Researchers from the Saban Research Institute pose for a group photo at the 2023 Saban Research Institute Symposium

From left to right: Science Day speakers and organizers Rohit Kohli, MBBS, MS, of CHLA; Michael Goran, PhD, of CHLA; Tanya Alderete, PhD, University of Colorado Boulder; Anna Kamitakahara, PhD, of CHLA; Dipa Shah-Patel, MPH, RD, Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health; Kathleen Page, MD, MS, Keck School of Medicine of USC; Matthew Gillman, MD, SM, National Institutes of Health; Tracy Bale, PhD, University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus; Senta Georgia, PhD, of CHLA; Pat Levitt, PhD, of CHLA, and Bridget Fernandez, PhD, of CHLA.

Research and Breakthroughs

The Saban Research Institute of CHLA Celebrates Science Day 2023 With Focus on Childhood Nutrition and the Developmental Origins of Chronic Diseases

CHLA researchers and scientists from institutions around the nation shared new findings in nutrition and other factors that influence lifelong health in children at Science Day 2023.

Science Day 2023, which includes the annual Poster Day and The Saban Research Institute Symposium, was held on June 15 at The Saban Research Institute. CHLA principal investigators, physician-scientists, post-doctoral researchers, high school students in CHLA’s Samuels Family Latino and African American High School Internship Program (LA HIP), and university students interning in CHLA labs filled the Saban auditorium and the day’s presentations were also live streamed to a national audience.

President and CEO Paul Viviano, Chief Scientific Officer Pat Levitt, PhD, and Pediatrician-in-Chief Robert Shaddy, MD, introduced the morning session, “Nutrition and the Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease.”

Presenters and attendees review posters at the Saban Research Institute celebration of Science Day 2023

Presenters included: Matthew Gillman, MD, SM, National Institutes of Health, on developmental nutrition and related environmental influences on child health; Tracy L. Bale, PhD, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, on stress transmission by cells; Kathleen Page, MD, MS, of the Keck School of Medicine of USC on brain and metabolic function; Tanya Alderete, PhD, University of Colorado, Boulder, on effects of exposure to environmental pollutants on the body’s microbiome; and Dipa Shah-Patel, MPH, RD, Los Angeles County Public Health Department, on sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by youth in Los Angeles.

In the afternoon, attendees checked out over 100 abstract presentations displayed in the Anita S. Watson Courtyard, covering areas including basic laboratory research, clinical research, community research and quality improvement research.

The Saban Research Institute graduate student Victoria Wang smiles and points at Science Day poster displaying her research
Victoria Wang, graduate student, The Saban Research Institute

The poster session finalists presented talks about their work at the afternoon Data Blitz. Sumitha Prameela Bharathan, PhD, won the Basic Laboratory Science Category; Dayna Zimmerman, MD, received the Clinical Research Award; and Sofia Cardenas took top place in the Community Research and People’s Choice categories. The event lasted well into the evening, with a reception following in the Anita S. Watson Courtyard.

Anoopindar Bhalla, MD, Vidya Rajagopalan, PhD, and Sara Richman, MD, PhD, organized the packed event. Senta Georgia, PhD, Michael Goran, PhD, and Anna Kamitakahara, PhD, served on the symposium committee.