Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Program Director, Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Program
Deborah McCurdy, MD is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Program Director for the Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship Program at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. Dr. McCurdy trained at Drexel University in Philadelphia and sub-specialized in Pediatric Rheumatology at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA). Her interest is in the etiology of autoimmune disease and her research has concentrated on juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Both at UCLA and in collaboration with researchers nationally, she has studied the genetics of JIA and SLE. In the laboratory, she has worked with a team of molecular biologists to identify autoantigens and cloned an important gene that may play a role in the pathogenesis of SLE. Through clinical observations, she became interested in DNA repair in autoimmune disease. Her research has shown that patients with SLE often have a delay in DNA repair and she is working with several groups to further define DNA repair in autoimmune diseases. With a group from UCLA, she is working with experts in immunology and rheumatology to identify biomarkers that will predict a lupus flare and the onset of lupus nephritis.
Through collaborations with international groups including The Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) and A Registry for Childhood Vasculitis:e-entry (ARChiVe) she has been an investigator in multiple clinical studies and drug studies.
As Fellowship Program Director, Dr. McCurdy trained many pediatric rheumatologists and was involved in the education of medical students and pediatric residents from Southern California, numerous states across the U.S., and many international countries. U.S. and international students and residents have come to UCLA to rotate through a research laboratory experience in Pediatric Rheumatology.
She and the other pediatric rheumatologists strive to provide personalized, comprehensive rheumatologic care in the evaluation of each child.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Alice Chang Hoftman, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Hoftman received her medical degree from the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and completed a Pediatrics Internship/Residency and a Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship at the UCLA Medical Center. She worked at CHOC Children's for 2.5 years before returning to UCLA in 2011. Her clinical interests include juvenile idiopathic arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, but she also sees patients with all rheumatologic illnesses. Dr. Hoftman employs the use of ultrasound to assist in the clinical evaluation of childhood rheumatologic diseases. Her research interest focuses on autoantigens and autoantibodies in lupus.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
J. Patrick Whelan, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Geffen School of Medicine, caring for children with arthritis and other pain problems. He has a particular interest in vascular diseases, post-infectious inflammatory disorders, and autoimmune manifestations of immune deficiency. He studied biochemistry at Harvard University, and completed the MD and PhD degrees at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. His graduate work involved studying the initiation of immune responses in a group of children with leukocyte adhesion deficiency. He completed rheumatology training at Harvard and a two-year fellowship in AIDS-Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was on the pediatric rheumatology staff at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children for twenty years before returning to his native Southern California, where he is the president-elect of the Los Angeles Pediatric Society.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Miriam Parsa, MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Parsa has trained at UCLA for her undergraduate degree, residency in Pediatrics, and Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship. Her research has centered on the use of Musculoskeletal Ultrasound in childhood arthritis. Dr. Parsa's clinical interests include juvenile idiopathic arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. She uses ultrasound for diagnosis and medication management in pediatric arthritis, and has trained residents and other physicians in ultrasound and its special benefits. Dr. Parsa also has clinics at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara and at Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura to better serve the need of her patients.