Dr. Gilles began working with children with developmental disabilities as a teenager when she volunteered at the Fernald State Institution in Waltham, Massachusetts. As a college student, she was among the first surrogate parents in Vermont for a child who was multiply handicapped and institutionalized, and also participated in a program to help institutionalized adults transition to the community. Dr. Gilles received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh (1983) and completed her pediatric residency training at the Naval Hospital Medical Center in San Diego (1986). After serving in the Navy until 1990, she joined the staff at the Harbor/UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California as a pediatrician specializing in child abuse and neglect.
She transitioned to child neurology and completed training in 1995. After a research year focusing on early childhood head trauma and effects of stress on the developing brain, Dr. Gilles moved to the Childrens Hospital/Ohio State University where she continued her research in these areas and was a staff pediatric neurologist. She subsequently came to Minnesota in 2000. Since that time, she has worked at the University of Minnesota, Gillette Childrens Specialty Healthcare and, for the last 9 years, the Childrens Hospitals and Clinics-MN.
Dr. Gilles is a contributing expert to the Child Neurology Foundation Disorder Directory for Abusive head injury.
As a general child neurologist, Dr. Gilles cares for children with the full spectrum of neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders. Her particular areas of expertise are:
- Brain injury (prenatal through adulthood) for all types of acquired injuries including birth injuries, stroke, near-drowning, and traumatic brain injury.
- Autonomic disorders
- Brain malformations
- Brain tumors
- Management of children with life-limiting disorders
- Palliative neurology. Care of the many distressing neurologic symptoms including pain in infants and children whose condition(s) cannot be cured.
- Pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic management of children with many neurologic and/or medical conditions