Research Electives


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Donna Alvino, MD

Harvard Medical School 
Donna’s hometown is the Bronx, NY. Donna received her BA summa cum laude from Boston University, majoring in Biology and was a member of the College Scholars Society and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, Donna pursued research in the area of HIV immunity at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard in the laboratory of Dr. Bruce Walker. Donna received her MD from Harvard Medical School, pursuing research interests in gastrointestinal surgery. Her surgical interests include surgical oncology with a focus in hepatobiliary surgery as well as transplant surgery. Donna enjoys reading, collecting vinyl records, and cooking.


 

Cervoni-web-2Gabrielle Cervoni, MD

University of Florida College of Medicine
Gabrielle’s hometown is Miami, Florida. She received her BS at the University of Florida – Gainesville, majoring in Biology and Psychology, receiving the National Hispanic Scholar Award and the Bausch and Lomb Math and Science Award. As a medical student at the University of Florida, Gabrielle received the Thomas McLelland Brown Rotary Scholarship and the Goodman Trust Research Award. Gabrielle served as the Women’s Healthcare Coordinator at Equal Access, a student run medical clinic, participated in Project Heal, served as President of Medical Students for Choice, and was a member of the Admissions Committee. Gabrielle is currently pursuing translational research in colon and rectal cancer  as a postdoctoral fellow in glycobiology. Her clinical interest is colon and rectal surgery. Gabrielle enjoys running, painting, camping, hiking reading, baking, and watching movies with her cat Max!


 

Cheng webJane Cheng, MD

Wayne State University School of Medicine
Jane’s hometown is Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jane received her BS from the University of Michigan, majoring in Biochemistry. She received the Woodlock Alumnae Scholarship, Gomberg Chemistry Scholarship, and the Walton Scholarship, and served as Captain for the University of Michigan Dance Marathon and was a health screening coordinator for the Vietnamese American Association. Jane received her MD from the Wayne State School of Medicine and was a member of the Cass Clinic for uninsured and underinsured residents of Detroit, the Detroit Medical Orchestra, and served as President of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association. Her surgical interest includes surgical oncology. Jane is currently doing a research fellowship in cancer biology at BIDMC. Jane enjoys hiking, traveling, and exploring various culture through food.


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Ngoc-Quynh Chu, MD

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Quynh’s hometown is Amherst, Massachusetts. She received her BS from Yale University, majoring in Biology, and was a recipient of the Yale College Dean’s Research Fellowship and the Robert C. Bates Summer Traveling Fellowship. Prior to medical school, Quynh conducted basic science research in immunobiology at Yale Medical School. She received her MD from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth where she participated in student-run free clinics and received the Betty Lea Stone Research Fellowship for research in tumor immunology. She is currently pursuing a research fellowship in a thoracic oncology lab. Her surgical interest lies in cardiothoracic surgery. Quynh enjoys music, Boston sports, and photography.


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Carly Comer, MD

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Carly grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Carly received her BS summa cum laude from the Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Biology, and was a recipient of the Schreyer Honors College Academic Excellence Scholarship, the Even Pugh Senior Scholar Award, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, Carly pursued research at Penn State’s Prevention Research Center and interned with the non-profit organization, Save A Child’s Heart. Carly received her MD from the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, receiving the Measey Scholarship and was inducted into the Hobart Amory Hare Honor Medical Society, the National Pathology Honor Society, and the Dean’s Student Leadership Forum. Carly was active in a number of extracurriculars and was elected to AOA. Her surgical interests include academic general surgery and surgical education. Carly enjoys running, yoga, Philly sports, and travel.


Dansey-Kirsten_webKirsten Dansey, MD

Vascular Surgery Integrated Residency
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
Kirsten was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and her hometown is San Francisco. Kirsten graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BS in Pharmacology. She received her MD from the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, serving as President of Medical Students for Choice, volunteering at the Bridge Clinic, a student-run clinic, and at the Free Women’s Clinic. Kirsten has volunteered at medical centers in South Africa and Nicaragua. Following her first three years of surgical residency, Kirsten is currently pursuing outcomes research in vascular surgery with a focus on the use of large databases to evaluate carotid and aortic disease. She is pursuing an MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health. She enjoys traveling, outdoor water sports, reading, hiking, and running.


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Michael Dombek, MD

Boston University School of Medicine
Michael’s hometown is Jericho, Vermont. Michael received his BS and BA magna cum laude from Boston University, majoring in both Human Physiology and Biology. As an undergraduate, he supported himself as an emergency medical technician employed by the LifeLine Ambulance Service.  Following college, Michael pursued research in pediatric oncology. Michael received his MD from the Boston University School of Medicine, where he was a member of the Student Council, the Student Nutrition Action and Awareness Council, taught anatomy, pursued research in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and was elected to AOA. As a resident at BIDMC, he was elected to the Gold Humanism Honor Society and is pursuing research in acute care surgery. His surgical interests include acute care surgery, trauma surgery, and surgical critical care. Michael enjoys running, hiking, skiing, camping, and exploring New England.


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Michelle Fakler, MD

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Michelle’s hometown is Stow, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (Oxford, OH) with a BA in Medical Anthropology with a particular interest in medicine, culture, and inequality. As an undergraduate, Michelle engaged in research concerning HIV and cultural norms in rural India and served at the World Health Organization in Geneva. Here in the U.S., she worked with the Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland and published on lethality factors in cases of domestic violence. Michelle entered Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine as a member of the inaugural class of the Urban Health Pathway, which allowed a small group of students to focus on unique socioeconomic issues related to the delivery of healthcare to urban communities. Her surgical interest is general and colorectal surgery. Michelle is currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration/International Development at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Michelle enjoys traveling as well as hiking with her dog, Luna.


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Omar Haque, MD

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine
Omar is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He has a Bachelor of Science with honors from Johns Hopkins University, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. In college, he was a Woodrow Wilson Research Fellow, received the William F. Clinger, Jr. International Research Award and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He also studied abroad at Oxford during his junior year, researching the economics of health and development. Omar received his MD from the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. At Mayo, he won the Endowment for Education Research Award and was elected to the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society. Omar created and taught a video based surgical skills curriculum and was active in refugee resettlement work in Rochester, MN. His surgical interests include abdominal transplant surgery and liver perfusion research. Omar enjoys watching the Red Sox, running, tennis, and traveling.


Isbell webKayla Isbell, MD

University of Alabama School of Medicine
Kayla’s hometown is Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Kayla received her BS in Mathematics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Masters in Applied American Politics and Policy from Florida State University. Kayla received her MD from the University of Alabama School of Medicine where she received the Paul W. Burleson Scholarship, the Society of Thoracic Surgery Looking to the Future Scholarship, and was a recipient of a NIH research training grant. Kayla was a member of the Admissions Committee, the Student Government Association, and volunteered at Equal Access Birmingham, a free clinic. Kayla was the co-founder and President of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Interest Group and pursued research in cardiothoracic surgery with James Kirklin,MD. Her surgical interests include general surgery. Kayla enjoys  drawing, reading, and traveling.

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Mark Kashtan, MD

Medical College of Wisconsin
Mark is originally from Sacramento, California. He received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in Integrative Biology. As a medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Mark served as President of the Student Assembly and was elected to the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He also became involved with organized medicine, serving as President of the MCW chapter of the AMA before being elected to the Governing Council of the AMA's Medical Student Section and receiving the Houghton Award from the Wisconsin Medical Society. He has continued this involvement with the Massachusetts Medical Society, and currently sits on the Governing Council of the Resident and Fellows Section of the AMA. He is interested in pediatric surgery and quality improvement, and obtained his MPH from Harvard while doing epidemiological research on pediatric appendicitis at Boston Children's Hospital. Mark grew up backpacking in the Sierra Nevada mountains and continues to enjoy hiking, camping, skiing, and rock and ice climbing in the White Mountains with his Bernese Mountain Dog, Navi.


Kent webDaniel Kent, MD

Albany Medical College
Dan’s hometown is Los Gatos, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dan obtained his BA from the University of California at Los Angeles, majoring in International Development Studies and minoring in Spanish. During college, he worked for Physicians for Social Responsibility and Amigos de las Americas. Between college and medical school, he worked at PEAK Surgical and Medtronic. Dan obtained his MD from Albany Medical College, where he received the Scholastic Excellence Award, the Tompkins Alumni Scholarship, and was elected to the Gold Humanism Honor Society and AOA. He was the co-founder and co-President of the Albany Medical College Global Health Interest Group, co-President of the Students for a National Health Program, and served as a member of the Executive Board of the IMANA Clinic, a free clinic serving local immigrants and refugees. His surgical interests include trauma, vascular surgery, surgical innovation, and global health. Dan enjoys music, surfing, and woodworking.


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Stephanie Lazow, MD

Weill Cornell Medical College
Stefanie’s hometown is Morganville, NJ. Stefanie received her BA magna cum laude from Dartmouth College, majoring in Anthropology. She was a recipient of the Claire Garber Goodman Grant, the Paul and Evalyn Richter Memorial Fund Grant, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her MD from Weill Cornell Medical College. As a medical student, Stefanie co-founded the PreOp surgical exposure program, was a mentor for underrepresented minority high school students, and served as President of the Cornell Adventures in the Mountains Program. Stefanie was elected to AOA and served as co-President of the Stimson Surgical Society. Her surgical interests include pediatric surgery. She is currently pursuing a basic science research fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital. Stefanie enjoys hiking and skiing.


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Chun Li, MD

Emory University School of Medicine
Chun's hometown is Kennesaw, GA. She received her BS from MIT in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Biomedical engineering. She was elected to the Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society for electrical engineering and was the Captain and MVP of the MIT Women's Fencing team. Prior to medical school, she spent two years conducting research at the MGH Center for Computational Biology studying mediators of innate immunity in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as gene expression microarray analysis. She received her MD from Emory University School of Medicine, receiving the Joseph B. Whitehead Scholarship, and volunteered with Strong4Life at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and the Grady Memorial Hospital Diabetes Clinic. As a medical student, Chun pursued research in cardiothoracic surgery, studying outcomes after transcatheter aortic valve replacement. She is currently a clinical research fellow in vascular surgery and is pursuing her MPH. Chun enjoys dancing, photography, and spending time with her family.


Li webJennifer Li, MD

(Vascular Surgery Integrated Residency)

Icahn School of Medicine
Jennifer’s hometown is Monroeville, PA.  Jennifer received her BS magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Biology w/ Honors distinction in research. In college, she served as President of the Penn Music Mentoring Program and Co-President of the Penn Tae Kwon Do club, leading her team to first place in the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo League. Jennifer received her MD from the Icahn School of Medicine where she conducted both clinical and translational cardiovascular research and was the recipient of the MSTAR research award, NYSVS and SVS research awards, and Yankauer Scholarship.  She also helped lead the student-run community health clinic. Her surgical interests are in vascular surgery, especially carotid imaging and micro-embolism research. Jennifer enjoys piano, hiking, and traveling.


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Jessica Means, MD

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Jessica is a native of Massachusetts, attended Harvard, and majored in Human Evolutionary Biology, graduating with Honors. She was the first female conductor of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals in 161 years, produced Harvard’s 375th Anniversary Celebration, and was the recipient of the Edward H. Potter Prize for fulfilling the enthusiasm and curiosity for eclectic learning. Upon graduating, she received the Harvard Center for Public Interest Careers Fellowship to serve at the Medicare Rights Center in New York City. While in NYC, she played the piano for the Broadway community, and became the pianist for Tony Award-winner Alice Ripley, with whom she plays concerts in NYC and across the country. She attended medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she pursued research in breast and plastic surgery, was the national first-prize winner of the Linda Brodsky MD Essay Contest, the president of the monthly musical Coffeehouse, and recipient of the Seymour Kaplan Award for academic excellence and citizenship. As a resident at BIDMC, she continues to play the piano regularly, recently accompanying Alice Ripley for “Broadway in the Berkshires”. Jessica’s surgical interests include breast surgery, surgical oncology, and surgical education. She enjoys spending time with her partner, family, and two dogs.


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Samia Osman, MD

Harvard Medical School
Samia was raised in Mesa, Arizona.  Samia received her BS summa cum laude from the University of Arizona, majoring in Molecular Cell Biology, Psychology, and International Development and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After college, Samia received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the universal healthcare system in Taiwan. Samia received her MD from Harvard and a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, as a Knowles Fellow and Harvard Square to Oval Office Fellow. Samia served as National Student President for the American Medical Women’s Association, receiving the Anne C. Carter Student Leadership Award, was a Harvard Women and Public Policy Fellow, and was first medical student to be inducted into the Massachusetts Medical Society Honor Roll. Her surgical interests include trauma surgery, global surgery, and surgical disparities. Samia has a first-degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys music and creating fusion dishes.

 
 

Jonathan Pastrana Del Valle, MD

Ponce Health Sciences University, Puerto Rico
Jonathan’s hometown is Carolina, Puerto Rico. Jonathan graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a BA in Natural Sciences followed by an MD from Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences. After his initial three years of surgical residency, Jonathan is pursuing a research fellowship in surgical oncology with a focus on colorectal cancer immunology. His surgical interests are colorectal surgery and surgical oncology. Jonathan enjoys Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, traveling, and gastronomy.


Benjamin Scott, MDBenjamin Scott, MD

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Ben’s hometown is Pittsburgh, PA. Ben received a BA from Johns Hopkins in International Studies, where he was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha and played varsity baseball and football.  After college Ben played three seasons in the Arena Football League.  He then received his MD from the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, where he enrolled in the Population Health Program, a specialized medical school curriculum in public health.  At Jefferson, Ben was a Levitt Scholar, pursued research in surgical oncology, and served on the Athlete Health Organization, providing screenings to high school athletes. Ben was inducted into the George McClellan Surgical Honor Society and the Hobart Amory Hare Medical Honor Society. His surgical interests include plastic and reconstructive surgery and surgical oncology. Ben enjoys surfing, cooking at home, going out for sushi, and playing with other people’s dogs.


Sokas webClaire Sokas, MD

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Claire’s hometown is Highlands Ranch, CO. Claire received a BS in Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame and was the recipient of the Irish Clover Award for outstanding service to the student body. Claire received her MD from the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and served on the Admissions Committee, the Professional Conduct Committee, the Student Advisory Committee on Professionalism, and was a student leader for the Jefferson Center for Inter-Professional Education. Claire was elected into the George McClellan Surgical Honors Society.  Her surgical interests include vascular surgery as well as clinical effectiveness research and quality improvement. Claire is an avid runner and has volunteered as a guide for Achilles International in both Philadelphia and Boston.


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Kathryn Stackhouse, MD

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Kathryn’s hometown is Thurmont, MD.  Kathryn graduated magna cum laude from Elon University with a BS in Biology and was an Elon College Fellow. She received her MD and a Masters in Clinical Research from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. As a medical student, Kathryn was active in multiple research projects, served as Co-Leader of the Cardiac Surgery Interest Group, and pursued research in pediatric and adult congenital heart diseases. Her current surgical interest is hepatopancreaticobiliary surgery, and she is pursuing translational research in pancreatic cancer on a K12 NIH postdoctoral fellowship in glycobiology. Kathryn enjoys running, biking, and exploring new restaurants.


Alessandra Storino Gonzalez, MD

School of Medicine at Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Columbia
Alessandra received her MD from the School of Medicine at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, graduating as Class Salutatorian. Following graduation, Alessandra completed one year of social service as a general practitioner in rural Colombia. She continued her studies in the United States, earning a Masters in clinical epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health, while pursuing research in pancreatic and biliary disease with multiple contributions to the surgical literature. Alessandra’s clinical interests are gastrointestinal, pancreatobiliary and transplant surgery. She enjoys horseback riding, travelling, dancing and the FIFA World Cup.  

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Daniel Wong, MD

Yale University School of Medicine
Dan is a native of New Haven. He received his BA cum laude from Williams College, majoring in Biology and English, was elected to Sigma Xi, and received the Bullock Poetry Prize from the American Academy of Poets.  At Williams, Daniel also served as captain of the sailing team and was an Emergency Medical Technician. Following graduation, Dan worked for the Obama Presidential campaign in Ohio and volunteered in medical centers in South Africa. Dan received his MD and a Masters in Health Science from Yale University School of Medicine, where he was a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellows and named a Farr Scholar in recognition of excellence in research. He is current pursuing research in bioengineering as an American College of Surgeons Resident Research Fellow. He is also a course director of the Harvard Surgical Program in Innovation (SPIN), which teaches device development and surgical innovation to surgical trainees. His surgical interest is colorectal surgery. Dan enjoys tennis, soccer, hockey, and sailing.


Yu webLumeng Jenny Yu, MD

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Jenny’s hometown is Plainsboro, New Jersey. She is a graduate of the BA/MD program at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, majoring in Cell Biology and Neuroscience. She was the recipient of the Rutgers University Tepper Scholarship, Rutgers University Academic Excellence Award, Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences Excellence Award, Rutgers University James Dickson Carr Fellowship, and was an Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In medical school, Jenny pursued research in the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research, served on the Curriculum Committee, was on the board of the Healthy Living Task Force, and served as co-President of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association. She is currently pursuing a research fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital, studying angiogenesis and tissue regeneration, as well as intestinal failure associated liver disease. Her surgical interests include pediatric surgery and surgical oncology. Jenny enjoys cooking, baking, and reading.