|I am a modestly accomplished academic surgeon who during the early part of my career trained as a pediatric surgical oncologist, and was able to achieve about 10 years of external funding, including 3-year American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Career Development award as well as the 5-year NIH First Award. The bulk of my publications revolved around the creation of targeted toxins to treat various malignancies. I was also involved in the Children’s Oncology Group, and was the surgical coordinator for the COG #9641 Low-risk Neuroblastoma study.
However, with my move to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in 1997, I have found my true research passion: studying the Mind-Body relationship and Integrative Medicine as it applies to Pediatric Surgery. Very allopathic physicians pay heed to the importance of the mind and spirit in both health and disease, and this is particularly true in the surgical specialties. Surgeons overall are very biologically based, and rarely pay attention to the neuropsychosocial aspects of their patients. I have worked hard to bring the study of various Mind-Body issues into my clinical practice, which fits well with the Wholeness concept noted in the LLU Mission Statement. I have undergone significant academic retooling to address my new research focus, and have been appointed to the American Academic of Pediatrics Section on Complementary and Integrative Medicine. In 2014 I hope to be the APSA liaison to the AAP Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. I have recently published a review on PsychoneuroImmunology and Pediatric Surgery and have given podium lectures on Childhood Stress and Family Mental Health at AAP Healthy Children Conference and Expo. I will also be featured speaker on Stress and Surgery at the next American Pediatric Surgical Association national meeting. Finally I spent a weeklong retreat with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn focused on MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction). In close collaboration with my co-PI Dr. Cameron Neece, a child-focused psychologist at LLU, we have created the LLU Pediatric Surgery Mind-Body Research Program. We have recently published or submitted six abstracts to national meetings and have won the Best Pediatric Research Award at the recent American Psychological Association national meeting. Our major research project is focused on describing parental mental health in the NICU, and to examine its effect on outcomes of the NICU infants. I am optimistic that the results of this research project on Parental Mental Health will lead to a major shift in how parents are treated when their infant is admitted to a NICU.