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Pediatric Endocrinology Faculty
Assistant Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Alvarez received her medical degree from the Charles R Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland and her fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at UCLA Medical Center. Her clinical interests include diabetes, in particular type 2 in youth, insulin resistance/ prediabetes, and diabetes care technology.
Dr. Dennis Chia is a Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Chia earned his BA degree from Cornell University with a major in Biology and his MD from the Boston University School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in Pediatrics at the UC Irvine program and his subspecialty training in Pediatric Endocrinology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).
Dr. Harvey K. Chiu is a Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. After graduating from the University of North Carolina with Honors and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Dr. Chiu pursued combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency training at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and then completed separate fellowships in both Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Washington.
Dr. Fallah is a Health Sciences Clinical Instructor at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Her research interests involve iodine nutrition and thyroid metabolism. She sees patients affected by a variety of diabetes and endocrine disorders with specific interest in endocrine neoplasms and transgender health. Previously, Dr. Fallah was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at USC Keck School of Medicine and worked as a Bone Marrow Transplant Hospitalist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Dr. Hicks received a B.S. in Biochemistry and a Minor in English at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she participated in the College Honors Program. After working as a Validation Engineer for two years, she earned her degree in Medicine from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and was selected for membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society.
Dr. Steven Mittelman is a Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. After earning his BS in Biochemistry from UCLA, he went on to earn his PhD in Physiology and a MD at Keck School of Medicine, USC. He completed both his pediatric residency and pediatric endocrinology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. At CHLA, Dr. Mittelman was the Director of the Diabetes & Obesity Program, as well as the Donnell Society for Pediatric Scientists.
Dr. Okawa is a Health Sciences Clinical Assistant Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Okawa received her medical degree from the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (formerly Jefferson Medical College) in Philadelphia. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center and her fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Joslin Diabetes Center.
Dr. Maureen A. Su is a Professor of Microbiology/Immunology and Medical Genetics at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Su received her combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard College and her M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School. She completed her pediatrics residency and fellowship in endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Dr. Michael W. Yeh established the UCLA Endocrine Surgery Program in 2006. Under his leadership, the Program has gained national and international recognition for clinical excellence in the management of complex endocrine diseases. Dr. Yeh is an expert in minimally invasive parathyroid surgery, thyroid cancer, and adrenal tumors, including pheochromocytoma and adrenocortical carcinoma. He has published more than 100 scholarly articles and book chapters on these topics.
UCLA Pediatric Endocrinology Nurses
Karishma Gounder, BSN, RN, PHN
Karishma Gounder is a Registered Nurse at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Ms. Gounder received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from California State University, Fullerton. Her previous pediatric experience includes working in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Acute Care Unit at the Ronald Regan Medical Center. She is a member of the American Diabetes Association and American Association of Diabetes Educators.
Debbie Olson, RN, CDE
Debbie Olson is a Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Debbie has worked at UCLA Health since 1996, in both the inpatient and outpatient areas. She has enjoyed providing Diabetes Education to adults, children, and families living with diabetes since 2013. Debbie is a certified insulin pump trainer and welcomes the changing technologies to help increase safety and decrease burden on the lives of those with diabetes.
Other Pediatric Diabetes Team Members
Jennifer Chou, MSW
Jennifer Chou is a Clinical Social Worker at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. She was a UCLA undergraduate and proceeded to receive her Masters of Social Welfare from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Passionate about music, she volunteers at the UCLA Medical Center in the Music at the Bedside Program, playing her guitar and singing for patients and families spending time at the hospital.
Natacha Emerson is a Pediatric Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Loma Linda University where her research focused on self-efficacy, health disparities, and family-based interventions for medically-ill children. Her clinical interests include adherence to medical regimens and transition to adult healthcare for adolescents and young adults. She is currently working as an integrated behavioral health clinician.
Sylvia Villaseñor, LCSW
Sylvia Villaseñor received her MSW in Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2006. Sylvia is honored in working with our Endocrine patients and families by providing supportive counseling, psychoeducation, and resources as patients move through the course of their medical condition.