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Kalpashri Kesavan, MD


Dr. Kalpashri Kesavan has been a member of the UCLA Neonatology faculty since 2014 and is board certified in both Pediatrics and Neonatology. Dr. Kesavan's primary clinical interest is to support neurodevelopmental health starting in the NICU by the implementation of procedures to support brain development in the NICU, educating parents regarding developmentally appropriate care of their infants, and early detection of developmental disorders in high-risk infants. Dr. Kesavan provides clinical care in the NICUs at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, UCLA Medical Center Santa Monica, and Olive View Medical Center. She also provides outpatient care in the high-risk infant follow-up clinics at Children's Health Center, Santa Monica.

Dr. Kesavan's initial research interest focused on breathing control in premature neonates. She has received the Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute's Seed Grant Award in 2015, the Today's and Tomorrow's Children's Fund (2016), and the Little Giraffe Foundation NICU Support Grant (2016) to investigate novel means to support the immature breathing patterns in premature neonates. More recently her research interests have been directed towards early detection and diagnosis of cerebral palsy in high-risk neonates using her expertise in "General Movement Assessments" in this vulnerable population. She continues to receive funding from the Cerebral Palsy Foundation for this work (2018 to present). She is also involved in Neonatal Research Network (NRN) studies and is currently working on a developmental follow-up in two studies: Transfusion of premature Early School Age Follow-up and Early School Age Follow-up of NRN Hydrocortisone for BPD Trial. Dr. Kesavanhas published peer-reviewed research articles, book chapters, and review articles, and is a member of the Western Society for Pediatric Research.

Dr. Kesavan is the Medical Director of UCLA Santa Monica Hospital Neonatal ICU. She is also the Medical Director of the High-Risk Infant Follow-up Clinic(HRIF) at Mattel Children's Hospital.


English, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi


Medical Board Certifications

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, American Board of Pediatrics, 2014
Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics, 2009


Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2012


Pediatrics, John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County, 2009


MBBS, Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, 2004

Hospital Affiliations



  1. Kesavan K, Ezell T, Bierman A, Nunes AR, Northington FJ, Tankersley CG, Gauda EB. Breathing and temperature control disrupted by morphine and stabilized by clonidine in neonatal rats. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2014 Sep 15; 201:93-100. doi:10.1016/j.resp.2014.06.015. Epub 2014 Jul 5. PubMed PMID: 25008573.
  2. Burnsed JC, Chavez-Valdez R, Hossain MS, Kesavan K, Martin LJ, Zhang J, Northington FJ. Hypoxia-ischemia and therapeutic hypothermia in the neonatal mouse brain--a longitudinal study. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 16;10(3):e0118889. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 25774892; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4361713.
  3. Kesavan K, Frank P, Cordero DM, Benharash P, Harper RM. Neuromodulation of Limb Proprioceptive Afferents Decreases Apnea of Prematurity and Accompanying Intermittent Hypoxia and Bradycardia. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 15;11(6):e0157349. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157349. eCollection 2016. PMID: 27304988
  4. Master ZR, Porzionato A, Kesavan K, Mason A, Chavez-Valdez R, Shirahata M, Gauda EB. Lipopolysaccharide exposure during the early postnatal period adversely affects the structure and function of the developing rat carotid body. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2016 Jul 14:jap.01094.2015. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01094.2015. PMID: 27418689
  5. Effect of Lipopolysccharide Exposure on Structure and Function of the Carotid Body in Newborn Rats. Master ZR, Kesavan K, Mason A, Shirahata M, Gauda EB. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2015; 860:115-21. Doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-18440-1_13 PMID: 26303473
  6. Parga JJ, Daland R, Kesavan K, Macey PM, Zeltzer L, Harper RM. A description of externally recorded womb sounds in human subjects during gestation. PLoS One. 2018 May 10;13(5):e0197045. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197045. eCollection 2018. PMID: 29746604 7.
  7. Parga J, Bhatt RR, Kesavan K, Sim MS, Karp HN, Harper RM, Zeltzer L.A prospective observational cohort study of exposure to womb-like sounds to stabilize breathing and cardiovascular patterns in preterm neonates, J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 Sep; 31(17):2245-2251. doi:10.1080/14767058.2017.1339269


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  • Blue Shield of California
  • Centivo
  • Cigna
  • First Health
  • Health Net of California
  • Interplan (part of HealthSmart)
  • L.A. Care
  • MultiPlan
  • UFCM Health System
  • Prime Health Services
  • Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS)
  • UnitedHealthcare

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WSPR Mead Johnson Nutrition Junior Faculty Travel Award, Western Society for Pediatric Research, Carmel, CA January 2017