Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

4650 Sunset Boulevard, MS #51
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (323) 361-2509
Fax: (323) 361-1183

TRAINING PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Pia S. Pannaraj, MD, MPH (Associate Professor)
RESEARCH INTEREST: Vaccines and Vaccine-preventable diseases, Maternal Immunizations, Gut microbiome in the developing infant, Breast milk microbiome, Global health education

CHIEF OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Michael Neely, MD (Associate Professor)
RESEARCH INTEREST: Personalized medicine and optimal dosing of antimicrobial agents and other therapeutic drugs; Anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal pharmacology, Pediatric clinical pharmacology; Pediatric drug development.


  • Vikram Anand, MD, PhD (Assistant Professor)
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Infections in Immunocompromised/Immunodeficient children, Antimicrobial Stewardship,
  • Jeffrey Bender, MD (Associate Professor)
    RESEARCH INTEREST: Microbiome and how interactions with indigenous microbial communities may translate to novel preventative and therapeutic approaches to pediatric disease; Hospital epidemiology; New technologies in the microbiology lab and how they can be translated to powerful clinical tools in a pediatric setting 
  • Sindhu Mohandas, MD (Assistant Professor)
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: C. difficile epidemiology and microbiome in immunocompromised and non-immunocompromised hosts; Infections in transplant patients
  • Jennifer Dien Bard, PhD (Associate Professor)
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Development of novel, non-culture based methods such as molecular techniques to improve the rapidity and detection of microbiological agents; detection of emerging mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance; development of improved susceptibility testing for bacterial and fungal agents
  • Kanok Mongkolrattanothai, MD (Associate Professor)
    RESEARCH INTEREST: Antimicrobial stewardship; Optimization of antibiotics to improve clinical outcome; Staphylococcus aureus virulence and pathogenesis
  • Presadarao Nemani, PhD (Professor)
    RESEARCH INTEREST: Pathogenesis of neonatal meningitis by E. coli, Listeria and Group B streptococcus; Pathogenesis of Cronobacter sakazakii induced necrotizing enterocolitis and meningitis; Development of small molecule therapeutics; Interaction of complement proteins and immune cells with various bacterial pathogens; and Molecular modeling of ligand-receptor interactions.
  • Michael Smit, MD, MSPH (Assistant Professor)
    RESEARCH INTERESTS: Emerging infectious disease epidemiology, Ebola virus disease, Infection control, Pandemic response preparation, Medical education in low-resource settings, and tropical medicine





The Brief Case: Neonatal Meningitis Caused by Listeria monocytogenes Diagnosed by Multiplex Molecular Panel.
Anand V, Holmen J, Neely M, Pannaraj PS, Dien Bard J.
J Clin Microbiol. 2016 Dec;54(12):2846-2849. PMID: 27881634

Influenza Vaccine is Protective Against Laboratory-confirmed Influenza in Obese Children.
Smit MA, Wang HL, Kim E, Barragan N, Aldrovandi GM, Nelson El Amin A, Mascola L, Pannaraj PS.
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2016 Apr;35(4):440-5. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000001029.
PMID: 26658380

Pediatric carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Los Angeles, California, a high-prevalence region in the United States.
Pannaraj PS, Bard JD, Cerini C, Weissman SJ.
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2015 Jan;34(1):11-6. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000471.
PMID: 25093977

Clinical and microbiologic outcomes of quinolone prophylaxis in children with acute myeloid leukemia.
Felsenstein S, Orgel E, Rushing T, Fu C, Hoffman JA.
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2015 Apr;34(4):e78-84. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000591. PMID: 25764103

Molecular and clinical diagnosis of group A streptococcal pharyngitis in children.
Felsenstein S, Faddoul D, Sposto R, Batoon K, Polanco CM, Dien Bard J.
J Clin Microbiol. 2014 Nov;52(11):3884-9. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01489-14. Epub 2014 Aug 20. PMID: 25143573

Direct identification of bacteria from positive BacT/ALERT blood culture bottles using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry.
Mestas J, Felsenstein S, Bard JD.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Nov;80(3):193-6. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2014.07.008. Epub 2014 Jul 31. PMID: 25139844

School-located influenza vaccination decreases laboratory-confirmed influenza and improves school attendance.
Pannaraj PS, Wang HL, Rivas H, Wiryawan H, Smit M, Green N, Aldrovandi GM, El Amin AN, Mascola L.
Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Aug 1;59(3):325-32. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu340. Epub 2014 May 14.
PMID: 24829215

Performance of the Verigene Gram-positive blood culture assay for direct detection of Gram-positive organisms and resistance markers in a pediatric hospital.
Mestas J, Polanco CM, Felsenstein S, Dien Bard J.
J Clin Microbiol. 2014 Jan;52(1):283-7. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02322-13. Epub 2013 Oct 16. PMID: 24131696

Human parechovirus central nervous system infections in southern California children.
Felsenstein S, Yang S, Eubanks N, Sobrera E, Grimm JP, Aldrovandi G.
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2014 Apr;33(4):e87-91. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000112. PMID: 24104958

Clinical and microbiologic features guiding treatment recommendations for brain abscesses in children.
Felsenstein S, Williams B, Shingadia D, Coxon L, Riordan A, Demetriades AK, Chandler CL, Bassi S, Koutoumanou E, Stapleton S, Sharland M, Bryant PA.
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2013 Feb;32(2):129-35. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3182748d6e. PMID: 23001027

Coverage of primary mother-to-child HIV transmission isolates by second-generation broadly neutralizing antibodies.
Nakamura KJ, Cerini C, Sobrera ER, Heath L, Sinkala M, Kankasa C, Thea DM, Mullins JI, Kuhn L, Aldrovandi GM.
AIDS. 2013 Jan 28;27(3):337-46. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32835cadd6.
PMID: 23296195

Increased incidence of sacroiliac joint infection at a children’s hospital.
Taylor ZW1, Ryan DD, Ross LA.
J Pediatr Orthop. 2010 Dec;30(8):893-8.

Survival and transmission of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from fomites.
Desai R, Pannaraj PS, Agopian J, Sugar CA, Liu GY, Miller LG.
Am J Infect Control. 2011 Apr;39(3):219-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2010.07.005.
PMID: 21458684

The role of bronchoalveolar lavage galactomannan in the diagnosis of pediatric invasive aspergillosis.
Desai R, Ross LA, Hoffman JA.
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2009 Apr;28(4):283-6. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e31818f0934.
PMID: 1923811

Our three-year program is designed to train fellows for positions in academic infectious diseases and to qualify them for subspecialty boards in pediatric infectious diseases. We provide rigorous clinical and research training. In addition, we welcome those interested in obtaining specialized training in antimicrobial stewardship, infection control, public health and global health. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a large free-standing children’s hospital. Fellows will be trained for inpatient and outpatient consultations on infections in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised children. Being in an urban hub, we also take care of immigrants and returned travelers from all over the world. There are additional opportunities for clinical infectious disease rotations and research in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The program includes formal training in clinical microbiology (virology, bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and serology) as well as epidemiology, study design, biostatistics, and grant writing. Research is an integral part of the program in all three years. Fellows may work with mentors in different departments at CHLA and USC depending on their interest. Our research projects have considerable variability and include basic molecular biologic studies, translational studies, and clinical studies with supportive laboratory research. Present areas of research include studies relating to vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, maternal-infant microbiome, antimicrobial pharmacokinetics, epidemiology of respiratory viruses, bacterial pathogenesis, neonatal infections, infections in immunocompromised hosts, emerging infections (e.g. Ebola), global health, antibacterial stewardship, and infection control strategies.

AFFILIATED HOSPITALS: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles


  • Program provides training in diagnostic microbiology using laboratories on site:
    • Microbiology laboratory
    • Clinical virus isolation laboratory
    • Molecular diagnostics
  • Program provides training in infection control and hospital epidemiology as:
    • Didactic lectures
    • Hands on experience
    • Infection Control Meetings/Membership
  • Opportunity to fulfill the ABP requirements for scholarly activity is available in the following general areas:
    • Bacteriology/bacterial infections
    • Epidemiology and statistics
    • Infection control/hospital epidemiology
    • Immunizations/Public health
    • Mycology/fungal infections
    • Parasitology/parasitic diseases
    • Virology/viral diseases
    • Antimicrobial agents
  • Research opportunities in the section’s program could be described as:
    • Basic (bench)
    • Molecular
    • Community
    • Epidemiologic
    • Clinical
    • International/Public Health
    • Health Services
    • HIV, Basic
    • ACTG Site
  • Documented liaison exists offering opportunities for research experience in the laboratory of investigators(s) who is (are) not faculty of the section: YES
  • Program offers the opportunity to obtain a Master’s degree in a field such as Public Health, Education, Clinical Sciences or Epidemiology: YES
  • Graduate school courses are available to trainee (assuming appropriate arrangements are made): YES
  • Program provides substantial clinical experience for trainees in:
    • Bacteriology/bacterial infections
    • Virology/viral diseases
    • Mycology/fungal infections
    • Parasitology/parasitic diseases
    • Epidemiology and statistics
    • Infection control/hospital epidemiology
    • Antimicrobial agents/antimicrobial stewardship
    • Immunizations/Public health
    • Transplant infectious diseases
    • Immunology/ opportunistic infections in immunodeficient patients
    • Travelers/adoptees
    • Global health
  • Program includes ABP-required core curricula in scholarly activities in didactic lecture course for fellows (includes epidemiology, statistics, research design, and academic careers: YES
  • Average number of new outpatient consultations per month:30
  • Average number of established outpatient follow-up visits per month:135
  • Average number of new inpatient consultations per month: 60
  • Number of trainees completing program in the last 5 years: 5

Improving the health of children worldwide through philanthropic support of scientific and educational programs.