Developmental-Behavioral Fellowship

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About the Fellowship

The Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) Fellowship is a three-year ACGME accredited academic training program funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau DBP Training Program Grant.

Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics is a unique subspecialty of Pediatrics that focuses on the child’s strengths and challenges within the context of the family using a transactional biopsychosocial perspective. We seek to provide the fellow with the most comprehensive and culturally diverse DBP training program. The overriding goal is to train the next generation of DBP leaders to improve the developmental-behavioral pediatric system of care for a culturally and linguistically diverse population through clinical care, research, teaching and advocacy. The fellow will be well prepared for the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics board examination.

Learn More About the Program

Fellows as Care Providers

To train DBP fellows through an ACGME accredited program in the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of DBP to provide clinical leadership in evidence-based, biopsychosocial care by delivering culturally competent and family centered services in interdisciplinary environments for children with developmental-behavioral problems and their families, especially in Southern California.

  • Fellows will learn clinical skills in a variety of settings including the hospital's outpatient clinics, the Child Development Center, Institute for the Developing Mind, and the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

Fellows as Scholars

To educate DBP fellows in research, evaluation, and information dissemination skills related to evidence-based practice and research developments in the field, in order to optimize the life course trajectories of children with developmental-behavioral problems and their families through collaborations with the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Net, Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI), CA Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative (CPQCC), and the Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

  • Research fundamentals are taught in structured and interactive didactics with the goal of a first author publication under the supervision of an experienced mentor and presentation at a national meeting.

Fellows as Advocates

To promote systems-change leadership skill development among DBP fellows, to reduce DBP health disparities, especially in California and the Southwest, by delivering technical assistance (TA) for primary health care professionals and by expanding and strengthening advocacy partnerships with the CA MCH Leadership Network and with local, regional, and national Title V and related programs, including those involved in the Combating Autism Act Initiative.

  • Finally, the fellow will acquire administrative experience in developing and running projects in the Developmental-Behavioral program.
  • The fellow will receive Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities certification.

Fellows as Educators

To train DBP fellows in teaching skills by providing health education strategies to promote knowledge of DBP topics in medical, interdisciplinary and continuing education settings among pediatric primary health care professionals, using various modes ranging from collaborative office rounds (COR) to distance learning.

  • The fellow will develop teaching expertise through interactions with attendings as well as pediatric residents, medical students, and trainees from disciplines such as psychology, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, nutrition, social work, and others.

Health Provider Education

To provide medical students, pediatric residents and providers from pediatric primary care and other relevant disciplines with the knowledge and skills to promote systems-change, improve access to care and enhance the quality of life for children with developmental-behavioral problems, especially in Southern California.

  • Fellows will train with other healthcare providers in interdisciplinary clinics such as high risk infant follow up, feeding, early childhood, school age, spina bifida and child abuse team. Subspecialists from genetics, neurology, neonatology, physical medicine, adolescent medicine, psychiatry, and others will provide consultation for the fellow.

For more information about our nationally recognized Children’s Hospital and the DBP field, see the following websites:

University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics

American Academy of Pediatrics

How to Apply

For more information regarding our training goals or to discuss the program further please contact:

Dr. Douglas Vanderbilt, Program Director: Email or call 323-361-6994

Kayla King, Program Coordinator: Email or call 323-361-6733

Program Fast Facts

ACGME Accredited: Yes    
Fellows per year: 2    
Application Deadline:     
September 1st    
Duration: 3 years    
Postgraduate Training Required: 3 years    
Salary Minimums:      
Post Graduate Year 4: $78,531 minimum  
Post Graduate Year 5: $81,677 minimum  
Post Graduate Year 6: $84,712 minimum  
Post Graduate Year 7: $87,652 minimum  
Post Graduate Year 8: $90,952 minimum  
Post Graduate Year 9+: Please contact    
Benefits Include: Health and dental insurance, 14 days paid vacation+ 6 protected sick days, yearly educational stipend, monthly meal stipend, and 401(k) matching up to 3%

Meet Our Fellows

Class of 2026

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Maggie Dade, DO

Medical School: Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine 
Residency: Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron

Dr. Dade has focused her career on education, contraceptive counseling, and trauma informed care. She is passionate about providing comprehensive contraceptive care for patients with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Dr. Dade is also interested in trauma informed care. She hopes to emphasize the importance of considering prior trauma or adverse childhood events in current treatment plans for children. Lastly, Dr. Dade is interested in the healthcare disparities that exist among underserved populations. She strives to better understand and delineate the socioeconomic factors that often provide barriers to adequate medical treatment for patients with developmental and behavioral disorders.

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Zvart Abaryan, MD

Medical School: St. George’s University 
Residency: Mercy St. Vincent Pediatric Residency

Dr. Abaryan is passionate about individual and community advocacy for families, especially those who have children with special healthcare needs. She has a special interest in tools that encourage early childhood development and modifying these tools for children with learning disabilities, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder. She is committed to providing children and their families with resources to address barriers to care and help them thrive.

Class of 2025

Nicole Nghiem, MD

Nicole Nghiem, MD

Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine 
Residency: Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Dr. Nghiem worked as a hospitalist in the NICU for two years following her residency. Her current interests include evaluating and supporting developmental outcomes of high-risk infants, combining her previous work experience with her fellowship training. She is also interested in improving access to care for developmental and behavioral concerns. Specifically, she hopes to further explore the integration of DBP practices into primary care and the utilization of technological innovations to expand access to care.

Jasmine Ke, MD

Jasmine Ke, MD

Medical School: NYU Grossman School of Medicine 
Residency: Cohen Children's Medical Center

Dr. Ke has a strong interest in working with patients with autism spectrum disorder and speech-language impairments. In particular, she loves collaborating in an interdisciplinary team setting to help immigrant families overcome potential barriers surrounding language, access to services/therapies, and sociocultural norms and beliefs. Through her Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics fellowship training, she hopes to become a more effective advocate for individuals living with developmental disabilities.

Class of 2024

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Suk-Joon Hong, MD

Medical School: Meharry Medical College, School of Medicine 
Residency: L.A. General Medical Center

Dr. Hong is interested in working with family and patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder, emotional dyregulation, and abnormal sensory processing. He particularly enjoys focusing on the strengths of the child and involving the whole family to devise a treatment plan that is practical and realistic, with the help of an interdisciplinary team. Dr. Hong is also interested in coming up with a new practice model, where one would combine typical well-child-checks with Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics to educate parents about expected developmental milestones as well as screening for and providing treatment modalities for developmental behavioral health concerns.

Fellowship Alumni

Class of 2023

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Jennifer Han, MD

Medical School: University of California, Riverside, School of Medicine 
Residency: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Han has a strong interest in working with patients living with developmental disabilities particularly autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability and cerebral palsy. She is interested in studying and improving the process of transitioning to adult healthcare and community integration for our children with special needs. She hopes through her Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics fellowship training to become a better advocate for her patients and their families

Class of 2022

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Joshua Kallman, MD

Medical School: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, Paul L Foster School of Medicine, Class of 2016.    
Residency: Emory University School of Medicine Pediatrics Residency Training Program, Atlanta, Georgia, Class of 2019.

Dr. Kallman has a strong interest in working with patients from under-served areas and in particular is hoping to identify effective ways in which schools and communities can implement trauma-informed care for children that have been exposed to trauma or other adverse childhood events.  He is interested in exploring the complex developmental and behavioral needs of immigrant children and children who have been detained at the border.  Other interests include high-risk infant follow up, political advocacy, and education of primary care pediatricians and family practitioners regarding developmental behavioral concerns.

Class of 2021

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Karen Koser, MD

Medical School: SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, Brooklyn, NY 
Residency: NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY

Dr. Koser has five years of experience as a General Pediatrician. During her time working as a pediatrician, Dr. Koser cared for many patients who had developmental delays, learning difficulties, Autism, and behavioral problems. She witnessed first-hand the great need for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians in the community. She wished she had the training to care for her special needs patients. This motivated her to pursue fellowship training in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Koser is interested in integrating Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics into primary care so that at-risk children may be identified and provided with crucial interventions as early as possible.

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Sairam Kumar, MD

Medical School: Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, India 
Residency: Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 

Dr. Kumar is a current CA-LEND long-term trainee at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. His research interests involve high-risk infant follow up, early childhood, autism, and neurodevelopmental disabilities. He is passionate about improving system-based practices and healthcare disparities in the community with regards to the treatment and management of developmental-behavioral conditions.

Schonfeld DJ, Demaria T, Kumar S: Supporting Young Children after Crisis Events. Young Children 2020;75(3):6-15.

Class of 2020


Dejeunee Ashby, MD

Medical School: Oregon Health & Science University 
Residency: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Ashby has 4 years of experience as an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist for children with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD. Dr. Ashby is also certified in Incredible Years parenting program. Dr. Ashby has a passion to explore health disparities seen within the African American population with autism spectrum disorders in receiving diagnoses and services.

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson, MD

Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO 
Residency: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Pediatric Residency, Little Rock, AR

Dr. Johnson is a current CA-LEND long term trainee at the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and is certified in the Incredible Years parenting program. She works in multiple interdisciplinary settings at CHLA's Boone Fetter Clininc and within the DMH-funded UCEDD clinic.

Johnson J*, Perrigo J*, Deavenport-Saman A, Wee CP, Imagawa KK, Schonfeld D, Vanderbilt D. Effect of Home Environment on Academic Achievement in Child Protective Service-Involved Children: Results from the Second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being Study, Child Abuse Negl. 2021;111:104806. PMID: 33190848

Kim E, Johnson J, Rhinehart L, Logan-Greene PB, Lomeli J, Nurious PS. The School-to-Prison Pipeline for Probation Youth with Special Education Needs. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 91(3), 375-385.

Class of 2019

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Kelly Schifsky, DO

Current institution(s): Children’s Hospital Los Angeles    
Current title(s): Attending Physician    
Contact email:    

Schifsky K*, Deavenport-Saman A, Mamey MR, Sheth N, Mirzaian C, Schrager S, Vanderbilt D. Risk factors for parenting stress in parents of children treated with laser surgery for twin-twin transfusion syndrome two years postpartum. Am J Perinatol. 2020 Jan; PMID: 31986541.

Vanderbilt DL, Mirzaian CB*, Schifsky K*, “Environmental Risks to NICU Outcomes” in Follow-Up for NICU Graduates - Promoting Positive Developmental and Behavioral Outcomes for At-Risk Infants. Springer. Editors Needelman H and Jackson BJ. pp189-203. 2018.

Vanderbilt D, Schifsky K*, “Prematurity:Follow up”, in Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics: a Handbook for Primary Care. 4th Edition, Lippincott. Editors Zuckerman B, Augustyn M, Chapter 70, pp 361-5. 2019. ISBN 9781496397393.

Class of 2018

Tamar Nazerian Chorbadjian, DO, MPH

Current institution(s): Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park    
Current title(s): Director of the High Risk Infant Follow-Up Clinic

Chorbadjian TN*, Deavenport-Saman A, Higgins C, Chao SM, Yang JH, Koolwijk I, Vanderbilt DL. Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Developmental Delay at 2 Years: A Population-based   Longitudinal Study. Matern Child Health J, 2020 Oct;24(10):1267-1277. doi: 10.1007/s10995-020-02990-8. PMID: 32780269.

Chorbadjian TN*, Vanderbilt D. Child Temperament: New Thinking About the Boundary Between Traits and Illness. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. January 2018 - Volume 39 - Issue 1 - p 45.

Chorbadjian TN*, Vanderbilt D. Developmental Screening and Monitoring: Supporting Best Outcomes for Our Children. Child Care Exchange. May/June 2018; pp82-8

Kristina Galura, MD

Current institution(s): Kaiser Permanente    
Current title(s): Attending Physician    

Javier JR, Galura K*, Aliganga FAP, Supan J, Palinkas LA. Voices of the Filipino Community Describing the Importance of Family in Understanding Adolescent Behavioral Health Needs. Fam Community Health. 2018 Jan/Mar;41(1):64-71. PMID:29135796.

Class of 2017


Demvihin Ihyembe, MD

Current institution(s): University of Oklahoma Child Study Center    
Current title(s): Assistant Professor of Pediatrics    
Contact email:    

Ihyembe D*, Stager K, Deavenport-Saman A, Yang J, Imagawa KK, Vanderbilt DL. Navigating school-based special education services: a self-paced virtual learning module. MedEdPORTAL. 2021;17:11108. PMID: 33655076. PMCID: PMC7908379

Class of 2016


Thusa Sabapathy, MD

Current Institution(s): Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of California Irvine    
Current title(s): Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician    

Sabapathy T*, Madduri N, Deavenport-Saman A, Zamora I, Schrager SM, Vanderbilt DL. Parent reported strengths in children with autism spectrum disorders at the time of an interdisciplinary diagnostic evaluation. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2017;38(3): 181-186. PMID: 28368969

Sabapathy T*, Vanderbilt DL. Book Review: Teaching Social Skills to People with Autism. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 37(3):263, April 2016

Sabapathy T*, Vanderbilt DL, Zamora I, Augustyn M. Aggression in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Supporting the Entire Family. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2016 Oct;37(8):p 685-6. PMID: 27676698

Class of 2014


Peter Chung, MD

Current institution(s): Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of California Irvine    
Current title(s): Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics    
Contact email:    

Chung PJ*, Vanderbilt DL, Schrager SM, Nguyen E, Fowler E. Active Video Gaming for Individuals with Severe Movement Disorders: Results From a Community Study. Games of Health, June 2015, 4(3): 190-194. PMID: 26182063

Chung PJ*, Vanderbilt DL, Soares NS. Social Behaviors and Active Video Game Play in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Games of Health, June 2015, 4(3): 225-234. PMID: 26182068

Chung PJ*, Vanderbilt DL. Book Review: Pediatric Neuropsychology: Medical Advances and Lifespan Outcomes. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 2014 Sept; 35(7):459


Joseph Spitzer, MD

Current Institution(s): Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Baldwin Park, Department of Pediatrics    
Current title(s): Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician    

Spitzer J*, Imagawa KK, Schrager SM, Vanderbilt DL. Clinician Disparities in Comorbidity Screening among Children with ADHD. Children’s Health Care. 2017; 46(4):344-55.

Class of 2013


Carolina Pena-Ricardo, MD, FAAP

Current Institution(s): Kaiser Permanente Southern California, West Los Angeles, Department of Pediatrics    
Current title(s): Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician    

St. Amant H*, Schrager, SM, Peña-Ricardo, C*, Williams ME, Vanderbilt DL. Ethnic Disparities in Access to Services for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2018 Feb;48(2):333-340. PMID: 28988384

Class of 2011


Veronica Meneses

Current institution(s): Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center    
Current title(s): Assistant Professor; DBP Residency Training Director    
Contact email:    

Meneses V*, Vanderbilt D, Barnes L, Augustyn M. Footprints in the bathroom: The role of spirituality in patient diagnosis. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 2011 Feb/Mar; 32(2):169-171. PMID: 21217403

Meneses V*, Vanderbilt D, Barnes L, Augustyn M. "Footprints in the Bathroom": The Role of Spirituality in Patient Diagnosis. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2017 Feb/Mar;38 Suppl 1:S79-S81.PMID: 28141730 (republication)