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Steven Mittelman MD, PhD

Steven D. Mittelman MD, PhD

Division Chief, Professor, and Solomon A. and Maria M. Kaplan Chair of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Discovery and Innovation Institute, UCLA Mattel Chilldren’s Hospital, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California

Steven Mittelman, MD, PhD, is the Division Chief and Solomon A and Maria M Kaplan Chair of Pediatric Endocrinology at the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. Dr. Mittelman obtained his undergraduate degree at UCLA, and then attended the Keck School of Medicine of USC for his medical degree and doctorate. His graduate research focused on the physiological mechanisms by which insulin regulates blood sugar and how pancreatic beta cells compensate for obesity-induced insulin resistance. He completed his residency and pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the American Board of Pediatrics Special Alternative Pathway. As faculty at USC, Dr. Mittelman held many roles, including Fellowship Director and Director of the Keck/Caltech Combined MD/PhD Program. Dr. Mittelman also was the founding director of the George Donnell Society at CHLA, a residency and fellowship research track for physician scientist in training. Dr. Mittelman moved to UCLA in 2017, and has grown the division from three to ten faculty and expanded clinical operations to Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach.

Dr. Mittelman’s research focuses on understanding why obese children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia have a poorer outcome than lean children. Using tissue culture and preclinical models, his laboratory was the first to demonstrate that the observed clinical association between obesity and poor leukemia outcome may have a biological basis. Investigating how fat cells and leukemia cells interact, his lab discovered that fat tissue attracts leukemia cells, provides them with fuels, and absorbs and metabolizes some chemotherapeutic drugs, making them unable to reach the leukemia cells. He has also found evidence that dietary intervention can help improve leukemia outcome in preclinical models, and working with his clinical research colleagues, Dr. Mittelman has translated these findings into a successful clinical trial. His research has led to the publication of over 65 manuscripts, and he is currently the Principal Investigator on two R01 grants from the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Mittelman has been elected into the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society.


Dr. Mittelman has no relevant disclosures.

Recent Contributions to PracticeUpdate:

  1. Incident Type 2 Diabetes Duration and Cancer Risk