LOS ANGELES--(Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has recruited renowned pediatric liver specialist Nanda Kerkar, MD, to the position of medical director of Pediatric Liver and Liver Transplantation in the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition in the Department of Pediatrics. Kerkar has also been appointed to professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.)--In a coup for one of the nation’s top-ranked pediatric gastroenterology programs,
“Dr. Kerkar’s body of research, innovative clinical work and leadership skills are a tremendous complement to all facets of our growing program”
“Dr. Kerkar is internationally recognized for her expertise in the field of pediatric hepatology and her dedication to national collaboratives and improving pre- and post-transplantation outcomes for children with liver disease and liver failure,” said Brent D. Polk, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and vice president of Academic Affairs at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and chair of Pediatrics and vice dean for Child Health at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “We look forward to adding her expertise to our growing program.”
“Dr. Kerkar’s appointment adds tremendous strength to an already very successful program, and will be integral in taking pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to the next level,” said Daniel Thomas, MD, chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Thomas, who has served as medical director of the Pediatric Liver and Transplant Program since 1997, played a major role in recruiting Kerkar as his replacement in the position. “Kerkar’s expertise and vision will further establish Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as a national leader in pediatric hepatology and liver transplant.”
Kerkar’s long-term goals include establishing a Center of Excellence for Pediatric Hepatology and Liver Transplantation at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and ultimately expanding collaboration with other Southern California gastroenterologists for patients with complex hepatology issues, as well as those with end stage liver diseases or liver failure. She will also develop proper pediatric to adult care transition programs for liver transplant recipients, as well as a multidisciplinary clinic for children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which has seen a rise in children as the national obesity epidemic continues.
While continuing clinical excellence of the hospital’s Pediatric Liver and Liver Transplant Program, Kerkar will pursue related clinical research in the Children’s Liver Research Center and the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She will increase the hospital’s Liver and Liver Transplant Program’s participation in national clinical care and research collaboratives, allowing opportunities for diagnosis and therapy otherwise available only in research settings.
Kerkar’s research focus includes autoimmunity, cholestasis and transplant immunology, specifically understanding the mechanisms of autoimmune liver disease and graft tolerance in liver transplantation. She has been the principal investigator of several National Institutes of Health-funded studies in the last ten years, and at present is the principal investigator for Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) and an investigator for the Childhood Liver Disease Research and Education Network (ChiLDREN) study.*
“Dr. Kerkar’s body of research, innovative clinical work and leadership skills are a tremendous complement to all facets of our growing program,” said Yuri Genyk, MD, surgical director of the Liver and Intestinal Transplant Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “Her dedication to the field of pediatric hepatology and liver transplantation will further enhance the image and position of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as the leading center in treating of liver disorders in children nationally and internationally.”
Kerkar’s clinical duties will include diagnosis and management of children with liver disease before and after liver transplantation. As professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, she will also play an active role in training pediatric hepatology and pediatric gastroenterology fellows.
Kerkar comes to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles from The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, where she worked for 10 years serving as associate professor of Pediatrics and Surgery, director of Pediatric Hepatology and the Liver Transplant Program and interim chief of Pediatric Hepatology.
Kerkar received a bachelor of medicine and surgery at Medical College, Kolkata, India, followed by postgraduate training in pediatrics and hepatology in the United Kingdom, most notably at The King’s College Hospital, London, home to the largest pediatric liver transplant center in Europe. She was awarded The Children’s Nationwide Research Scholarship in 1996 by the Royal College of Physicians, then achieved a Certificate of Higher Training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Gastroenterology by the Royal Colleges in the UK in 2002.
Kerkar serves on the SPLIT Policies and Publications Committee and is a member of American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, International Pediatric Transplantation Society, American Society of Transplantation, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition.
Widely published, Kerkar has authored or co-authored 67 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and has contributed chapters to five medical textbooks in the field of hepatology. She is also reviewer for eight peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Journal of Pediatrics, Hepatology and Liver Transplantation.
Following her recent move from New York City to join Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Kerkar resides in Glendale, Calif.
Ranked among the top hospitals in the nation for gastroenterology care on the U.S. News & World Report Best Children's Hospitals List, the award-winning Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Liver and Intestinal Transplant Program is one of the fastest growing and most successful programs of its kind in the United States. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is also a leader in living donor transplants.
*The Children’s Liver Research Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is currently one of 14 children’s hospitals across the nation that is a designated site of the NIH-funded Childhood Liver Disease Research and Education Network (ChiLDREN).
About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children’s Hospital is also one of America's premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.