Section Head for Epidemiology and Outcomes
Director of the Laboratory for Fetal & Neonatal Healthcare Research
Attending Neonatologist
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC
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Ashwini Lakshmanan, MD, MS, MPH is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine and serves as the Section Head for Epidemiology and Outcomes and is the Research and Director of the Laboratory for Fetal & Neonatal Healthcare Research. She is also a member of the Society for Pediatric Research and the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative Health Equity taskforce.  Dr. Lakshmanan’s research interests and goals are to address disparities in health care delivery in the field of perinatal-neonatal medicine. Dr. Lakshmanan has implemented numerous databases within the Division to enhance caregiver understanding of the epidemiology and outcomes of neonates with high-risk conditions. A few of the databases include the Pediatric Health Information System, Healthcare Utilization Project, California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development and California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative (CPQCC).  In addition, Dr. Lakshmanan’s research now involves developing digital health technologies, and she has devoted time to developing a mobile health solution, Baby Steps LA, to help families transition home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In 2019, CHLA was awarded one of the American Hospital Association’s Innovation Challenge prizes. Additionally, Dr. Lakshmanan has mentored numerous MD, MPH and PhD students and junior faculty in their research. They have studied topics such as opioid exposure, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, among others.

Clinical Interests

Addressing disparities in health care delivery in neonatology; Infant follow up after NICU discharge; Neonatal outcomes

Education

Medical School: 

Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Graduate School: 

Master’s in Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health Medicine

Internship: 

Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Residency: 

Residency and Chief Residency, General Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Fellowship: 

Fellowship and Chief Fellowship in Neonatology, Harvard Neonatal Perinatal Medicine Fellowship Program; Fellowship in Pediatric Health Services Research, Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship Program

Accomplishments

Certification: 

Neonatal Perinatal Medicine, Pediatrics

Professional Memberships: 

Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
Western Society for Pediatric Research

Funding

KL2 (NIH NCATS), Zumberge Diversity and Inclusion Award, Sharon D. Lund Foundation

Other Information

Specialty Interest: 

Neonatal Perinatal Medicine

Publications: 

Smartphones and Text Messaging are Associated with Higher Parent Quality of Life Scores and Enrollment in Early Intervention after NICU Discharge. Flores-Fenlon, N., Song, A.Y., Yeh, A., Gateau, K., Vanderbilt, D., Kipke, M., Friedlich, P., Lakshmanan, A. Clinical Pediatrics, 2019, Accepted for publication, March 31, 2019.

The Association of Trisomy 13 and 18 and hospital discharge outcomes among neonates in California: retrospective cohort study. Haghnazarian, E., Hu, J., Song, A., Friedlich, P., Lakshmanan, A. Pediatrics and Neonatology, 2019. Accepted for publication.

Validation of oxygen saturation index in neonates with hypoxemic respiratory failure. Muniraman, H., Song, A.Y.,Ramanathan, R., Fletcher, K.L., Kibe, R., Ding, L., Lakshmanan, A., Biniwale, M. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Mar 1;2(3):e191179. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.1179. PMID #30924897.

Association between maternal serious mental illness and adverse birth outcomes. Heun-Johnson, H.,  Seabury, S., Menchine, M., Claudius, I., Axeen, S. and Lakshmanan, A. J Perinatol. 2019 Mar 8. doi: 10.1038/s41372-019-0346-5. PMID # 30850757

Resource utilization patterns using non-invasive ventilation in neonates with respiratory distress syndrome. Chavez, TA, Lakshmanan, A, Figueroa L, Iyer N, Stavroudis TA, Garingo A, Friedlich PS, Ramanathan R. J Perinatol. 2018 May 24. doi: 10.1038/s41372-018-0122-y. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 29795324.

Research Interests: 

Dr. Lakshmanan’s research interests and goals have been to address disparities in health care delivery in the field of perinatal-neonatal medicine. After she received her MD from the Keck School of Medicine at USC, she completed a pediatric and a chief residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and then entered the Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research fellowship, which provided a highly structured mentorship program and a Master’s in Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. This complemented her clinical training in the Harvard Neonatal Perinatal Medicine Fellowship program. Dr. Lakshmanan was recruited to the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Fetal and Neonatal Institute, where she is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine. In 2014, she was appointed the Section Head of Epidemiology and Outcomes.

She was awarded four intramural grants in fellowship and since becoming faculty, has also received the Saban Research Institute Research Career Development Award, the Confidence Foundation grant and received the Young Investigator Award from the Lucile Packard Foundation. Most recently, she was awarded the Zumberge Diversity and Inclusion Award and the Mentored Career Development award from the USC CTSI (KL2) to complete work on “Addressing Disparities after NICU Discharge using Patient Navigation” and the Zumberge Diversity and Inclusion Award.  She hopes to lead research efforts that identify interventions to empower families to care for high-risk infants that both influence health policy and clinical practice.

Research Topic

Social determinants of health, innovation, Health equity

Research Focus/ Overview

Dr. Lakshmanan’s research interests and goals have been to address disparities in health care delivery in the field of perinatal-neonatal medicine.

Key Findings

Dr. Lakshmanan has found that challenges to transition include support, path planning and information needs. She has then developed a mobile health solution to help families transition from the NICU to home (can be viewed at: . She envisions that this tool will improve caregiver satisfaction and efficacy.

Current funding

KL2 (NIH NCATS), Zumberge Diversity and Inclusion Award, Sharon D. Lund Foundation

Current Research Studies

Improving Health Equity after NICU Discharge

4650 Sunset Blvd.
Neonatology, MS 31
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-361-6393Office
Fax: 323-361-7927Fax