Pathology Residency Program

Pathology Resident Profiles: 2015-2016

Housestaff Year 4

Chief Residents

Rebecca Asch-Kendrick, M.D.Rebecca Asch-Kendrick was born in Washington D.C. She received her B.A. in Religion from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. After college, worked at the University of Minnesota, and then moved to the University of Pennsylvania, her research was focused on basic b-cell immunology and epidemiology of intensive care units. She then earned an M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School (now Rutgers). Rebecca enjoys horseback riding, hiking, yoga and exploring the city with her husband. She is pursuing AP/CP training and will start a fellowship in Forensics at the Office of the Medical Examiner/University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Kevin Waters, M.D., Ph.D.Kevin Waters was born in Thousand Oaks, California. Kevin grew up in Southern California where he majored in Microbiology at UCLA. He then completed his MD/PhD at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. During his PhD research in the Department of Preventive Medicine, Kevin explored prostate cancer and type 2 diabetes risk factors. Kevin enjoys playing beach volleyball and spending time with his wife and daughter. He is now in his final year of AP/CP training. He will do a fellowship in gastrointestinal and liver pathology at JHH after finishing residency.


Morgan Cowan, M.D.Morgan Cowan was born in Flowood, Mississippi. Morgan received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Virginia while simultaneously enjoying chemistry classes. She ultimately decided to pursue medicine and earned her MD from the University of Mississippi, where she discovered pathology is a perfect fit for someone with a degree in Art History. She loves living in the city with her husband and two lazy cats. In her free time, Morgan delights in farmer's markets, undertakes both humble and adventurous cooking projects (including fermentation), reads fiction, and takes long walks. Morgan is pursuing AP/CP training and plans to do fellowships in Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology.

Tom Gniadek, M.D., Ph.D.Tom Gniadek was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Yale University, after which he worked as a computer programmer and consultant for the Center for Orthopaedics in New Haven, CT. He then received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University School of Medicine. While at Yale, Tom studied Golgi and endoplasmic reticulum exit-site duplication in mammalian cells and Trypanosoma brucei. Tom enjoys running, road and mountain biking, hiking, windsurfing, and skiing. Tom will be pursuing AP/CP training, and a fellowship in Transfusion medicine.

Sarah Karram, M.D.Sarah Karram was born in Adloun, Lebanon. She received her B.S. in Biology from the American University of Beirut. She then entered medical school at the American University of Beirut, where she was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. During her final year of medical school, she spent two at Johns Hopkins studying discontinuous foci of cancer in prostate needle biopsies, and clinicopathologic features of papillary urothelial lesions. After medical school, she completed a year of pathology residency at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, where she also studied transepidermal elimination in cutaneous leishmaniaisis. Sarah also enjoys hiking, biking, folk dance, and tennis. Sarah will be pursuing AP/CP training, and will do a GU fellowship at Johns Hopkins.

Mohammed Lilo, M.B,Ch.B.Mohammed Lilo was born in Baghdad, Iraq. He received his M.B.Ch.B. degree from the University of Baghdad, after which he completed residency and fellowship training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and Cytopathology at the University of Baghdad Hospital. As a part of his residency, he also conducted research into the role of p53 in breast cancer pathogenesis. After training, Mohammed spent two years working as an attending pathologist, signing out surgical pathology and cytology, first at Medical City Teaching Hospital in Baghdad, and then at Al-Bashir Teaching Hospital in Amman, Jordan. Mohammed enjoys biking, swimming, and playing guitar. Mohammed will be pursuing AP/CP training, and will complete a cytopathology fellowship at Johns Hopkins.

Emily Nelson, M.D.Emily R. Nelson was born in Boston, MA and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her B.S. in biology from UCLA and subsequently worked for a year at UCSF investigating the use of mesenchymal stem cells in cardiac disease. She earned her M.D. from UCSF and spent two years during medical school in a regenerative medicine laboratory at Stanford University. Her main areas of research involved elucidating molecular pathways in palate development and the use of adipose-derived stem cells for bone regeneration. In her free time, Emily enjoys exploring new restaurants, playing tennis, running, and watching the SF Giants and UCLA Bruins. She will be pursuing AP/CP training and will pursue a surgical pathology fellowship at UCSF.

Olga Nikolskaia, M.D.Olga Nikolskaia was born in Sochi, Russia. She received her M.D. degree from the Voronezh State Medical Academy in Voronezh, Russia, and then completed her residency in dermatology. After working for a year as an attending dermatologist at the Voronezh Dermatology Hospital, she came to Johns Hopkins, first as an observer in the Department of Dermatology and then as a research fellow in the Department of Pathology under Drs. Dennis Grab and Steven Dumler. Her research focused primarily on the molecular mechanisms of trypanosome pathogenesis, and resulted in several publications. Olga is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, and enjoys cooking, swimming, and playing the piano. Olga will be pursuing AP/CP training and will pursue a dermatopathology fellowship at Harvard.

Lisa Rooper, M.D.Lisa Rooper was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her BS in Communication Studies at Northwestern University, where she was a national finalist in intercollegiate speech competition. She then completed her MD at the University of Illinois-College of Medicine at Chicago before leaving the cornfields behind to pursue AP/CP training at Johns Hopkins. Although Lisa enjoys every area of pathology, her true passion is surgical pathology, and she has a special interest in head and neck pathology. After residency, she will be completing the surgical pathology assistantship at Johns Hopkins and hopes to someday work at a major academic medical center. In her spare time, whenever she is not working on a multitude of research projects, she enjoys reading, knitting, and kayaking the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Liz Thompson, M.D., Ph.D.Liz Thompson was born in Galveston, Texas. She received her B.S. In Biology from The College of William and Mary and went on to the University of Virginia, where she received her M.D. and Ph.D., studying tumor immunology. As a medical student, she also served as the social chair for the University of Virginia M.D./Ph.D. program and as an advisor for students transitioning from graduate school to clinical rotations. She lives with husband, John, and mildly destructive hound dog, Harper Lee, in the Upper Fells Point neighborhood. Liz also enjoys running, travel, cooking, reading, and opera. Liz will be pursuing AP/CP training and a surgical pathology fellowship.

Dongmei Xing, M.D.Dongmei Xing was born in Huhhot, China. . She received her medical degree from the Shandong Medical University then practiced as an ophthalmologist for several years. She received her Ph.D degree from Indiana University at Bloomington, her PhD research focused on exploring the underlying mechanisms of corneal scar formation. She then joined Johns Hopkins for her postdoctoral training studying the role of antibodies and complement in heart transplant rejection. Dongmei also enjoys hiking, canoeing, and cooking and spending time with her family. She will complete AP/CP training and start a GI fellowship in New York.


Heather Ames, M.D.Heather Ames was born in Acton, Massachusetts. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Biology and M.S. in Neuroscience from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. During her time at Brandeis, she performed research on amygdala development in the Structural and Molecular Neuroscience laboratory at McLean Hospital. After college, Heather spent a year as a laboratory technician at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she studied dendrite maturation in primary neuron culture. She then earned an M.D./Ph.D. degree in Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. Her Ph.D. work focused on receptor tyrosine kinase endocytosis and trafficking in normal and tumorigenic cells. Heather enjoys reading, hiking, running, singing, travel, and enjoying regional cuisines. Heather will be pursuing AP/NP training.

Jennifer Bynum, M.D.Jennifer Bynum was born in Jackson, TN. She received a Bachelor of Music Education from Florida State University and taught elementary music and band for five years, winning the Teacher of the Year Award for her school in 2007. She then earned an M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her research as a medical student focused on the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT), and she was involved in the design and implementation of a new testing protocol for HIT at UAB. Jennifer enjoys playing piano and clarinet, reading, cooking, and spending time with her two young daughters. She pretends to enjoy running. Jennifer is pursuing AP/CP training and plans to do a fellowship in hematopathology.

Judd Fite, M.D., M.B.A.Judd Fite was born and raised in Benton, Arkansas. He graduated from the US Air Force Academy. He spent almost 9 years active duty Air Force as an Electronic Warfare Officer/Navigator. He also earned an MBA from the University of Nebraska. He then worked for Ethicon Endo-Surgery as a surgical equipment sales rep before deciding to pursue medical school. He graduated from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in 2013. He is pursuing AP/CP training and will be remaining at Johns Hopkins for a Cytopathology fellowship beginning in 2017. He is an avid herpetologist and is more than happy to discuss snakes with you at any time.

Casey Inouye, M.D.Casey Inouye was born and raised in Honolulu, HI. She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California, and stayed at USC to earn her M.D. at the Keck School of Medicine. While in medical school she studied the clinicopathologic characteristics of EBV+ DLBCL in the LA County-USC Hospital population of predominantly Hispanic patients. She enjoys jigsaw puzzles, painting, wine, running, eating, building model airplanes, and just hanging out. Casey is pursuing AP/CP training and plans to do fellowships in dermatopathology and surgical pathology.

Jason Kern, M.D.Jason Kern was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. He received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Missouri - Columbia, where he was involved in research on neural stem cells as a treatment vector for glioblastoma multiforme. He then spent a year at Washington University researching genetic risk for substance dependence. Jason earned his M.D. from the University of Missouri - Columbia School of Medicine, where he was the Vice President of the pathology interest group and received the W.B. (Pete) Stewart Memorial Pathology Award. Jason also enjoys professional sports, playing guitar, kayaking/canoeing, and hiking. Jason will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Armen Khararjian, M.D., M.B.A.Armen Khararjian was born and raised in the San Francisco/Bay Area of California. He received an economics degree from UCSD before attending UC Irvine where he earned both his MD and MBA degrees. He has a strong passion for healthcare administration and finding ways to drive value in the healthcare system. Outside of work, he's an avid sports fan and roots passionately for the Warriors, Raiders, and A's. Armen will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Marissa White, M.D.Marissa White was born in Washington D.C. She received her B.A. in Biology from the University of Richmond, where she also competed as a sprinter and hurdler on the women's division 1 track and field team. She then went on to earn her M.D. from Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. During her time at Morehouse, she was involved with planning community health initiatives at a local church, and served as Vice President of her class. She was also involved with tutoring first and second year medical students in the subjects of Pathology and Biochemistry. Marissa enjoys running, volleyball, travelling, hiking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. Marissa will be pursuing AP/CP training.


Derek Allison, M.D.Derek Allison was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN and his M.D. from the Georgetown University School of Medicine. While at Georgetown, he completed the Medical Education Research Scholar Track and studied the prevalence and impact of moral distress experienced by students during clinical rotations. He served as president of the Pathology Student Interest Group for two years and raised money to donate a teaching microscope to the HOYA Clinic, a student-run free clinic. Derek enjoys listening to all kinds of music, playing guitar, running, staying engaged with politics, eating good food, and spending time with friends and family. Derek will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Margaret Cook, M.D., Ph.D.Margaret Cocks was born in Toronto, Canada. She studied the history of medicine at Yale where she developed a keen interest in all things botanical. She completed her PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University. Her thesis explored the work of Dr. Auzoux, a French physician who created papier-mâché models of human and plant anatomy for teaching. She then received her MD from the University of Toronto. In medical school, she was the editor-in-chief of the University of Toronto Medical Journal and production manager of the Toronto Notes, a study guide for medical licensing exams. Margaret enjoys creative writing, poetry blogging, cheese, vintage fashion, 80s music, and history. She will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Tricia Cottrell, M.D., Ph.D.Tricia Cottrell was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She attended college at Washington University in St. Louis and majored in Chemistry and English Literature. Throughout college, she worked in the lab of Dr. Tamara Doering, studying Cryptococcus neoformans. She then moved to Baltimore to join the Johns Hopkins MD/PhD program. Her PhD thesis was completed in the lab of Dr. Antony Rosen in the Division of Rheumatology, focusing on the identification of novel scleroderma autoantigens expressed by differentiating stem cells. Tricia and her husband, a software engineer at Johns Hopkins, enjoy volleyball (playing, watching, coaching-really, a lot of volleyball), hiking, biking, running, soccer, the zoo, and gardening. Tricia is pursuing AP-only training and will be completing a research year 2015-2016.

Elise Gelwan, M.D.Elise Gelwan was raised in Glastonbury, CT. She attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT where she majored in Biology, and she went on to receive her MD from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Between her second and third years of medical school, she completed a post-sophomore fellowship in the pathology department at UConn School of Medicine, which confirmed her love for the field of pathology. During her final year of medical school, she conducted a research project at Hartford Hospital evaluating the clinical significance of increased duodenal intraepithelial lymphocytes in patients with normal villous architecture. Elise enjoys playing the piano, going on long walks/hikes, quoting lines from her favorite TV shows, and spending time with family. Elise will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Tatianna Larman, M.D.Tatiana (Tasha) Larman is from Southern California and grew up in a military family. After graduating from Harvard University, she spent two years working in Italy before starting medical school at University of California San Diego. During medical school, she returned to Boston for two years as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute medical fellow, studying the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer using next-generation DNA sequencing.. She loves spending time with family, cooking, baking, and having adventures, and is excited to be training in pathology. Tasha will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Yunjie Li, M.D.Yunjie (Angel) Li was born in Lanxi, China and grew up in Ellicott City, MD. She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park and her M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. During medical school, Angel spent a year working as a Post-Sophomore Fellow in the Department of Pathology, where she gained experience in surgical pathology and autopsy. She also conducted research on the relationship between Propionibacterium acnes infection and prostate cancer. In addition to pathology, Angel has a strong interest in Asian-American health disparities and spent a summer with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to create culturally-appropriate Korean language brochures on nutrition and preventative health. Angel enjoys cooking, trying new cuisines, traveling, running, and singing karaoke. Angel will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Austin McCuiston, M.D.Austin McCuiston (pronounced McChristian) was born in Louisville, KY and grew up on a farm outside of Murray, KY. He received his B.S. in Chemistry at Murray State University, where he played baseball as a pitcher for a short stent. He also went on three mission trips to Mexico with his church during his time at MSU. He then attended the University of Louisville School of Medicine, during which he studied the use of lipid microvesicles as potential biomarkers for the early detection of non-small cell lung cancer. Austin met and married his wife, Hannah, while at Murray State University. He enjoys reading, cooking, trying new foods and restaurants, and traveling to spend time with family. Austin will be pursuing AP/CP training.

James Miller, M.D.James Miller was born in Asheville, North Carolina. He began his studies in mathematics at UNC. Jim completed his education at UNC Chapel Hill and then spent three years working at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center as a content developer, researcher, and science writer. Jim returned to school and began work on an MD, MPH track at the Brody School of Medicine in Greenville North Carolina. Jim's academic interests include epidemiology, disease outbreak modeling, and numerical simulation. Jim will be pursuing AP/CP training.


Jason DenneyJason Denney was raised on a horse farm in Rogersville, MO. He earned a B.A. in Biology and Fine Arts (painting emphasis) from Drury University in Springfield, MO. He earned his M.D. from the University of Missouri. Between his second and third years of medical school, he completed a post-sophomore fellowship in pathology. He conducted a research project evaluating DNA methylation in Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia. He was awarded the W.B. Pete Stewart Memorial Scholarship for excellence in pathology his fourth year. Jason enjoys listening to music, painting, art history, antiques, ethnic foods, riding/showing horses, and spending time with his family and Persian cat Oscar. Jason will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Alisha GordyAlisha Gordy was raised in Voorhees, NJ. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Alisha then attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine. While at UVA, Alisha conducted a study characterizing the HIV-positive population of Central and Western Virginia that is served by UVA's Ryan White Clinic. Alisha loves running and has completed two half marathons and one full marathon. Alisha also enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Alisha will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Michael HaffnerMichael Haffner is from Hall in Tirol, Austria. He received his M.D. from Innsbruck Medical University, where his research focused on biomarkers in breast cancer and squamous cell carcinoma. He stayed in Innsbruck to earn his Ph.D. in Molecular Oncology studying the interplay between cytokines and glucocorticoid receptor signaling. Michael then transitioned to Baltimore to continue his postdoctoral research training at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. During his fellowship he studied mechanisms involved in the generation of recurrent genomic rearrangements and investigated the genomic heterogeneity in prostate cancer. He enjoys contemporary art, skiing and running. Michael will be pursuing AP only training.

Danielle HutchingsDanielle Hutchings was raised in Grand Rapids, MI. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology. She then spent a year at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, MI researching JAK-STAT signaling in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. She earned her M.D. from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. During her time at Jefferson, she completed the Clinical Translational Research Program and worked on research in neuroscience, studying the differentiation of dopaminergic neurons from stem cells, and GI pathology, studying the expression of phospho-S6 in hepatocellular carcinoma. Danielle loves playing soccer, mountain biking, yoga, watching TV series and spending time with her fiancé, Zack, and dog, Blondie. Danielle will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Robert JonesRobert Jones grew up in Valparaiso, IN and studied biology at Truman State University and then attended medical school at the University of Missouri. Throughout those four years of medical school Robby also lived and worked at St. Francis House, a homeless shelter that focuses on particularly vulnerable populations- LGBTQ individuals, undocumented immigrants, and those who struggle with mental illness. He wrote a perspective piece on his experience at St. Francis titled "Caring for William" that was published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine. In his free time he enjoys hoppy beer and trashy TV. Robby will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Christopher Paul MorrisChristopher Paul Morris is from the small town of Red Bluff in Northern California. After getting married in 2002, he worked in the mortgage industry for several years before returning to school to major in Biology at California State University, Chico, where he performed research using waste products from a local brewery in the production of biodegradable plastic. He earned his MD and PhD from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. His research focused on protective mechanisms of vaccines against filariasis and the protein makeup of different anatomic fractions of the filarial worm Brugia malayi. His wife Cheryl and he have 4 children, needless to say, he has plenty of free time for his hobbies of kayaking, amateur knife making, and working on his house. Paul will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Lais OsmaniLais Osmani is Afghan but was born in Peshawar, Pakistan. He grew up in the Boston area and received his B.A. in Biology with highest honors from Boston University. After college, he worked as a research fellow on the COMBREX (Computational Bridges to Experiments) project, which aims to accelerate the biochemical or functional annotation of microbial genomes through the collaboration of experimental and computational biologists. He attended medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago. During medical school, he conducted research on the correlation between the expression of the tumor suppressor protein, maspin and the phenomenon of vasculogenic mimicry in uveal melanoma. Lais enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants, going to the movies, exploring new areas and spending time with family and friends. Lais will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Kevan SalimianKevan Salimian was born and raised in Salisbury, MD. In 2003, he attended the University of Maryland, College Park as a Banneker/Key scholar where he received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. In 2007, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he pursued an MD/PhD. His PhD work focused on two proteins-CENP-A and Aurora B--which play a critical role in regulating cell division in eukaryotes. Kevan enjoys traveling around the US, trying new, crazy foods and watching/playing sports of all kinds. He is a huge Ravens and Orioles fan. Kevan will be pursuing AP/CP training.

Maryam ShabihkhaniMaryam Shabihkhani was born in Kashan, Iran. She received her M.D. from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences. After graduation she moved to United States and started working in a neuropathology laboratory at UCLA. Her main area of research involved evaluating different biomarkers and their potential prognostic role in glioblastoma. Maryam enjoys biking, calligraphy, and trying new food. Maryam will be pursuing AP/NP training.