Professional headshot of Olivia Keane, MD against blue letterbox background
Work That Matters

Research Trainee Spotlight: Olivia Keane, MD

Dr. Keane is investigating the impact of cumulative opioid exposure on a baby’s brain development.

As an undergraduate at Clemson University, Olivia Keane, MD, “dabbled” in basic science. But when she began her surgical residency, she realized the power of a different kind of research.

“We treat so many rare conditions in pediatric surgery,” Dr. Keane explains. “That’s how I became interested in clinical research. We still have a long way to go to produce the evidence needed to establish best practices and gold standards for many of these conditions.”

A General Surgery Resident at Emory University, Dr. Keane joined the lab of Lorraine Kelley-Quon, MD, as a Postdoctoral Fellow nearly two years ago. At CHLA, she is studying the cumulative effects of opioid exposures in the first year of life on a baby’s brain development.

Already, she has been the lead author on two papers published in JAMA Network Open. Her most recent paper, published last month, showed that opioid prescribing for hospitalized infants varies widely across hospitals and geographic regions. (See this CHLA blog story.)

“My goal is to become an academic pediatric surgeon, and this fellowship, as well as my master’s in clinical, biomedical and translational investigations from USC, has helped deepen my understanding of research and my ability to evaluate literature critically,” she shares.

After hours, Dr. Keane loves to travel, read, dance, rollerblade down the Santa Monica and Venice Beach boardwalks, and swim, snorkel and surf. (“Anything in the water!”) She is also “relearning” how to play the piano.