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Rady Children's Specialists of San Diego

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Pontifical Javerian University School of Medicine


University of the Valley School of Medicine


University of the Valley School of Medicine


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Dr. Paula Aristizabal is a hematologist-oncologist at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and an associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at UC San Diego. She completed her fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at UC San Diego School of Medicine and a Master of Advanced Studies in clinical research at UC San Diego.

In her clinical work at the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Dr. Aristizabal specializes in the care of children with cancer and blood disorders, with an emphasis on leukemia, lymphoma and histiocytic disorders. She is the Division's quality improvement lead and chair of the Quality Improvement Committee. Dr. Aristizabal has also been the director of Rady Children's International Outreach Program since 2008 and has partnered with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to lead efforts to establish pediatric oncology programs in resource-constrained settings, including Mexico and Colombia. She is currently an advisor to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Global Pediatric Medicine Department.

Dr. Aristizabal's research interests include health disparities, implementation science, quality improvement, bioethics and global health, with a focus on discovering the causes of pediatric cancer inequities and developing strategies to better serve patients, including those from underserved communities. She is a member of the UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute, the UC San Diego Dissemination and Implementation Science Center and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Population Sciences, Disparities and Community Engagement.

Dr. Aristizabal is the principal investigator of several clinical research studies and enjoys mentoring trainees and junior faculty in diverse quality improvement and research projects. She has received research grant funding from various organizations, including the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Hematology, Curebound-Padres Pedal the Cause and the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. She publishes her work in peer-reviewed journals and presents her work at both national and international meetings.

Among her honors and accomplishments, she has received the National Cancer Institute Minority Spotlight recognition, the Mitchell Thorp Foundation "Pillars of Hope" award, the UC San Diego Hispanic Center of Excellence Scholar award, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinician-Educator award, the American Society of Hematology Scholar award and the University of California Office of the President "Team Science" Scholar award. She currently serves in the Scientific Advisory Board for Curebound.

Dr. Aristizabal completed her medical degree and pediatrics residency in Colombia, her home country, and she is fluent in Spanish.




Improving vitamin D testing and supplementation in children with newly diagnosed cancer: A quality improvement initiative at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego
Shliakhtsitsava K, Fisher ES, Trovillion EM, Bush K, Kuo DJ, Newfield RS, Thornburg CD, Roberts W, Aristizabal P

Disparities in Pediatric Oncology: The 21st Century Opportunity to Improve Outcomes for Children and Adolescents With Cancer
Aristizabal P, Winestone LE, Umaretiya P, Bona K

The Golden Hour: Sustainability and Clinical Outcomes of Adequate Time to Antibiotic Administration in Children with Cancer and Febrile Neutropenia in Northwestern Mexico
Gonzalez ML, Aristizabal P, Loera-Reyna A, Torres D, Ornelas-S?nchez M, Nu?o-V?zquez L, Aguilera M, S?nchez A, Romano M, Rivera-G?mez R, Relyea G, Friedrich P, Caniza MA

Assessment of Factors Associated With Parental Perceptions of Voluntary Decisions About Child Participation in Leukemia Clinical Trials
Aristizabal P, Ma AK, Kumar NV, Perdomo BP, Thornburg CD, Martinez ME, Nodora J

Theory-Guided Development of Fertility Care Implementation Strategies for Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors
Dornisch A, Yang EH, Gruspe J, Roesch ER, Aristizabal P, Aarons GA, Helsten T, Takemoto MB, Romero SAD, Kaiser BN, Su HI

Improving Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Survival Disparities in the United States-Mexico Border Region: A Cross-Border Initiative Between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico
Shliakhtsitsava K, Fisher ES, Trovillion EM, Bush K, Kuo DJ, Newfield RS, Thornburg CD, Roberts W, Aristizabal P

Effect of a Daily Text Messaging and Directly Supervised Therapy Intervention on Oral Mercaptopurine Adherence in Children With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Bhatia S, Hageman L, Chen Y, Wong FL, McQuaid EL, Duncan C, Mascarenhas L, Freyer D, Mba N, Aristizabal P, Walterhouse D, Lew G, Kempert PH, Russell TB, McNall-Knapp RY, Jacobs S, Dang H, Raetz E, Relling MV, Landier W

Diverse populations and enrollment in pediatric cancer clinical trials: Challenges and opportunities
Paula Aristizabal

Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics associated with vitamin D status in newly diagnosed pediatric cancer patients
Paula Aristizabal, Michael Sherer, Bianca P Perdomo, Esteban Castelao, Courtney D Thornburg, James Proudfoot, Elizabeth Jacobs, Ron S Newfield, Peter Zage, William Roberts, Maria Elena Martinez

Treatment of Recurrent Refractory Pediatric Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Using Inotuzumab Ozogamicin Monotherapy Resulting in CD22 Antigen Expression Loss as a Mechanism of Therapy Resistance
Megan R Paul, Victor Wong, Paula Aristizabal, Dennis J Kuo

The "Golden Hour": a capacity-building initiative to decrease life-threating complications related to neutropenic fever in patients with hematologic malignancies in low- and middle-income countries
Mario Ornelas-Sanchez, Laura Nuno-Vazquez, Adriana Loera-Reyna, Dara Torres-Reyes, Rebeca Rivera-Gomez, Alicia Sanchez, Mitzy Romano, Miriam Gonzalez, Miguela A Caniza, Paula Aristizabal

Implementing a Childhood Cancer Outcomes Surveillance System Within a Population-Based Cancer Registry
Oscar Ramirez, Paula Aristizabal, Alia Zaidi, Raul C Ribeiro, Luis E Bravo

An overview of disparities in childhood cancer: Report on the Inaugural Symposium on Childhood Cancer Health Disparities, Houston, Texas, 2016
Michael E Scheurer, Philip J Lupo, Joachim Schuz, Logan G Spector, Joseph L Wiemels, Richard Aplenc, M Monica Gramatges, Joshua D Schiffman, Maria S Pombo-de-Oliveira, Jun J Yang, Julia E Heck, Catherine Metayer, Manuela A Orjuela-Grimm, Kira Bona, Paula Aristizabal, Mary T Austin, Karen R Rabin, Heidi V Russell, David G Poplack

Medulloblastoma With Extensive Nodularity: Tailored Therapy in a Low-resource Setting
Paula Aristizabal, Luke Burns, Rebeca Rivera-Gomez, Michael L Levy, William Roberts, John R Crawford

Addressing regional disparities in �pediatric oncology: Results of a collaborative initiative across the Mexican-North American border
Paula Aristizabal, Spencer Fuller, Rebeca Rivera-Gomez, Mario Ornelas, Laura Nuno, Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, Raul Ribeiro, William Roberts

Factors associated with cervical cancer screening in a safety net population
Meredith A Heberer, Ian K Komenaka, Jesse N Nodora, Chiu-Hsieh Hsu, Sonal G Gandhi, Lauren E Welch, Marcia E Bouton, Paula Aristizabal, Barry D Weiss, and Maria Elena Martinez

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition of mucosal barrier injury-associated bloodstream infection improves accurate detection of preventable bacteremia rates at a pediatric cancer center in a low- to middle-income country
Torres D, Gonz?lez ML, Loera A, Aguilera M, Relyea G, Aristizabal P, Caniza MA

Factors associated with surgical management in an underinsured, safety net population
Lisa M Winton, Jesse N Nodora, Maria Elena Martinez, Chiu-Hsieh Hsu, Brano Djenic, Marcia E Bouton, Paula Aristizabal, Elizabeth M Ferguson, Barry D Weiss, Ian K Komenaka

Improving Pediatric Cancer Care Disparities Across the United States-Mexico Border: Lessons Learned from a Transcultural Partnership between San Diego and Tijuana
Paula Aristizabal, Spencer Fuller, Rebeca Rivera, David Beyda, Raul C Ribeiro, William Roberts

Participation in pediatric oncology research protocols: Racial/ethnic, language and age-based disparities
Paula Aristizabal, Jenelle Singer, Renee Cooper, Kristen J Wells, Jesse Nodora, Mehrzad Milburn, Sheila Gahagan, Deborah E Schiff, Maria E Martinez

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