Dr. Vasiliauskas is an internationally-recognized expert in Inflammatory Bowel Disease who has long recognized the existence of subgroups within Crohn’s disease & ulcerative colitis and how these important subtleties influence disease expression, disease course, responses to traditional medical and surgical interventions, as well as to dietary and other alternative approaches. He has thus been a longtime proponent of personalized medicine & individualized therapy in IBD.
Frequently referred to as “Dr. V”, Dr. Vasiliauskas has been described as “a diet-friendly doctor” and is a strong advocate of living a healthy lifestyle that incorporates routine exercise, relaxation & stress management techniques (mindfulness practices, meditation, biofeedback, yoga, etc), getting adequate sleep, & eating a balanced healthy diet. He recognizes the significant potential benefits of both traditional and nontraditional approaches to IBD care, while at the same time also acknowledging the shortcomings of each approach practiced in isolation. Throughout his career, Dr. Vasiliauskas has been open to incorporating a broad spectrum of nontraditional options to help patients fine-tune their health to wellness. He is a firm believer that a complementary or integrative approach to IBD management optimizes desired outcomes, well-being and quality of life.
In his role as Director of the Cedars-Sinai Nutrition & Integrative IBD Subspecialty Program, Dr. Vasiliauskas continues to explore the role of nutrition and a variety of dietary manipulations and other nontraditional interventions in the management of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, IBD-associated small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, lymphocytic and collagenous colitis. In partnership with his patients, he continues to examine the influences of diet and supplements, including herbal products & probiotics, on disease activity and specific symptoms, including the impact on extra-intestinal manifestations of IBD, such as joint involvement, mouth ulcerations, etc. In collaboration with his colleagues, Dr. Vasiliauskas is leading efforts to investigate the short-term and long-term effects of specific nutritional modifications on the gut microbiome and on epigenetic influences with the goal of augmenting our understanding of the complex interplay between diet, the gut microbiome, disease activity and expression.
Dr. Vasiliauskas was invited to cover the topic of Complementary & Alternative Therapies in IBD for the 2nd edition of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN)’s IBD Book for Families entitled “Your Child with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Family Guide for Caregiving”. His contribution focuses on the concept of “integrative medicine” in IBD which attempts to bring together the spectrum of conventional and complementary approaches in a coordinated way with an emphasizes on the importance nutrition, exercise, stress management, and a strong support network.
He is principal- or co-investigator on over 130 research protocols and has author or co-authored over 200 articles, abstracts, chapters in medical textbooks and journals articles.
He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana & his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford. After a General Pediatrics internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Dr. Vasiliauskas completed a Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition fellowship at Children's Hospital, Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and at Martin Luther King, Jr./Charles R. Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles. He also completed a 2-year clinical & clinical-research subspecialty fellowship specifically in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Cedars-Sinai.
Dr. Vasiliauskas is a strong believer in community service & education. In his private life, he is the father of 2 mainstreamed adventurous deaf-blind braille-reading sons. DrV has been a longtime advocate of early braille immersion, braille fluency, childhood access to foreign language braille for dual immersion families, & childhood digital preparedness.
He has been a strong proponent not only of equal expectations of blind and visually-impaired students, but of high expectations of blindness/VI educators as well. Dr. Vasiliauskas has written numerous articles and has given many presentations including workshops & KeyNote presentations at the local, state, and national level on topics related to raising and educating blind & visually-impaired children. He was instrumental in facilitating the inclusion of Lithuanian braille as an option in Duxbury’s braille translation program.
DrV has served on the National Federation of the Blind (NFB)’s Educational Reform Task Force, as a parent mentor for the NFB’s Teachers of Tomorrow Program, & was awarded a lifetime member of California Transcribers and Educators for the Blind & Visually Impaired (CTEBVI). He serves on the NFB Jernigan Institute Research Advisory Council, the NFB’s
Genetic Education Committee, & is a member of the NFB’s Deaf-Blind Division, the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), NFB of California, & the NFB Sports and Recreation Division.
In his local community, DrV is a founding member of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD) Medical Advisory Board, & has also served as a member of both MBUSD’s Technology Committee & Technology Access SubCommittee. DrV is also a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus & participates in their charitable activities.
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