Neurology Fellows 2023-2024

Autonomic

Mohammed Khalid Alhaidar, MBBS
Autonomic Neurology Fellow

 

Noor Siddiqi Syed, MD
Autonomic Neurogastroenterology Fellow

Noor is a SF Bay Area native, returning to the area after completing her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from New York University followed by her Medical Degree from Chicago Medical School. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Noor is interested in the overlap of neurological and gastrointestinal disorders and is currently in the Neuro-GI track of a one-year fellowship in Autonomic Disorders. She is interested in examining healthcare disparities and working to provide equitable care and representation in medicine. Noor is currently involved in research projects related to Functional Dyspepsia as well as understanding Vagus Nerve involvement in Gastroparesis. Noor is currently applying for a general gastroenterology fellowship where she aims to apply her newfound skills in autonomic neurology to her future practice.

Comprehensive Neurology

Calvin Santiago, MD

Epilepsy

Roger Chang, MD, PhD
Adult Epilepsy Fellow

Roger earned his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. He completed his doctorate work in the lab of Dr. Robert Edwards at UCSF, determining the unique, dual role of chloride in synaptic vesicular glutamate transport. He subsequently received his MD at UCSF. He completed his internship and Neurology residency at University of Washington. At University of Washington, he worked with Dr. Garret Stuber’s lab investigating neuronal circuits involved in nociception and resultant maladaptive behaviors in Zebrafish. In addition to his clinical interest in providing care for patients with medically refractory epilepsy, one of his main research interests is determining the effects of epilepsy on cognition and behavior.

Manveer Dilts-Garcha, MD, MA
Clinical Instructor/Chief Epilepsy Educational Fellow

Manny graduated from the USF Morsani School of Medicine SELECT MD leadership program and before that completed an undergraduate degree in Biology and a Professional Science Master’s in Stem Cell Research at California State University Sacramento. Manny is passionate about advancing the future of science and medicine, both through academic endeavors as well as through policy. Their accomplishments include research in the field of regenerative medicine, publications in biophotonics, awards for healthcare quality improvement, ongoing engagement at the legislative level to reform health policy and improve resident wellbeing, and serving as a founding member and delegate of the UC Davis Residents Union, CIR. Originally from Vancouver, Canada and the child of immigrant parents who fled religious persecution in their native India, Manny is acutely sensitive to the struggles of underserved communities, and disadvantaged groups and is a strong proponent of universal healthcare for all Americans and for health care reform. In their spare time they enjoy wood working, powerlifting, cooking, photography and spending time with their family. Manny is excited for the next chapter in their academic career as an Epilepsy Fellow at Stanford.

Mehraneh Khadjevand, MD, MPH
Clinical Instructor/Second Year Epilepsy Fellow

Mehraneh completed her posdoctral fellowship at Mayo Clinic, MN, where she investigated human memory, and worked on interictal biomarkers of epileptic brain. Afterwards she completed her residency at Tufts medical center, and served as the academic chief resident, and received the Award for Excellence in Medical Student Teaching and the Resident Teaching Award. Her goal is finding a reliable interictal biomarker for guiding epilepsy surgery.

Christopher Primiani
Adult Epilepsy Fellow

Chris Primiani is a Neurology Epilepsy Fellow at Stanford. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience from the University of Florida. After college, he completed a two-year Predoctoral Fellowship in cell biology and gene expression at the National Institute of Aging. Chris completed his medical degree at University of South Florida before completing his adult neurology residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. His research interest includes the intersection of neuroscience and technology, particularly brain-machine interface, and medical devices in the treatment of epilepsy.

Trevor Rafferty, MD
Adult Epilepsy Fellow

Jackie (Jacqueline) Summers Stromberg, MD
Adult Epilepsy Fellow

Spencer Nam, MD
CNP/Chief Epilepsy Fellow

Capt. Nam received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Stanford University, and his MD from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. As an officer in the US Air Force, he completed residency at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Dedicated to clinical care and teaching, he hopes to eventually open an epilepsy monitoring unit at San Antionio Military Medica Center and influence training of future Air Force neurologists. He also performed as a violin soloist at Carnegie Hall and performed with the US Army Orchestra and with members of the Philadelphia orchestra

Michaela Costello, MD, PhD
Pediatric Epilepsy Fellow

Originally from Baltimore, MD, Michaela Castello comes to Stanford via Child Neurology residency at UC San Diego/Rady Children's Hospital; It was there she developed her fascination with epilepsy. Her research interest in EEG has its origins in the laboratory of Dr. Jessica Mong, where she used it in the characterization of sleep in animal models. She completed her doctoral thesis on lipid regulation and neurodegeneration with Dr. Salvador Soriano. At Stanford she hopes to focus on applying machine learning techniques to seizure localization and epilepsy surgery planning. 

While in San Diego, Dr. Castello tried really hard to get better at surfing with dubious success. Now having moved north, she can be found chipping her extra sparkly nail polish on rock climbing walls, exploring new restaurants, and steadfastly insisting that adults can still build with Lego. Occasionally she writes about her misadventures!

Katherine Xiong, MD
Pediatric Epilepsy Fellow

Dr. Katherine Xiong is a Pediatric Epilepsy Fellow at Stanford. She earned her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at Brown University, and her medical degree at University of Texas Southwestern. She went on to complete her child neurology residency at Stanford University, where she served as a chief resident. Her academic interests include neonatal epilepsy, epilepsy genetics, and improving care through quality improvement and medical education.  

Headache

Arathi Nandyala, MD
Headache Fellow

Arathi Nandyala was Chief Resident at Georgetown University. She has a particular interest in headache management during pregnancy. She received her bachelors degree in Biology and Sociology at the University of Florida and her medical degree from the University of South Florida. She is a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society in addition to the American Headache Society and the International Headache Society. Her other interests include running, reading and baking.

Sheena Pillai, MD
Headache Fellow

Sheena Pillai is originally from Texas where she went to undergraduate school at the University of Texas at Dallas and medical school at UT Southwestern. She completed her residency at Stanford in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is very excited to join the Stanford Headache and Facial Pain fellowship program. Outside of work Sheena enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, and most importantly eating. 

Memory Disorders

Claire Delpirou Nouh, MD
Behavioral Fellow

Movement Disorders

Junghoon Ha, MD, PhD
Movement Disorders Fellow

Dr. Ha is a Movement Disorders Fellow at Stanford. He is a physician-scientist and completed a combined MD-PhD Medical Science Training Program (MSTP) at Virginia Commonwealth University. His PhD research focused on G-protein signaling and electrophysiology underlying neurologic diseases including stroke and Parkinson’s disease. He then completed neurology residency at Virginia Commonwealth University where he received training as an academic neurologist.His current research interest at Stanford is to study the neural circuitry of Parkinson’s disease using optical and multi-channel electrophysiology techniques in mice. His aim is to obtain valuable insights about the sub-second pathophysiology in movement disorders as well as developing new therapies

Goun Je, MD, PhD
Movement Disorders Fellow

Dr. Je is a Movement Disorders Fellow at Stanford. She is an MD-PhD and completed PhD in neuroscience. Her PhD research was mainly focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. She then completed neurology residency at University of Massachusetts Medical School/UMass Memorial Medical Center where she served as a chief resident. Her research interests are developing biomarkers for early diagnosis, disease monitoring, and treatment response in Parkinson’s disease.

Bianca Palushaj, MD
Movement Disorders Fellow

Dr. Bianca Palushaj completed her residency at Stanford, where she was recognized with the Neurology Clerkship Teaching Award and was accepted into the Neuroscience Scholars Track. Prior to that, she earned her M.D. from the George Washington University and her B.S. in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan. Before medical school, she facilitated clinical trials in the Neurosurgery and Neurology departments at Stanford and managed the Parkinson’s Disease research cohort at 23andMe.  Bianca works in the lab of Dr. Ami Bhatt studying the gut microbiome as it relates to neurodegenerative disease. She hopes to bring to fruition microbiome-based biomarkers and therapeutics for Parkinson’s Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Neurocritical Care

Lia C. Franco, MD

Dr. Lia Franco is a neurologist originally from Ecuador. She completed her medical degree at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and pursued her residency in Neurology at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. During her residency, Dr. Franco received several honors, including the "Golden Plunger Award" for fastest tPA administration during her PGY2 year. She was also recognized with the “Outstanding Humanitarian and Patient Advocate Award” on two occasions and received the Leon Weisberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching. Dr. Franco served as chief resident and actively contributed to the wellness committee. Driven by a passion for advancing healthcare in Latin America, Dr. Franco seeks to create a career in Global Neurocritical care.

Sung (Dave) Jeon, MD

Sung Dave Jeon is one of the neurocritical care fellows at Stanford. He studied English and Neuroscience at Amherst College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He subsequently acquired his medical degree at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and completed his residency in neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He has a background in liberal arts with experiences in palliative care and clinical research, which ranges from deep-brain electrophysiology, behavioral psychiatry, as well as management of status epilepticus and low NIHSS large vessel occlusion strokes. Some of his favorite hobbies include hiking, reading, wine tasting, and going to the dog park with his roommate Kaia, who is one judgmental Shiba Inu. He fell in love with neurocritical care in medical school and residency for its high acuity environment, complexity of cases, and interaction with patients and families.

Aaron Kaplan, MD

Aaron is a neurocritical care fellow at Stanford. He received his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied English Literature, Psychology, and Creative Writing. He discovered his love of medicine after graduation, and attended the pre-medical postbaccalaureate program at Columbia University, where he stayed on for medical school at the Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons. He completed his neurology residency at Weill Cornell, where he was accepted into the education track and received the Resident Teaching Award for Excellence in Education. He intends to use his humanitarian and educational interests to emphasize shared decisionmaking and palliation in the intensive care unit. When not practicing neurology, Aaron illustrates for education and theater, studies Narrative Medicine, and expands his practice as a home chef.

Hena Waseem, MD

Dr. Hena Waseem is a Neurocritical Care Fellow with academic interests in neuropalliative care, quality improvement in critical care medicine, and critical care management in global resource-limited settings. She completed her medical training at University of South Florida, her neurology residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and a Leadership and Preventive Medicine residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where she also received her Masters in Public Health at The Dartmouth Institute. During this time she directed a quality improvement effort to improve critical care communication practices and shared decision making at Dartmouth’s Neuro ICU. Dr. Waseem plans to use her multi-disciplinary academic interests to create innovative solutions focused on future practice, standards, and medical education in the neurocritical care setting. Some of her favorite hobbies include reading, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Neurohospitalist

Lahoud Touma, MDCM

Dr Lahoud Touma will be completing his Neurohospitalist Fellowship at Stanford in 2023-2024. He received his medical degree at McGill University and completed his neurology residency at the University of Montreal. His academic interests include acute neurological care, epidemiology and optimizing inpatient care. He plans to continue his training in global health and develop international collaborations in the field of neurology.

Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis

Esther Nie, MD, PhD
Clinical Instructor

Dr. Nie is a Neuroimmunology fellow with investigational interests in the neurological effects following CAR T-cell/BITE immuno-oncologic therapies, as well as clinical interests in diagnosing and treating autoimmune and inflammatory disease of the nervous system. Dr. Nie completed her undergraduate degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale College, and her MD/PhD training at UCLA. 

During Neurology Residency at Stanford, Dr. Nie served as Education Chief and was awarded a Resident teaching award. She also funded through the NIH R25 research fellowship to investigate mechanisms of ICANS in CAR T-cell therapy. Since 2019, she has also been actively working with the Stanford Neuro-Cancer Cell Therapy on multidisciplinary collaborations to optimize neurologic care for CAR T patients. After training, Dr. Nie aims to build a translational research group working at the intersection of Neuroimmunology and Oncology to help develop new therapeutics for neuroimmunologic patients.

Danwei Wu, MD

Dr. Danwei Wu is a Neuroimmunology Fellow with translational interests in cell-based therapies for neuroimmunological diseases. Dr. Wu completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at Duke University and her medical degree at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. While in medical training, she also completed a research fellowship with the mentorship of Dr. Vann Bennett through the Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Medical Research Fellows Program.  

During her adult neurology residency at Stanford, she completed a Neuroscience Scholars Track with the mentorship of Dr. Marius Wernig. She was awarded the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and American Brain Foundation Clinician-Scientist Development Award to continue her research investigating the effects of bone marrow transplantation on myeloid cells in the central nervous system. As an aspiring physician-scientist, Dr. Wu is interested in developing the next generation of cell-based therapies for the treatment of neurologic disorders.  

Neuro-Oncology

Toni Cao, MD

Toni received her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University. She then returned home to Chicago where she completed medical school at Northwestern and then stayed at Northwestern for neurology residency. During that time, she gained an interest in neuro-oncology, medical education and also served as Administrative/Scheduling Chief during her final year. She has won several teaching and interdisciplinary awards throughout residency. In her free time she enjoys playing tennis, running (slowly), and finding the best ice cream flavors out there.

Neuromuscular

Katherine Clifford, MD
Adult Neuromuscular Fellow

Dr. Katherine Clifford is a Neuromuscular fellow at Stanford. She completed medical school at the University of Vermont, followed by internship at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. She then completed adult neurology residency at Stanford, where she received a medical student teaching award. Her current research interests include autoimmune neuromuscular disorders with a particular focus thus far on myasthenia gravis. Her research has been recognized by the American Academy of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) with the Golseth Young Investigator Award and the Residency and Fellow Member Award. Dr. Clifford is passionate about medical education, quality improvement, and clinical research.

Ria Pal, MD
Pediatric Clinical Neurophysiology/EMG Fellow

Cara Piccoli, MD
Pediatric Neuromuscular Fellow

Dr. Cara Piccoli is a pediatric neuromuscular fellow with a passion for caring for medically complex children. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania and medical degree at Temple University. She then completed a child neurology residency at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where her research focused on muscular dystrophies. During her residency, she received an educator development grant, patient care awards, and child neurology resident of the year. After fellowship, she is excited to pursue additional training in clinical trial design/management at Stanford.

Stephanie Roses, MD
Adult Neuromuscular Fellow

Neurophysiology IOM

Rohit Gummi, MD

Vascular Neurology

Deanna Loube, MD
Vascular Neurology Fellow

Ronda (Rongzhi) Lun, MD
Vascular Neurology Fellow

Ronda completed medical school at the University of Calgary and residency in adult neurology at the University of Ottawa. During residency, she enrolled in the Clinical Investigator Program which allowed her to obtain an MSc in Epidemiology and Biostatistics concurrently. She served as chief resident for both the adult neurology program and the clinical investigator program. Her research interests include prognostication in intracerebral hemorrhage, cancer and stroke, and antithrombotic therapy in minor ischemic stroke/ TIA. She plans to work as an academic clinician scientist, and has been awarded multiple awards from the Canadian Institute of Health Research. Her hobbies include running, hiking, and trying new foods.  

Allan Phan, MD
Vascular Neurology Fellow

Allan is one of the Stroke fellows at Stanford. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and attended Stanford University as an undergraduate, where he studied Biology with a focus in Neurobiology. He went on to complete medical school at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, followed by Adult Neurology Residency at UCLA. Within Vascular Neurology, he has a particular interest in acute stroke imaging biomarkers that can help guide patient selection for thrombolytic or endovascular therapy. He is also passionate about medical education and during residency participated in the Clinician Educator Development Track, wherein he designed a self-study curriculum to teach neurology trainees about the most essential clinical trials that guide modern practice in Vascular Neurology. Some of his hobbies include trying new restaurants, cooking, and planning elaborate trips with his wife that he hopes to be able to go on someday.

Sophie Rengarajan, MD, PhD
Vascular Neurology Fellow

Sophie obtained her undergraduate degree from Harvard in neurobiology and her medical degree from UCLA. While at UCLA, she also earned her PhD in neuroscience and studied neuromodulation of sensory neural circuits in C. elegans with Elissa Hallem. She completed her intern year at Olive View-UCLA and neurology residency at Stanford where she served as Education chief resident and researched pharmacologic treatments for stroke recovery.