UCLA neonatologist tapped for National Child Health Advisory Council
Sherin U. Devaskar (Westwood), professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a neonatologist at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, has been selected by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council.
The council advises the Health Dept., the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Child Health and Development on matters related to maternal health, child health, mental retardation, human growth and development (including prenatal development), population research, medical rehabilitation, and special health problems and requirements of mothers and children. Devaskar's term will run from December 2007 to November 2011.
Devaskar is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in neonatology and pediatrics. At UCLA, she is executive vice chair of the department of pediatrics and director of the Newborn Research Center. She is also program director of the Neonatology Fellowship Training program and the UCLA Child Health Research Career Development program, both funded by the NIH. In addition, she serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Pediatric Research and is an editorial board member of the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Devaskar's research focuses on the long-term outcome of premature and growth-restricted babies, the nutrition they receive while in the womb and soon after birth, and the propensity of these babies to develop adult-onset conditions, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and Alzheimer's disease. She is the principal investigator on multiple grants from the NIH and has authored more than 90 papers published in peer-reviewed journals.
Devaskar started her clinical neonatology fellowship at the University of Southern California and moved to University of Cincinnati to complete her clinical and research fellowship. She then pursued a NIH research fellowship in endocrinology and neonatology. She joined the department of pediatrics faculty at St. Louis University in 1981 and in 1995 became director of neonatology at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1999, she was recruited by UCLA to assume the roles of the director of neonatology and vice chair for research in the department of pediatrics.