Class of 2023
Alex Andreev, MD
Originally from Russia, I completed medical school at Volgograd State Medical University and an Internal Medicine residency at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in New York City. Neurology has always been my passion and led to my decision to do a second residency. Incredible research and clinical opportunities were just a few of the aspects that drew me to BIDMC Neurology.
In the last few years I studied the association of Alzheimer’s disease with anemia of chronic inflammation, resulting in a recent publication. Throughout my Medicine residency I did research in Neurocritical Care and presented two case reports at CHEST and ATS conferences. Currently, I’m planning to start a research project on ischemic stroke management with thrombectomy and hope to pursue a career in Vascular Neurology as a neuro-interventionist.
Ariel Axelbaum MD
I hail from St. Louis and love to spend time out in nature. Boston is a great city for spending time outdoors and there’s always another location to be explored. Thankfully, the program does a great job balancing clinical responsibilities with flexible time that can be used to pursue personal or professional interests. What really makes Beth Israel unique, however, is the culture of teamwork that makes every day enjoyable and educational.
I attended St. Louis University for medical school and ultimately decided to pursue a career in Neurology due to the challenging and thoughtful nature of the field. I have done basic science research in college and medical school but became more interested in quality improvement and medical education during my training. After residency, I will be moving across town to Mass Eye and Ear for fellowship in Neuro-Ophthalmology.
Dennis Fitzgerald, MD
I’m from Binghamton, New York. ‘Fun’ facts: I’ve been shot in the eye with a paintball (retina hasn’t been in top shape since). Earlier, I was a football player and kickboxer, so I follow CTE research very closely. I roast coffee beans with a popcorn maker (you’d be surprised how well that works). Favorite activities outside work: running along the Charles, drumming, and making a mean cup of coffee.
Beth Israel Deaconess was my choice for residency for many reasons, including the R25 research program, the academic reputation, and my interest in brainstem circuitry and unraveling the function of “reticular” nuclei. Dr. Saper’s work on glutamatergic signaling in the brainstem caught my eye in the 3rd year of medical school, and this residency has been on my mind since. I hope to pursue research and contribute a deeper understanding of the neural circuits underlying psychiatric disease.
Neha Kumar, MD – Administrative Chief
I grew up in the Southern US in Memphis, Tennessee, went to undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis and did my medical school training and internship year in Cleveland. I’m excited to be living in Boston as it’s very different from any other place I’ve lived–the historical sites and diverse food scene are some of the highlights. In my free time you’ll find me brunching or traveling all over the world (Portugal, Ireland, and Iceland most recently!)
I have had so much support from the BI faculty and my fellow residents as I changed my mind on what my future career would look like not once, not twice, but three times! I will be pursuing a vascular neurology fellowship next year at Boston University and then plan to head back to the South with my husband and practice in the outpatient setting focusing on a more general neurology practice, to serve that community.
Nadia McMillan, MD, PhD
I moved to Boston from New York but grew up all over! I attended Johns Hopkins for undergrad and then pursued an MD and PhD through the MSTP at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. In my free time, you can find me running or outdoors regardless of the weather. Boston is definitely a great place to explore and has an endless number of resources which is a huge draw to the program.
My PhD research studying neural stem cells and regeneration led to an intense interest in Neuroscience and thus to Neurology. Given the relevance of regeneration to a number of fields, I hope to pursue a career in which I can apply this knowledge. I am considering Neuro-Oncology, Stroke or Neuro-ICU and plan to continue research studying the cellular biology of brain cells to guide therapy.
Anthony Tran, MD
Born and raised in Massachusetts, I wanted to train and serve in the commonwealth I call home. I love Boston! All the perks of one of the best metro cities, while only a couple hours’ drive from scenic hikes and lush ski slopes. I mostly snowboard but recently fell in love with skiing. A champion’s mentality flows deep in us, which you’ll experience yourself once you’ve been to a sports game here (I bleed green!). At BI, the residents genuinely care for one another. With the grueling demands of residency, it is calming to have such a powerful support system.
I will be pursuing a fellowship in Epilepsy/ Clinical Neurophysiology with EEG focus, with interests in Global Health and General Neurology. During my time in the global health pathway in medical school, I was immersed in the healthcare systems of low-income countries such as the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. While I am not going on an upcoming trip, I hope to participate in our structured elective in Zambia before graduating.
Jia-Yi Wang, MD – Administrative Chief
I’m from China, grew up in New Jersey and by some extension, Manhattan! I went to undergrad at NYU and then to the University of Pittsburgh for medical school. My partner and I decided to couples match to BI and Boston because of the strength of the clinical training and the general sense of camaraderie I felt during my interview day. Now that I’ve spent several years here, I can say for certain those things are true!
My clinical interests are in vascular and inpatient neurology, as well as medical education and epidemiology. I will be staying on as a vascular neurology fellow at BIDMC after residency. Outside of work, I enjoy painting, reading, and cooperative board/card games. I’ve also rediscovered piano during residency!
Mitch Wilson, MD
Originally from Ottawa, Canada, I completed my undergrad and master’s degrees in Kinesiology at Queen’s University and then attended University College Dublin in Ireland for medical school. I enjoy playing and watching sports: hockey, golf, basketball, football, baseball. I have also run the Boston Marathon! My favorite part about the BI Neurology program is undoubtedly the collegiality amongst all residents, faculty and nursing staff.
I plan to pursue a fellowship in Vascular Neurology. I am currently involved in exciting research studies at BI – one examining weight loss in the stroke population and another assessing the diagnostic utility of MRI in spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage. I look forward to an academic career being highly engaged in research and teaching.
Class of 2024
Anastasia Barnes, MD
I grew up in Manhasset, Long Island, New York with my parents, two sisters and two brothers. After completing my undergraduate degree in psychology at Columbia University, I did two years of research in neurodegenerative disorders at New York University. I then attended SUNY Downstate for medical school, where wonderful mentors encouraged my interest in neurology. Following medical school, I completed my internship in medicine at North Shore University Hospital/Long Island Jewish Medical Center near my home. I hope to learn about all aspects of neurology at BIDMC alongside my remarkable colleagues. Moving to Boston is very exciting for me and I look forward to exploring this amazing city. In my free time I enjoy music and playing with my dog.
Joseph Ditrapani, MD
I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and lived there until college when I moved to New Orleans to study neuroscience and public health at Tulane. After college, I stayed in New Orleans for medical school at LSU-New Orleans, where I also completed my MPH in epidemiology. Moving to Boston has been an amazing experience and in my free time I’ve enjoyed exploring the city (specifically all of the green spaces, and Fenway where I just recently moved to), playing tennis, and golfing.
I chose BIDMC for residency because of its excellent clinical training, supportive culture, and abundance of research opportunities. While I am still undecided on what specific fellowship I would like to do and look forward to exploring more subspecialties as a resident, I am currently most interested in epilepsy/neurophysiology. I also plan on being involved in neurology research during residency and hope to incorporate my background in public health and epidemiology
Dan Forsman, MD
I grew up in the suburbs of New York City and spent my summers in the Swedish countryside. After attending college, I worked as an EMT for a couple of years before moving to New Hampshire to attend Dartmouth medical school. In my free time, I enjoy playing the banjo, hiking, skiing, and swimming.
Currently, I am not certain as to which subspecialty I will pursue; however, I have been interested in neuroimmunology. Alternatively, ever since playing rugby in college, I have had a particular fascination with traumatic brain injuries. Regardless of which field of neurology I end up choosing, I am thrilled to carry out my training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The hospital has fostered a kind and collaborative environment that has made it a pleasure to work and grow here.
Divya Palanisamy, MD
I grew up in Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota with undergraduate degrees in Neuroscience and Philosophy. I then spent a year tutoring and mentoring fourth grade students through an AmeriCorps program called City Year in Manchester, New Hampshire, before attending medical school at Case Western Reserve University. Boston has been a wonderful place to explore, and I’ve especially enjoyed spending my free time in one of the many beautiful parks/green spaces with a good book.
My current interests are in medical education, and preliminarily in neuroimmunology and movement disorders, although I look forward to learning more about these areas and others in the years to come. The BI Neurology program stood out to me because of the culture of mentorship. I knew I would find exceptional mentors in medical education, as well as thoughtful guidance on how to build my career to best fit my goals and interests.
Hayley Price, MD
I was born and raised in Drums, PA, a small town in northeastern PA (~40 min from Scranton, though I worked at a grocery store, not a paper company, in high school). Growing up, I cultivated a love for music, both playing piano and going to live shows; reading (favorite author: Stephen King); and playing video games, as the middle child between two brothers. I majored in biomedical engineering at Harvard, and for medical school I went to Penn State in Hershey, PA — one of the Sweetest Places on Earth even if you don’t like chocolate. I am so excited to have returned to Boston to complete my neurology training at BIDMC. Outside the hospital, you can find me doing yoga, checking out local pizza places and breweries, and hanging out with my greyhound rescue, Cosmo.
My favorite aspect of BIDMC is truly the people. Residents develop a sense of family not only with each other but also with world-class faculty, educators, and researchers. While I do not know yet which specialty I will pursue for fellowship, I hope to develop a career centered around longitudinal patient care and medical education.
Kevin Sikah, MD
I am originally from Miami, Florida, but I have been in the Boston area for most of my years since graduating high school, so it’s become something of a second home for me. I was drawn to BI because of the warmth and camaraderie that I felt during my time on the wards while at Harvard Medical School, in addition to the strength of the clinical program and research. In Boston, I enjoy playing piano and spending time with friends and local family, whether that involves playing indoor games, going salsa dancing, trying new foods, or exploring the city.
My interests within neurology are still fairly open- Cognitive, Stroke, and Epilepsy are some of my areas of interest. Regardless of which I choose, I’d like to give back and work with underserved populations as well. My most recent research was on effects of TMS with Dr. Mouhsin Shafi; prior to this, I spent some time studying TBI in rats. I look forward to further exploring and refining my interests during my time at Beth Israel!
Stephanie Vu, MD
I grew up in Connecticut. I went to undergrad at University of Connecticut and attended medical school at University of Connecticut, where I met my fiance. We couples matched to the Boston area for our residencies! I became interested in neurology after doing some basic/clinical research in undergrad. I’m very excited to spend the following several years at BIDMC especially because of its collegiality.
In my free time I really enjoy cooking (especially with my wok which I use almost daily), trying new foods, and hiking. Also, my family recently got a dog and I absolutely adore her!
I am interested in pursuing an academic career in Neurology, especially in medical education. In terms of my clinical interests, I enjoy learning about neurodegenerative diseases, but I’m very open to exploring the different sub-specialties within neurology.
Shuodan Zhang, MD
I was born in China, moved to Germany for a bit and grew up in Chicago. I went to college and medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I chose BI because of the close-knit community the residents here have at BI, resident autonomy, phenomenal clinical training and research opportunities, and the strong support from our faculty and staff. Outside the hospital I love running, doing yoga, and spending time with friends and family – and pre-pandemic (and definitely hoping post-pandemic!) traveling, and catching broadway & comedy shows!
I’m interested in a career in academic medicine with a focus on clinical research. I have done basic science and translational research in the past. I am still exploring what I would like to pursue in Neurology, but so far Neuro-oncology and Epilepsy have caught my eye! I’m excited to start Neurology, become more familiar with the multitude of subspecialties, and to work alongside and learn from the BI Neurology family!
Class of 2025
Ryan Barrette, MD
I grew up in Massachusetts along the beaches of Cape Cod. I attended Wheaton College in Norton, MA where I received a B.A. in Chemistry. In keeping with the “art” portion of a B.A., I wrote an honors thesis based on my research of the chemical reactions involved in re-creating linseed oil paints as used in the restoration of oil paintings.
I attended the University of Massachusetts Medical School where I served as member and co-president of the Student Body Committee. I developed a passion for neurology during our pre-clinical neuroanatomy course, and that passion continued to grow during my neurology electives. I have particular clinical interest in the role of palliative care across the diverse spectrum of neurological disorders, and how to best support neurology patients and their families through serious illness and complex decision making.
In my spare time, my hobbies include foreign languages as well as music and performance. Prior to medical school, I street performed as a singer-songwriter in the Boston Public Garden. My instrument of choice is the baritone ukulele.
Nicole Cesanek, MD
I grew up in a small town in New Jersey and first came to Boston for college at Boston University, where I studied biomedical engineering. After completing my medical school training at Rutgers, I was ready to come back to Boston right away and completed my internship across the river in Cambridge at Mount Auburn Hospital. I was drawn to Beth Israel by the open culture and sense of community I got from both the residents and faculty. Professionally, I am interested in medical education and within neurology my interests are still varied. Outside of work I enjoy cooking and trying new foods, reading (I’m in multiple book clubs and always looking for new suggestions), and crocheting/knitting. I love to get outside in Boston’s green spaces and downtown – sun or snow!
Andres Eras, MD
I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and moved to Los Angeles to study Spanish and Biology at USC. Afterwards, I returned home to work on a diabetes research project at the University of New Mexico. I then moved to Boston to study at BU School of Medicine. Once here, I fell in love with both the city and neurology, which is why I’m excited to continue my training at BIDMC Neurology after a year at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. While I enjoy all of the neurology subspecialties, I am currently most interested in neuromuscular and movement disorders. I also loved teaching during med school and intern year and am excited to show students how fascinating neurology can be. Outside of medicine, I enjoy doing bar trivia, walking the dog, and playing Scrabble with my girlfriend.
David Klodowski, MD, MPH
I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before heading to Allegheny College for my undergraduate degree. I completed medical school at Jefferson in Philadelphia where I participated in a 5-year dual degree MD/MPH program. In my free time I love playing basketball, hiking, visiting friends and family, and exploring Boston and its awesome restaurants with my wife.
I knew early on in medical school that I had a passion for neurology. I used my MPH time at Jefferson to get into research in the field by investigating variables that influence seizure recurrence following epilepsy surgery. At the moment, epilepsy and movement disorders pique my interest, but I am keeping an open mind and am excited to learn more about each subspecialty. I decided to come to the BIDMC/Harvard neuro program because of its emphasis on a well-rounded education, the availability of research opportunities and mentors, and the collegiality and friendliness of the people.
Ushna Khan, MD
My family moved quite a bit around the US and Canada when I was young, but I grew up in upstate NY for the most part. I studied Neuroscience and Biochemistry at Binghamton University and then moved to the Bronx for medical school at Albert Einstein. In my free time, I love exploring new restaurants, baking, crocheting, and cuddling with my two cats.
I chose BI because of the warm, welcoming atmosphere, as well as the many opportunities to pursue further interests. I am looking forward to exploring subspecialties throughout residency to find what I enjoy the most! I also hope to incorporate global health into my future practice.
Matthew McGuinness, MD
I grew up in central New Jersey, but funnily enough I was actually born at Beth Israel Hospital (before the merger with Deaconess). I attended undergrad at the College of William & Mary in Virginia where I met my fiancée, before moving back to NJ for medical school at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Boston is a great place to live, with so much to do and see. So, I knew that I wanted it to be the place where I would do my residency, and I’m excited about getting to train and learn as part of BIDMC Neurology. When not at work you can usually find me at the park with my fiancée and our whoodle, Percy, or at home relaxing on the couch playing video games.
My current interests in neurology are primarily in the inpatient setting, such as stroke and neurocritical care, but I look forward to getting to experience the breadth of fields neurology has to offer. I’m also interested in teaching and medical education and am looking forward to a career in academic neurology.
Stephen Trudeau, MD
I grew up as a global citizen in Asia, Europe, and several US states! Before moving to Boston I studied biochemistry and synthetic organic chemistry as an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, and spent a year doing basic science research and working as a patient care associate at the Ohio State University before attending medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. I am pursuing a career in academic medicine with a focus on research, with additional interests in education and diversity and inclusion. Outside of medicine I have a passion for all things music, food, and tennis!
There are many reasons I have thoroughly enjoyed my intern year and the first year of neurology at BIDMC. A few things that really stand out are the genuine camaraderie and collaborative culture among both the residents and faculty here, and the combination of excellent teaching paired with a high level of resident autonomy provides a strong clinical training. Additionally, there is a wealth of exciting opportunities and resources available for clinical, translational, and basic research, medical education, public and global health, and more- both within BIDMC and across the greater Harvard infrastructure, as well as in collaboration with other institutions in Boston and beyond. The pervasive culture of collaboration and innovation alongside a focus on training strong clinicians is exciting to be a part of and enables me to carve my own path in neurology. Currently I am exploring subspecialties and research projects with the anticipation of applying to the R25 program, and I also plan to get involved with teaching neuroanatomy at HMS, working on diversity and inclusion initiatives, and learning global neurology through the elective in Zambia. This is a fantastic place to learn and grow as a neurologist, and I am really looking forward to residency here!
Ailing Yang, MD
I grew up in Plano, Texas with my parents, younger brother, and grandparents. I attended UT Dallas for college and UT Southwestern for medical school as part of UT-PACT, a joint accelerated BA/MD program.
When I interviewed at BI, I realized that here is the place where I could grow to be the kind of neurologist who originally inspired me. Steeped in history, Boston is truly a medical capital of the world where BI residents are only limited by their imagination in academic opportunities and things to do. I am exploring the different neurology subspecialties. My hobbies include learning the piano, reading, writing, crafting, jogging, and watching period dramas.
Class of 2026
Joshua Cheng, MD
I grew up in Toronto and studied Physiology at Western University. I then pursued my PhD at the University of Toronto focused on neuroimaging, before pursuing medical school in NY at Stony Brook. During medical school, I participated in the “Scholarly Concentration in Research” program and used that elective time to continue neuroimaging work at the MGH Martinos Center, where my wife is currently a post-doctoral fellow. From our time in Boston, we have come to appreciate how diverse and vibrant the city is, and have been avidly exploring places to hike and restaurants to try.
In choosing my neurology residency, BIDMC was my top choice as it offered outstanding clinical training within a supportive environment, and the Berenson Allen Center for Brain Stimulation was the ideal next step for my research training. All the while closing the long-distance gap with my wife, I knew that at BIDMC Neurology I would be able to flourish both inside and outside of the hospital.
Maggie Carey, MD
A dual citizen of the US and Canada, I spent much of my childhood in the remote Arizona desert before traveling to Marseille, France, where I studied neural crest cell migration at an INSERM laboratory. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Studies from the University of Southern California. In 2022, I earned my MD with an emphasis in research from the Robert Larner, MD College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, where I also developed a strong interest in medical education. I am passionate about high value care and am honored to continue my work with the Choosing Wisely STARS (Students & Trainees Advocating for Resource Stewardship) Program this year as a member of the national advisory board.
I am thrilled to be joining the Harvard Neurology Residency Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center! Offering both academic rigor and collegial support, the clinical environment at BIDMC clearly provides exceptional patient care while also encouraging residents’ individual growth as clinicians, scientists, and educators. I am looking forward to furthering my knowledge in all subspecialties of neurology, and in particular, pursuing my niche interest in dysautonomia at BIDMC’s eminent Center for Autonomic and Peripheral Nerve Disorders. When not at work, you might find me tending bonsai trees, crafting jewelry, or training for my next marathon while fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through the Charity Miles app.
John Erdman, MD
I grew up in Connecticut before attending Amherst College. After Amherst, I spent a year teaching English at a public elementary school just outside of Madrid, Spain before starting at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and cat named Pip, watching the NY Jets, biking, cooking, and exploring new places. I’m excited to move to Boston and to experience all that the city has to offer!
I chose Neurology because of my fascination with the nervous system and the opportunity to create close relationships with patients. Academically, I am most interested in acute neurology and am considering pursuing a fellowship in Vascular Neurology or Neurocritical care before practicing in an academic setting.
Julie Fynke, MD
I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit and have spent most of my life in Michigan up to this point. I attended the University of Michigan where I got my degree in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience. During my time there I developed a passion for public health and stayed to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health before entering medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit. While I’ve loved my time in the Midwest, I feel ready and excited to explore all that BIDMC and Boston have to offer!
My current interests are broad and I look forward to exploring all the different neurologic subspecialties to find the best fit for me. No matter what I go into I plan on making public health part of my practice, whether that means working to increase access to neurologic care, improving disparities, or both! I chose BI Neurology because I felt that the program had a strong sense of community in addition to being strong clinically and academically. I can’t wait to meet the team and get started soon!
Elaine Lu, MD
I was born in Texas and grew up in sunny Southern California. I completed my undergraduate studies in neuroscience and disabilities studies at UCLA, where I developed an interest in neurology through my coursework and research activities. For medical school, I attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. And I am excited to now complete my journey across America in Boston, MA at Beth Israel Deaconess.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, sampling new cuisines and doing fun activities with family and friends. Academically, I am just starting to explore various interests in vascular neurology, neurocritical care, neuropalliative care, and neuropsychiatry. I look forward to spending quality time living, working, and learning alongside my new BI family!
Benton Maglinger, MD, MS
I grew up in Kentucky surrounded by a family of artists, musicians, and educators. From those influences, I developed a love for art, playing the guitar, and for finding interesting topics to learn more about. After earning a degree in finance, I completed a Master’s of Anatomy and Neurobiology, and then pursued medical school. After medical school, I moved to Boston for residency, and have loved my time in Boston and meeting so many amazing people at BIDMC. My clinical research interests include identifying prognostic biomarkers for large vessel ischemic strokes, investigating recurrence of ischemic stroke in patients with intracranial atherosclerotic disease, as well as better understanding risk factors and therapeutic interventions of arteriovenous malformations and aneurysms. My current hobbies include urban sketching, cooking new (and favorite) recipes of all types, and learning more about New England.
Karthik Jagannath, MD
Prior to moving up to Boston, I spent all my life down in Texas, growing up in Sugar Land, a suburb of Houston, attending undergrad at UT Austin, and returning to Houston for medical school at Baylor. In my free time, I’ve been enjoying the many outdoor activities that Boston and the New England area have to offer, such as hiking, skiing, playing basketball in the many outdoor parks, and running along the Esplanade. Exploring the arts in the city, from the world-class museums to the thriving theater scene, is also a great way to spend the weekends and days off. And of course, there’s no shortage of incredible food around town.
I chose BI because of its focus on education, the fantastic faculty and academic support, and the friendliness of the program that I experienced during interview day. My interests are currently varied and include neurocritical care and epilepsy, and I am particularly drawn to medical education and research investigating disparities in neurology.
Evián Pérez Rivera, MD
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, a beautiful island of the United States in the Caribbean. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Saint Louis University and did my medical school training at San Juan Bautista in Puerto Rico. I was drawn to Neurology due to the complexity and fascinating nature of the field. I am looking forward to taking advantage of the incredible academic opportunities here at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and am eager to continue learning in a positive and kind environment.
I am not certain which sub-specialty I will pursue, but my current clinical interest is vascular neurology with additional interests in medical education, diversity, and inclusion. Outside of medicine I love sports (playing/watching), dancing, visiting friends and family, traveling, and exploring new places/restaurants with my husband!