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UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program

  Pediatric Neurotrauma Fellowship Position
  The Pediatric Neurotrauma/Sports Neurology fellowship training program is a two-year program providing intensive training in the clinical and research study of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and sports neurotrauma.
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The UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program focuses on sports concussion prevention, outreach, research and treatment for athletes of all ages, especially youth. The program is made possible by a $10 million commitment from filmmaker and NFL Giants co-owner Steve Tisch

The UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program integrates the expertise of clinicians and scientists from UCLA's:

Key components of the program include:

 UCLA BrainSPORT four part approach

Contact Us

To make an appointment, contact the UCLA Concussion Clinic at (310) 825-0867 or concussioncare@mednet.ucla.edu.

For administrative or research matters, contact us at (310) 794-7688.

Concussion Clinic Locations

Santa Monica: 1131 Wilshire Blvd. Ste #202 Santa Monica, CA 90401
Westwood: Opening Fall 2014 in the Edie and Lew Wasserman Building, 300 Stein Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

How You Can HelpDonate to BrainSPORT

Until now, there have been no consistent standards to guide coaches and physicians in evaluating and treating sports-related brain injuries.  Through UCLA BrainSPORT, athletes, parents, coaches, and trainers receive vital care, education, and research to help them best understand how to prevent concussions, as well as the keys to experiencing a full recovery.  In addition, these groups can receive comprehensive care and resources, including annual baseline neurological and neuropsychological testing and expedited access to post-concussion care at UCLA.
Donate now to help support the BrainSPORT Program »

BrainSPORT in the News

Meet Our Expert Team

Clinical Experts

Christopher Giza, M.D.
Director, UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program
Dr. Giza leads the Pediatric TBI/Sports Concussion program at UCLA. Eminently qualified, he served as Vice-Chair for the California State Athletic Commission, traveled to Afghanistan in 2011 as a civilian advisor to the Department of Defense and Co-Chaired the American Academy of Neurology's committee, which developed an evidence-based Practice Guideline for Management of Sports Concussions in 2013. Dr. Giza serves on the Center for Disease Control's Pediatric mild TBI committee, the NCAA Concussion Task Force and the Major League Soccer Concussion Program Committee. He is currently a Professor of Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA.

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Dr. Giza received his M.D. from West Virginia University and completed his internship at the University of Pennsylvania. He then trained in Adult and Pediatric Neurology at UCLA, after which he worked on the Yosemite Search and Rescue team. In 1998, he returned to UCLA and joined the Brain Injury Research Center in the Department of Neurosurgery. His research interests include neuroplasticity, recovery from injury, sports-related concussions, post-traumatic epilepsy and brain development.

Meeryo Choe, M.D.
Neurologist, Specialized in Sports Concussion and TBI
Dr. Choe grew up in the Los Angeles area, traveled east to attend Amherst College, and then returned to L.A. to attend medical school at USC. She came to UCLA in 2004 for a pediatrics residency and child neurology fellowship. After completing training, Dr. Choe combined her personal interest in sports with her professional interest in the developing brain by serving as a Neurotrauma/Sports Neurology Fellow at UCLA with Dr. Christopher Giza. Her clinical and research interests include post-traumatic headache/migraine, gender differences in outcome after concussion, and dysautonomia.

An avid equestrian competing in show jumping and former swimmer, Dr. Choe coaches at a local high school as well, giving her a unique perspective on an athlete's desire to return to his/her sport and the outside pressures they might experience.


Clinical Team Members

Sue Yudovin, RN, MN, CPNP
Nurse Practitioner, Specialized in Sports Concussion and TBI
An assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Nursing, Yudovin received her Bachelor's in Nursing from California State University, Los Angeles, and her Master's in Nursing nurse practitioner certification from the UCLA Graduate School of Nursing. Yodivin participates in the evaluation, assessment, treatment and clinical/research care of pediatric patients with all severities of brain injury. She focuses on outcomes of children after TBI, and has presented research at national child neurology and neurotrauma meetings.

Talin Babikian, Ph.D., ABPP
Clinical Neuropsychologist, Specialized in Sports Concussion and TBI
Talin Babikian is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry within the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Dr. Babikian earned a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Neuropsychology from Loma Linda University in 2005. She completed a predoctoral internship at the then-UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute (today's Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA), focusing on developmental disabilities and pediatric neuropsychology. Dr. Babikian is actively involved in research using novel neuroimaging techniques to understand neurocognitive outcomes and the course of repair and recovery following a brain injury in childhood and has authored multiple publications on this topic, including a comprehensive meta- analysis summarizing the state of the current literature on head injury outcomes. She also has developed expertise in outcomes and their predictors following mild brain injury or concussions in youth, and helped develop the multi-disciplinary sports related concussion clinic at UCLA to serve the neurological/medical, cognitive/academic, and psychosocial needs of children, adolescents, and adults with sports-related injuries.

Max Zeiger
Clinic and Research Coordinator
Mr. Zeiger earned his B.S. in neuroscience from the University of Michigan. He began his research and clinical work in the field of sports-neurology as an undergraduate research assistant at the Michigan NeuroSport clinic, investigating recovery from sport-related concussions and post-traumatic migraines. Following graduation he decided to continue developing his passions for sports, neuroscience, and traumatic brain injury at the UCLA Pediatric TBI-SC program. He works with the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT program to increase school and community education of traumatic brain injury and sports concussions. Mr. Zeiger assists with patient scheduling and follow-up for the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program. His clinical and research interests include post-traumatic headache/migraine, recovery and treatment of patients with brain injury, preseason baseline screening, as well as evaluation of different clinical tools for assessment and management of concussion.

Research Team Members

Robert Asarnow, Ph.D.
Professor, Clinical Psychology,
Dr. Asarnow's research is studies examining the neurobehavioral sequelae of traumatic brain injuries in children and adults. These are prospective, epidemiological studies that assess language, cognition and school and adaptive functioning in children and adults who have suffered significant traumatic brain injuries.

John DiFiori, M.D.
Chief, Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Family Medicine
Dr. DiFiori has been a team physician for the UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for more than 15 years, and currently serves as team physician for the Bruins' football and men's basketball programs. He serves as a medical consultant for the NHL Players Association, and is a member of the U.S.A. Gymnastics physician referral network. He has served as a U.S. team physician for several international competitions including the XIIIth Pan American Games. In addition, he has served as a physician for the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, and USA Basketball.
His research interests include overuse injuries affecting children and adolescents, the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound in the treatment of sports injuries, and preparticipation screening. He has conducted primary research on growth plate injury in young gymnasts. He has authored multiple scientific articles, case reports, and book chapters on a variety of sports medicine issues.

Neil Harris, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
Dr. Neil Harris has worked within the fields of hydrocephalus, stroke and traumatic brain injury. The major theme of his current research at UCLA is understanding the potential for plasticity and function after trauma utilizing both light microscopy cell biology techniques as well as in vivo neuroimaging methodologies.

David Hovda, Ph.D.
Director, Brain Injury Research Center (BIRC), Department of Neurosurgery
In 1989, Dr. Hovda was recruited by the Department of Neurosurgery to direct its scientific efforts to understand the cellular pathophysiology of brain injury. This work resulted in providing the backbone for UCLA being recognized as a "Center of Excellence" by the National Institutes of Health. He has devoted most of his career to understanding the mechanisms of recovery of function. Dr. Hovda has received a number of awards for his research on brain injury and recovery of function, including the 1991 National Head Injury Foundation Award, the Giannini Foundation Award, the Benjamin Franklin Haught Memorial Award and was named the Lind Lawrence Eminent Scholar for his work on the topic of Traumatic Brain Injury. Dr. Hovda is most well known internationally for his translational work on the pathobiology of traumatic brain injury.

Mayumi Prins, Ph.D.
Director, BIRC Outreach & Education Programs, Department of Neurosurgery
Dr. Prins's research interests include understanding the changes in brain metabolism that occur after pediatric traumatic brain injury and how alternative fuels can be used as therapeutic options for the young brain after head injury. In addition to this main focus, she is interested in repeat mild head injuries as they apply to both children and young adult athletes.

Richard Sutton, Ph.D.
His laboratory research is directed toward: 1) the development and characterization of clinically relevant models of traumatic brain injury, and 2) development of therapeutic interventions to reduce the incidence and extent of secondary brain injury or to speed functional recovery after injury. Dr. Sutton's research employs multiple experimental methods to examine the metabolic, neurochemical, cellular/anatomical and behavioral pathologies after traumatic brain injury and effects of therapies on these responses to injury.


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