The Care and Cure Institute raises money to support the training of more pediatric epilepsy specialists. We want to introduce the fellows to you on this page. Learn more about the Care and Cure Institute.

Michelle Armacost MD

2016 Care and Cure Fellow, LAC-USC Keck School of Medicine

Dr. Armacost was born and raised in Santa Monica, California. She studied French and linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and completed her premedical studies in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University. She returned to Los Angeles to study medicine at the Univeristy of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine. She stayed at Los Angeles County and USC (LAC+USC) Medical Center for neurology residency and is currently completing her epilepsy fellowship at USC, working in a variety of settings including the epilepsy monitoring unit at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.

She is fluent in both French and Spanish and is able to use her language skills on a daily basis caring for Spanish-speaking people. After fellowship, she plans to join the faculty at Rancho, where she will continue to care for people with epilepsy in the epilepsy monitoring unit, as well as people with stroke and other neurologic diseases on the acute neurology service. She enjoys spending her free time with her two young sons and her husband, who is also a neurologist.

"If the beauty of neurology is using a constellation of signs and symptoms to localize the anatomic lesion, then there is no more beautiful neurologic discipline than surgical epilepsy – localizing the seizure focus to the centimeter."

Jiadong Chen MD

2012 and 2014 Care and Cure Research Fellow, UC San Francisco

An international graduate student from southeastern China, Dr. Chen completed his PhD degree in neuroscience at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. In 2010, he joined the University of Califonia, San Francisco (UCSF), Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, as a ostdoctoral Research Fellow.

Working at the lab, Dr. Chen became interested in neural circuit formation, which is believed to be the root of many brain disorders such as epilepsy. His studies will hopefully lead to the discovery of potential targets to treat certain brain diseases that are caused by malfunction of neural circuits, as well as help realize the potential for cell therapy in epilepsy by providing an important step toward the potential application of stem cell-derived inhibitory nerve cells to the treatment of epilepsy.

"In high school, my friend Ming suddenly fell to the ground and had seizures. I felt helpless when I learned there was no cure. Years later, I am encouraged that what I am studying may help facilitate developing treatment and ultimately bring people suffering with epilepsy like Ming back to normal one day."

Nicole Cobo MD

2012-2014 Care and Cure Fellow, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

Dr. Cobo developed an interest in pediatric epileptology after researching at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) as an undergraduate and working in an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit as a medical student at Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine. From 2012 to 2014, she was a Care and Cure pediatric epilepsy fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and became proficient in reading adult and pediatric electroencephalograms (EEGs), routine/prolonged monitoring, and intraoperative electrocorticography.

Dr. Cobo’s research focuses on transcranial direct current stimulation in treating refractory epilepsy, as well as measuring the health related quality of life in children on ketogenic and modified Atkins diet therapies. She continues to be dedicated to her field and cites her patients’ “unwavering optimism” despite difficult-to-control seizures as her source of inspiration.

"I would like to thank supporters of Care and Cure who help us help children and their families through some of the most devastating diagnoses in medicine. My time at UCLA has further motivated my desire to research novel therapies and approaches to treating refractory epilepsy."

Jay Desai MD

2011-2013 Care and Cure Fellow, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Born and raised in India, Dr. Desai first came to Los Angeles to train in pediatric neurology and has been here ever since. After getting his MD degree at B.J. Medical College in Ahmedabad, India, Dr. Desai trained at Cornell University’s Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center. Currently, he is attending at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), University of Southern California, focusing on the medical management of intractable epilepsy.

Through his Care and Cure Pediatric Epilepsy Faculty position, Dr. Desai’s main objectives are to improve overall access to care for children with epilepsy, encourage medical students to pursue a career in pediatric neurology, and teach pediatric neurology residents.

"The Care and Cure Initiatives are contributing tremendously to improve access to care for children with epilepsy by funding faculty positions and training of future specialists. They also raise awareness of childhood epilepsy in the community and encourage new research in the field."

Pashaw Dorritz MD

2018 Care and Cure Fellow, LAC+USC Keck School of Medicine

Carla Francisco MD

2013 Care and Cure Fellow, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Carla Francisco received her MD degree from the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine and went on to do her pediatric residency training at both Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She then started and completed her child neurology residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).

Program Director Dr. Wendy Mitchell states that Dr. Francisco is passionate about learning more about diseases in neuro-immunology. As a result, during her child neurology residency, she rotated at the University of San Francisco (USF) to gain more experience taking care of pediatric patients with multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune central nervous system (CNS) disorders. After graduating from CHLA, Dr. Franciso received two grants, including the Sylvia Lawry grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, supplying funds for a pediatric neuroimmunology fellowship at UCSF. Her new official title at USF is clinical instructor and fellow, neuroimmunology and pediatrics.

Shaun Hussain MD

2006-2009 Care and Cure Fellow, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

Dr. Shaun Hussain is currently a member of the pediatric neurology faculty at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Hussain has always been interested in the “incredible potential of the human brain.” A native of San Diego, California, Dr. Hussain earned his MD degree at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

He then completed a pediatrics neurology fellowship at UCLA where he was “touched by the immense physical and emotional toll endured by children with uncontrolled seizures and saw firsthand the sorts of miracles that occur when seizures are successfully controlled.” His research focuses on the quantitative and semiquantitative EEG (electroencephalograph) analysis of epileptic encephalopathies, including infantile spasms and electrical status epilepticus in sleep (ESES).

"A childhood friend of mine suffered severe traumatic brain injury, and to this day, the seizures are not adequately controlled despite best medical and surgical therapies. She serves as a continuing reminder of the great challenges left for the current generation of epilepsy specialists."

Sana Javed-Ebeid MD

2012 Care and Cure Fellow, LAC+USC Keck School of Medicine

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Javed-Ebeid studied medicine at St. George’s University and completed residencies at Staten Island University Hospital and the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute. She then settled in Los Angeles as a Care and Cure Epilepsy Fellow with the University of Southern California (USC) in 2012.

After working with a multidisciplinary team to successfully solve the mysterious case of a 14-year old female whose seizures were unresponsive to medication after medication, she was inspired to seek further education in epilepsy. Dr. Javed-Ebeid, who enjoys reading EEGs (electroencephalographs), currently works with a “brilliant and knowledgeable” team to monitor people with medically intractable epilepsy at both Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center and the Los Angeles County (LAC) + USC Medical Center.

"I saw how much of a difference I could make in my epilepsy patients' lives with appropriate training. Many of them are mismanaged in the community. With the right treatment, they do very well. My goal is to provide them with the appropriate treatment as well as access to an epilepsy center."

Olivia Kim MD

2012-2014 Care and Cure Fellow, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

A Los Angeles native through and through, Dr. Kim became fascinated by neuroscience, developmental biology, and childhood disorders involving the nervous system. She earned her MD degree at The George Washington University School of Medicine. Then she began her Care and Cure pediatric neurology residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), where the majority of patients – children with epilepsy and other neurological disorder – are underserved by the healthcare system at large.

Dr. Kim is “excited to see how the field of neurology will continue to progress.” She hopes to establish a broad foundation of medical knowledge with which she can care for children with epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

"As I began working with children with neurological disorders, I was excited by the prospect that I could impact the lives of patients in the future. ... There must be novel ways to effect change in the course of a child’s illness, promote normal development, and contribute to the prevention of disease."

David Millett MD, PhD

2011-2013 Care ad Cure Fellow, LAC+USC Keck School of Medicine

Dr. Millett earned his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Chicago before settling in Los Angeles for a neurology residency and epilepsy fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). It became clear to him that “pediatric epileptology - particularly when it came to epilepsy surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy - presented great challenges to the clinician, and that successful epilepsy surgery could have a tremendous impact on quality of life.”

Dr. Millett was a Care and Cure Fellow at USC from 2011-2013. At both Los Angeles County and University of Southern California (LAC+USC) and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, he continues to be responsible for the diagnostic evaluation of children with drug-resistant epilepsy or recurrent spells of uncertain etiology (cause). He is also actively researching advanced imaging techniques (fMRI), neurocysticercosis and epilepsy, epilepsy in the Hispanic population, and the history of EEGs (electroencephalographs).

"Whenever you can substantially improve seizure control and quality of life in a child, it is moving. It keeps me motivated. Care and Cure gave me the privilege to care for children with uncontrolled epilepsy – one of the most personally and professionally rewarding activities I can imagine."

Manpreet Multani MD

2014 Care and Cure Fellow, LAC+USC Keck School of Medicine

Hiroki Nariai MD

2017 Care and Cure Fellow, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

Adam Numis MD

2015 Care and Cure Fellow, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

Arthur Partikian MD

2007-2010 Care and Cure Fellow, LAC+USC Keck School of Medicine

With support from Care and Cure, Dr. Partikian's position as director of the Division of Child Neurology at Los Angeles County and University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center was launched in 2007. As their sole pediatric neurologist, Dr. Partikian provides ongoing care for about 700 children with epilepsy. His interest in pediatric epilepsy peaked out of very practical reasons: 90% of his referral requests revolve around the very common problem of childhood seizures and their impact on the developing mind.

Dr. Partikian is currently researching which biological and psychosocial factors are most highly associated with specific behavioral problems and is moving forward with attempts to identify potential biomarkers. He also works closely with colleagues from the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program to improve the quality of life for children with medically-resistant epilepsies. With support from Care and Cure, Dr. Partikian has also launched an Epilepsy Dietary Program at LAC+USC.

"All children in our community suffering from seizures deserve timely and expert medical care – regardless of where they live, what language they speak at home, or what insurance their parents can afford. As a father and physician, I am reminded of that goal every day in clinic."

Don Phillips MD

2014 Care and Cure Fellow, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Dr. Donald Phillips came to Los Angeles in 2005. He completed medical school at the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine. He continued with an internship at Olive View Medical Center and then a four-year neurology residency and two-year child neurology fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). As a trained adult neurologist with a sub specialty in epilepsy, Dr. Phillips wanted more specific training in how to read EEGs (electroencephalograms) both in adults and children. As a general neurologist, he wanted to be able to use a comprehensive approach to treat all people with epilepsy, both children and adults.

Dr. Phillips was very interested in working on a transitional clinic for pediatric patients that aged out of pediatrics and chose UCLA because they had a program unlike other institutions in Southern California. Dr. Phillips worked hard at using a comprehensive approach to help people with epilepsy of all age groups. He was able to achieve his goal of reading and diagnosing all different types of epilepsy in all age ranges. He also started an adult Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic, something that UCLA didn’t have, that provided continued expert treatment of adults with this disease including epilepsy.

Meko Porter MD

2013 Care and Cure Fellow, LAC+USC Keck School of Medicine

Jyes Querubin MD

2017 and 2019 Care and Cure Fellow, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Karandev Rai MD

2015 Care and Cure Fellow, LAC+USC Keck School of Medicine

Dr. Rai studied biology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and went on to earn his medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He then completed his internship in internal medicine at the University of California (UC) Irvine Medical Center and neurology residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center before completing his fellowship in epilepsy at the University of Southern California (USC).

Dr. Rai is currently in private practice in the Inland Empire (a region in Southern California east of Los Angeles). He practices general neurology with a focus in epilepsy. He enjoys spending time with his wife and family.

Rajsekar Rajaraman MD

2015-2017 Care and Cure Fellow, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

Dr. Rajsekar “Raj” Rajaraman is a 2015-2017 Care and Cure Fellow in the Pediatric Neurology Division at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A native of New Jersey, Dr. Rajaraman obtained his MD degree at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies, and completed his pediatrics residency at the Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center in New Jersey. During his pediatric residency, his exposure to seizures sparked his pursuit of a career in pediatric epileptology at UCLA under the excellent mentorship of Dr. Raman Sankar.

Currently, his clinical and research interests include infantile spasms, post-traumatic epilepsy, and seizures in the critical care setting. Dr. Rajaraman is leading two studies related to a specialized diet (ketogenic diet) used in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy. He is (1) evaluating the impact of medium chain triglyceride oil in the development of ketosis and (2) comparing health-related quality of life among diet-treated and medication-treated children with epilepsy. Both of these projects are ongoing. He is also evaluating the potential role of two anti-seizure drugs (topiramate and zonisamide) in the treatment of infantile spasms (a severe of form of epilepsy in infants) and specifically evaluating their potential role in secondary prevention. He presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology last year.

Lekha Rao MD

2011-2013 Care and Cure Fellow, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

Dr. Lekha Rao was a Care and Cure Fellow from 2011 to 2013. She grew up in Saratoga, California, and earned her MD degree at Drexel University. Dr. Rao is now a Southern California transplant after coming to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to complete her residency and fellowship in pediatric epilepsy.

Combining her interest in neurology with her belief that children are “much more resilient and not to mention fun to work with,” Dr. Rao is currently studying the incidence of seizures after hypoxic-ischemic injury, primarily in neonates, in an effort to identify risk factors and hopefully treatments to prevent the development of epilepsy. She continues on staff with UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital and the Venice Family Clinic to provide neurologic consultation to an otherwise underserved population.

"With pediatric epileptology, we can really make an impact on quality of life, and at times even prevent disability with early intervention. All of my patients and parents are inspirational to me. I find our families' strength incredible and really am honored to take care of them."

Clara Skora MD

2019 Care and Cure Fellow, UC Irvine and Children's Hospital Orange County

Eva Sorensen MD

2017 Care and Cure Fellow, LAC+USC Keck School of Medicine

Noelle Tiongson MD

2014 Care and Cure Fellow, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Emmanuelle (Noelle) Tiongson is currently in the third and last year of her child neurology residency at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA). Dr. Tiongson is a graduate of Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric internship and second year at CHLA, then joined CHLA for her child neurology training. She is very compassionate and does a terrific job with both patients and their families. Her interpersonal communication skills with her patients and colleagues are excellent.

Dr. Tiongson’s most impressive quality is her dedication to her work. She can be counted on to provide excellent care, delegate responsibility appropriately, and supervise and teach her students. Dr. Tiongson is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, Child Neurology Society, and the American Epilepsy Society. She has been a Care and Cure Epilepsy Foundation sponsored fellow since the start of her residency in 2013. Dr. Tiongson plans to continue her education and has already applied and accepted a fellowship.

Kanram Urgun MD

2018 Care and Cure Fellow, UC Irvine and Children's Hospital Orange County

Jong Yoo MD

2019 Care and Cure Fellow, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

Asri Yuliati MD

2018 Care and Cure Fellow, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

Authored By: 
Epilepsy Foundation Care and Cure Institute
Authored Date: 
01/2020