Dr. Kimberley Lakes, PhD

Associate Professor, Dept. of Pediatrics, UCI

Dr. Lakes has a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is an Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine and Director of the Executive Function and Behavioral Assessment Program, Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Research Center.

Dr. Lakes studies the impact of physically active interventions on children’s brain development, particularly the development of executive functions. Dr. Lakes has received many research awards, including the Aspen Brain Forum Prize in Neuro-Education, Young Investigator Award and a visiting research fellowship from the University of Oxford.

Dr. Lakes has extensive experience working with Community Based Research. She will serve as the Children’s Cerebral Palsy Movement’s Scientific Principal Investigator and will be responsible for writing a scientific paper reporting our findings and preparing a grant application for the National Institutes of Health on Children’s Cerebral Palsy Movement’s behalf.

Dr. Kelli Sharp, DPT

Assistant Professor of Dance Science, UCI

Dr. Kelli Sharp received her Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy from Chapman University and is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Dance and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests are in motor learning, neuromuscular control, and biomechanics of movement to assist both dancers and individuals with neurological disorders. Dr. Sharp’s research embodies two main pillars. The first pillar focuses on injury prevention and wellness for dancers. The second pillar focuses on the development of novel technologies to advance rehabilitation strategies for individuals with neurological disorders by incorporating tools such as motion capture systems and functional magnetic resonance with dance/movement therapy.

The Children’s Cerebral Palsy Movement controlled movement dance pilot study is an exciting opportunity for the UCI Department of The Arts and the Department of Medicine to demonstrate that at the intersection between art and science…life change can begin. Serving as the key liaison between these two departments, Dr. Sharp will be responsible for all data collection and analysis pertaining to the controlled movement dance study.

Dr. Shlomit Radom-Aizik, PhD

Director of UCI Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Research Center

Dr. Radom-Aizik has a PhD from Oregon Health Sciences University and is the Director of the UCI Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Research Center. Her areas of research reside in functional genomics and exercise physiology and include: immune system and muscle genomic and epigenetic responses to exercise; the effects of exercise and training during childhood and adolescence, and the effects of exercise and training on children with chronic diseases and children with special needs.

Dr. Afshin Aminian, MD

Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Aminian received his Medical Degree from Washington University School of Medicine and is a revered Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon from CHOC Children’s Hospital, Orange County. Dr. Aminian is the director of the Orthopaedic Institute at CHOC Children’s Hospital and the current chief of the Department of Orthopaedics at CHOC Children’s and program director of spinal surgery. He is an assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at University of CA, Irvine. Dr. Aminian is known for his dedication to innovation and his passion for helping orthopaedically challenged children achieve their full potential and the ability to live a life without limits.

Dr. Aminian will serve as an advisor and lead in the testing and evaluation of the children in the controlled movement dance project.

Dr. Francois Lalonde, MD

Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Lalonde has a Medical Degree from University of Toronto in Canada and a Masters of Education at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education. Dr. Lalonde has subsequently completed two years of subspecialty training in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and at Children’s Hospital San Diego, California. Dr. Lalonde is a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon in Mission Viejo, CA and his areas of special interest include Cerebral Palsy, childhood and adolescent hip and foot conditions, fractures, benign bone tumors, limb lengthening, acquired and congenital deformities, and general Pediatric Orthopaedic conditions.

Dr. Lalonde has a strong interest in this project as he has followed the Fragner family for more than 7 years and has personally witnessed the difference that a targeted and innovative approach to therapy can have in a child with CP’s life.

Dr. Jessica McMichael, MD

Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. McMichael obtained her Medical Degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine and specializes in pediatric orthopaedics and orthopaedic trauma. She served as an orthopaedic surgeon in the United States Air Force, and was adjunct faculty at the Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness skills in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. McMichael completed her pediatric orthopaedic surgery fellowship at Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California/UC Davis Medical Center.

Her research interests include motion analysis in neuromuscular conditions and outcomes measures in orthopaedic surgery. Dr. McMichael is a board certified Orthopaedic Surgeon with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons. She is passionate about the care and treatment of a variety of pediatric musculoskeletal disorders including cerebral palsy, limb deformity, and foot deformity.

Patty Hanighen, RN


Patty has a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from SDSU and a Masters of Science in Nursing from UCLA and is employed by CHOC Children’s Hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as the Clinical Nurse Manager and CNS Coordinator of the Regional Perinatal Outreach Program. CHOC Children’s is dedicated to “nurture, advance and protect the health and wellbeing of children” in Orange County. The CHOC Children’s NICU was recently named one of the nation’s “Top 25 NICU’s” by US World and News Report, reflecting the NICU’s unwavering commitment to the highest standards of patient care and safety.

During her 37-year career in the nursing profession, Patty has demonstrated a dedication and a passion for the physical and emotional well being of the infants and families she serves. Her extensive education and tireless commitment to the medical community make Patty a unique partner for the Children’s Cerebral Palsy Movement. In this new role she hopes to significantly improve and optimize the long-term functional outcomes for premature infants born with Cerebral Palsy.

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