UCLA Health Experts Advisory for August

Focus on Summer Olympics 2016

Article ID: 657987

Released: 26-Jul-2016 3:05 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

  • Dr. Daniel Vigil, serves as a medical consultant for USA Track and Field, and has served as a USA team physician for several international competitions including the World Championships, World Cup, Continental Cup and Pan American Games. In addition, he has served as a physician for the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA.

  • Dr. Karin Nielsen, has conducted research on Zika’s effects in Brazil and has been a leading expert on the reality of the threat. Originally from Brazil, Nielsen recently joined a network of researchers investigating the Zika epidemic and the pathogenesis of mother to child Zika virus transmission in Brazil.

  • Dr. Eric Vilain, Ph.D., studies the genetics of sexual development, including gender identity and sexual orientation, and serves on several national committees on intersexuality. He is an advisor to the International Olympics Committee’s medical commission on issues of gender.

  • Dr. Meeryo Choe, associate director of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program. She serves as a Neurotrauma/Sports Neurology Fellow at UCLA, with clinical and research interests that include post-traumatic headache/migraine, gender differences in outcome after concussion, and dysautonomia.

Sports medicine and performance enhancement

Newswise — The Olympics are about more than competition. They’re also about training, injuries and, sometimes, allegations of performance enhancement. Dr. Daniel Vigil is an expert on all three topics. He holds faculty appointments in the departments of Family Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He also serves as a medical consultant for USA Track and Field, and has served as a USA team physician for several international competitions including the World Championships, World Cup, Continental Cup and Pan American Games. In addition, he has served as a physician for the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. He is a member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American College of Sports Medicine. In his USA team and UCLA roles, he has advised and counseled athletes on drugs and the testing process, and has conducted research on doping and ergogenic aids.

Real and perceived threat of Zika

The threat from the Zika virus is real, but perhaps more nuanced than many people believe. Dr. Karin Nielsen, a professor of clinical pediatrics in the division of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, has conducted research on Zika’s effects in Brazil and has been a leading expert on the reality of the threat. Originally from Brazil, Nielsen recently joined a network of researchers investigating the Zika epidemic and the pathogenesis of mother to child Zika virus transmission in Brazil. She has also led multiple clinical trials in the area of mother to child HIV transmission and other congenital infections in Brazil, the U. S. and sub-Saharan Africa funded by the NIH. Nielsen’s main area of research has been pediatric/perinatal infections and transmission.

Questions of gender and the competition

Gender and gender identity have become a focal point in current discussions about competition and social change. Dr. Eric Vilain, Ph.D., an associate professor of human genetics, pediatrics and urology, has devoted his academic career to the biology of intersexuality. He studies the genetics of sexual development, including gender identity and sexual orientation, and serves on several national committees on intersexuality. Vilain is chief of the Division of Medical Genetics at UCLA, Director of Female Sexual Medicine in the Department of Urology and graduate advisor in the Department of Human Genetics. He is an advisor to the International Olympics Committee’s medical commission on issues of gender.

Impact of brain injuries

Brain injuries can occur in almost any sport. Dr. Meeryo Choe, associate director of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, has combined her personal interest in sports with her professional interest in the developing brain. She serves as a Neurotrauma/Sports Neurology Fellow at UCLA, with clinical and research interests that include post-traumatic headache/migraine, gender differences in outcome after concussion, and dysautonomia. She is an advisor for the Women’s World Boxing Council and an expert on brain injuries related to equestrian, swimming and diving events


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