Our Fellows

A year of dedicated research time under the one-on-one supervision of a talented mentor is transformative in students’ careers. The goal of the DDRF Fellowship program is to teach the exceptional student to be a physician and a scientist, rather than one or the other. Historically, physician-scientists have produced many of the major advances in combating disease. They unite the urgency of the ill patient with the power of the scientific method. These talented young people represent tomorrow’s leaders in medicine.

Current Fellows  | Past Fellows

 
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Marlon Brewer, 2019-2020

Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai,
expected graduation May 2021.
Undergraduate Degree: Yale University, BA in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration.
Research Focus: Using a database of pancreatic cancer patients at Mount Sinai, Marlon is examining the link between patient glycemic profiles and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, with the hope of establishing HgbA1c and fasting blood glucose levels as markers of early disease.

 
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lewis joel paulino, 2019-2020

Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, expected graduation May 2021.
Undergraduate Degree: Syracuse University, Major in Biology integrated with Neuroscience, Minor in African American Studies.
Research Focus: While the incidence of colorectal cancer has been falling in adults aged 50 and older, there has been an increase incidence in adults under the age of 50. Some proposed factors responsible for the increasing incidence include BMI, lower levels of physical activity, antibiotic use, and environmental factors such as pesticides. Lewis is researching the feasibility of identifying the best way to enroll patients in a case-control trial to investigate the factors associated with the rising incidence of early-onset colorectal cancer (EO-CRC) in order to work towards controlling the risk at the population level.

 
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Quinn Solfisburg, 2019-2020

Medical School: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Undergraduate Degree: Williams College, History Major.
Research Focus: Quinn is investigating alterations in the oral and esophageal microbiome associated with Barrett's esophagus and high grade dysplasia or esophageal adenocarcinoma. 

 
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minami tokuyama, 2019-2020

Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Undergraduate Degree: Arizona State University, BS Biochemistry, BS Biology (Genetics, cell and developmental biology).
Research Focus: Minami is studying the effects of different biologic agents commonly used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on resident memory T cells, which have been shown to accumulate in intestinal mucosa during IBD flares. This data will then be correlated with clinical treatment response.

 
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Ari Bar-mashiah, 2018-2019

Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, expected graduation May 2020.
Undergraduate Degree: Duke University, BA in Political Science, minor in Philosophy.
Research Focus: Ari was working to establish an online registry of patients at high-risk of developing pancreatic cancer, such as those with a significant family history of pancreatic cancer or with a personal or family history of a genetic syndrome known to be associated with pancreatic cancer. Through this online survey, physician-scientists hope to establish a better understanding of how family history, environmental exposures and inflammatory lesions in the pancreas contribute to the development of pancreatic cancer. 

 
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Emily Tixier, 2018-2019

Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, expected graduation May 2020.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Chicago, Major in Biology (with concentration in Endocrinology), Minor in Visual Arts.
Research Focus: Emily studied the role of fecal matter transplant (FMT) in severe and fulminant C. difficile infection. She also conducted a review of the literature in this area. Additionally, she analyzed the effects of pre- and post-operative C. difficile infection in patients with Ulcerative Colitis who have undergone Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis.  

 
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brittany baldwin-hunter , MD, 2017-2018 

Medical School: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Undergraduate Degree: Wesleyan University, Biology Major.
Research Focus: Brittany developed an electronic health record-based prediction tool to target patients for non-endoscopic Barrett’s esophagus screening. Investigated alterations in the oral microbiome associated with Barrett’s esophagus and Barrett’s esophagus with advanced neoplasia.   

 
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adam rosenstein , MD, 2017-2018

Medical School: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University, A.B. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Research Focus: Adam undertook an investigation of the role of Natural Killer (NK) cells in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Defining the phenotype of NK cells in peripheral blood and colonic tissue in patients with IBD as well as assessing the functional changes in this cell population.

 
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cynthia harris, MD, 2016-2017

Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Pathology.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University , English and Comparative Literature.
Research Focus: Cynthia worked on using a systems pathology approach to improve outcome prediction of neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas and small bowel. 

 
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nathan kim , MD, 2016-2017

Residency: UCLA, Internal Medicine.
Medical School: Stanford University Medical School.
Undergraduate Degree: Harvard University, Neurobiology with minor in Economics.
Research Focus: Nathan studied trends in hepatocellular carcinoma epidemiology, predictive modeling of long-term survival.

 
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Prapti Chatterjee-murphy, MD, 2015-2016

Residency: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Internal Medicine.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University, Creative Writing with pre-med concentration.
Research Focus: Prapti worked on an analysis of major and life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding events in atrial fibrillation patients during the Randomized Evaluation of Long Term Anticoagulant Therapy (RE-LY) trial, as well as a review of the current status of the direct oral anticoagulation agents from the hematology and gastroenterology perspectives.
 

 
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Nghiem Bao Ha, MD, 2015-2016

Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Gastroenterology, ABIM Research Pathway short-track.
Residency: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Internal Medicine. Nghiem plans to short-track into the ABIM Research Pathway for a fellowship in Gastroenterology with a subsequent fellowship in Advanced/Transplant Hepatology. Medical School: University of California Davis School of Medicine, May 2017.
Undergraduate Degree: San Jose State University, Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry.
Research Focus: Nghiem worked with Dr. Mindie Nguyen at Stanford University School of Medicine on a retrospective cohort study to determine the differences among Asian- American and non- Asian patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, increasingly recognized as the most common liver disease in Western countries. 

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KATHRYN FRIEDMAN-flack, MD, 2014-2015

Residency: Penn Medicine, Internal Medicine.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, May 2016.
Undergraduate Degree: Williams College, Magna cum Laude, Political Science.
Research Focus: A study to determine the rate of complete resection of sessile serrated adenomas (SSA) during colonoscopy using the SF/NY technique – a technique developed by DDRF physician scientist mentor investigators. These investigators believe that using this technique will achieve a higher rate of complete resection of SSAs – a common potentially pre-cancerous polyp. 

 
 
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Sumedha Chablani, MD, 2014-2015

Fellowship: New York Presbyterian / Weill Cornell, Endocrinology.
Residency: University of Pittsburg, Internal Medicine.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, May 2016.
Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University, Magna cum Laude, Philosophy.
Research Focus: Sumedha characterized the prevalence and location of colorectal adenomas among average-risk Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in the U.S. who underwent screening colonoscopy at Mount Sinai Hospital. She also assessed colorectal cancer screening test preferences among black and Latino patients at Mount Sinai’s primary care clinic in East Harlem. 

 
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Gregory Yanez, MD, 2013-2014 

Residency: University of Rochester Medical School, Anesthesiology.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, May 2015.
Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University A.B. Sociology, 2009.
Research Focus: A study to investigate whether delayed start times have a negative impact on colonoscopy quality as measured by metrics including adenoma detection rate.

 
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Natalia Leva, MD,2012-2013

Currently: Healthcare design fellow, Stanford University Clinical Excellence Research Center.
Residency: University of California, San Francisco, Urology.
Medical School: Stanford University School of Medicine, May 2014.
Undergraduate Degree: University of California, Berkeley, BA English, 2006.
Research Focus: To develop the nascent field of obesity research by providing a platform for resolution of obesity and its consequences such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and sleep disorders. Bariatric surgery, with its pronounced, consistent treatment effect allows for a unique opportunity for collaboration where many disease processes may be studied such as the relationship between the aging process and weight loss using the rate of telomere degeneration as a marker of aging.

 
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Jennifer Kolb, MD, 2012-2013

Fellowship: Gastroenterology & Hepatology, University of Colorado Hospital, 2017-present.
Residency: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Internal Medicine.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai with Distinction in Research, May 2014
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania, BA English and History.
Research Focus: Focus on techniques and technologies for detection, diagnosis including histopathologic accuracy, and resection of Sessile Serrated Polyps.

 
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Long Nguyen, MD/MS, 2012 

Fellowship: Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School.
Residency: Stanford University Medical Center, Internal Medicine.
Medical School: Stanford University School of Medicine,  June 2013.
Undergraduate Degree: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A. in American Politics.
Research Focus: An investigation of the incidence and predictors of hepatitis B surface antigen seroclearance, a rare event but one of the most durable, desirable, and clinically meaningful endpoints in the natural history of hepatitis B. 

 
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Shannon J. Morales, MBA, MD, 2011-2012                                                     

Fellowship: Gastroenterology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Residency: Resident at Georgetown University Hospital, Internal Medicine.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, May 2013.
Graduate: MBA, McColl School of Business, May 2010.
Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University, A.B. Mathematics.
Research Focus: Two research studies related to the sessile serrated adenoma/polyp (SSP), a common precursor lesion to colorectal carcinoma.

 
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Carlene Chun, PhD, MBA, MD, 2011

Currently: Gastroenterologist, Peak Gastroenterology, Colorado / Research Instructor, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center.
Residency: Oregon Health & Science University, Portland Oregon.
Medical School: Stanford University School of Medicine, December 2012.
Graduate: University of Hawaii, MBA 2004 and University of Wisconsin, PhD 2007.
Undergraduate Degree: University of California, B.S. cum laude Biological Sciences 2000.
Research Focus: A study to identify a biomarker to be used to differentiate diseased & normal cell states in monitoring the progression from GERD to esophageal adenocarcinoma.

 
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Uma Tadepalli, MD, 2010-2011

Currently: Geriatrician, On Lok, San Francisco.
Residency: Primary Care at Cambridge Health Alliance at Harvard University.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai with Distinction in Research, May 2013.
Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University, B.S. Music.
Research Focus: A study of endoscopic & molecular characteristics of a pre-cancerous sessile serrated colon polyps which are difficult to detect & remove during colonoscopy.

 
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Dennis Feihel, MD, 2010        

Residency: Lenox Hill Hospital, Internal Medicine.
Medical School:  SUNY Downstate College of Medicine.
Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Honors College/Baruch College, BBA May 2006.
Research Focus: Co-published a paper on the physical characters of sessile serrated adenoma/polyps, a precancerous polyp.  Submitted for publication an instructional video demonstrating expert technique on the identification and resection of sessile serrated adenoma/polyps.                                                                            

 
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Joseph Freedman, MD, 2009-2010

Currently: Clinical Assistant Professor and attending physician in the Department of Emergency. Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/ Kings County, Brooklyn.
Residency: Emergency Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Kings County Hospital.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai with Distinction in Research, May 2011.
Undergraduate Degree: Emory University, B.S. Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology.
Research Focus: A microarray analysis of gene changes in gastric mucosa related to treatment with naproxen.

 
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David Harari, MD, MSB, 2009-2010

Residency: University of Vermont College of Medicine, Psychiatry.
Medical School: University of Vermont College of Medicine, May 2015.
Graduate School: Union Graduate College – Mount Sinai School of Medicine, MSB.
Undergraduate Degree: Yeshiva University, B.A. Philosophy.
Research Focus: An analysis of gene changes in gastric mucosa related to treatment with naproxen.

 
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Benjamin Vaccaro, MD, 2009-2010

Currently: Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologist, Yale University School of Medicine.
Residency: New York Presbyterian-Columbia, Internal Medicine.
Medical School: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, May 2011.
Undergraduate Degree: Georgetown, B.S. Biology, magna cum laude.
Research Focus: A study on gastrin and its association with dysplasia and adenocarcinoma in Barrett’s Esophagus patients.

 
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Matthew Whitson, MD, Ms.Ed 2008-2009

Currently: Assistant Professor of Medicine / Associate Director, GI Fellowship Program, Donald & Barbara Zucker school of medicine at Hostra / Northwell.
Masters Degree: University of Pennsylvania, Masters in Medical Education, MSEd.
Fellowship: Post Residency GI Fellowship, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Residency: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai completed 2013.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai with Distinction in Research, May 2010.
Undergraduate Degree: Brown University, B.S. Bio-Medical Ethics.
Research Focus: A study of the markers of cell proliferation & new blood vessel formation in the healing of gastric and duodenal ulcers.

 
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Michael Fingerhood, MD/MPH, 2008-2009

Fellowship: Pulmonary and Critical care, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Residency: NYU Langone Medical Center, Internal Medicine.
Medical School: Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, May 2010.
Undergraduate Degree: Wesleyan University, B.A. Economics & Psychology.
Research Focus: A study of abnormal cell growth for the early detection of Barrett’s Esophagus and Esophageal Cancer.

 
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Andrew Dikman, MD, 2007-2008

Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center.
Fellowship: Gastroenterology, NYU Langone Medical Center.
Residency: NYU Langone Medical Center, Internal Medicine.
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai with Distinction in Research, May 2009.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania, B.A. European History.
Research Focus: A study examining the way in which ulcers heal with the use of common medication.

 
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Caroline von Althann, 2007-2009

Currently: Physician Assistant, Hospital for Special Surgery.
Graduate School: Emory University College of Medicine.
Undergraduate Degree: Georgetown University, B.A. Comparative Literature.
Research Focus: Various ulcer studies including the use of common medications in healing & cell proliferation & new blood vessel formation in the healing of gastric and duodenal ulcers.

 
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Jay Desai, MD, 2006-2007

Currently: Gastroenterologist, NYGA private practice.
Fellowship: GI Fellowship, NYU Langone Medical Center, June 2014.
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine, May 2008.
Undergraduate Degree: Tufts University, B.S. Biology and Community Health.
Research Focus: A study on the effect of common pain medication on the GI tract & the ability to ameliorate these effects with an anti-ulcer medication.

 
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Shefali Sanyal, 2006-2009

Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine.
Undergraduate Degree: Brandeis University, B.S. Psychology.
Research Focus: Various studies from 2006-2009.

 
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Ari Benson, MD, 2006-2007

Currently: Gastroenterologist, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.
Fellowship: Post Residency GI Fellowship, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.
Residency: Internal Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, June 2014.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude, economics & history.
Research Focus: A global survey of GI professionals on their endoscopic sedation practices.

 
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John Nick Gaetano, MD, 2003-2005

Currently: Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist, Northwestern Medicine.
Fellowship: Post Residency GI Fellowship at University of Chicago Medicine.
Residency: University of Chicago Medicine, 2013.
Medical School:  New York Medical College, May 2010.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Colorado, Boulder, May 2003.
Research Focus: An analysis of endoscopic sedation practices from a postal survey of 5,000 nationwide gastroenterologists.