Our Alumni: 2020-2021

Widad Abou Chaar is a fellow of Movement Disorders in the Neurology Department at the University of Chicago after completing her neurology residency. Widad grew up in Lebanon, where she obtained her B.S. in biology and M.D. at the American University of Beirut. She moved to the United States to pursue her residency training. Her main interests are neuroimmunology and global health, and particularly the ethics involved in healthcare disparities and shared decision making. When she is not working in the hospital, she enjoys reading, playing music and learning new languages.

Qiong Bai, MD was born in Beijing, China, in 1985. She received her M.D in internal medicine (nephrology) from Peking University in 2013. Qiong is now a faculty member in internal medicine at Peking University Third Hospital. She is specializes in treating patients with chronic kidney disease, nephritis, renal failure, and other kidney issues. She has also been involved with the role of UrotensinII in pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy and has published her work in academic journals.

Esther Berkowitz trained as a physician in the UK, specializing in psychiatry before transitioning to a non-clinical career in healthcare communications in 1999, and moving to the US shortly after. She has been working as a medical writer and Medical Director since then, with a brief stint as Director of Scientific Affairs for the non-profit Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. She completed a Master’s degree in bioethics and health policy at Loyola University, Chicago, in 2015, and is interested in patient self-advocacy during clinical encounters, ethical aspects of rare diseases, and the moral status of research animals. She is now a Clinical Ethicist at Ascension Illinois.

Blair is a stem cell transplant nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she spent several months this year on a COVID-19 medical unit. Before working at NMH, Blair received a B.A. from Emory University, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and an M.S. in Nursing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests include stem cell transplant and immunotherapy ethics, ethical issues in interdisciplinary team dynamics, and ethical issues concerning COVID-19.

Julie earned her LL.M in Health Law from Loyola University School of Law Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy. She received her J.D. with honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a B.A. and a B.S. in Zoology from Miami University. She was the 2019-2020 Health Law Fellow at the American Medical Association and is a practicing attorney. Julie’s research interests include the use of medical simulation to extrapolate the standard of care in medical malpractice litigation, the ethical conflict created by the National Practitioner Data Bank, and advanced care planning for at risk communities.

Angella Charnot-Katsikas, MD is a Fellow in Molecular Genetic Pathology at the University of Chicago/NorthShore University Health System.  She formerly served as an Associate Professor of Pathology and Associate Program Director for the pathology residency program at the University, but her interest in genomics and in the ethics of diagnostic testing led her to pursue a year of concentrated subspecialty training in these areas.  Her interests include how pathology and laboratory reports are used to manage patient care – specifically, how genomic information is interpreted and utilized by clinicians and patients.

Dr. Chase Corvin is a current general surgery resident at the University of Chicago Medicine. He grew up in Richmond, Virginia and attended theUniversity of Virginia, where he received a BA in Economics. He then worked as a firefighter and medic in Charlottesville, Virginia before moving to Washington, DC to pursue a dual MD/MBA degree at Georgetown University.Dr. Corvin’s research interests include how systemic inefficiencies, financial constraints, and business decisions can impair physician abilities to provide ethical care and also lead to moral injury for providers.

Xiaomin Dai, MD is a member of the Department of Rheumatology, in Zhongshan Hospital at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Xiomin is excited to particiapte in the coming summer intensive and the training program, and make new friends from different countries and cultures.

Prior to pursuing a career in nursing, Rose completed BA degrees in English literature and psychology at the University of Michigan. She entered the nursing profession through the accelerated BSN program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, thereafter earning a MSN within the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty at Loyola University Chicago. Preceding her current role as an advanced practice provider in transplant surgery, she obtained extensive clinical nursing experience in the critical care and emergency department setting. Rose’s research interests are focused on resource allocation, particularly as it pertains to organ sharing and the role of mental health in meeting organ transplant waitlist criteria.

Nathan Georgette is a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Beth Israel Lahey Health. After growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, Nathan went to college and medical school at Harvard. He is particularly interested in the ethical challenges affecting research in the pediatric emergency department. He loves biking the lakefront and dodging potholes around the city.

Dr Michael Hawking joined BHB in 2021 as a consultant oncologist. He was appointed acting director of oncology in 2023. Dr Hawking received his BA in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and his MD from the University of Michigan. He also attended the University of Oxford, where he received an MSc in comparative social policy and a certificate in bioethics. He then moved to the University of Chicago, where he completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowships in medical oncology and clinical medical ethics. Dr Hawking is a well-published author who has taught seminars to University of Chicago undergraduates, medical students and ethics fellows.

Joseph Heng is a Singapore native and was born profoundly deaf. He majored in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University and enrolled in medical school at Yale. He did his internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and stayed on for a year as an oncology ICU hospitalist & completed a hematology-oncology fellowship at the University of Chicago. He is now an attending at Edward-Elmhurst Health. His research interests focus in two areas: improving prognostic awareness and disclosure in patients with advanced cancer, and financial ethics in oncology. He is a proud dad to two clingy boys and an aloof cat.

Brennan Hodgson Kim grew up in Houston, Texas. She attended undergraduate in Austin at the University of Texas where she studied Chemical Engineering and biochemistry. She then attended the University of Chicago for medical school prior to starting her pediatric residency at Comer Children’s hospital. Her research interests include decision making and management in extreme prematurity. She is now a fellow of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital/University of Washington.



Mahmoud Ismail received his MD degree from the School of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt in He later completed his residency training at Wayne State University Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan in 1977. He completed his Maternal Fetal Medicine training at the University of Chicago in 1981 and have been on the faculty ever since currently as a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Ismail has received the Distinguished Clinical Award Senior Professor at the University of Chicago in 2016 and is recognized by the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence as a Senior Faculty Scholar. Mahmoud’s areas of interests include High Risk OB infections in pregnancy, twin to twin transfusion, and mono-mono twins.

Sanjay Jumani is a current Fellow in Adult & Peds Endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health. He completed his undergraduate training at Johns Hopkins University and received a BA in Public Health Studies & worked in the field of social work before completing my medical training at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as well as completeing a Med/Peds residency at the Unviersity of Chicago. He am interested in patient advocacy, specifically in the realm of guardianship. Sanjay plans to focus my research on the complex relationship of patient/guardian, analyzing two populations: adults with developmental disabilities and transgender adolescents, as these two groups represents some extremes of advocating for others.

Stephanie Kelly, MD is an internist at the University of Chicago. Born in Australia, Stephanie studied chemistry at Cornell University and worked in science communication at the New York Academy of Sciences before completing her medical degree at McGill University in Montreal and her residency in the University of Chicago's combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics program, with a special interest in pulmonary and critical care medicine, and in transition care. She is interested in distributive justice in public health, including the ethics of Covid-19 care and of organ transplantation.

Antigone Kraft completed her undergraduate and medical school training at the University of Utah. She has completed a peds residency at UChicago & is now a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow at Children's National Hospital. She is interested in looking at the ethics of initiating extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in pediatric patients, specifically cancer patients, with irreversible or unknown conditions. She is still undecided in what area of pediatrics I am planning to specialize in, but am leaning towards pediatric infectious disease. 

Joanna Kuppy, MD is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Rush Medical College. She completed undergraduate and medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Pediatric residency training at LA County/USC Medical Center, and fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She is a practicing pediatric intensivist and serves as the Associate Clerkship Director for Pediatrics and Professionalism Role Leader directing M1-M4 curriculum related to medical professionalism, ethics, learning environment, professional identity formation and wellness. Her interests in ethics center around learner acquisition of ethics content and assessment solutions to measure competency in medical ethics.

Allison Lapins earned her undergraduate degree at The University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL, where she majored in Neuroscience with minors in both Philosophy and Chemistry. After graduating from undergraduate university with a bachelor of science degree, she started medical school at Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago where she obtained my MD. Following medical school, she began residency at University of Chicago, with a preliminary year in internal medicine at Evanston Northshore Hospital, followed by neurology residency at University of Chicago Hospital, where she is finishing her third post graduate year. Allison plans to subspecialize in behavioral neurology in which she will care for patients with dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. She has related research interests in disease specific trends in goals of care at different stages along disease course (especially neurodegenerative diseases), and how these correlate with decisions made by family members in the acute inpatient setting when patients are unable to make their own healthcare decisions.

Francine Lynch is a partner in the Law Firm of Neal & Leroy, LLC. She received her JD from John Marshall Law School, LL.M in Health from Loyola University Law School, M.A. in Bioethics and Health Policy from Loyola University and Doctorate in Bioethics from Loyola University concentrating in Clinical and Organizational Bioethics, with an interest in end of life matters and hospital mission. She performed her doctoral practicum at Rush Hospital in the office of Patient Safety. Francine is a member of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and served as Vice President of the Advisory Board of the Children's Hospital at University of Illinois, is a Member, Friends of UIC Pediatrics – Children Hospital University of Illinois Chicago. She was listed as a 2018 Crain Notable Minority.

Mariana attended the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in Science PreProfessional Studies and Italian, followed by a Masters degree in Public Health at the University of Kentucky with an emphasis on epidemiology. She attended medical school at Rush University, and completed her pediatric residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. in 2017. She subsequently worked as an attending pediatric hospitalist in the CNMC PICU. Currently, she is Obstetric Anesthesiology Fellow at the University of Chicago, serving as Chief Resident. Her research interests include pediatric end of life discussions, futility of care, resource allocation, and medical education.

Ryan is a current PGY-4 resident in General Surgery at the University of Chicago. He previously completed his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University and medical school at Boston University School of Medicine. His research interests include surgical education, clinical outcomes in surgical oncology, and colorectal cancer recurrence. He will also be starting a research fellowship in the Alverdy/Shogan laboratory at the University of Chicago this year.

Pat Naureckas is a current Pulmonary and Critical Care fellow at the University of Wisconsin. He previously studied Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis before receiving his medical degree from the University of Illinois - Chicago college of medicine. As an upcoming applicant for pulmonary and critical care medicine, he is primarily interested in the ethical issues surrounding end of life care and patient surrogacy from his experiences working in the medical ICU. He has also been a part of the UofC COVID ethics committee helping to develop the center’s COVID CPR guidelines.

Samuel received his medical education at the University of Washington in Seattle after completing undergraduate studies in psychology at Boston University. After residency at the University of Chicago where he specialized in addiction psychiatry and psychotherapy, he completed an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Washington.

Dr. Russell is board certified in adult psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. His particular clinical focus is on the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and behavior addictions as well as trauma, mood and anxiety disorder.

Kaitlin Seibert is a neurologist at University of Chicago Medical Center. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science and Music Performance at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and received her Doctor of Medicine degree from University of Toledo Medical Center in Ohio. Her research interests include preservation of autonomy and personhood despite loss of cortical function in patients with dementia and management of end-of-life care in neurodegenerative disease.

Hi Everyone! I’m Connie Shao! I am originally from Michigan and went to Washington University in St. Louis for my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering. I graduated from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago in 2018. I am now a general surgery resident at UAB in my first two years of research. My research focuses on using telemedicine as an intervention to decrease disparities in surgical access. This research is funded by the American College of Surgeons Research Resident Award as well as an internal NIH funded Health Services and Outcomes Research T32. I love plants, trying new foods, getting wine with friends, and listening to podcasts while I go for walks. I love trying new recipes, especially when my friends (Lauren) make them!

Ronnie earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at Stanford University while playing soccer for the United States Youth and Women’s National Teams. After finishing her professional soccer career, she attended medical school at the University of California San Diego. She completed her general surgery residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center then trained in pediatric surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Surgery at UCLA. Her research interests include tissue bioengineering and surgical ethics with a specific interest in resiliency as it relates to moral distress and training mindful career surgeons.

Julia Thrash, MD is physician at Texas Health Fort Worth. Originally from Austin, Texas, she attended the University of Virginia where she studied psychology and biology before moving back to Texas to complete her medical degree at Texas Tech University. She plans to pursue a Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship after residency. Her research interests include adolescent autonomy and trauma related care.

Stephanie Tillman (pronouns: she/her) is a Clinical Instructor and Midwife at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She completed her Master of Science in Nursing at Yale University and her Bachelor of Arts in Global Health and Medical Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Stephanie is widely published and speaks nationally on trauma-informed care, nurses and midwives in abortion care, queer care, and power imbalances between patients and providers. Her research interest during the Fellowship is consent in gynecologic care and ethical frameworks to improve future practice.

Theresa is a recent graduate of the Duke Neurosurgery Residency program and current enfolded fellow in complex spine surgery. She is pursuing a career in neurotrauma and spine surgery. Her research interests include surgical decision making at the end of life and in neurotrauma. She studies how health disparities contribute to surgical decision making, therapeutic alliance and outcome. She is passionate about advocating for patients and physicians alike and does so in writing featured in Oprah Magazine and Doximity. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Yale College in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and her Medical Degree from Yale University School of Medicine.

Maryam is a gastroenterology fellow in the UC San Diego. She completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and Arabic at Dartmouth College, master's degree in Global Health Sciences at UCSF, and medical degree at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai. She is interested in the ethics of organ transplant, in particular the intersection of organ allocation with immigration status. She is also interested in global health work that encompasses capacity building in developing regions.

Liming Zhu, MD PhD graduated from Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University in China, and received his Ph.D. in cardiovascular surgery. Liming has been working at the Cardiac Surgery Department in Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University since 2011. Liming’s clinical work is mainly focused on minimally invasive surgery and heart valve reconstruction, with a special interest in the daily practice of medical ethics, including issues surrounding new surgical equipment and medical treatments, and covert conflicts of interest.