Dr. Ava Shamban—The 'Skin Visionary'
Santa Monica and Beverly Hills
Dr. Ava Shamban is truly the do-it-all Derm. Many know her as the skin maven from 'Extreme Makeover' or from her regular appearances on ‘The Doctors.’ But this research scientist, author, business owner, and supermom of three, takes on a lot more than TV. Dr. Ava (as her patients like to call her) graduated magna cum laude
from Harvard University, received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the UCLA-Geffen School of Medicine. She recently published Heal Your Skin: The Breakthrough Plan for Renewal
(Wiley), lectures both nationally and internationally, and serves as principal investigator on many clinical and FDA trials. But if you had to sum her up in one word, Dr. Ava is a friend. She understands the close link between appearance and self-esteem, and dedicates herself to helping patients of all ages restore and heal their skin and live happier lives.
Dr. Soheil Simzar
Dr. Simzar, a board certified dermatologist, completed his undergraduate, medical school, Internal Medicine, and Dermatology training at UCLA Medical Center and its affiliated hospitals. He is a clinical instructor of dermatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and teaches medical and surgical dermatology to the dermatology residents and medical students. Dr. Simzar specializes in cosmetic and general dermatology and skin cancer surgery. After his specialty training, Dr. Simzar completed a 6 month fellowship in advanced cosmetic procedures including Botox®, Dysport®, Juvederm®, Restylane®, Perlane®, Radiesse®, Sculptra™, Sclerotherapy, Scar Treatments, and laser surgery. He is a recipient of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Preceptorship Grant and an experienced researcher. Dr. Simzar is a published author in several peer-reviewed journals and has presented at national conferences.
Dr. Gregory Van Dyke
Santa Monica and Beverly Hills
Dr. Gregory Van Dyke is a board certified dermatologist and also has a PhD in immunology. Dr. Van Dyke completed his fellowship & residency at UCLA Medical Center, and attended medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatopathology/Dermatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA. In addition to his excellent clinical skills, Dr. Van Dyke has significant experience in aesthetic procedures (including both injectables and laser treatments) and produces excellent results. Dr. Van Dyke practices general dermatology as well as cosmetic dermatology and is available to see patients in both our Santa Monica and Beverly Hills offices. Read More
Rene Farahmandian received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and went on to receive her degree in Physician Assistant studies from Midwestern University. She performs the full scope of medical and cosmetic dermatologic procedures. She uses the AVA MD multi-modal approach to treat adult and teenage acne with much success.
Lisa is a California native who grew up right here in Los Angeles. She received a full scholarship to attend the University of Florida where she graduated with honors. She went on to complete her post graduate work at Nova Southeastern University where she received a Masters Degree in Physician Assistant Studies, and she also served as a clinician for Free the Children in rural Kenya. Her field of expertise is in medical and cosmetic dermatology. Lisa has also been trained extensively by Dr. Shamban and other leaders in the field of cosmetic dermatology. She is certified to diagnose medical conditions, prescribe medications, and perform surgical procedures such as biopsies; in addition, she is highly skilled in the use of fillers and neuromodulators to help create a more youthful yet natural appearance customized for each patient.Read More
Family Nurse Practitioner
Christine Nell, F.N.P., has worked with Dr. Shamban since 2000. A nurse since 1997, she graduated with her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certificate in 2002 from Azusa Pacific University. During graduate school, she was mentored by Dr. Shamban as a dermatology intern and earned a Certificate of Academic Excellence. In 2007, she partnered with Dr. Shamban in opening Ava MD Beverly Hills and now works solely in that location.
Christine Nell believes that truly effective treatment requires personalized programs that are monitored carefully. By combining the best of both medical dermatology and aesthetics, Christine is able to offer her patients unsurpassed results.
RN, BSN, PHN – nurse injector and laser specialist at AVA MD
Bernice Cohen is a Registered Nurse (RN) as well as a Public Health Nurse (PHN), with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). She specializes in cosmetic injections and lasers. As a former international model, Bernice is fascinated with what defines beauty. She has translated her experience into capturing and maintaining that beauty for her patients.Read More
Santa Monica and Beverly HillsNurse Practitioner
Holly Gruwell joined Ava MD in July of 2011. Holly utilizes a comprehensive approach to medical and cosmetic dermatology, encompassing individualized and holistic methods. She is from Canyon Lake, Texas and attended nursing school at the University of Texas Medical Branch, has worked as a neonatal ICU travel nurse and graduated from California State University, Long Beach with her Masters in science and nursing. Holly can be seen in our Santa Monica office on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and in Beverly Hills on Wednesdays and Saturdays. She is seeing patients for cosmetic laser treatments as well as medical issues.Read More
AVA MD is pleased to welcome back highly experienced esthetician Rita Csizmadia to the staff at AVA MD. She offers a variety of skin care treatments, from cleaning the skin to treating and ending inflammation and acne without redness or irritation, all while maintaining her clients' youthful glow. Read More
A simple and compassionate belief drives the Ava MD practice: when people feel good about how they look, they have higher self-esteem. This is why Dr. Ava founded both offices, and what motivates her highly-credentialed and caring staff on a daily basis. Each one of our excellent providers has something special to offer, and each month we highlight a different member of the Ava MD Team. This July, meet our Santa Monica-based Medical Aesthetician, Tanya Eubanks Read More
Family Nurse Practitioner
Catherine is a F.N.P. who attended the University of Southern California and Mount St. Mary’s College where she graduated with honors. She went on to complete her Masters Degree as a Nurse Practitioner from Azusa Pacific University. Her field of expertise is in medical and cosmetic dermatology. Catherine has been trained extensively by Dr. Shamban and other leaders in the field of cosmetic dermatology. She is certified to diagnose medical conditions, prescribe medications, and perform surgical procedures such as biopsies; in addition, she is highly skilled in the use of fillers and neurotoxins to treat aging skin with natural results. “I believe in personalized treatment plans that combine dermatology and anti-aging to best fit the needs of each of my patients.” Read More
Robin Small, RN Santa Monica
Q: Why did you choose to work in this particular field?
I'd practiced several different types of nursing—from geriatrics to general surgery—before getting into aesthetic dermatology. It's been a decade now, and I can say with certainty this is the field I genuinely adore. The specialty is in its infancy, and represents a real frontier. We are just beginning to discover all the ways science can keep us young. I always have a new way I can help my patients, and always something new to learn.
Q: How did you end up becoming an aesthetician?
: I've always had a passion for skincare. I grew up in Berlin, and my mom had a lot of skin sensitivities and allergies. I watched the pharmacist mixing creams to help her, and became very intrigued—from childhood I began observing and experimenting with skin care. I would even make creams and put them on my dolls! In my teenage years, I worked as a model, which gave me a deeper understanding of lighting and makeup and skin—and also how to troubleshoot.
RN, AVA MD
Q: How did you come to work in the field of dermatology?
I received my Bachelor of Science in the Former Soviet Union, and worked in a very demanding hospital-based clinical environment. I am very grateful for this experience, because it gave me an extensive and wide–ranging medical background (basically, if you could problem solve in that environment, you could save lives anywhere!). This knowledge helps me provide a very high level of treatment for my patients today on a daily basis.
Q: How did you end up working in this field?
I've always had a fascination with science and medicine, and with improving people's lives. I took a ‘pre–med’ track in college, and worked for a long period in medical ophthalmology. When I adopted my son from Russia, I stepped back and took a bit of a reassessment. Although I knew I had helped a lot of people in their struggles with blindness and other serious issues, I realized I had a real excitement and desire to work in healthy medicine. At the same time, I was noticing changes in my own appearance, and seeing how the signs of aging were starting to affect my friends. I wanted my daily work to make people happy. So I decided to help pretty women (and handsome men!) feel good about their appearance again.
Medical Esthetician and NEW RN
Q: Mojgan, you've been working with Dr. Shamban for over 18 years as a licensed esthetician. This past December, you graduated as valedictorian of your nursing program at Mt. St. Mary's. What inspired you to go back to school and get your Registered Nurse degree?
First and foremost, I love to learn. I go through life as a student, whether I'm researching the latest skin care ingredients and techniques, listening to colleagues and patients about their experiences, or sitting in a formal classroom in school. The RN degree was just the natural next step in this journey. In addition, I really wanted to get the degree for my patients. The knowledge I have gained over the past four years has really deepened my understanding of what makes skin healthy as well as given me the ability to perform a whole host of aesthetic procedures (including administering lasers and injectables); it will help me give my patients the flawless results they deserve.
We have six aestheticians highly trained in the United States and Europe who offer state-of-the-art techniques individually suited to meet the needs of their clients.
Our front office staff is the friendliest and most knowledgeable in town. They are well trained with regard to to procedures and products and will provide you with excellent service and guide you in making the right choice when it comes for skin care.
We are contracted with Blue Cross and Blue Shield PPO's. And also PHCS. There are some procedures which may be covered by your insurance company.