Class of 2021
Lauren Fanty, MD, MPH
I am originally from Houston, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas with majors in Neurobiology and Psychology. I went to UT Health, San Antonio for medical school where I also completed my MPH with a focus in global health. In my free time I enjoy spending time hiking with my husband and 2 rescue dogs, skiing, and baking.
Through BIDMC, I was able to continue building my interest in Global Neurology through our Zambia rotation. I plan on pursuing an academic career in Movement Disorders with an emphasis on health care disparities and palliative aspects of care. During my time at BIDMC I have had amazing peer and faculty mentorship and value the opportunity to learn from many leaders in the field of Neurology.
Lena O’Keefe, MD. MS
I grew up in Connecticut on a farm and competed nationally in horseback riding. I’m fascinated by languages and other cultures, so I studied abroad in China in college and in Spain during graduate school. Boston is the first large city I’ve lived in, and I love the balance of a city feel with lots of greenery and the ability to run along the Charles. Outside of medicine I love riding horses, running, yoga, hiking, and painting.
What drew me to Beth Israel was the camaraderie amongst both residents and faculty. I participated in BIDMC’s Global Health elective in Zambia and have a trip planned to Mongolia when the pandemic lets up. I’ll be doing a Neurocritical Care fellowship at UT Houston, where I hope to expand my bench research in Stroke to a career in translational science.
Antonia Pusso, MD
I am a native Virginian. After medical school at UVA, I came to Boston for my intern year and Neurology residency at Beth Israel. I chose to come here for the great people and relationships between the faculty and residents and was also impressed with the academic rigor of the program. I knew this program would set me up to be a great neurologist in any field I choose. Outside of the hospital, I love hiking, biking, and cross stitching. Boston is a great city with plenty of green space. We are also just a short drive from some amazing hiking spots.
At Beth Israel, working daily with some of the top neurologists in the field, I’ve been provided unparalleled learning opportunities that I am excited to build upon during my Movement Disorder fellowship. I am interested in pursuing a career that combines Movement Disorders with palliative care. I have had a chance to do research on cognition in DBS patients and work with a palliative care team to create a curriculum for the residents.
Sherry Wen, MD.PhD
I grew up mostly in Canada but have lived in various cities including Toronto, Calgary, Waterloo (Ontario), St John’s (Newfoundland), Chongqing, Nashville, and Philadelphia prior to moving to Boston for residency. In addition, I have traveled to many countries and very much enjoy learning about different cultures. My other interests include glamping, jet skiing, snowshoeing, electronic dance music, and night driving.
Having an amazing Neurology professor in medical school is how I ended up choosing to specialize in this field. After several years completing a research degree in Immunology, however, I decided to take a break from laboratory research. My career plan is to pursue a position in outpatient General Neurology, and perhaps consider opportunities in biotech or consulting in the distant future.
Calvin Yu, MD
I was born and raised in Jamaica, Queens, majored in Biology at Caltech, and spent a year in AmeriCorps after college. From medical school at Howard University, I chose BI because the residents were friendly and the atmosphere very collegial. Boston has everything you need and is such a walkable / bikeable city. In my free time, I like to try new restaurants or attempt to be frugal by cooking. I enjoy mixed martial arts and listening to music from the Far East — which is how I became fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese.
In college, I did bench research in Huntington’s disease. Initially, I thought I would go into Movement Disorders or Cognitive Neurology. After exploring different subspecialties at Beth Israel, however, the rotations and faculty here (and at Childrens’) were instrumental in leading me to pursue Epilepsy and EEG. Following residency, I will be staying at BIDMC for the Epilepsy fellowship.
Jonah Zuflacht, MD
Originally from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts and Williams College, I did research in Boston before medical school and fell in love with the city: its museums, outdoor spaces, and night life. I chose Beth Israel for the people; the residents, nurses, attendings, researchers, and support staff are kind, humble, and down to earth. Outside the hospital, I enjoy rock climbing and Japanese whiskeys (not simultaneously), and traveling with my wife (also a neurologist).
While at Beth Israel, I’ve worked with faculty in the Stroke and Neurocritical Care divisions on clinical studies. I’ve chosen Stroke as my future field for its practical and immediate value to patients and look forward to a career in academic Neurology with a focus on acute care and strong emphases on medical research and education roles. I’ll be heading to Philadelphia for a fellowship in Vascular Neurology after graduating from residency next summer.
Class of 2022
Garrett Brooks, MD
I grew up in Los Angeles and studied Neuroscience at UC San Diego. I then went to Case Western Reserve University for my medical degree. I slowly made my way East and love living in Boston. Some of my favorite things to do in the city are to bike along the Charles River Esplanade, walk with my fiancée through the Boston Public Garden, and catch a Red Sox game (just $5 with your BIDMC ID badge!).
Beth Israel Deaconess is a phenomenal place to explore your academic interests and develop your clinical Neurology skills. Since starting residency, I have begun a research project investigating the functional brain networks disrupted in post-stroke patients who develop delirium. I am interested in pursuing a career in Neurocritical Care.
Stefanie Cappucci, MD
I’m a Boston-area native who came back for residency after living elsewhere for about a decade. I chose BI primarily because of the cohesiveness of the residents, the commitment to medical education, and degree of autonomy. When I’m not in the hospital I enjoy bicycling, escaping to the mountains, and collecting an excessive amount of coffee-making apparatuses. I have never met a dog I didn’t love.
Professionally, I’m interested in Neurocritical Care and the intersection with palliative care. I’m intent on pursuing a career in academic medicine with an emphasis on medical education and quality improvement. The BI faculty has been unwaveringly supportive of these goals, both clinically and academically.
Sydni Cole, MD
I’m from Chicago and did medical school at Northwestern University. I came to Boston for intern year and haven’t looked back! I chose BI for the camaraderie of the residents and continue to be impressed by my colleagues every day. In my free time, I embrace my inner grandmother and enjoy baking (for my colleagues, of course), crocheting, playing board games, and reading books for our BI Neurology book club!
Academically, I’m interested in medical education and quality improvement and currently have ongoing research projects in both realms. I’ve previously done fMRI research studying human olfaction and stroke epidemiology research. Within Neurology, I’m still exploring but am intrigued by both Vascular Neurology and Neuro-oncology and hope to pursue a field with a balance of inpatient and outpatient Neurology.
Kun He Lee, MD
I’m from South Korea and moved to the US when I was 9. After moving around several times, I consider myself from New York City (for now). My hobbies include cooking (I used to work as a prep cook), hiking, and hitting the gym. I chose BIDMC Neurology because the residents and faculty are dedicated to teaching and create a supportive and friendly environment where I feel comfortable being myself.
The Stroke group at BIDMC has made an awesome impression on me, so I’d like to go into Vascular Neurology. Currently, I’m doing a project with Dr. Selim looking into the relationship between perihematoma edema and outcome in hemorrhagic strokes. Afterwards, I’d like to work in underserved urban areas that I’ve come to love and embrace during childhood and in medical school, including during my preliminary year in New York City.
Brandon Merical, MD
I am from the beautiful state of Tennessee. I became interested in Neuroscience and Microbiology at the University of Tennessee and gravitated toward Neurology in medical school at East Tennessee State. I chose Beth Israel because of the emphasis on resident autonomy and the sense of community in the BI system. My fiancée moved to Boston for graduate school, and we were lucky that our career opportunities aligned. My hobbies include reading classical fiction, golfing, ping pong, and collecting vinyl records.
From an academic standpoint, I was involved in medical education during medical school and hope to pursue this interest in the future. I enjoy acute care Neurology and plan to pursue Neurocritical Care as my career (if you are as well, you will love it here). I am also interested in palliative care in the ICU and hope to incorporate this, as well.
Kelli Money, MD, Ph.D
I was born and raised in Headland, Alabama and have gradually moved North ever since. I received my BS in Chemistry from UAB and MD/PhD in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt. I chose to leave the warm South for BIDMC because I wanted flexibility, research opportunities, and superb clinical training. In my spare time, I enjoy baking, running, and hanging out with my husband and 2 dogs.
My career plan is Neuroimmunology, with a transition to patient-based research. I spent 7 years with animal and cell models (3 years studying spatial learning and memory at UAB and 4 years at Vanderbilt studying dopamine signaling and psychoneuroimmunology) and have now started working with Dr. Jacob Sloane at BIDMC on both COVID and non-COVID-related Multiple Sclerosis patient-based research projects.
Anusha Nallaparaju, MD
I was born in Southern India but lived all over the country growing up. I moved to the US after medical school and graduated from the Baton Rouge General IM residency program. There, I realized my passion for Neurology, which led me to pursue a clinical Neurology program at University College London while working as a full-time hospitalist. I’m thrilled to continue my journey of learning at Beth Israel, with a dedicated faculty who encourage our endeavors, exposure to diverse clinical experience, and excellence in research. Outside of the hospital, I enjoy cooking, baking, and hiking with my daughter.
In the past year as a Neurology resident, I have discovered a passion for Vascular Neurology. I plan to seek a more inpatient-based Neurology career. In addition to pursuing a Stroke fellowship, I am focusing on learning EEG interpretation during my elective time. I am also interested in clinical research with an ongoing project and hope to take up more research soon.
Itamar Niesivsky-Kogan, MD
I was born and raised in New York City and like any New Yorker, I grew up complaining about the Knicks, learning to love the excitement of bustle, and treating restaurant searches like culinary adventures. These days, I still enjoy all of these things. In my free time, I explore different Boston neighborhoods, try to play as much local golf as possible …. and still complain about the Knicks.
Academically, I have come to love Neurocritical Care. We published some work related to a research fellowship I completed in medical school, and I am now learning to use patient databases for clinical research. At Beth Israel, we are surrounded by faculty and peers who are passionate about acute care Neurology, both clinically and academically, and their excitement is inspiring.
Mark Rapp, MD
After growing up and attending college, medical school, and my intern year in New York City, I thought I was a New Yorker, but although all Yankees and Rangers fans might call it blasphemy, I have thoroughly enjoyed the transition from Brooklyn to Brookline (the pandemic has relieved the guilt of not going to games in person). My family and I are part of two wonderful communities, BIDMC Neurology and the Maimonides congregation. When not in the hospital, you may find us at the zoo or beach in the summer and ice skating in the winter.
Professionally, I have a strong interest in patient advocacy, patient-centered care, and improving patients’ quality-of-life through advances in care. The teaching of Neurology at BIDMC has its foundation in the forefathers of Neurology and its eyes set on advances in medicine. This allows residents to not only establish a strong foundation in what is currently known about Neurology but also to learn when and how to incorporate new advances into practice. BIDMC Neurology residents harbor a feeling of a family unit, collegiality, responsibility, and pride. I feel grateful to be part of that team.
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. I am beyond thrilled to come to Boston and look forward to receiving further training here.
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.
Ari 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. I am considering Neuro-Ophthalmology but still have more neurologic subspecialties to explore.
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
I grew up in the Southern US in Memphis, Tennessee, went to undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis where I met my wonderful fiancé, 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 mega pluses).
I’m interested in working in an outpatient setting, and the specialties that currently interest me most are Headache and Neurophysiology — but this might change! I’m currently doing clinical research with Dr. Sait Ashina at the Comprehensive Headache Center regarding the association between COVID-19 and migraine, and I hope to engage in a few QI projects about medical education as well.
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 stem cells to Oncology, and the nature of the clinical work, I hope to pursue a career in Neuro-oncology and plan to continue research studying the cellular biology of brain cells and brain cancers to guide therapy.
Tony 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 am currently undifferentiated on what subspecialty I would like to pursue. With interests in Global Health and General Neurology, I am considering fellowships in Neurophysiology, Epilepsy or Neuromuscular diseases. 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. I hope to participate in our structured elective in Zambia.
Jay Wang, MD
I was born in China and moved to New Jersey when I was 5 years old. I went to the University of Pittsburgh for medical school and 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 my preliminary year and early residency here, I can say for certain those things are true! Outside of work, I enjoy painting, reading and cooperative board/card games, although you’d as soon find me on a hike when the mood strikes.
My clinical interests at this time are in Neuro Intensive Care and Stroke, as well as medical education and epidemiology. During medical school, I took an extra year to complete a clinical research program which I am hoping to apply to scholarly work during residency. I’m excited to learn and experience as much as possible throughout the next few years that will help refine my interests further.
Mitch Wilson, MD
Originally from Ottawa, Canada, I completed my undergrad and master’s degrees in Kinesiology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, 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 and faculty.
I envision an academic career in Neurology being highly involved in research and teaching. My previous research examined the prognostic accuracy of fetal MRI in predicting postnatal neurodevelopment, as well as the publication patterns of major Neurology journals. Currently, I am most interested in Stroke, Critical Care, and Neuromuscular Disorders. I look forward to engaging in cutting edge research in these fields with the renowned faculty at Beth Israel.