Marlin Touma, MD, PhD
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Marlin Touma, MD, PhD


Dr. Marlin Touma is an Associate Professor-in-Residence, David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. She joined the Division of Neonatology in 2011 after completing her fellowship program at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard University. Dr. Touma’s clinical practice is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. She provides prenatal consultation services and perinatal care for affected families and newborn infants with prematurity complications and congenital heart defects. Dr. Touma received her medical education from Damascus University and obtained her PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrated Physiology as an UCLA-STAR (Specialty Training and Advanced Research) fellow in 2015.

Dr. Touma is the Director of UCLA Congenital Heart Defects Research Program. She is the founder and the Principal Investigator of the Neonatal/Congenital Heart Laboratory and BioCore for Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) at UCLA. The Touma Laboratory employs genomics platforms, patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells, and disease model systems to identify novel mechanisms of gene regulation, including the long noncoding RNA, gene-environment regulatory circuits, and disease-causing genetic variants, that dictate cardiac development programs, and to investigate their dysregulation in newborn infants with CHDs. Serving as a central research portal, the UCLA Congenital Heart Defect BioCore synergizes campuswide clinical efforts and research innovation to integrate the knowledge that we learn from our patients, the resolution of genomics and systems genetic tools, and the depth of functional studies to create a research continuum from genetic discovery to clinical translation for newborns with CHDs.

Dr. Touma is the recipient of career development awards from NIH/Child Health Research Center and American Heart Association. As a CDI Scholar, she was awarded Today & Tomorrow Children’s Fund. Her research was recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics Outstanding Research Award, the Manton Center Award for Gene Discovery, Boston Children's Hospital, and the David Geffen School of Medicine Research Innovation Award. More Recently Dr. Touma received the 2019 High Priority "Bridge Fund" Award and an R01 (2020) from the NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as well as the 2021 Mid-Career Investigator (MCI) Research Scholarship Finalist Award from the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR)-North America Section.

Touma Laboratory
Neonatal/Congenital Heart Laboratory
UCLA-Cardiovascular Research Laboratory
MRL Building
Lab 3447/3457
Office 3762
675 Charles E. Young Drive
Los Angeles, California 90095
Office Phone: 310-825-6478
Email: [email protected]




Medical Board Certifications

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, American Board of Pediatrics, 2012
Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics, 2008


Research Fellowship, UCLA School of Medicine, 2015
Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2011


Pediatrics, Dell Children's Medical Center, 2008
Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Damascus University, 1996


PhD, UCLA School of Medicine, 2015
MD, Damascus University Faculty of Medicine, 1992

Hospital Affiliations



  • The Molecular Genetic Mechanisms of Congenital Heart Defects
  • Neonatal Heart Maturation and Response to Environmental Stress in Newborns with Congenital Heart Defects


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