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Meet Our Care and Cure Doctors
The following is a list of our past and present Care and Cure Doctors who have undergone or are currently undergoing both clinical and research training through fellowship positions at UCLA, USC, CHLA, and UCSF medical centers in the specialized field(s) of pediatric neurology and epileptology. Thank you again for your generous support, which helps fund these much-needed fellowship positions. Collectively, our Care and Cure Doctors provide specialized treatment for thousands of children with epilepsy, and their tireless research will affect the lives of thousands more. Read on to learn more about what they do and why the chose to join the fight to END EPILEPSY.
Shaun Hussain, MD
A childhood friend of mine suffered severe traumatic brain injury and to this day, the seizures are not adequately controlled despite best medical and surgical therapies. She serves as a continuing reminder of the great challenges left for the current generation of epilepsy specialists.
Soon to join the pediatric neurology faculty at University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Hussain has always been interested in the “incredible potential of the human brain.” A native of San Diego, CA, Dr. Hussain earned his M.D. at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and thereafter completed a Pediatrics Neurology Fellowship at UCLA, where he was “touched by the immense physical and emotional toll endured by children with uncontrolled seizures and saw firsthand the sorts of miracles that occur when seizures are successfully controlled.” Currently, he is a Care and Cure Pediatric Epilepsy Fellow at UCLA, where he focuses on the quantitative and semiquantitative EEG analysis of epileptic encephalopathies, including infantile spasms and electrical status epilepticus in sleep (ESES).
Lekha Rao, MD
With pediatric epileptology, we can really make an impact on quality of life, and at times even prevent disability with early intervention. All of my patients and parents are inspirational to me. I find our families' strength incredible and really am honored to take care of them.
Though she grew up in Saratoga, CA and earned her M.D. at Drexel University, Dr. Rao is now a Southern California transplant after coming to UCLA to complete her residency/fellowship in epilepsy.Combining her interest in neurology with her belief that children are “much more resilient and not to mention fun to work with,” Dr. Rao is currently studying the incidence of seizures after hypoxic-ischemic injury, primarily in neonates, in an effort to identify risk factors and hopefully treatments to prevent the development of epilepsy. She will continue as a Care and Cure Pediatric Epilepsy Fellow next year, and will also have clinical responsibilities throughout West LA and at the Venice Family Clinic to provide free neurologic consultation to an otherwise underserved population.
Jay Desai, MD
The Care and Cure Initiatives are contributing tremendously to improve access to care for children with epilepsy by funding faculty positions and training of future specialists. They also raise awareness of childhood epilepsy in the community and encourage new research in the field.
Born and raised in India, Dr. Desai first came to Los Angeles to train in pediatric neurology and has been here ever since. After getting his M.D. at B.J. Medical College in Ahmedabad, India, Dr. Desai trained at Cornell University’s Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center. Currently, he is attending at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California, focusing on the medical management of intractable epilepsy. Through his Care and Cure Pediatric Epilepsy Faculty position, Dr. Desai’s main objectives are to improve overall access to care for children with epilepsy, encourage medical students to pursue a career in pediatric neurology, and teach pediatric neurology residents.
Meko Porter, MD
As a graduate of two major campuses here in Greater Los Angeles (University of Southern California and University of California Los Angeles), Dr. Porter is no stranger to the region. Soon, after completing her neurology residency at Cleveland Clinic this year, Dr. Porter will be joining the University of Southern California to embark on the next stage of her career as a Care and Cure Epilepsy Fellow, where she will be assisting with the provision of exceptional care to hundreds of children seeking treatment for seizures and other epilepsy-related issues.
Olivia Kim, MD
As I began working with children with neurological disorders, I was excited by the prospect that I could impact the lives of patients in the future....[T]here must be novel ways to effect change in the course of a child’s illness, promote normal development, and contribute to the prevention of disease.
A Los Angeles native through and through, Dr. Kim became fascinated by neuroscience, developmental biology, and childhood disorders involving the nervous system. After earning her M.D. at George Washington University School of Medicine, she is about to begin her Care and Cure Pediatric Neurology Residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where the majority of the patient population -- children with epilepsy and other neurological disorder is underserved by the healthcare system at large. Dr. Kim is “excited to see how the field of neurology will continue to progress” and hopes to establish a broad foundation of medical knowledge with which she can care for children with epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
Arthur Partikian, MD
All children in our community suffering from seizures deserve timely and expert medical care--regardless of where they live, what language they speak at home, or what insurance their parents can afford. As a father and physician,
I am reminded of that goal every
day in clinic.
Dr. Partikian is now serving his 5th year as the Director of the Division of Child Neurology at LAC+USC Medical Center. As their sole Pediatric Neurologist, Dr. Partikian provides ongoing care for about 700 children with epilepsy. His interest in pediatric epilepsy peaked out of very practical reasons: 90% of his referral requests revolve around the very common problem of childhood seizures and their impact on the developing mind. Dr. Partikian is currently researching which biological and psychosocial factors are most highly associated with specific behavioral problems and is moving forward with attempts to identify potential biomarkers. He also work closely with colleagues from the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program to improve the quality of life for children with medically-resistant epilepsies and hopes to create an Epilepsy Dietary Program at LAC+USC soon.
David Millett, MD, PhD
Whenever you can substantially improve seizure control and quality of life in a child, it is moving. It keeps me motivated. Care and Cure gave me the privilege to care for children with uncontrolled epilepsy -- one of the most personally and professionally
rewarding activities I can imagine.
Dr. Millett earned his M.D. and Ph.D at the University of Chicago before settling in Los Angeles for a neurology residency and epilepsy fellowship at UCLA. It became clear to him that “pediatric epileptology - particularly when it came to epilepsy surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy - presented great challenges to the clinician, and that successful epilepsy surgery could have a tremendous impact on quality of life.” Currently, as a Care and Cure Fellow at USC, Dr. Millett is responsible (at both LAC+USC and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center) for the diagnostic evaluation of children with drug-resistant epilepsy or recurrent spells of uncertain etiology. He is also actively researching advanced imaging techniques (fMRI), neurocysticercosis and epilepsy, epilepsy in the Hispanic population, and the history of EEGs.
Sana Javed-Ebeid, MD
I saw how much of a difference I could make in my epilepsy patients' lives with appropriate training. Many of them are mismanaged in the community. With the right treatment, they do very well. My goal is to provide them with the appropriate treatment as well as
access to an epilepsy center.
Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Javed-Ebeid studied medicine at St. George’s University and completed residencies at Staten Island University Hospital and NJ Neuroscience Institute before settling here in Los Angeles as a Care and Cure Epilepsy Fellow with the University of Southern California. After working with a multidisciplinary team to successfully solve the mysterious case of a 14-year old female patient whose seizures were unresponsive to medication after medication, she was inspired to seek further education in epilepsy. Dr. Javed-Ebeid, who enjoys reading EEGs, currently works with a “brilliant and knowledgeable”team to monitor patients with medically intractable epilepsy at both Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center and the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center.
Nicole Cobo, MD
I would like to thank supporters of Care and Cure who help us help children and their families through some of the most devastating diagnoses in medicine. My time at UCLA has further motivated my desire to research novel therapies and approaches to treating refractory epilepsy.
Dr. Cobo developed an interest in pediatric epileptology after researching at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as an undergraduate and working in an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit as a medical student at Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine. She will begin her Care and Cure pediatric epilepsy fellowship at UCLA in July, where she hopes to become proficient in reading adult and pediatric electroencephalograms (EEGs), routine/prolonged monitoring, and intraoperative electrocorticography. Dr. Cobo’s research focuses on transcranial direct current stimulation in treating refractory epilepsy as well as measuring the health related quality of life in children on Ketogenic and Modified Atkins diet therapies. She continues to be dedicated to he field and cites her patients’ “unwavering optimism” despite difficult-to-control seizures as her source of inspiration.
Jiadong Chen, MD
In high school, my friend Ming suddenly fell to the ground and had seizures. I felt helpless when I learned there was no cure. Years later, I am encouraged that what I am studying may help facilitate developing treatment and ultimately bring people suffering with epilepsy like Ming back to normal one day.
An international graduate student reigning from southeastern China, Dr. Chen completed his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai before joining the University of Califonia, San Francisco Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 2010. Working at the lab, Dr. Chen became interested in neural circuit formation which is believed to be the root of many brain disorders such as epilepsy. His studies will hopefully lead to the discovery of potential targets to the treatment of certain brain diseases that caused by malfunction if neural circuits as well as help realize the potential for cell therapy in epilepsy by providing an important step toward the potential application of stem cell-derived inhibitory nerve cells to the treatment of epilepsy.