Sherin Devaskar, MD speaks about the field of neonatology and the 9th edition of the text, Avery’s Diseases of the Newborn.
Diseases of the Newborn really pushes the envelope in terms of making readers really think about the origins of disease. Thinking about genes and environment and structural development becomes very important in the post-genomic era that we’re in, and that’s why I really do believe it’s going beyond what usual textbooks would describe. We also tried to assimilate the explosion of complex outcomes data that’s happening in our field in a way that makes it easy for readers. Finally, the electronic edition will be important for those of us who are on the go and more comfortable with the online medium.
Everything the trajectory of life depends on — the well-being of the fetus and the newborn, and therefore the diseases of the newborn — are incredibly important. If you can make a difference at the beginning, as we do in our field, you have a huge impact on the life course of that individual. It’s a huge ripple effect and so, to me, it’s the crux of neonatology, or newborn care. We also form a really important bridge between the mother and the baby. So it’s very important that we get it right, because you’re really going to set the stage for the rest of the life of this little baby. It’s a dynamic field that requires you to embrace knowledge that’s very broad.
Accomplished researcher and physician, Sherin Devaskar, MD, holds the Mattel Executive Endowed Chair within the department of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine and is physician-in-chief of Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. She also serves as assistant vice chancellor of Children’s Health. She is a world-renowned investigator whose research focuses on the long-term health outcomes of premature and growth-restricted babies. She has received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, and has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. She is editor of the ninth edition of Avery’s Diseases of the Newborn.
Dr. Devaskar is active in many professional societies. She has served as president of the American Pediatric Society, president of the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research, Chair of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development -Maternal and Child Health Committee, and was a member of the Perinatal-Neonatal Subsection of the American Board of Pediatrics.
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