Pathology Resident Profiles: 2016-2017
Housestaff Year 4
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 will remain at Johns Hopkins to do a fellowship in hematopathology.
Meet Jen on camera!
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.
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.
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 Phan 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. Casey is pursuing AP/CP training and is interested in dermatopathology and surgical pathology.
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 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.
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 in Washington, D.C. While at Georgetown, he completed the Medical Education Research Scholar Track and developed an interest in education and clinical research. While at Hopkins, he has continued to pursue those interests while being an image author for FIRST AID for the USMLE, teaching medical students, and presenting and publishing a number of completed research projects. He enjoys spending time with his wife and new son, as well as listening to all kinds of music, playing guitar, cooking, and drinking coffee. Derek is pursuing AP/CP training and will complete a Cytopathology Fellowship here at Hopkins after residency.
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 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 is pursuing AP-only training and is currently doing a 2 year research fellowship in the lab of Dr. Janis Taube studying the tumor immune microenvironment of lung cancer. Tricia enjoys spending time with her husband and son, hiking, and volleyball.
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 (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 is pursuing AP-only training and is interested in gastrointestinal and molecular pathology.
Meet Tasha on camera!
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 (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 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 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 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.
Meet Alisha on camera!
Michael 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 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. She earned her M.D. from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. While at Jefferson she completed the Clinical Translational Research Program and participated in research studying the differentiation of dopaminergic neurons from stem cells. Danielle loves playing soccer, mountain biking, yoga, watching TV series and spending time with her family and friends. Danielle will be pursuing AP/CP training.
Robert 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 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 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 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 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/CP training.
Caitlin Alexander was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. She attended the University of Missouri and majored in Biology and Theatre. Caitlin stayed at the University of Missouri for a Master's in Public Health before attending Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. While at Columbia, she was received the Karl Perzin Excellence in Pathology Award and was actively involved in improving medical education in histology. She also worked at CHHMP clinic, a free student-run clinic targeting the homeless population in Harlem throughout medical school. Caitlin enjoys theatre, tennis, and baking. Caitlin will be pursuing AP/CP training.
Jacqueline (Jackie) Birkness was born and raised in Lancaster County, PA. She attended college at Johns Hopkins University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Jackie attended University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she was an active member of the Pathology Medical Student Interest Group, and studied chromosomal instability in esophageal and gastric adenocarcinomas using fluorescent in-situ hybridization. She plans to pursue AP/CP training at Hopkins, likely followed by a fellowship in an AP subspecialty.
Meet Jackie on camera!
David Borzik was born and raised in the oppressive heat of the Mississippi Delta. He received his degree in Biochemistry at the University of Mississippi where his research was focused on the kinetics of calcium-induced conformational changes in neural cadherin. He then received his medical degree from University of Mississippi Medical Center. During this time David spent much of his focus advocating for Mississippi's underserved LGBT patient population, including founding the campus' first Gay Straight Alliance, expanding institutional non-discrimination policies, establishing referral networks, advancing the medical school curriculum to include more robust training on sexuality and gender. A proud Eagle Scout, David is chiefly inspired by the natural world and would gladly spend all his free time backpacking through the mountains with a sketch pad and a book of poetry. During his time in the civilized world, he and his husband Tyler both enjoy campy film, spontaneous car rides, and the occasional competitive reality show. David will be pursuing AP/CP training.
Eugene Brooks was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He attended California State University - Fullerton to pursue his B.S. in Biochemistry. During his undergraduate years, Eugene played for the men's Division I soccer team and worked in an after school program for the community of Fullerton, CA. As a senior, the college named him male student athlete of the year and he earned a spot on ESPN The Magazine All-American Academic Soccer Team. Eugene would then head to Marshall University in Huntington, WV, for graduate study. While at Marshall, he earned a M.S. in Forensic Science with emphasis in Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry, Crime Scene Investigation and Computer Forensics. He returned to California to work as a criminalist in the forensic biology section of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Crime Laboratory. It was during this time that he became interested in pathology and decided to return to Marshall University to pursue his M.D. There he studied the use of ascorbic acid to reduce HIF-1α in human melanoma. Eugene loves to play soccer, travel, dance, eat BBQ, go to major league sporting events, and spend time with his family and English bulldog. He will be pursuing AP/CP training.
Mark Hopkins was raised in Mossyrock, WA, a small community of about 500 in the Cascade foothills. He attended Washington State University where he received his B.S. in chemistry. While there, he worked in the lab of Dr. Clifford Berkman investigating experimental small molecule inhibitors of prostate cancer enzymes to be used as novel imaging and therapeutic agents. He then went on to attend the University of Colorado School of Medicine where he was the president of the Pathology Student Interest Group. His academic interests include the role of both germline and acquired mutations on gynecologic malignancies, particularly ovarian cancers. Mark enjoys cooking, good coffee, animals of all kinds, Asian cuisine, and freshwater aquariums. He will be pursuing AP/CP training.
Daniel Miller was born and raised in St Louis, MO. He developed a passion for the outdoors, biology, and athletics from a young age. He played Lacrosse as an undergraduate at Regis University in Denver, CO, where he studied ecology with the plan of teaching high-school biology. However, during a semester long climbing trip to Patagonia Chile, his career intention and inspiration changed to medicine. He spent 4- years between college and medical school serving for Americorps followed by post-baccalaureate coursework and a position as a research technician in a basic-science molecular biology laboratory where he developed a strong interest in biomedical research. He matriculated at U. of Missouri SOM and completed both a post-sophomore fellowship in Pathology as well as a PhD. His PhD thesis was completed with the support of an individual NRSA (F31) from the NIH and addressed microRNA biology in HPV-associated tumors of the Head and Neck. Daniel's wife will be completing her training at JHH in the Department of Anesthesia. Together, they juggle the care of their two daughters and enjoy time outside (especially rock climbing and mountain biking). Daniel is pursuing AP-only training.
Karin Miller was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She attended Brown University where she received an AB in Middle Eastern Studies. She also studied abroad in Salalah, Oman and Alexandria, Egypt. After graduation, Karin interned at a think tank in Washington, DC where she focused on health policy research. Karin received her MD from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. During medical school, she participated in research in gynecologic surgical pathology, helping to build a tissue microarray of endometrial cancers. Karin enjoys traveling, reading fiction, hiking, vegetable gardening, and studying ancient Egyptian history. Karin will be pursuing AP/CP training.
Robert Moore grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received his B.A. in Biology and Latin from Tufts University. He was a member of the Tufts Sailing Team. For three years after college, Robby worked in the Transplantation Research Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital, studying the utility of mesenchymal stem cells in type 1 diabetes. He received his M.D. from Tulane University School of Medicine. During medical school, he developed a History of Medicine elective course, and participated in basic and translational research projects, studying biomarkers and novel treatments for thyroid cancer. Robby met his wife in lab during her post-doctoral research fellowship at BWH. She is a transplant nephrologist. Together, they enjoy being outdoors. Robby enjoys folding origami, sailing, skating, following Boston sports teams, and ancient medical history. Robby will be pursing AP/CP training.
Meaghan Morris was born in Washington DC and raised in Springfield, Virginia. She received her B.S. in chemistry at Boston College where she also competed in varsity fencing. She then attended the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the MSTP program. For her PhD research she traveled to San Francisco to study mouse models of dementia at the Gladstone institute of Neurologic Disease in the lab of Dr. Lennart Mucke. In medical school she earned the William Welch Award in Pathology for 2015 and joined Alpha Omega Alpha. Meaghan and her husband, a chemist at the NIH, enjoy playing outside with their daughter Michaela and going for leisurely hikes as a family. Meaghan will be pursuing AP/NP training.
Amy Plotkin was born in Nashville, TN on the eve of her father's medical school anatomy final. Thus a precedent was set for her interest in medicine and impeccable timing. She then moved every 1 to 4 years, as most Army children do. She attended Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA and during this time was a member of the swim team and warmed the bench during water polo season. She majored in Biochemistry and Spanish, both of which would serve useful during her MD/PhD years at the University of Miami. Her PhD was in cancer biology and concerned the transcriptional regulation of estrogen receptor in response to hyperactive growth factor signaling in breast cancer. The majority of her patients spoke Spanish. In her spare time, Amy enjoys cycling, playing with her scary bulldog, Kinney, trying new breweries (or just beers in general), and taking monster naps. Amy will be pursuing AP only training.
Ankit Rajgariah was born and raised in Houston, TX. He attended Duke University in Durham, North Carolina where he received his BSE in Biomedical Engineering. At Duke, he was a Pratt Undergraduate Research Fellow, studying targeted genome editing using zinc finger nucleases for applications in bone regeneration. He earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. He was president of the Pathology Student Interest Group, mentoring students interested in the field and connecting them to members of the department. During his time at Baylor, he studied Epstein-Barr virus-associated smooth muscle tumors in the setting of immunocompromised patients. Ankit picked up figure skating as a child and continues to enjoy it in his spare time. He is also a huge sports fan, basketball in particular. He loves traveling, trying new cuisines, playing board games, and spending time with friends and family. Ankit will be pursuing AP/CP training.
Nick Rogers was born in California but grew up in Overland Park, KS. He attended Harding University in Searcy, AR where he graduated with a degree in Political Science and competed on the Quiz Bowl Team and spent a semester in France. He received his M.D. from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he was elected into Alpha Omega Alpha. He was also awarded the Schlumberger Award for performance in Pathology and was an active member in the SCOPE pathology student group. Nick spends his time hiking and camping in the mountains and forests near his home alternating with watching television on the couch. He also enjoys following his favorite sports teams, the Kansas Jayhawks and the Kansas City Royals. Nick will be pursuing AP/CP training.
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