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Alumni Biographies

Cecelia Rhodus, MD (2018-2021)

Dr. Cecilia Rhodus completed her bachelor's degree in biochemistry at the University of Nevada. She completed medical school at the University of Nevada and then attended residency at the University of Southern California in Pediatrics.  She worked as a general pediatrician in a small mountain town prior to completing her fellowship in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of California San Diego.  She loved well-child checks and continuity of care as a general pediatrician but wanted to explore more about the thoughts and behaviors of children as they developed.  During her fellowship, she became interested in autism.  Her research focused on helping children with autism adapt to all environments, including the hospital.  She was also involved in teaching social skills to children with autism. Dr. Rhodus is now a part of UCSD and Rady's Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics teams. 

Anthony Kuleto, MD (2018-2021)

Dr. Anthony Kuleto completed medical school at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. He went on to complete his specialty training in pediatrics at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. Dr. Kuleto has a particular interest in teaching and community outreach. He enjoys teaching residents and medical students foundational medical skills and pediatric-specific topics. He is actively engaged in first- and second-year medical student education and mentoring at ucsd. Additionally, Dr. Kuleto is very involved with the UCSD Free Clinic Project both administratively and through implementing fundraising programs. Dr. Kuleto is a career naval officer and has a special interest in working with military families and the unique behavioral challenges accompanying military life.

Carolyn Sawyer, MD (2017-2020)

Dr. Carolyn Sawyer has been interested in neurodevelopment since her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis where she earned a degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. After graduating, she spent two years working in a neurophysiology lab studying pain and itch pathways before returning to medical school at the University of California, San Diego. She then moved cross country and completed a pediatric residency and chief resident year at Duke University. Her interests include understanding the impact of early life events on neurodevelopment and long term health. She is currently an assistant clinical professor in developmental-behavioral pediatrics at UCSD.

Theodora Nelson, MD (2015-2018)

Dr. Theodora Nelson earned her Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University in Human Biology.  She then went on to attend medical school at the University of Vermont, School of Medicine, earning her M.D. in 1991.  Afterwards, she moved to California and completed her pediatrics residency at UCSD in 1994.  For 7 years, Dr. Nelson held the position of a general pediatrician at San Ysidro Health Center.  She has been a part of large and small practices and is excited about continuing her training in developmental-behavioral pediatrics.  Her research interest is in the impact of adverse childhood events on parenting and child behaviors.

Heekyung 'Kate' Chae, MD (2016-2019)

Dr. Heekyung 'Kate' Chae graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelors of Science in Human Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2013, she earned her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Afterwards, Dr. Chae moved to California to complete her training in pediatrics residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She is deeply interested in the biopsychosocial model of health, learning disorders, early childhood intervention, and prevention strategies.  Her background and interests led her to pursue a career in developmental-behavioral pediatrics at University of California, San Diego. Dr. Chae is excited to learn more about other unique areas of developmental-behavioral pediatrics during fellowship. Additionally, her other interests in medicine include working with underserved populations, international health, and public health.

Sai Iyer, MD (2014-2017)

Dr. Sai Iyer completed medical school and initial Pediatric training in India. She went on to complete Pediatric residency in Cleveland, Ohio, where she trained with Dr. Robert Needlman, the co-founder of Reach out and Read. Inspired by Dr. Needlman's work, she developed an interest in early childhood literacy and early detection of reading problems. In 2017, Dr. Iyer was selected to be part of the Academic Pediatric Association Research Scholars' Program. In 2015, Dr. Iyer received the Academic Pediatric Association Reach Out and Read Young Investigator Award.  She has been engaged in community outreach to families and schools in the context of her research, "Clinical Assessment of Emergent Literacy Development in Preschool Children Using the Reach Out and Read Model". After graduation from fellowship, Dr. Iyer was appointed Assistant Clinical Professor in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Lauren Gist, MD, MPH (2013-2016)

Dr. Lauren Gist graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Wellesley College, with the plan of attending medical school. Afterwards, she returned to San Diego and spent one year as a research assistant on an autism-related grant-funded project through UC San Diego. Dr. Gist received her medical degree from Duke University Medical School and a Master's degree in Public Health from UNC, Chapel Hill. She completed her pediatric residency at UCSD and Rady Children's Hospital.  After residency, Dr. Gist spent two years as a general pediatrician in San Diego before moving with her husband, a Navy physician, to Poulsbo, WA. Over the next seven years, Dr. Gist worked as a civilian pediatrician at Bremerton Naval Hospital and subsequently in a pediatric practice in Poulsbo. During fellowship, Dr. Gist's research and advocacy focused on "Addressing Barriers to Early Identification and Treatment of Hispanic Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders". Dr. Gist is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at UCSD.

Kris Kazlauskas, MD (2012-2015)

Dr. Kris Kazlauskas holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in English from University of Notre Dame.  He completed medical school at Creighton University, School of Medicine. He graduated from residency in pediatrics at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego (NMCSD).  Dr. Kazlauskas completed a Masters Degree in Public Health at San Diego State University in Epidemiology during his DBP fellowship. Dr. Kazlauskas' research examined "Copy Number Variants & Dysmorphic Findings in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders". Dr. Kazlauskas is currently a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician at the US Naval Medical Center San Diego. As such, he is on the faculty for the UCSD DBP fellowship program and precepts first year fellows in the DBP clinic at the NMCSD. Dr. Kazlauskas currently is serving as a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician at the Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan.

Scott Brown, MD (2011-2014)

Dr. Scott Brown holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Biology from University of Utah, Salt Lake City and a medical degree from Chicago Medical School. He completed his pediatric residency at Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, California. For two semesters during fellowship, Dr. Brown participated as an expert in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics in the University of San Diego Law School Education and Disability Clinic. In  learning about special education law and advocacy, he become an effective advocate for children related to accessing appropriate special education services. Dr. Brown's fellowship research topic was, "Reading at Bedtime Associated with Longer Nighttime Sleep in Latino Preschoolers." Dr. Brown currently works as a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon.

Chadley Huebner, MD (2011-2014; at right in photo)

Dr. Huebner completed a Masters degree in Public Health in Health Behavior during fellowship. He developed a community-based participatory research project to study the use of a tool to assist reading development in young deaf and hard of hearing children. He also worked with the San Diego Unified School District and with an advocacy group, Deaf Community Services. During fellowship, Dr. Huebner's research focused on deaf and hearing-impaired children.  His research topic was titled, "Use of an E-reader Increases Reading in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Children with their Parents and Increases Knowledge of Sign Language Vocabulary in the Parents." Dr. Chadley Huebner is currently a U.S. Navy Department Head and Educational & Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS) Special Needs Consultant with the U.S. Armed Forces Pacific Region. He works as a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician at Naval Medical Center, San Diego.​

Non-ACGME Alumni Biographies​

The following alumni completed fellowship training prior to ACGME accreditation in 2010​.

Nerissa Bauer, MD, MPH 

Nerissa San Luis Bauer, MD, MPH is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. She received her medical degree at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. She completed pediatric residency training at University of California, San Diego and pursued an additional clinical year focusing on developmental-behavioral pediatrics (DBP). She completed a Masters in Public Health at the University of Washington while starting a foster care clinic at Harborview Medical Center and conducting research examining childhood bullying. In 2006, Dr. Bauer joined the faculty at Indiana University. From 2006 through 2011, she served as the director for the DBP rotation. During this time, she adapted an evidence-based parenting program to teach residents basic child behavior management strategies that can be used in primary care practice and has presented at local and national workshops on this topic.  Dr. Bauer serves as the Director of the Children's Health Services Research (CHSR) Fellowship program, Associate Director of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) Patient Engagement Core and Investigator of the Indiana CTSI Dissemination and Implementation Sciences Core.​

Adam Braddock, MD, MPhil, FAAP

Adam Braddock, MD, MPhil, FAAP, is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine, where he works in Academic General Pediatrics and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics. He provides primary care for infants, children and adolescents through all of their behavioral stages. Dr. Braddock believes that providing high quality pediatric primary care can create a foundation for health throughout a lifetime. Dr. Braddock is also a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician who works with families to evaluate, treat, and coordinate care for children with developmental delays, behavioral issues, learning disorders or mental health concerns at UC San Diego Frost clinic.​ Dr. Braddock is a Board Certified Pediatrician who received his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, Colo. Adam completed his residency at Children's Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago, Ill. He completed a one year fellowship in Developmental- Behavioral Pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He also holds a master's degree in history and philosophy of science and medicine from the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago.​

Stephanie D'Augustine, MD, FAAP

Stephanie D'Augustine, MD, FAAP received a bachelor of science in Psychology from University of California, San Diego.  Dr. D'Augustine received her medical degree at UC Davis Medical School and completed a residency in pediatrics at Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University. Afterwards, Dr. D'Augustine pursued a fellowship in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at UC San Diego/Rady Children's Hospital. She has co-authored two pediatric reference books including Tarascon Pediatric Outpatient Pocketbook, and consults for the California department of public health infant botulism treatment and prevention program.  Dr. D'Augustine is currently a board-certified pediatrician at Santa Paula Hospital Clinic, Incorporate.​

Mary Jane Pionk, MD

Mary Jane Pionk, MD has been providing pediatric care for over 20 years. She received her undergraduate degree in Nursing, worked in general and critical care pediatrics and completed a Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist Program at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. She then attended and received her Medical Degree from Michigan State University and completed her pediatric internship and residency at Stanford University and the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. Dr. Pionk worked as a general pediatrician for 12 years in the Northern California Bay area with a multi-specialty group.​ Dr. Pionk completed a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric fellowship program at UCSD/Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, CA. She has worked in both the Developmental/Behavioral Clinic at UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital, provided Pediatric Developmental case management and coordination for the multidisciplinary Down Syndrome Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital, and provided Developmental and Behavioral medical evaluations at the San Diego Regional Center. Dr. Pionk provides expert witness and testimony regarding Developmental/Behavioral pediatric issues.  Dr. Pionk has a developmental-behavioral practice with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.​