New and Noteworthy: UCLA faculty and trainees who have been recognized for excellence in clinical care, research and teaching.
RESEARCH IN DISPARITIES IN OBGYN CARE
Sandra Orsulic, PHD, Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, organized the inaugural UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology JEDI research symposium Research in Disparities in OBGYN Care focused on research on racial and socioeconomic disparities in obstetrics and gynecology care. In addition to Dr. Orsulic, presenters included Leah Marsh, MD, Gynecologic Oncology fellow, Katherine Cotangco, DO, postdoctoral fellow, Marie Douglass, MD, resident physician, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, and Ava Mousavi, medical student, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The symposium was held on October 21, 2022.
CONFERENCES AND EVENTS
The UCLA Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine co-sponsored the lecture Writing Health Through Black Feminist Theory hosted by the Collaboratory for Black Feminist Health and Healing. The book “Weighing the Future: Race, Science and Pregnancy Trials in the Post Genomic Era” by Natali Valdez was featured. Victoria Massie led the discussion with moderation by Adeola Oni-Orasan. The lecture was held on October 24, 2022.
The UCLA Division of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery is proud to be involved with the SoCal MIGS Collaborative and to have participated in the inaugural SoCal MIGS 2022 Resident Bootcamp held on October 15, 2022 providing area residents with hands- on experience in robotics, laparoscopy, and hysteroscopy from the top MIGS leaders in the region. Sukrant Mehta, MD, Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, led a full day of teaching electrosurgery to 30 Obstetrics and Gynecology residents from across the Southern California region. Valentina Rodriguez, MD, Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Kathryn Goldrath, MD, MIGS fellow, are members of the Steering Committee.
Ritu Salani, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beth Karlan, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Gottfried Konecny, MD, Professor in Residence of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine – Hematology-Oncology were featured speakers at the State of the Science Summit: Women’s Health UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and OncLive® held on October 11, 2022. They presented Updates in Cervical and Endometrial Cancer, PARPs in Ovarian Cancer, and ADCs in Ovarian Cancer, respectively.
The 12th Annual UCLA Fetal Cardiac Imaging and Evaluation Symposium targeted all healthcare professionals seeking to improve their ability to scan and evaluate the fetal heart. Yalda Afshar, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, presented “Risk Factors for CHD Following Normal Fetal Cardiac Screening” and both she and Christina Han, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, served as moderators throughout the day-long symposium held October 1, 2022.
HONORS, AWARDS AND APPOINTMENTS
Aparna Murali, MS, Genetic Counselor for UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, received both the UCLA Genetic Counseling Graduate Program Award for Excellence in Fieldwork Supervision as well as the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD) Outstanding Fieldwork Supervisor award for her dedication to her trainees and to the overall UCLA program.
Ritu Salani, MD, MBA, Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, has been newly elected as an International Gynecologic Cancer Society Council Member effective October 1, 2022.
Aparna Sridhar, MD, MPH, Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, was the Co-Chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the September 2022 ACOG Annual District Meeting. As well, she completed her 5-year term as the Chair of the Los Angeles Section of ACOG California District.
Beth Karlan, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vice Chair of Women’s Health Research, and Director of Cancer Population Genetics, has been named as the 2022 Parker Endowed Lecturer and Visiting Professor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine.
Mya Zapata, MD, Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, has been elected as the new Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Section of ACOG California District.
Yalda Afshar, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, is the recipient of a Burroughs Welcome Fund 2022 Next Generation Pregnancy Initiative award for her research project “Noninvasive Prenatal Diagnostics for Placenta Accreta Spectrum Disorders.” The Next Gen Pregnancy initiative is designed to stimulate both creative individual scientists and multi-investigator teams to approach healthy and adverse pregnancy outcomes using creative basic and translation science methods.
Sandra Orsulic, PhD, Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, received a 4-year Department of Defense grant for her project “A Deep-Learning Strategy to Integrate Karyometric Features with Underlying Molecular Pathways in Ovarian Cancer Initiation” to study subvisual nuclear image features to understand a pre-cancer niche in the fallopian tube. Dr. Beth Karlan and Dr. Paul Boutros are collaborators on this grant. Dr. Orsulic was also awarded a 3-year Department of Defense grant to evaluate mechanotransduction as a potential therapeutic target in ovarian cancer for her project “NUDT5 as a Novel Target for Ovarian Cancer.”
Aparna Sridhar, MD, MPH, Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, received funding for the “UCLA Initiative to Study Hate.” Dr. Sridhar is the Co-PI along with Paula Tavrow, Adjunct Professor of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
Beth Karlan, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vice Chair of Women’s Health Research, and Director of Cancer Population Genetics, was the session Chair of “Precision Oncology Across the Care Continuum from Prevention to Survivorship” at the invitation-only American Cancer Society Jiler Conference held in Dallas, TX. She also chaired a session on “Advances in Ovarian Cancer Detection and Treatment” at the annual AACR meeting, as well as lectured about prevention and early detection of gynecologic malignancies at the 3rd Annual International Congress for the Future of Women’s Health.
Sandra Orsulic, PhD, Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, was one of only 13 people invited to participate in the prestigious Forbeck Forum, Challenges and Opportunities for Transformative Therapeutic Development for Ovarian Cancer held in March 2022. She presented “Deep image analysis as an underutilized tool in ovarian cancer.”
Aparna Sridhar, MD, MPH, Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, presented a moderated webinar for FIGO on “Post Abortion Contraception” on September 15, 2022. She was also an invited panel member for FIGO’s representation to the United Nations Committee to Eliminate Racial Discrimination held in Geneva, Switzerland in August. Dr. Sridhar also conducted a simulation workshop on “Shoulder Dystocia” in Lucknow, India that was held on August 25, 2022 in collaboration with FOGSI’s Safe Motherhood Committee.