Find out more about our diverse and accomplished group of residents, including their backgrounds, specialities and career goals.
Syeda Hafsa Shahid (Peds)
Hafsa is from Chicago, where she attended college, and majored in Neuroscience, before working in a neurology research lab at Harvard Medical School. She then moved to Newcastle, UK for medical school and enjoyed her travels in Europe. Hafsa completed her pediatric residency at Maimonides Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn, followed by a pediatric cancer survivorship fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, with a focus on childhood brain tumors. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking and swimming.
Karishma Parikh (Peds)
Renatta Knox, MD (Peds)
Renatta is from California and earned both of her doctorates from Harvard. She chose Cornell for the close-knit community and research opportunities. She loves jazz, takes advantage of all the jazz fun in the city, and takes public dance classes at Alvin Ailey. She is interested in pursuing neurogenetics or neuro-oncology.
Class of 2022
Sam, a native of Bergen County, New Jersey, has made New York City his home for over a decade, since graduating from Colgate University in central New York. He attended medical school at Columbia, way up in The Heights, and is now enjoying the sea level environs of the Upper East Side. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, making music, watching baseball, running in Central Park, and spending time with his beautiful wife, Rose, and their handsome cat, Socrates. His interests within neurology include neurocritical care and vascular neurology.
Moises was born in the Dominican Republic and was raised in the South Bronx (Hunts Point) and subsequently Harlem. He attended medical school at Yale School of Medicine, where he wrote his thesis in medical education, specifically in neurology. His research interests involve using technology and active learning techniques to enhance student learning. He is interested in pursuing an academic career in medical education and headache medicine. During his free time he loves writing and recording music, sketching people, drawing anime and creating medical illustrations, and photography.
Virginia is from Upstate New York. She studied Neuroscience at Columbia, attended medical school at Mount Sinai, and worked on the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory during her PhD at NYU. She enjoys pasta and lap swim at the McCarren Park Pool. She is interested in Movement and is working on the biology of alpha-synuclein with Jacqueline Burré here at Cornell.
Alex was born in New York City and grew up in Connecticut 45 minutes away. She comes back home after going to college and medical school in Philadelphia. She is so excited to be back at Cornell and MSKCC, having worked in cancer research at MSKCC in between college and medical school. In her free time, she loves to explore different boroughs and spend time with her two dogs, Georgina and Isabella. She is currently interested in neuro-oncology.
Mu Ji Hwang
Mu Ji was born in South Korea but had the great fortune of growing up all over the globe. He calls many different places home: the bustling metropolis of Seoul, the sweltering tropical humidity of Bangkok, the dry desert heat of Doha (where he attended Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar) and now the cacophonous human orchestra of New York City. His goal is to foster his love of Neurology and to grow it into a blossoming career that encompasses clinical excellence, invigorated research and education. His other passions include the visual arts, playing the piano and traveling!
Josh grew up in London, and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience, before later completing a combined medical degree and PhD from University College London (UCL). His research employed neuroimaging to explore the mechanism of action of Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease, based at the UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square. He worked as a Foundation Doctor in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) before joining us at Cornell. His accent is believed to be genuine.
Sarah was born at NYP-Cornell (of all places!) and raised in Pleasantville, New York. She majored in Neurobiology & Behavior at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY before coming to Weill Cornell for medical school. Over the years she has done research in a learning and memory lab, a translational stroke lab, and more recently in Dr. Schiff's lab at Weill, studying emotional expressions in patients with disorders of consciousness. In her free time she enjoys playing soccer, cooking Mediterranean food, and playing board games. She chose to stay at Cornell for neurology residency because she knew she would get world-class training from a group of residents and faculty members who were brilliant, enthusiastic, warm and remarkably approachable. Sarah loves all of neurology, particularly in the acute setting, and is considering a career as a neurohospitalist after completing a vascular or EEG/neurophysiology fellowship. She also has a strong interest in medical education, which she plans to incorporate into her future career.
Sally is from San Diego, CA and studied Biology and English at Duke University prior to medical school at the University of Rochester in upstate NY. She enjoys boba, free museum days, and reading with her cat, Béchamel. She is currently interested in neuro-oncology and neuroimmunology, but open to all specialties.
Class of 2021
Jasmin was born on the East Coast, grew up in California, and came back East for college. She studied Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, Public Health at Yale, and attended medical school here at Cornell. Jasmin is honored and extremely happy to stay here for residency. She enjoys exploring the culturally diverse city with her friends, drinking coffee, and walking her beagle, Macchiato.
Shamelia may have been born in Queens, NY, but, she identifies as a “true” Long Islander. She attended CUNY Hunter College where she studied biology with a concentration in the neurosciences and philosophy. There, she had the opportunity to conduct research on breast cancer and adult onset neurodegenerative disease. She later moved to Rochester, NY where she received her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys music, dance, chile con queso and lots of reality tv! Her current interests include neuro-oncology, stroke, neuro-critical care, medical education and palliative care.
Melvin was born and raised in the “Boogie-Down” Bronx. He traveled to Arizona for medical school and he is ecstatic to be back home in NYC for residency. Currently, he is interested in pursuing a career in vascular neurology or Neuro-critical care. On his spare time, he loves to Netflix, watch movies (he is a huge Star Wars fan), travel, spend time with family and friends, and cheer on the New York Yankees and New York Giants.
Kurt was born in China and grew up in Indiana. With a background in Neuroengineering, he is interested in electrophysiology and is currently considering epilepsy and movement disorders for fellowship. On his free time, he spends a good amount of time dancing. He also enjoys swimming, surfing, and the like, as well as hiking trips when time permits
Andrew was born in NYC, grew up in NJ, went to college at Brown University, and attended medical school in Cleveland. His neurology interests are in Headache, Epilepsy, and MS. Outside of work he enjoys racket sports including tennis and table tennis, soccer, tai chi, video games, and TV.
Andrea was born in South Korea but grew up in Queens, New York and considers herself a steadfast New Yorker. In her free time, she enjoys exploring different restaurants, eating her way through the city. She also likes to travel and loves being in the water, having been an avid swimmer all of her life. She is excited to be at Cornell and is currently interested in movement disorders.
Class of 2020
Saeedeh Azary, MD
Saeedah was born and raised Tabriz, Iran, and attended Tehran University Medical School and UCLA for an MPH. She performed post-doctoral research in MS at UCSF before coming here for residency. She is an avid swimmer and oil painter and is actively exploring her neurology interests.
Sarah Bobker, MD
Sarah was born in Long Island, grew up in South Florida, and comes to NYC by way of New Orleans. She is excited to have left New Orleans to move to her other favorite city in the world! Interested in Movement Disorders and Neuro-Oncology, she hopes to apply her understanding of the mind-body connection to her patients!
Mikel Shea Ehntholt, MD
Shea was born in Florida and raised in North Jersey and has traveled across the world by way of his military service. He enjoys being outdoors, running in Central Park, and exploring NYC. He is an enthusiastic NY Mets fan and was named after their old stadium. Within Neurology, he is especially interested in traumatic brain injury.
Neha Vijayvargiya, MD
Neha is originally from Sinking Spring, PA and is excited to explore the city one restaurant, musical, and city block at a time. She also loves picnicing in Central Park, travelling, dancing, and watching Netflix. She is interested in multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology.
Kellyann Niotis, MD
Kellyann was born and raised Manalapan NJ and enjoys anything that involves being outdoors – hiking, running, and anything by the beach. When life permits, she loves traveling and being immersed in new cultures. She tries to go on one Scuba trip a year, most recently the Galapagos. She is excited to finally live in and discover NYC.
Stephanie was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and was excited to finally come to NYC for residency. She has a strong interest in medical education and also medical ethics for which she serves on the ethics committee here at NYP Cornell. After residency, she plans to pursue a vascular neurology fellowship and eventually a career as an academic neurohospitalist.
Ashwin grew up in Long Island, NY. He enjoys lifting weights, playing basketball, and will always be a Knicks fan at heart. His academic interests have involved studying Glutamate receptor physiology, understanding mechanisms in major depression, and medical education. Within Neurology, Ashwin enjoys Epilepsy, General Neurology, Neuro-critical Care, and Neuromuscular Medicine. Most significantly, Ashwin loves Manhattan and is excited to explore NYC during his time here.
Bhavan was born in Gujarat, India moved to Cleveland and trained at Cleveland clinic Foundation Fairview hospital. He did is MPH from Cleveland state university with majors in biostatistics. He is keenly interested in Vascular Neurology and Neuro Critical-care. Apart from academics he loves traveling and is passionate about traveling photography.
Class of 2019
Mais Al-Kawaz, MD
Mais was born and raised in Baghdad and loves living life fully. She became interested in neurology during the brain and mind course in medical school and came to Cornell after working with our MS faculty on a research project. She hopes to pursue a career in academic neurology.
Ashley Aaroe, MD
Ashley majored in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and went to Northwestern University for medical school. She wanted to come to Cornell for many reasons - there is an incredible faculty to learn from, and she liked the structure of the residency itself - but far and away the most significant factor was the camaraderie that she saw between residents on her interview day. She is Mexican-American and has an interest in healthcare disparities. Outside medicine, Ashley loves ballet, soccer, and lemon meringue pie.
Christopher Brown, MD
Chris grew up in West Chester, PA and developed an interest in neurology while studying at Boston College. Prior to starting medical school in NYC, he performed research in autonomic and peripheral neurology and then spent a year touring the National Parks of the United States.
Jessica Wilcox, MD
Jess is originally from South Jersey, but for most of her adult life has considered Philadelphia her home. It is there where she first realized her interests in neuro-oncology and neuro-immunology through research in novel glioblastoma treatments.
Class of 2019
Darya Khazanova, MD
Darya is originally from Sumy, Ukraine, but she grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she is a frequent flyer on the Volleyball courts of Brighton Beach. Since high school, Darya has been interested in neurology and education and is hoping to one day become a neuro-hospitalist, spending her time teaching medical students and residents.
Brian Andersen, MD
Brian grew up in Houston, Texas before attending college and medical school in Minnesota. He enjoys exploring the Big Apple by bicycle, making music, and traveling in his free time. He has been interested in neuro-oncology since medical school and is performing clinical and basic research at Memorial Sloan Kettering as a resident.
Class of 2018
Jaclyn Burch, MD
Jackie grew up outside of Rochester, New York. She is currently conducting research on primary brain tumors and stroke with fellow resident, Neal Parikh, under the direction of Dr. Navi and Dr. DeAngelis. In her spare time, she enjoys playing and watching soccer, baking, and hiking. She is on the QI committee.
Radhika Jagannathan, MD, PhD
Radhika grew up in New York but spent medical school in the Midwest at Washington University in St. Louis before making the homecoming journey back to New York. She spends her free time exploring the exceptional food, drink, and theater scene of New York City (and playing Pokémon GO). She is considering a fellowship in neuro-oncology.
Matthew Mercuri, MD
Matt was born and raised in Scranton, PA. He studied English and philosophy as an undergraduate before receiving his medical degree from NYU. In his spare time, he enjoys playing drums, walking his dog Stella, and watching high-quality long-form television.
Caroline Miranda, MD
Caroline, a lifelong New Yorker, studied Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke before studying Parkinson’s disease in Dr. Kaplitt’s lab at Cornell, where she remained for medical school and residency! As a resident, she has contributed to a book chapter and researches gait and EMG analysis in CIDP. Her clinical interests include general neurology, EMG/NCS, and oncology. She enjoys traveling, good food, and boating. She is the wellness committee chair.
Antonio Moya, MD, MPH
Antonio was born in Manila, Philippines, and moved to Southern California, where he grew up loving jazz, music, and running. He also has worked with the Asian immigrant communities of LA and SF during medical school, traveling to Asia annually and conducting local and international stroke research. He hopes to carve a niche in neurology and public health for the prevention of neurologic diseases.
Yahya Atalay, MD
Yahya grew up in Ankara/Turkey, where he attended medical school. He went on to study the cognitive effects of subarachnoid hemorrhage at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has a great passion for bass guitar and photography and currently enjoys every morning by watching the magnificent silhouette of New York City from the GW bridge. He is interested in going into neuro-critical care.
Trent Hodgson, MD
Trent grew up in Sugar Land, Texas. He studied the structure and function of potassium channels in college before moving to Chicago for medical school and San Diego for his intern year. He misses running on the beach and surfing. He regularly enjoys Central Park and exploring the bars and restaurants of NYC.
Class of 2017
Aaron Gusdon, MD
Aaron grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. He enjoys bicycling to remote parts of Queens and genotyping mitochondrial DNA. He is busy with a research project funded by the Chinese government. He will be pursuing a neurocritical care fellowship at Johns Hopkins next year.
Daniel Kurz, MD
Dan grew up in Ohio and moved to New York for medical school. He is a dedicated runner and puppy dad. Next year, he will begin fellowship training in MS/demyelinating diseases at Mount Sinai, where he will also earn a Master’s in Clinical Research.
Evan Noch, MD, PhD
Evan is originally from Holland, PA and is on a quest to eat at every restaurant between his apartment and the hospital before he graduates. He has been interested in neuro-oncology since medical school and will continue as a neuro-oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center next year. He currently serves as Chief Resident for Research and Education.
Setareh Salehi Omran, MD
After living all over the world, Setareh decided to move to New York City in order to pursue her passion in Neurology. She developed an interest in stroke during residency and now serves as Chief Resident of Operations and Scheduling. Next, she will go to Columbia for a Vascular Neurology fellowship. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and hiking.
Neal Parikh, MD
Neal comes to New York City from Wichita, by way of New Haven. His only extra-curricular interests are his baby and cocktails. He is currently serving as Administrative Chief Resident and will be continuing his training as a Vascular-Neuroepidemiology fellow at Columbia, where he will also earn a Master’s in Epidemiology.
Alyssa Rehm, MD
Alyssa will be pursuing a fellowship at Columbia in electrophysiology/EMG. She also loves the ocean, beach, and all water sports (sailing in particular). But most of all, she loves spending time with her husband, Kyle, and their new daughter, Keira Summer.
Krithiga Sekar, MD, PhD
Krithiga grew up in Australia and Africa and has travelled to 6 of the 7 continents of the world. She is interested in cognitive neuroscience and will be an epilepsy fellow at Columbia next year.