Current Categorical Fellows

First Year Fellows

Christopher Arakawa, MD, PhD

Training Dates: 7/07/2023 - 7/06/2027

Christopher is on the accelerated research pathway here at Stanford after earning his MD/PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Washington. There he synthesized light/enzyme responsive biomaterials and developed 3D cell printing methods to control stem cell fate and build 3D vascularized tissues (and created the world's first human in vitro capillaries), and was funded by 1 internal and 2 NIH grants (T32, F30) one of which he was PI. After completing his PhD, he was awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship and worked as a researcher at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan where he led a team of students to develop thermo-responsive materials to direct stem cell differentiation. He has an interest in Dr. Mark Skylar-Scott's work on 3D printing of cardiac tissues and targeted drug screening to treat cardiomyopathies with Dr. Mark Mercola.

Mahmud Elfituri, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2023 - 07/06/2026

Born in Sweden and raised in Tripoli, Libya, Mahmud obtained his MBBCH/MD from Tripoli University's Faculty of Medicine, followed by extensive pediatric residency training spanning Libya, Qatar (where he served as Chief Resident), and Queens, New York, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Mahmud's career has taken him across the globe, working in various healthcare settings, from developing countries and refugee care to advanced healthcare systems and underserved communities in Queens, New York, and Stanford. His research prowess was recognized with the AAP CHANGE grant, which he utilized to investigate post-surgical health disparities in children with congenital heart disease, resulting in a publication in JACC (Journal of the American College of Cardiology). His exceptional skills were acknowledged by renowned physician Robert Pass, who considers Mahmud one of the finest residents he has ever worked with. Beyond medicine, Mahmud enjoys life as a devoted father of three and has previously excelled as a windsurfing vice champion in Libya. Today, he finds solace in Bay Area biking and relaxation at Stanford's swimming pool. Mahmud's passion lies in Interventional Cardiology, and he is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of his patients, one step at a time. 

Jerin Jose, MD

Training Date: 7/07/2023 - 07/06/2026

We have been lucky to have Jerin as a hospitalist in our CVICU for the past 2 years. Prior to that, she completed her residency at UCLA and medical school at UT Southwestern. She has researched the intersection between Kawasaki Disease and Covid-19 infection with our own Seda Tierney, and presented this research at 2 national (and international!) meetings and as many of you recall, won an award for best abstract at our Heart Center Research Day this fall. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, cooking and growing her balcony garden.  

Justin Kochanski, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2023 - 7/06/2026

Justin was one of our own Stanford Pediatric residents, after having graduated from Drake University with a degree in Biochemistry and then earning his MD from Creighton. His current work with Greg Adamson and Jeff Feinstein reviews the use of Remodulin in pediatric patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension and factors associated with positive long-term clinic response (which he presented as an oral abstract at our Heart Center Research Day this fall). He has also published a case report describing a unique prenatal diagnosis of scimitar syndrome variant (2019), which received an award at the Phoenix Fetal Cardiology Symposium. He is passionate about medical education and was nominated to the LPCH Clinical Teaching Honor Roll all three years of his residency. At his recent graduation he was honored with the Caroline Graham Lamberts Gratitude and Service Award, which is given to a graduating resident who practices humanistic care and demonstrates compassion within the field of Pediatrics. His personal interests include surfing, travel, playing & watching soccer, and spending time with his dog Shiloh.

Jesse Ortega, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2023 - 7/06/2026

Jesse is joining us from Texas Children's after having graduated from UT Austin with a major in nutritional sciences, and UT Southwestern for his MD. He is working on a number of projects including evaluating digoxin in the interstage period for single ventricle patients, time to intervention in patients with STEMIs, designing a continuing education course on basic sonography knowledge for EMS providers and investigating the impact of open bed NICU environments vs private rooms on parent-staff communication and satisfaction. He has been managing his family's landscaping business for the past 14 years, is involved in a number of community programs focused on supporting socio-economically disadvantaged students to have access to a career in medicine, and speaks Spanish fluently. He runs half and full marathons in his free time, and played soccer at UT Austin. And on his phone call with me today, said that it was past time for a change out of Texas and he could not be more thrilled to join us here in the Bay Area for the next several years.

Nina Zook, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2023 - 7/06/2026

Nina completed pediatric residency here at Stanford and is currently a CVICU hospitalist after earning her undergraduate degree at Emory, and MD from Creighton. She has a number of publications including identifying an appropriate endpoint for cryoablation in children with AVNRT (Heart Rhythm 2022), submitted her work on oral aversion and nutrition in pediatric heart transplant patients (Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 2022) after presenting at ISHLT, and partnered with several of our colleagues on the impact of a clinical pathway on AKI in patients undergoing heart transplant (Pediatric Transplantation 2022). She was awarded the Excellence in Scholarship Award for Clinical Research during her last year of residency, has served as a medical volunteer at Camp Taylor for the last 2 years, and a mentor for undergraduate Stanford students interested in medicine (via the Stanford Immersion in Medicine group). She is an All-American NCAA swimming and diving champion in college for which she received a NCAA postgraduate scholarship and now mentors student athletes at Stanford interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.

Second Year Fellows

Kristin Andres, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2022 - 7/06/2025

Kristin is graduating as a Med-Peds resident at the University of Michigan. She received her MD from the University of Kentucky where she was AOA and participated in a prestigious 18-month research fellowship where she helped design a video game to improve the acquisition of advanced cardiac MRI sequences in children. Her current research focuses on reproductive counseling for young women with congenital heart disease and developing patient and provider-focused educational interventions to ease the transition from pediatric to adult care for patients with congenital heart disease. She has also won numerous awards in residency, including a “Pediatric Medical Student Teaching Award” and the “Chair’s Special Award for Impact.” Her hobbies include pub-style trivia, baking, ice cream making, musical theater, and houseplant horticulture.

Andrew Brennan, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2022 - 7/06/2025

Andrew completed his undergraduate work at Northeastern with a major in Health Science. After college he spent 2 years as a research assistant in pediatric cardiology at Boston Children’s where he worked with the interventional team working on a variety of cath device studies and health care utilization studies for which he first authored 2 papers in Pediatric Cardiology (with one additional 2nd author publication). He then went to medical school at Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson and ventured west for his residency here at Stanford. Here at Stanford, he has worked with Alisa on evaluating indices of global and regional RV systolic function in our TOF/PA/MAPCAs patients and has submitted an abstract with the EP group on predictors of epicardial pacing lead performance. His personal interests include staying active outdoors (by hiking, gardening, as well as playing soccer, golf, and tennis), reading (especially autobiographies and health care novels), learning new recipes, and travel (with his favorite trip being a visit to Brazil during World Cup in 2014).

Hamsika Chandrasekar, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2022 - 7/06/2025

Hamsika completed her undergraduate work at MIT where she studied Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Computer Science, and Molecular Biology and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. She completed her medical school training at Stanford before heading to Boston Children’s for her pediatrics residency. She then came to Stanford and has been working as a cardiac ICU hospitalist since graduation. She has completed multiple medical education projects and is currently working on a project comparing abbreviated cardiac MRI to echocardiography for interval assessment of cardiac function in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Joseph Ryan Hitt, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2022 - 7/06/2025

Ryan completed his undergraduate degree at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY and was subsequently selected as one of 2% of his graduating class to attend medical school.  He attended the military’s medical school at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD followed by Pediatric residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA. His research focuses on strategies of ambulatory rhythm monitoring in children and has led to multiple peer reviewed publications and presentations at national conferences. He is joined by his wonderful wife Kristen and two daughters Lauren and Emma. In his free time he enjoys exploring new places with his family and spending time outdoors. 

Ramya Ramachandra, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2022 - 7/06/2025

Ramya joins us from Driscoll Children’s Hospital (Texas A&M College of Medicine) after earning her medical degree at Bangalore Medical College in India. In medical school, she secured the highest score among over 100,000 students in their common entrance examination. She is currently investigating feeding intolerance in infants with ductal dependent congenital heart disease and is developing a clinical pathway for neonatal jaundice. She has also submitted first author manuscripts and presented at AHA on the association between Kawasaki disease and allergies in children and the outcome of Cook Formula stents for vessel stenoses in children with CHD. Ramya rotated here at Stanford as a visiting resident in both the inpatient and outpatient areas of the Heart Center. Her personal interests include oil and watercolor painting, hiking, trying cookbook recipes and dancing.

Priyanka (Priya) Saha, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2022- 7/06/2025

Priyanka ("Priya") completed her undergraduate major in Biology at MIT. She stayed in Boston for medical school at Harvard before returning home to Seattle for residency at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. During medical school, she received a Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation fellowship which brought her to Stanford for a year where she studied long term outcomes in adults with congenital heart disease. Her Sarnoff work resulted in numerous publications including first author publications in Circulation and the Journal for the American Heart Association. She has continued to pursue research in Seattle, winning the distinction of “Top 5 Oral Abstract” at the 2020 PCICS meeting for her analysis of racial bias in surgical outcomes for children with congenital heart disease. Her personal interests include dancing (she's a proud alumnus of MIT's competitive Bollywood dance team), exploring new music, listening to audiobooks, cooking (especially Bengali food), and exploring restaurants with family and friends.

Laura Wattenbarger, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2022 - 7/06/2025

Laura completed her undergraduate degree at UT-Austin with a major in biomedical engineering. She then completed her medical school training at Texas A&M and is currently a 3rd year resident at Texas Children’s. On the academic side she has been engaged in a project assessing atrial tachyarrhythmias after lung transplantation. On the personal side she enjoys running (completed five half marathons and currently training for her sixth), playing beach volleyball, hiking in national parks and she is currently a member at Houston's museum of fine arts.

Third Year Fellows

Anna Deitch, MD 

Chief Fellow

Training Dates: 7/07/2021 - 7/06/2024

Anna is originally from Carmel, Indiana and attended Indiana University, where she was a Biology major with minors in Chemistry and Spanish.  She was the undergraduate commencement speaker at Indiana University in 2014, and then stayed at IU for medical school.  After finishing at IU School of Medicine (where she was AOA), she went on to Boston Children’s Hospital for her residency in pediatrics.  At BCH she is involved in several research projects, including an analysis of NEC in term infants with congenital heart disease and a retrospective cohort study of patterns of pediatric death in patients with advanced heart disease. On the personal side, Anna’s interests include hiking, fishing, running, skiing, traveling, playing piano, and reading novels.  

Brendan Floyd, MD 

Training Dates: 7/07/2021 - 7/06/2024

Brendan was a resident in Stanford’s combined pediatrics/medical genetics program and has numerous degrees to his name, including a PhD in biochemistry and a M.Ed. in secondary education (he was previously a high school chemistry teacher).  He is currently working on a project studying the prevalence of thiamine deficiency in acute decompensated heart failure with Beth for which he received the Stanford Pediatrics Residency Mary Leonard Physician-Scientist Research Grant, and a separate study looking at an algorithm for genetic testing in infants with congenital heart disease with David Stevenson.  He has numerous publications and research posters to his name and received a Medical Student Teaching Award as an intern. He is a former marching band trumpet player and his hobbies include pasta making and baking.

Lyndsey Hunter-Adamson, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2021 - 7/06/2024

Lyndsey is joining us from UCSF after earning her MD at St. Louis University in Missouri where she was AOA. In residency she worked with Satish Rajagopol on a prospective study assessing whether changes in BNP are associated with extubation failure in post-op CHD patients; she applied for and was awarded internal funding for the project with the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute Resident Research Funding Award. While in St. Louis, she also published a retrospective review of results from device closure for Fontan fenestration at her institution. In her free time, she is an avid hiker/backpacker, having backpacked for 30 days on the John Muir Trail. 

Azadeh (Azy) Issapour, MD

Chief Fellow

Training Dates: 7/07/2021 - 7/06/2024

Azadeh was a hospitalist in the Columbia CICU after having completed her residency there. She earned her undergraduate degree at Stony Brook and MD at Albert Einstein where she received the Dean’s Recognition Award in her last year for exceptional academic and clinical performance. During her CICU year she worked with Usha Krishnan on a PH study evaluating ambrisentan and tadalafil which she has presented internationally and at ACC. She is fluent in Persian, is a great cook, and enjoys snowboarding. .

Elisa McCarthy, MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2021- 7/06/2025

Elisa completed her undergraduate work at Dartmouth with majors in Economics, Government, and Spanish. She completed a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Johns Hopkins and then spent two years as a clinical research coordinator with our own Jeff Feinstein. She then went on to Loyola University in Chicago for medical school and was a resident in Pediatrics at Primary Children’s in Utah.  She has won multiple awards for innovation in medical education, has numerous publications, and is currently involved in several research endeavors, including a project related to transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement with Mary Hunt Martin. She was co-captain of Dartmouth's cross-country and track team in college and enjoys spending her free time outdoors (rock climbing, back country skiing, mountain biking, soccer and swimming, to name a few)!

Jeffrey (Jeff) Yang MD

Training Dates: 7/07/2021 - 7/06/2024

Jeff joined our residency after having obtained his MD at UCSF and bioengineering degree at UC Berkeley.  He published as a first author in Heart Rhythm on pectoral nerve blocks after PM/ICD placement with our EP team and is currently working on several projects in our division. During these COVID times, he has become an expert on baking sourdough bread, finished an introductory course on ceramics, and was a former violinist in the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra.

Ali Reza Rais Sadati, MD, PhD

Training Dates: 7/07/2020 - 7/06/2024

Ali joined us after completing 2 years of pediatrics training at Boston Children’s where he started on the accelerated research pathway in pediatrics. Ali completed medical school in Finland before completing two PHDs at the University of Helsinki with specific background work in: 1) Clinical Research with a focus on long-term outcomes of pediatric cardiac surgery, and a 2) Biotechnology looking at a gene-based approach to experimental heart transplant rejection. His work has been rewarded with the 1st prize in the Young Investigator Award at the Association for European Pediatric and Congenital Cardiology Meeting. He is an author on 19 publications with 9 as first author in reputable journals including JACC, Circ and EJCS. He has presented his work in multiple podium and poster presentations at international meetings and has already obtained grant support.

Fellowship Program Leadership

Alisa Arunamata, MD

Program Director, Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship

Neha Purkey, MD

Associate Program Director, Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship

Charitha Reddy, MD

Associate Program Director, Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship

Lupe Romero-Villanueva

Fellowship Coordiator

Melyssa Walker Martinez, MPH

Fellowship Coordiator