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KD RESEARCH TEAM

 

Dr. Jane C. Burns is a native of San Francisco, California. She received her M.D. degree at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1978 and completed her pediatric residency and Chief Residency at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, Colorado. In 1983, Dr. Burns moved to Harvard Medical School and the Boston Children’s Hospital for additional training in pediatric infectious diseases and molecular virology. She joined the faculty at Harvard in 1986 and in 1990 moved to San Diego, California, where she joined the faculty at the University of California as an Assistant Professor.

Dr. Burns moved up through the ranks and was appointed Professor of Pediatrics in 1999. She was Chief of the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology from 2000 to 2013.

Currently, Dr. Burns is Director of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at UCSD/Rady Children’s Hospital where she leads a multidisciplinary team that cares for 90-100 new Kawasaki Disease patients each year and follows over 1,300 families in the KD Clinic.

Her passion for studies of Kawasaki disease has spanned almost three decades with her first publication on KD in 1982. In addition to her academic pursuits, Dr. Burns is the mother of two daughters. Her husband, John B. Gordon M.D., is an interventional cardiologist who cares for adults with long-term sequelae of KD. Together, Burns and Gordon with a team from UCSD have launched The Adult KD Collaborative, a long-range epidemiologic and clinical study of cardiovascular biomarkers and functional studies in adults who suffered from KD in childhood.

Adriana TremouletDr. Adriana Tremoulet attended medical school at the University of California, Los Angeles and then completed her pediatric residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. After completion of a fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, she joined the UCSD/RCHSD Kawasaki Disease Research Center in 2006. Dr. Tremoulet helps care for the over 90 children that are newly diagnosed with KD annually at RCHSD. Her research focuses on finding targeted treatments for children with KD and developing a diagnostic test for KD to reduce the number of children in whom the diagnosis is missed. As a Cuban-American, she is a fluent Spanish speaker and is working with colleagues in Latin America to better understand the impact of KD in this part of the world. Her “spare” time is spent with her husband and two daughters and performing flamenco dance.
Dr. Chisato Shimizu is a Project Scientist in the UCSD School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics.  Dr. Shimizu received her M.D. degree at Tokyo Women's Medical University in Japan.  Dr. Shimizu first encountered Kawasaki Disease (KD) working as a pediatrician in Yokohama, Japan.  In 1993, with her background and experience with KD, she came to UCSD to begin a fellowship with Dr. Burns where she studied molecular biological techniques.  In 1997, Dr. Shimizu returned to San Diego to rejoin Dr. Burns at the Kawasaki Disease Research Center (KDRC).  Dr. Shimizu has been in charge of the KD genetics project at KDRC.  Through that project, Dr. Shimizu works with researchers at the International KD Genetic Consortium, geneticists and pathologists in Japan, and researchers at the Biomedical Informatics at UCSD. Her research interests focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms in the development of Kawasaki Disease and aneurysm formation to lead to better treatments for KD children. She and her husband are the parents of a very energetic young boy.

Currently Dr. Shimizu works on the Whole Genome Sequence Project, the Calcium Signaling Pathway Project and TGFß/Myofibroblasts/Endothelial Cell related projects that support ongoing clinical studies. Dr. Shimizu also works on projects collaborating with the Medical Examiner's office studying remodeling of coronary artery aneurysms and myocardium that will lead to better care for patients long after the onset of KD.

Dr. Alessandra Franco is a native of Milan, Italy. Dr. Franco obtained the MD degree, specialization in Internal Medicine and PhD in Immunology at the University "La Sapienza" in Rome where she served as an Assistant Professor in the Internal Medicine department. Dr. Franco has been one of the first investigators capable to expand in vitro human T cells from the peripheral blood and tissues and to define their specificity (the current vaccine for hepatitis B is in part due to her contribution). Because of this unique expertise she has been invited to work as a visiting scientist in the US in 1991 where she has been working since.

Prior to join the faculty at UCSD, Dr. Franco worked at Scripps Research Institute and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. Her discoveries include hapten recognition by T cells, the importance of carbohydrate antigens for T cell-based cancer immunotherapy that leaded to the development of a pan-carcinomas vaccine for cancer prevention/treatment and a novel role for B lymphocytes in expanding cytotoxic T cells.

Dr. Franco's laboratory joined the KD team in 2006. Her work by studying memory T cells in acute KD defined that a pathogen exposure that occurred weeks prior to the symptoms or a recurrent infection is involved in the disease. With the development of new technologies to track the immune cells over time in KD patients under different treatments, Dr. Franco discovered the function of IVIG therapy and the immunological mechanism involved in additional therapies with cyclosporine A and infliximab.

Dr. Franco is currently developing an optimized approach to overcome the lack of response to IVIG via short peptides derived from the constant regions of immunoglobulins.

Robert-Sheets-pic.jpgDr. Robert Sheets is a pediatric rheumatologist at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and a clinical professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Allergy/Immunology/Rheumatology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He is board certified and has been practicing pediatric rheumatology since 1990. 

Graduating from Brown University in 1970 and from medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1974, he went on to complete residency training in 1977 at Valley Medical Center in Fresno, Calif.

Dr. Sheets cares for patients with rheumatic disease and sees patients in the combined Rheumatology/Nephrology Clinic, where he cares for lupus patients and patients with rheumatologic disorders and kidney disease. He is also actively involved in teaching medical students and pediatric residents who are part of UC San Diego School of Medicine's pediatric residency program.

Dr. Sheets has worked with the Arthritis Foundation for many years. He has been part of the Jingle Bell Run and has been be part of the Arthritis Walk starting in 2014. 

His interests include hiking, mountain biking, baking, tennis and gardening.

John Kanegaye 

Dr. John Kanegaye, originally from Los Angeles, graduated from the New York University School of Medicine and completed his Pediatric residency at the University of California San Francisco. After a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, he became part of the original staff of the Emergency Department at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, where he is a senior attending physician and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of California San Diego. He has been a member of the Kawasaki Disease research team since 2002.

​Dr. Lori Daniels is an adult cardiologist at the University of California, San Diego and Director of the Cardiovascular Care Unit.  She is a graduate of Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.  She completed her internship and residency at UCSD Medical Center and subsequently served as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine there.  She also completed her Fellowship in Cardiology at UCSD, serving as Chief Fellow during her final year. She received a Masters of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research, and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.   She is currently the director of the Coronary Care Unit at the UCSD Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center.

Dr. Daniels joined the UCSD Kawasaki Disease Research Center in 2008.  She received an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant which helped launch the San Diego Adult KD Collaborative, a longitudinal study to learn about the long-term outcomes of adults with a childhood history of KD.  Her research interests focus on using biomarkers to assess cardiovascular risk in a variety of populations, including KD.

JohnGordon-pic.png ​Dr. John Gordon, MD,  is a cardiologist specializing in the care and treatment of adults with coronary artery disease.  He is a member of the San Diego Cardiac Center and performs procedures to open blocked arteries at Sharp Memorial Hospital. Dr. Gordon follows many adults in his practice who had KD in childhood. He and Dr. Burns have recently co-authored a major review paper summarizing the kinds of problems that adults can have after KD.
AndrewKahn-pic.jpgDr. Andrew Kahn, MD, PhD, is a cardiologist specializing in imaging the heart to measure its structure and function.  Dr. Kahn also has a doctorate in physics, which he applies to create the best images of the heart using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Dr. Kahn performs his imaging studies at the UCSD Hillcrest campus and at Jacobs Medical Center.  He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology.
Allison-Marsden-pic-small.jpgDr. Alison Marsden is an associate professor and Wall Center scholar in the departments of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and, by courtesy, Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. From 2007-2015 she was a faculty member in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of California San Diego.  She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University in 1998, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in 2005 working with Prof. Parviz Moin. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in Bioengineering and Pediatric Cardiology from 2005-07 working with Charles Taylor and Jeffrey Feinstein.  She was the recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface in 2007, an NSF CAREER award in 2011, and is a member of an international Leducq Foundation Network of Excellence.  She received the UCSD graduate student association faculty mentor award in 2014 and MAE department teaching award at UCSD in 2015. She has published over 70 peer reviewed journal papers, and has received funding from the NSF, NIH, and several private foundations.  Her work focuses on the development of numerical methods for cardiovascular blood flow simulation, medical device design, application of optimization to large-scale fluid mechanics simulations, and application of engineering tools to impact patient care in cardiovascular surgery and congenital heart disease.   
Dr. Wynnis Tom, MD, is an  Associate Clinical Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of California, San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. After completing her training in dermatology at Saint Louis University, she returned to the San Diego area to pursue a fellowship in pediatric dermatology and has since been an active faculty member in the Division of Dermatology.                 

A special area of interest for Dr. Tom is chronic inflammatory skin disorders, particularly atopic dermatitis (eczema) and psoriasis, and managing patients who have more difficult disease that requires oral or other systemic medicines. She is studying how the genetic makeup may influence the course and response to treatment, along with associated complications such as secondary infection and cardiac health risks. She has an NIH K23 research career development award, with Dr. Jane Burns serving as primary mentor. Dr. Tom has been collaborating with the Kawasaki Disease research team to further detail the occurrence of inflammatory skin conditions during KD illness.

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Sonia Jain, PhD., is a tenured Associate Professor in the Division of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics in the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine at UCSD. She joined UCSD at the end of 2002 after completing a Ph.D. degree in Statistics at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada. Her specialty is the Bayesian statistical analysis of medical data and developing new methodology to analyze complex data. Her areas of expertise include general Biostatistics and clinical trials, statistical genomics, nonparametric Bayesian statistical methods and computational techniques in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. Dr. Jain has more than ten years experience in the design and analysis of clinical data, including statistical methods for HIV, Cancer, and Glaucoma. Dr. Jain is currently serving as the lead Biostatistician/Bioinformatician on several NIH-funded studies in HIV, Kawasaki Disease, and Glaucoma, and is co-Director of the Biostatistics Core of the DOD-funded INTRuST Consortium in PTSD/TBI.
JihoonKim_small.jpg ​Jihoon Kim, MS, is Principal Statistician for the Division of Biomedical Informatics. He has a master's degree in statistics and has extensive experience in supporting investigators in various statistical matters, including design of experiments, sample size calculations, implementation of software to support statistical analyses, and reporting results in scientific publications. Furthermore, he has a master's degree in bioinformatics, and has led the development of open-source software for integration of gene expression data from diverse platforms.
​​Dr. Jun Oyamada is a visiting scholar in the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at the UCSD School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics. He was born in Akita, Japan and graduated from Akita University School of Medicine in 2002. He started working as a Pediatrician after graduation and has been a Pediatric Cardiologist since 2006. In 2012, he received a Ph.D. from Akita University Graduate School of Medicine. His dissertion investigated the relationships between aortic stiffness and left ventricular geometry after Kawasaki disease in children. He came to San Diego to research KD with Dr. Burns' KDRC team.

Joan Pancheri 

Joan M. Pancheri, RN, BSN, CCRC is a California licensed RN with over 30 years of Pediatric nursing experience in Orthopedics, Medical, Surgical, PACU, and Cardiology. In addition to her nursing background, Joan is a certified Clinical Research Coordinator with over 10 years of experience coordinating industry and investigator initiated pediatric clinical trials in the areas of Anesthesia, Otolaryngology, Ophthalmology, Infectious Disease, Cardiology and Kawasaki disease. She has been involved with the care of Kawasaki disease patients since 2002 and is currently the Kawasaki disease clinical care coordinator at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego and runs the weekly KD Clinic.

DeeAnna ScherrerDeeAnna Scherrer, a UCSD Staff Research Associate, is the Lab Manager at the Kawasaki Disease Research Center. She began working for Dr. Burns at the research center in 2005. She also helps support the research of several other doctors who collaborate with Dr. Burns studying Kawasaki Disease. Before coming to her present position, DeeAnna worked as a registered Medical Laboratory Technician in Illinois and Alaska. She and her husband are the parents of three grown daughters.
​Alka Sood is a UCSD alumna with a Bachelor's in Biochemistry/Cell Biology and a Master's in Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology.  She joined the Kawasaki Disease Research Team in 2012 and has worked with Dr. Burns on research projects involving the sequelae of Kawasaki disease in adolescents and young adults. Currently, she is involved in a collaborative study with the San Diego Medical Examiner's Office looking at the cardiovascular pathology in young adults with sudden death attributed to Kawasaki disease in childhood.
Shannon-Skochko_Headshot-small.jpgShannon Skochko graduated from the University of Maryland in 2015 with a Bachelor's in Physiology and Neurobiology. She works as research associate/coordinator at Rady Children's Hospital and joined the Kawasaki Disease (KD) Research Team in late 2015. She currently serves as the research coordinator for the Adult KD Collaborative study.

Nipha Sivilay is a UCSD alumna with a BS in Cognitive Science with specialization in Neuroscience.  She joined the KD Research team in July 2016 as a Lab Assistant/Technician.. 









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Emelia Bainto is a UCSD alumna and has been working at UCSD since she was an undergraduate student. She joined the Kawasaki Disease (KD) Research Team in 2015 as the Database Manager, Programmer/Analyst for the KD Climate study and Coordinator for the annual KD Parent Symposium.  She was previously employed at the Climate Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography for over 25 years where she was part of the research team that collaborated with Dr. Burns on the KD Climate study.