Dr. Antoine Khoury MD, FRCSC, FAAP, SGU
Dr. Khoury is the chief of pediatric urology and, with more than 25 years of experience, leads the CHOC Children’s Urology Center. He is a professor of urology at University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the Walter R. Schmid Endowed Chair in pediatric urology at UCI.
Dr. Khoury completed his residency training at the University of Toronto and did his fellowship training in pediatric urology at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, under Dr. B. Churchill. Dr. Khoury has also spent time at the University of Calgary carrying out research in infection and biomaterials. His work there resulted in several publications and a patent award on the bioelectric mechanism to eliminate bacterial biofilms. He then joined the faculty of the division of urology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and was the division head from 1995-2008 before coming to CHOC Children’s.
His special interests are in reconstructive surgery of the genitourinary tract, urological malignancies and complex hypospadias repairs. He has maintained an active laboratory research effort and has established extensive collaborations, nationally and internationally in the fields of infection, biomaterials and regenerative medicine. He is currently developing a program for transition of care for spina bifida patients into adulthood.
Dr. Khoury has been published in more than 200 publications and journals, and 33 book chapters. He has given more than 250 presentations at national and international meetings and has delivered over 160 lectures as a visiting professor or invited speaker at both international and national levels.
Dr. Khoury is on the board of several national/international specialty committees including the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Urology and the International Children’s Continence Society. He was also president of the Society of Pediatric Urologists of Canada and immediate past chairman of the Scientific Council of the Canadian Urological Association’s Scholarship Foundation. When Dr. Khoury is not at work, he enjoys working on his golf game and traveling with his wife, Shahira, to see his children. Dr. Khoury is fluent in French and Arabic.
Irene McAleer MD, MBA, Esq.
Dr. Irene McAleer is a pediatric urology specialist at the CHOC Children’s Urology Center. She received her medical degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine and successfully completed a surgical internship at the Naval Hospital, in Oakland, California, and urology residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She pursued further fellowship training in pediatric urology at the University of California, San Diego and completed her active military service as the division head of pediatric urology at the National Naval Medical Center. She also served as a consultant at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She is board certified in urology and pediatric urology and also holds a Master of Business Administration.
Dr. McAleer has practiced pediatric urology for over twenty years. She has a particular interest in antenatal genitourinary conditions, medical and surgical management and diagnosis of vesicoureteral reflux, hypospadias and intersex reconstruction, as well as endoscopic treatment of pediatric stone disease and vesicoureteral reflux.
In addition to working with children, Dr. McAleer is dedicated to tomorrow's doctors. She has held appointments as assistant clinical professor of pediatrics and surgery at the University of California, San Diego as well as holding the same appointments at the University of Connecticut. Most recently, she held an appointment as an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco and currently is an associate clinical professor in the department of urology at the University California, Irvine.
Dr. McAleer authored numerous journal articles and textbooks. She is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as a past president of the American Association of Pediatric Urology.
Gordon McLorie MD, FRCSC, FAAP
Dr. McLorie is a physician and pediatric urology expert with the CHOC Children’s Urology Center. He earned his medical degree and graduated from the urology residency program at the University of Toronto. Following that, he completed two fellowships—one at the University of California, Los Angeles in the field of oncology and the second at Harvard Medical School’s Boston Children’s Hospital in pediatric urology.
Dr. McLorie spent 20 years, between 1982 and 2002, at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where he became recognized for his excellence in reconstructive surgery, pediatric urological oncology and renal transplantation. He moved to Detroit in 2002, where he developed a busy pediatric urology practice in the subsequent four years. In 2006, he was recruited as professor of urology and the chief of pediatric urology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina to manage the clinical aspects of the tissue engineered bladder and regenerative medicine laboratory research.
Known internationally for his expertise, Dr. McLorie has over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters to his credit. He is a sought after speaker who has delivered numerous state-of-the-art lectures at major universities, as well as national and international scientific gatherings. He has been recognized for his skill in reconstructive surgery, particularly hypospadias repairs, bladder exstrophy and insentience surgery. He has made significant contributions to the pediatric urological oncological literature, especially in Wilms Tumor. He and his wife, Blair, are avid golfers, sailors and skiers.
Dr. Elias Wehbi
Dr. Elias Wehbi joined the Urology Center in July 2013 after completing his fellowship training in pediatric urology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Dr. Wehbi received his medical doctorate at the University of Toronto. Dr. Wehbi’s clinical interests include complex reconstruction, urologic malignancies, renal transplantation and minimally invasive treatment for pediatric urology. In Canada, Dr. Wehbi helped perform the first laparoendoscopic single site (scarless) urologic surgeries for children.
During his career, Dr. Wehbi has published numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, given presentations at national and international meetings, and received several awards for his novel clinical research. He has also been an invited speaker and lecturer at other residency training programs.
As part of his commitment to lifelong learning, Dr. Wehbi is currently enrolled in a Master’s Degree program at the University of California, Irvine in Biomedical and Translational Science.
Dr. Wehbi also has an interest in international health, and has completed more than a dozen medical missions to Central America; service that has been recognized by his predecessors with humanitarian and patient care awards. Dr. Wehbi speaks French, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese.
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Maryellen Kelly, DNP, CPNP
Maryellen Kelly is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and doctor of pediatric nursing at the CHOC Children’s Urology Center since 2010. Originally from Maine, Maryellen completed a bachelor’s degree in biology at Fairfield University and then earned a second bachelor’s degree and subsequent master’s degree in pediatric nursing from Columbia University. Her doctorate degree was obtained from the University of Pittsburgh. She has numerous publications in the urology field and has presented both national and international for the urology field. She is an active member of the American Urological Association, Pediatric Urology Nurse Specialist society and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.
Maryellen previously worked as an adjunct clinical preceptor for Columbia University and is the founder and was director of a wellness and health center for a private New York City nursery and elementary school. Currently, she is involved as a guest lecturer for the University of California, Irvine’s nurse practitioner program. Maryellen is an avid endurance athlete and has competed in multiple triathlons and marathons.
Blake Watts, DNP, CPNP, RNFA
Blake Watts is a Southern California native and certified pediatric nurse practitioner and doctor of pediatric nursing at the CHOC Children’s Urology Center since its doors opened. She completed her undergraduate studies at University California, San Diego in Latin American History and then attended Columbia University where she earned a second bachelor’s degree and subsequent master’s degree in pediatric nursing. Blake received her second master’s degree from the University of California, Irvine in biomedical and translational sciences. Her doctorate degree was obtained from the University of Pittsburgh. She has numerous publications in the urology field and has presented both national and international for the urology field. She is an active member of the American Urological Association, Pediatric Urology Nurse Specialist society and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.
Currently, she is involved as a guest lecturer for the University of California, Irvine’s nurse practitioner program. She has also numerous publications in the urology field and has presented both national and international in the field. Outside of work, Blake is an avid dancer with over 20 years of technical ballet training. Blake is also fluent in Spanish.
Marie Serrato, BSN
Charge Nurse for the CHOC Children’s Urology Center
Marie Serrato joined the CHOC Children’s family in 2007 after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She joined the Urology Center in 2011, where she is now the charge nurse. Marie is dedicated to helping children in the community. “My passion,” says Marie, “is to help children and that’s the reason I became a CHOC nurse.”
Elizabeth Buss, RN
Spina Bifida Clinical Case Nurse Manager
As a nurse specialist who has been licensed for more than 30 years, Elizabeth Buss leads the Spina Bifida Clinic at CHOC Children’s and loves the community involvement and patient education experiences. “I love working with the pediatric population,” says Elizabeth, “they are fresh, open to learning and always willing to work with us as we customize their treatments.”
Elizabeth has worked in a number of areas of patient care, including urology, the outpatient clinical setting and case management.
Jenna Siess, LVN
Jenna Siess always knew she wanted a career that would involve being around or helping children. “I feel I'm truly happiest when I am able to help a child and their family,” says Jenna. “I received my bachelor's degree from Cal State Fullerton in an unrelated field before deciding that nursing was what I really loved. I made a big change and entered into nursing as a licensed vocational nurse.”
Jenna is continuing her education in hopes of becoming a registered nurse.
Allison Ashby, BSN, CPN
Allison Ashby has been a certified pediatric nurse for 13 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She has worked at CHOC for more than a decade and became the specialty nurse for the pediatric GI motility and urodynamics lab in 2003, where she conducts biofeedback and urodynamic testing.
“It is so rewarding to see the children we treat have marked improvement over time,” says Allison. “I really enjoy working with and helping children who have constipation, incontinence, neurogenic bladder and spina bifida.”
Laura De La Rosa, BSN, CPN, CLE
Laura De La Rosa is an Orange, California native and a certified pediatric nurse practitioner at the CHOC Children’s Urology Center. Laura completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing from California State University of Fullerton and then went on to pursue her master’s degree in pediatric nursing from California State University of Long Beach. She is a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. She has been working at CHOC since 2002. Laura is also a certified lactation educator. Laura loves camping and visiting San Francisco with her husband and their 5 daughter’s. Laura is also fluent in Spanish.