICU moms who have to start pumping as soon as able after birth. Colvin-Thomas also coordinated UCLA’s first breast milk donation drive, collecting more than 2,000 milliliters.
MD, PhD; vice chair of ophthalmology at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute
Internationally recognized for her research and clinical expertise in the fields of glaucoma and cataract surgery, Dr. Coleman is also president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2016.
PhD; professor emerita and senior adviser to the David Geffen School of Medicine for Research and Innovation at UCLA
Dr. Gasson was the first female director of a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center and served as director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center for two decades.
MD; professor and vice chair of research in pediatric hematology-oncology and pulmonary medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine and member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research
Dr. Gomperts’ scientific research focuses on the role stem cells play in repairing and regenerating the lungs after injury. Dr. Gomperts has spent years perfecting methods for creating stem cell-derived three-dimensional lung organoids, and is now using those organoids to study how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, affects lung tissue and to rapidly screen thousands of prospective treatments.
MD, PhD; senior associate dean for equity and diversity inclusion at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and professor at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute
Dr. Gordon, a former chair of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Council, specializes in neuro-ophthalmology and inflammatory diseases of the eye.
PhD; professor-in-residence of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and co-director of the Integrated Substance Abuse Programs
Dr. Grella has led several longitudinal cohort studies, over a dozen evaluation studies of treatment interventions for individuals with substance use or mental health disorders, and conducted epidemiological studies using state and national survey data.
MD, MPH; assistant clinical professor in the department of pediatrics at UCLA
Dr. Guerrero practices general pediatrics at the Venice Family Clinic and works with vulnerable populations who have high unmet medical and psychosocial needs. She also sees patients at UCLA’s Fit for Healthy Weight Program for children.
MD, PhD; P. Gene & Elaine Smith Chair in Alzheimer's Disease Research and professor of neurology, molecular and medical pharmacology
Dr. Guo is chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She also serves as a member of a Blue Ribbon Panel for the NIH/NINDS, the ANA Scientific Program Advisory Committee, the Society of Neuroscience Program Committee, and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the A.P. Giannini Foundation.
PhD; professor-in-residence of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Dr. Harawa has led ground-breaking community-based clinical trials on reducing HIV risk. She directs the policy core of the UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services and is a nationally recognized expert on research on HIV, racial disparities, and incarceration. She was awarded the NAACP Unsung Hero award in 2011.
MD, PhD; founding director of the WORLD Policy Analysis Center; distinguished professor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Luskin School of Public Affairs and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Through the WORLD Policy Analysis Center, Dr. Heymann examines laws and policies that matter to equality, health and economic outcomes in all 193 UN countries. She was dean of Public Health from 2013 to 2018.
Dr. Hoffman is cofounder and director of the UCLA Global Health Program, which builds partnerships with low- and middle-income countries and focuses on improving health equity while training the next generation of leaders in global health.
Senior director of research and innovation at UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and co-executive director of UCLA Biodesign
Since joining UCLA Health in 2017, Horse-Grant has led efforts to identify and develop key programs that accelerate the translation of lab discoveries to the patient’s bedside. She was named to Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Innovators list in 2020.
MD; associate professor of medicine and medical director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Clinical Research Unit
Dr. Hurvitz’s research has contributed to innovative treatment strategies for breast cancer that have been adopted globally, including the use of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors as an effective way to treat hormone receptor positive breast cancer.
MD; associate professor of psychiatry, pediatrics and neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the Care and Research in Neurogenetics Clinic (CARING Clinic)
Dr. Jeste received a 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for her “exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.” She has designed studies to aid in the early prediction of autism. Her work in tuberous sclerosis complex led to the first randomized controlled clinical trial of behavioral intervention in infants who are likely to develop autism due to TSC.
Patricia J. Johnson
PhD; professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics.
Dr. Johnson was elected in 2019 to the National Academy of Sciences for her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Her lab focuses on the molecular and cellular biology of a single cellular parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.
MD, PhD; vice chair of women’s health research and director of Cancer Population Genetics at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. Karlan, a renowned expert in the field of gynecologic oncology, is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, was appointed by the White House to the National Cancer Advisory Board and has served as president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology. She is chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2015.
PhD; professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Kasari, founding member of the Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) is an international expert in developing interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders.
Her team developed Joint Attention Symbolic Play Engagement and Regulation (JASPER) therapy as an evidence-based treatment for autistic children.
Director of Real Estate; Planning, Design & Construction; Medical Arts Program and The Tiverton
Amy Kraft is responsible for all design and construction projects for UCLA Health on campus and in the community, focusing on providing a comfortable, healing environment compatible with the quality of medical care received from UCLA Health.
MD; chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA and professor of orthopaedic surgery and human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Krakow has spent the last several years researching the genes that cause the development of skeletal dysplasias prior to birth and identifying the disease genes and biologic mechanisms that lead to the inherited osteochondrodysplasia, a group of more than 350 distinct genetic disorders.
RN; Clinical Nurse, Emerging Infectius Disease Champion, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
Krupa volunteered to join the Emerging Infectious Disease Team to care for infectious patients. When COVID-19 presented in early 2020, she volunteered as a champion to provide multiple departments with “just in time” education when they encountered their first positive patients.
PhD; deputy director of the UCLA Institute for Precision Health and chair of the California Precision Medicine Advisory Council
Dr. Lajonchere is a recognized expert on neurodevelopmental disorders and a champion for communities underrepresented in biomedical research.
Director of Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology Fellowship and Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology
Dr. Kim is the first Micrographic Surgery Dermatology Oncology Fellowship Director in UCLA history, and is one of only a few women in the country to hold such a position. Her laboratory studies the immune response in skin and her research is conducted in collaboration with the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. She has been a faculty member at UCLA for more than 20 years.
MD, PhD; Lynda and Stewart Resnick Endowed Chair in Human Nutrition and professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Li has been principal investigator for more than 50 investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored clinical trials in the fields of nutrition, obesity and botanical research.
MD, PhD; chair of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the UCLA Brain Tumor Program
Dr. Liau’s development of a personalized immunotherapy vaccine, which significantly extends glioblastoma patients’ lives, led to her election to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine in 2018. Dr. Liau is the second woman in the nation — and the first Asian-American woman — to lead an academic department of neurosurgery.
PhD; George Tarjan Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Lord co-developed the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), which are together considered the gold standard in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
MD, MSPH, FACP; chief of the UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and a member of the National Academy of Medicine
Dr. Mangione, a practicing primary care doctor and an expert on diabetes care, diabetes prevention, health disparities and minority faculty development, has been at the forefront of UCLA’s efforts toward community engagement. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019.
PhD; executive strategy officer at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Marcus joined UCLA after 20 years at Cell Press, a division of Elsevier, where she served as CEO and editor-in-chief of the journal Cell.
MD, PhD, MPhil; director of Melvin and Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Program
Dr. May, a gastroenterologist, is a national expert in cancer prevention research and champion for health equity. She is passionate about improving awareness about health disparities and is involved in advocacy at the state and national level to develop and encourage policy to improve health care delivery.
RN, MSN, CCRN-K, CCNS, PCCN-K, ACHPN; Clinical Nurse Specialist for Palliative Care
Meyer led innovative programs to facilitate advanced care planning and hospice care for homeless patients.
MD, PhD; professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology and member of Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. Mikkola studies blood-forming stem cells – which can create all types of blood and immune cells – in order to inform the development of methods to generate these cells in the lab to treat blood diseases such as leukemia and aplastic anemia.
MD; clinical professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, director of the UCLA Health Physician and Faculty Wellness Program and interim director of the David Geffen School of Medicine Behavioral Wellness Center
Dr. Miotto has been recognized for her work advocating for physician and medical trainee mental health and well-being at the state and national level. Most recently, she led the COVID-19 Wellness and Mental Health Workgroup, which provides mental health services to all health care workers at UCLA Health.
PhD; distinguished professor emeritus and former chair of microbiology, immunology and medical genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Morrison’s long-time research interest has been the functional properties of antibodies, including critical work that catalyzed the successful production of antibody therapeutics for many human diseases.
Anna Barbara Moscicki
MD; division chief of adolescent and young adult medicine
A physician-researcher for more than 40 years, Dr. Moscicki has focused her career on adolescent gynecology and STI research with a specific concentration on Human Papillomavirus, HIV infection and mucosal immunology.
MD; professor in the division of pulmonary medicine and critical care and in the department of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and of the UCLA Center for Iron Disorders
Dr. Nemeth has been studying the pathobiology of the iron-regulatory peptide hepcidin and has made major contributions to the understanding of iron homeostasis and its dysregulation in many diseases. She is also president-elect of the International Bioiron Society.
Considered a giant in science, UCLA biochemist Dr. Neufeld’s drive and groundbreaking research led to new treatments for children with lysosomal storage disorders. Her discoveries led to membership in the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine, the prestigious Lasker Award and a long list of other honors.
MD; associate clinical professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and director of the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Clinic
Dr. Mooney is nationally recognized in the field of addiction psychiatry and serves as president-elect of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, co-director of the Greater Southern California Node of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network, and deputy division chief of behavioral health at the Greater Los Angeles VA.
MD; assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary Critical Care at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Neville is medical director of the 3 Wishes Program, started in 2017 at Ronald Reagan Medical Center, which aims to improve the end-of-life experience in the intensive care unit by fulfilling small wishes for dying patients. Her research interest is in improving the quality of care at the end of life in the ICU.
MD; professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital
Dr. Nielsen is an internationally recognized expert in the field of pediatric HIV and Zika and has been a leader at tracing the devastating effects of Zika on the unborn.
MS, MBA; director of nutrition services at UCLA Health, overseeing Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica
During her 21-year career, Oliver has implemented numerous initiatives to improve nutritional quality and access, including the elimination of fried foods from the menu at the medical centers while increasing the use of locally grown or organic produce and beef and poultry raised without antibiotics. She is the 2017 Silver Plate Award winner from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, which recognizes excellence in food service operations in the health care industry, and she also earned the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Healthcare Foodservice.
MD; associate professor of clinical neurology and vice chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Neurology
Dr. Nghiemphu is the operational director for the UCLA Brain Tumor Center, charged with developing an integrated, patient-centered practice for the care of patients with brain tumors.
MD, PhD; associate dean for graduate medical education at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and vice chair for education in pediatrics
Dr. Perkins’ passion for graduate medical education and partnership with residents propels her award-winning teaching, research and curriculum redesign.
PhD; professor of biological chemistry and scientist at Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. Plath’s research team was among the first in the world to reprogram human skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells, which can give rise to every cell type found in the body. The advance could generate a potentially limitless source of immune-compatible cells for tissue engineering and transplantation medicine.
MD; Iris Cantor Chair of Women’s Health
Dr. Pregler is noted for her collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and community experts on women’s issues that impact low income and immigrant women, including financial and health literacy, environmental toxicants, human trafficking, and lesbian, bisexual, and queer women’s health. In 2017, she was named “Woman of the Year” in the health category by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
MD; clinical assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
As an intensivist, Dr. Qadir integrates the most advanced evidence-based medical practice with an understanding of patients’ values to provide individualized and patient-centered management plans. She also played a major role in establishing critical care pathways for COVID-19.
Environmental Services custodian, Emergency Department at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica
Red, who started with the UCLA Health housekeeping staff as a member of the float pool, has been in the Emergency Department for two years, and has been an essential member of the team keeping the department safe, clean and hygienic during the pandemic. She likes to say she’s cleaned the hospital “from top to bottom,” having worked on every floor.
Senior director at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica
Rimicci oversees the financial management, strategic planning, organizational development and coordination of all clinical and administrative operations at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. She has held a number of leadership positions in her more than 25 years at UCLA Health, including executive director of Quality and Patient Safety and director of Emergency and Trauma Services. Her commitment to UCLA runs deep: She received her undergraduate nursing degree and Masters of Science in Nursing Administration at the university.
BSN; Clinical Nurse II, UCLA Birthplace Santa Monica
Rodebush is a strong women's advocate and excellent obstetric nurse who empowers women and families to overcome their fears and anxieties of becoming new parents. She provides a safe and supportive environment to boost their confidence through navigating spit-ups, calming their crying baby, learning swaddling skills, as well as overcoming breastfeeding challenges and additional challenges and stressors faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lisa Romero Gronroos
Child Life Specialist
Romero Gronroos co-founded the first Spanish-speaking parent advisory council at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. The council ensures Spanish-speaking parents of patients in our care are well represented, providing feedback and offering support for others who are primarily Spanish speakers.
MD, MPH; dean emeritus, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (FSPH); professor, departments of Health Policy and Management and Environmental Health Sciences, and professor in the Department of Medicine, DGSOM
Dr. Rosenstock served from 2000 to 2012 as dean of FSPH, one of the nation's top-ranked schools of public health, and is a recognized authority in healthcare, including occupational and environmental health, global public health and science policy.
MSN, RNC-NIC, CNS; Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Sasinski leads multiple evidence-based initiatives including advocacy for human milk feeding enhancements for vulnerable neonates to improve growth and development, reduce complications and reduce hospital length of stay.
MD, FAAP; vice chair of education in the Department of Pediatrics and associate program director of the pediatric residency program at Harbor-UCLA; professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Sifuentes is committed to treating underserved and vulnerable communities. She was the recipient of the Serge and Yvette Dadone Clinical Teaching Award at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a distinction given to faculty for their overall contributions to the field of medical education.
PhD; founder of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
Dr. Smalley was honored by the women’s rights organization Equality Now in 2018 for her research on the genetics of autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and mindfulness.
RN; Clinical Nurse, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
Smith has stepped up in the COVID-19 crisis to support all those around her. For newer nurses fearful during this intense period, she has led by example. She is the first to volunteer to suit up and care for COVID-positive patients, despite personal risks.
BSN; Clinical Nurse II
Michelle Santizo is a clinical nurse in the hematology/stem cell transplantation unit at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. In addition to serving as a missionary nurse in Guatemala, Michelle has been instrumental in her role as a legislative liaison on Capitol Hill, advocating for the rights of terminally ill cancer patients.
PhD; professor of Neurology and neuromuscular program director in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; member Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.
In association with her colleagues, Dr. Spencer developed an approach that uses the stem cell gene editing platform CRISPR/Cas9 to correct the genetic mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Suarez participates in regular medical missions to the Dominican Republic as part of Global Health Force Organization, an international group she co-founded. She is providing COVID-19 relief support by collecting and distributing masks.
MSN, RN; senior director Women’s Services and Mattel Children’s Hospital
As a life-long champion of women’s health, Suda has worked hard to reduce women’s risk for complications in pregnancy by decreasing cesarean births, maternal deaths from obstetric hemorrhage, strokes from high blood pressure, and attaining World Health Organization’s Baby Friendly Status for achieving successful breastfeeding rates through education and increasing public awareness to these issues. Suda’s extensive work internationally, in Armenia’s Erebuni Medical Center, has helped to improve obstetric care and she started the first education program to allow fathers into the hospital to help and support women in labor and delivery. She also has worked for more than 18 years with Japan’s Chiba University School of Nursing to help develop the advance practice role for nurse practitioners and expand the Clinical Nurse Specialist role for women’s health in obstetrics and gynecology.
PhD; director of the UCLA Laboratory of Neuromodulation and Neuroimaging
Dr. Suthana has earned international recognition as the first scientist using virtual reality and wearable technologies in patients with existing neural implants to unravel how the brain forms and recalls memories.
MS, director of Emerging Infectious Disease Preparedness, Office of Emergency Preparedness, UCLA Health
Sweeney has tirelessly led the organization in an effort to prepare for and manage the COVID-19 pandemic. She ensured that faculty, staff and trainees were focused not just on the personal protective equipment (PPE) that would keep them and their patients safe, but also on the behaviors impacting infection prevention and reducing transmission.
Maie St. John
MD, PhD; chair of head and neck surgery and director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Cancer Research Career Enhancement program
Dr. St. John's efforts have supported the development of a strong interdepartmental research program in head and neck surgery and bioengineering, which has led to multiple clinical trials and patent applications.
MD, PhD; chief of General Pediatrics and section chief of Developmental Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; professor of Pediatrics at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital
Dr. Szilagyi is a nationally known expert in childhood trauma and resilience and has been voted president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
MBA; chief human resources officer for UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine
Takeuchi is a strategic HR executive who is responsible for human resource management and organizational initiatives and programs across the enterprise. She led the development of a HR strategic plan with the vision to be an employer of choice, which has resulted in UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine being recognized as a top employer by various organizations such as Forbes, Becker’s Hospital Review, BlackDoctor.org and World at Work.
Sadiat Toyin Lawal
Toyin Lawal has worked with the United Nations to advance the status of women internationally and in the United States, focusing on high-risk single mothers and widows in low-income areas. She also is active in the Global Peace Movement, Women Empowerment for Peace.
MD; professor of medicine/cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the UCLA Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center, the UCLA-Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Health Program, co-Director of the UCLA Program in Preventive Cardiology, and director of the UCLA Fellowship Program in Cardiovascular Diseases
Dr. Watson is a principal investigator for several large National Institutes of Health research studies including the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study and the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
MD; professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, director of the ALS Clinic and Research Center, Medical Director of the Neurology clinics and vice chair for Clinical Affairs
Dr. Wiedau has more than 20 years of experience in academic neurological practice and research and oversees a basic and clinical research team in addition to her administrative leadership.
PhD; professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA
Dr. Wyatt has testified before the U.S. Congress eight times on issues related to health policy and was the first African-American woman to be licensed as a psychologist in California.
MD, MPH; UCLA professor of medicine and health services researcher
Dr. Washington has devoted her career to addressing the health care needs of vulnerable and underserved populations. Recognized in 2019 with the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust Award, she studies access to emergency and ambulatory care, female veterans and racial, ethnic and gender disparities in health care.