Our PGY1 Residents
Sandra Carpenter, MD
University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Sandy's hometown is Ridgefield, Connecticut. Sandy majored in molecular biology at Princeton University and also received a certificate (minor) in the visual arts, completing two separate theses. Sandy rowed for Princeton lightweight women's crew team and led the Princeton Special Olympics rowing program. Sandy returned to Connecticut for medical school at the University of Connecticut where she deepened her engagement in disability advocacy, receiving a grant to develop and teach courses on health disparities for people with disabilities. She served as co-director of a national medical student organization advocating for increased disability inclusion and representation, writing disability-focused policy for the American Medical Association and petitioning the Liaison Committee on Medical Education to include disability training as an accreditation standard. Sandy also served on a state task force on accessible medical diagnostic equipment which led to the passage of legislation in Connecticut. Sandy was nominated to the Gold Humanism Honor Society and received a public health award for her work in collaboration with the disability community. Sandy is also a published medical illustrator and creates illustrated patient education materials. Her surgical interests include pediatric surgery and transplant surgery. Sandy's passions outside of surgery are disability advocacy and healthcare accessibility, medical illustration, ultrasound, running/rowing, and petting dogs.
Jae Cho, MD
Boston University School of Medicine
Jae's hometown is Austin, Texas. He graduated from the BA/MD program at the Boston University School of Medicine, double majoring in medical science and economics. In medical school, he was elected to AOA and Gold Humanism Honor Society and served as the President of the AOA chapter. He was passionate about advocating for his classmates on the Student Committee on Medical Student Affairs (SCOMSA). Additionally, Jae served on the medical student Governing Council for Massachusetts, in the American Medical Association and as co-chair for the Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association. He is very interested in legislative advocacy and community service. He was selected to participate in the Heart, Lung, and Blood fellowship from the NIH to study stem cell differentiation to lung progenitors. Jae’s interests include biking, spikeball, basketball, music, and machine learning. His clinical interests are in surgical oncology.
Paolo de Angelis, MD
Weill Cornell Medical College
Paolo’s hometown is Milan, Italy. He moved to the U.S. for college and studied neuroscience at Cornell University. Before medical school, he took a gap year to pursue research at Rockefeller University. During medical school at Weill Cornell, Paolo was involved with teaching and mentoring, volunteered at a soup kitchen and helped co-lead a project to support NYC restaurants and healthcare workers during the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. In medical school, he also conducted research with a focus on healthcare disparities in trauma patients, resulting in multiple publications and presentations at national conferences. Before graduating, he was elected to both AOA and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Paolo loves art, cooking and road cycling; he is interested in HPB/surgical oncology and thoracic surgery.
Djanira Fernandes, MD
Boston University School of Medicine
Djanira’s hometowns are Praia, Cape Verde and Boston, Massachusetts. She received her BS in Biochemistry from Boston College. She then matriculated at Boston University School of Medicine where she received her MS and MD, and was elected as an AOA member. As a medical student, she served as a student leader of the Global Surgical Student Association chapter at BUSM and participated in international service trips. She is interested in mentorship and education, serving as educational fellow and anatomy prosector for PA and dental students, and longitudinal peer advisor for medical students. She also served as a co-leader of the Science Teaching Enrichment Program, mentoring underrepresented high school students interested in healthcare careers. Djanira conducted research on chemotherapy-induced inflammation that regulate tumor growth in the Center for Vascular Biology at BIDMC, where she presented at multiple conferences and published. Djanira is interested in surgical oncology and enjoys family trips, swimming, hiking, and baking.
Anusha Jayaram, MD, MBA
Tufts University School of Medicine
Anusha was born in Singapore, grew up in Sydney, Australia, and went to high school in Ohio. She went on to attend New York University for a BA in Anthropology, while also competing on the tae kwon do team, studying abroad in London and Peru, and being a resident assistant. After college she worked as a research assistant in the Department of Surgery at Mount Sinai, and volunteered as an ED patient advocate for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. She went on to attend Tufts University School of Medicine for a combined MD/MBA with the Brandeis Heller School for Social Policy and Management, where she served on the admission committee, graduated with research honors, and developed her passion for improving access to surgical care. Anusha was the National Chair for the Global Surgery Student Alliance, where she led efforts to improve and expand global surgery education and resources and advocated on a national level for funding for surgical care. She also completed a research year as a Paul Farmer Global Surgery Research Associate at the Harvard Program in Global Surgery and Social Change working on projects related to access to urgent and emergent blood needs, antiracism in global surgery, and developing global, virtual workshops for national surgical planning. Anusha has been recognized for her efforts as a Boston Congress of Public Health’s 40 Under 40 in Public Health, receiving the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Dr. Wasserheit Young Leader award, and the Association for Surgical Education’s Promising Medical Student Surgery Education Research Award. She enjoys reading, playing piano, live music, going spinning, and spending quality time with her loved ones.
Sarah-Ethel “Sally” Justus, MD, MBA
Harvard Medical School
Sally hails from small-town Lula, Georgia. Growing up in a medically underserved region, she has always been passionate about health care delivery for disenfranchised populations. At Harvard College, she spearheaded the joint medical/public health hybrid brigade model through medical missions to Honduras, Panama, and Nicaragua. In the field, she organized teams of ~40 students in public health initiatives such as the construction of septic tanks and latrines, triaging patients awaiting evaluation by supervising physicians, and developing curricula for community public health workshops. During her gap years at Columbia University, she directed a Phase II clinical trial studying a novel therapeutic drug for Stargardt Disease, a rare inherited retinal dystrophy, and she investigated the application of CRISPR in cell and mouse models to slow progression of genetic conditions like Retinitis Pigmentosa. In medical school, she was selected to pursue the combined MD/MBA program, where she served as the MD/MBA Club Co-President and Vocal Director of the Harvard Business School Show, a student-written and -produced annual musical. In her free time, Sally enjoys practicing guitar, biking, playing frisbee, exploring restaurants in Boston with her fiancé, and playing with their puppy, Lula, named in honor of her hometown.
Peterson Maina, MD, PhD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Peterson hails from Mombasa, Kenya. He attended St. Lawrence University, graduating with a degree in Biochemistry, magna cum laude. He went on to earn his PhD from University of Iowa in Anatomy and Cell Biology, before matriculating into Albert Einstein College of Medicine. At Einstein, he assumed various leadership roles, including being the Student Representative to the Office of Medical Education, above Senator in charge of Alumni Relations. He also was the Educational Coordinator of the Homeless Outreach Program and Co-president of Einstein's Christian Fellowship. He pursued a post-doctoral research project after winning an NIH Research Fellowship, during which time he volunteered with Einstein's Project Kindness, a program that saw students visit with hospital patients for conversation. Peterson was elected to AOA and was a member of SNMA. His interests include travel, singing and choreography. He hopes to pursue a career in surgical oncology.
Anays Murillo, MD, MPH
Tufts University School of Medicine
Anays grew up in a Spanish-speaking home in South Florida, proud of her Mexican roots. She received her BA in French Studies from Duke University. After her undergraduate studies, she conducted global health work in Central America, received her MS/MPH from Boston University, and researched the impact of frailty and end-of-life discussions on clinical outcomes at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute leading to multiple presentations and publications. As a medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine, she was a member of the Health Justice Scholars Program, Latino Medical Student Association, a hotline volunteer for The Network/La Red supporting survivors of partner abuse, and part of a team developing and implementing the use of inpatient pediatric screening tools for social determinants of health. During her free time, she enjoys running, playing soccer, hiking, canoeing, and caving. You can always find her trying something new with her husband; they recently are learning how to kiteboard.
Nensi Ruzgar, MD, MHS
Yale School of Medicine
Nensi's hometowns are Istanbul, Turkey, and Toronto, Canada. Nensi graduated magna cum laude from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Biomedical Sciences Specialization) and received her MD/MHS degree from Yale School of Medicine. Her research prior to medical school at McMaster and Johns Hopkins Universities focused on the transcriptomic and epigenetic signatures of pluripotent stem cells. At Yale, Nensi's interests were at the intersection of international and local health equity, medical education, and surgical care access. Her thesis focused on the development of a tumor bank and research capacity in Uganda. She also served as a Solomon Center Research Fellow at the Yale Law School, where she studied the barriers to pediatric surgical care access for refugees and was selected as a Farr Scholar for her research. Nensi chaired and currently is a Junior Advisor for the international group, Gender Equity Initiative in Global Surgery, as well as serving as the Vice Chair of the Medical Student Committee for the Association of Women Surgeons and the VP Education for the Global Surgery Students Alliance. Outside of medicine, Nensi was the musical director and conductor of YSM's Fourth Year Show and spends her free time enjoying the outdoors (especially walking/biking/kayaking along the Charles) and making music.
Integrated Vascular Surgery
Michael Ciaramella, MD
Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Michael’s hometown is Robbinsville, New Jersey. He received his BA in both music and chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross, graduating summa cum laude as a member of the College Honors program. While at Holy Cross, he was awarded the Beethoven Prize for best music composition in the graduating class and was elected to Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honors society. He also co-founded the non-profit Action for Education, Inc. along with other Holy Cross classmates, which is dedicated to improving education and healthcare infrastructure in Honduras. He attended Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School on a full-tuition Dean’s scholarship, where he was elected to AOA and was the recipient of the Stanley S. Bergen Jr. M.D. Medal of Excellence for highest overall academic achievement in the graduating class. Throughout medical school, he participated in several research projects, focusing primarily on clinical outcomes prediction in emergent and elective aortic pathology. His work led to several peer-reviewed publications and presentations. Michael’s clinical interests include all aspects of vascular surgery. He enjoys playing blues guitar, surfing, skiing, golf, and watching football.
Susanna de Geus, MD, PhD
University of Leiden
Susanna’s hometown is Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She received her MD-PhD degree at the University of Leiden. Her PhD thesis focused on emerging molecular targets for pancreatic cancer. During her PhD, she was granted the opportunity to join the Surgical Outcomes Analysis and Research (SOAR) lab at BIDMC, where she used Markov decision analyses modeling and large dataset studies to explore the value of neoadjuvant therapy for pancreatic cancer. After graduating her MD-PhD she joined the SOAR lab at Boston Medical Center as a post-doctoral research fellow, where her research focused on disparities in surgical outcomes and ways to centralize complex surgical care without increasing these disparities. Susanna enjoys running, skiing, sailing, traveling, reading, and ice cream.
Jose Gonzalez Gutierrez, MD
Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey
Jose grew up in Mexico City and is a graduate of the Tecnológico de Monterrey School of Medicine and Health Sciences. After medical school, Jose pursued a research fellowship in the Division of Surgical Oncology at BIDMC. His research focused primarily on the validation of the role of the UGT8 gene in Mexican patients with diagnosis of triple-negative and non-triple-negative breast cancer. Jose also completed the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (PPCR) program offered by Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. Jose enjoys cooking, playing soccer, running, and home DIY projects.
Matthew Liu, MD
George Washington University School of Medicine
Matthew’s hometown is in Montgomery County, Maryland. He received his BS from the University of Maryland College Park. He then did a research fellowship under Dr. Anthony Fauci at the NIH/NIAID, where he published his work on novel HIV antibodies. He received his MD from the George Washington University School of Medicine, where his research has spanned from developing a dermatologic surgery program in South Africa to most recently making 3D printed lumbar puncture phantoms. His clinical interests are body vs interventional radiology. He enjoys tennis, swimming, skiing, and sewing.
Nikolaos Serifis, MD
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Medicine
Nikolaos’s hometown is Athens, Greece. He received his medical degree from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Medicine in Greece. In 2018, he became a Research Fellow in Xenotransplantation at UAB, where he conducted basic science research until 2019, when he moved to Boston and MGH to continue his research in the same field with Dr. James Markmann’s lab. During his time in the lab, Nikolaos designed and performed experiments to support the pig-to-baboon liver xenotransplantation project and also assisted in more than 50 liver procurements and transplantations. His work led to publications and conference presentations. He also worked with Dr. Kent at BIDMC on surgical education research, and his research projects are ongoing. Nikolaos’s clinical interests are surgical oncology and thoracic surgery. In his free time, he enjoys basketball, hiking, traveling, and landscape photography.
Carolina Vigna, MD
Universidad del Norte
Carolina’s hometown is Barranquilla, Colombia. She received her MD from Universidad del Norte in Colombia, graduating as class Valedictorian. While in medical school, Carolina’s interest in medical education led her to start a surgical simulation lab mentoring program in collaboration with peers. After medical school, Carolina pursued a research fellowship at BIDMC in the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Her research used institutional and national databases to investigate clinical outcomes and disparities in colon and rectal pathologies. This research culminated in multiple national presentations and publications. Carolina then joined the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center as a postdoctoral research fellow where she engaged in retrospective studies and clinical trials focusing on lung cancer outcomes. Carolina is also a leadership member of the International Research Initiative, a program that recruits and provides international medical graduates with research opportunities in Boston. Her clinical interest is colorectal surgery. Carolina enjoys painting, jewelry making, dancing, and photography.