Staff and Personnel

Jan Panyard-Davis, R.N. is the clinical nurse-coordinator for the Division. She is generally the first contact for patients and their families. She can be reached by phone at 619-543-7800.

Cristal Melendez is the administrative assistant for the Division. She is in charge of coordinating visit dates and authorizing financial arrangements. She can be reached by phone at 619-543-7800 or by email at

Richard Haas, M.D. is co-director of the MMDC. He is a board certified pediatric neurologist and pediatrician. He is nationally known for his basic and clinical work in neurometabolic disease, and has carried out both clinical and bench research on the mitochondrial and metabolic diseases of children for over 20 years. He received his undergraduate and master's degrees from Cambridge University, England, and studied clinical medicine at University College Hospital in London. He was trained in both intemal medicine in Southampton, and pediatrics at the Hammersmith and Great Ormond Street Hospitals in London, and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians. He completed his advanced clinical training in pediatric neurology at the University of Colorado, Denver, where he also conducted basic research in mitochondrial biology in the laboratory of Dr. David Stumpf as a National Institutes of Health Fellow in the biochemistry of mental retardation. He is a professor at the University of California, San Diego, with joint appointments in the departments of Neurosciences and Pediatrics. Dr. Haas has been a practicing physician since 1972.

Robert K. Naviaux, M.D., Ph.D. is co-director of the MMDC. He is board certified in intemal medicine and a specialist in biochemical genetics and metabolism. His research experience spans 20 years and embraces the fields of virology, genetics, cancer, and metabolism. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Davis. He was an undergraduate research intern in tumor immunology at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, and studied biochemistry at the GeorgAugust University in Gottingen, Germany. He was trained as a medical scientist at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he received both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, graduating with highest distinction. In 1990, he was named one of ten National Medical Residents of the Year for clinical excellence by the NIH. He completed his advanced training in virology and molecular biology at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Califomia, where he conducted research in cancer gene therapy and basic retrovirus biology in the laboratory of Dr. Inder M. Verma. Dr. Naviaux has been a practicing physician since 1986. 

Bruce Barshop, M.D., Ph.D. is co-director of the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory at UCSD. He is a board certified pediatrician and board certified clinical biochemical and molecular geneticist. He received his A.B. degree from Brandeis University, where he graduated with high honors in the very first class of undergraduates majoring in that Department of Biochemistry. He completed his medical and graduate training at Washington University in St. Louis. His thesis research was with Dr. Carl Frieden, centering on physical biochemistry, pre-steady state enzyme kinetics and computer simulation of chemical kinetics. His pediatric residency training was at UCSD, and he remained for fellowship training under Dr. Nyhan in the Division of Biochemical Genetics. His research activities include disorders of mitochondrial metabolism, and specifically kinetic studies with stable isotope tracers. He has been a practicing physician since 1984. 

William Nyhan, M.D., Ph.D. is the head of the Division of Biochemcial Genetics and the former and founding Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at UCSD. He is one of the founding fathers of the field, and his expertise in biochemical genetics is a great asset to the Center. 

Fred Levine, M.D., Ph.D. is a clinician and researcher in Biochemical Genetics. His undergraduate training was at Harvard University, his medical training and Ph.D. research were at the University of Washington, and his Pediatrics residency and Biochemical Genetics fellowship were at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He is board certified in Pediatrics and Biochemical Genetics. His research involves gene therapy and gene expression. 

Jennifer Gwynne, R.D. is a registered dietician with experience specific to managing diets in children with special nutrional needs, including neurologic and metabolic conditions. She can be reached at 619-576-1700.

Eva Brzezinski, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietician with specific experience in managing special diets of children with metabolic disorders. She works in the UCSD Clinical Research Center. 

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