2017 Entering Fellows
Marcela A. Ferrada, M.D., received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, in 2004. Shortly after graduation, she moved to the United States to pursue an academic career. She worked at the University of San Diego as a post-doctoral fellow for two years. For her clinical training, she went on to Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital where she also spent a year as a Chief Resident. She then pursued dual fellowships in Critical Care at the National Institutes of Health and Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins Hospital. During her fellowships, she completed all the required courses for a Masters in Health Science from Duke University. Upon completion of her clinical fellowships, she stayed on as a Staff Clinician in Critical Care at the NIH. However, Dr. Ferrada was diagnosed with Relapsing Polychondritis in 2015 and decided to make the study of this disease her life’s work. She is currently a clinical fellow in the Rheumatology Fellowship training branch at the NIH. Since her diagnosis, she has become the federal liaison for the Relapsing Polychondritis Awareness and Support Foundation, has given more than ten Grand Rounds in various hospitals in the United States about Relapsing Polychondritis, and is currently working with Peter C. Grayson, M.D., James Katz, M.D., Robert Colbert M.D., Keith Sikora M.D. and other investigators to study the disease.
Dr. Despoina Michailidou obtained her M.D. from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the Department of Pathophysiology, affiliated with the University of Athens in Greece. She received her Ph.D. degree from the Goethe University of Frankfurt in Germany where she published three manuscripts. During her doctoral thesis she focused upon research on angiogenesis and VEGFR-2 expression in human endothelial cells. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine in Bridgeport Hospital, a major affiliate and an integral part of the Yale New Haven Health System serving Southern Connecticut. She has published a total of eight articles for well-regarded peer-reviewed journals. These include The American Journal of Medicine, Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, to name a few. She is interested in translational research and clinical application.
For Brian Dizon, M.D., Ph.D., his interest in immunology began during college at the University of Miami when he volunteered in a lab studying host-pathogen interactions using Yersinia as a model organism; he subsequently graduated with a major in microbiology/immunology. He then went to medical school through the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and under the mentorship of Dr. John Kearney, studied the role of self-reactive carbohydrate-specific B cells and their secreted antibodies in the early stages of autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice. His interest in autoimmunity through all stages of life led him to complete a residency in internal medicine-pediatrics at the University of Rochester, and he now pursues a combined rheumatology fellowship at the NIH. As he continues his training, he hopes to further explore the multifaceted roles of B cells in autoimmune disease at the basic/translational level.
2016 Entering Fellows
Blas Betancourt, M.D. earned his medical degree at the University of Medical Sciences of Villa Clara, Cuba. He completed residencies in clinical pharmacology at the University of Medical Sciences of Havana, Cuba, and internal medicine at Metropolitan Hospital/New York Medical College, New York. His research thesis during pharmacology training at the National Center of Scientific Research of Havana was based on animal models of inflammation. He has extensive experience in clinical research, with over 15 peer-reviewed articles and abstracts or book chapters. He previously worked in clinical development of biological products in different therapeutic areas at the Center for Biological Research of Havana. He then worked as a medical expert in the Medical Department at Bayer Healthcare Canada, and participated in international clinical trials in women's health care. Most recently, he worked as a resident in internal medicine at Metropolitan Hospital, where his main scholarly activity was related to the clinical utility of antinuclear antibodies.
Ananta Subedi, M.D. received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Kathmandu University of Dhulikhel, Nepal, and began residency in Internal Medicine at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, an affiliate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. He has given multiple presentations, including at the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology Annual meetings. He has authored numerous publications on topics, including the effect of mycophenolate on the white blood cell count and the frequency of infection in systemic lupus, and a case of high fever, elevated ferritin and pancytopenia. He is currently completing his M.P.H. at the University of Massachusetts.
2015 Entering Fellows
Maryam Gul, M.D. has extensive research experience, including research at Cambridge University while at medical school, which resulted in her co-authoring a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine on genetic risk for stroke. She has 13 peer-reviewed publications and has presented at multiple national scientific conferences, including the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting. During her fellowship, she will work with Nehal Mehta on inflammation and atherosclerosis in psoriasis and pulmonary hypertension.
Sara Alehashemi, M.D. worked at the University of Pennsylvania before and during residency training at Pennsylvania Hospital, measuring the burden of atherosclerosis in rheumatic patients and also analyzing and interpreting molecular imaging findings in rheumatic diseases. She has 10 peer-reviewed publications and has given multiple presentations at national conferences. During her fellowship, she will work with Peter Grayson on vasculitis, with emphasis on advanced imaging techniques.
Robinder Dhillon, M.D. has extensive clinical and research experience in many locations, including the Center for Musculoskeletal Research in Rochester, New York, studying the effects of PTH on femoral allograft healing and angiogenesis. He is the first author on an original article in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, two review articles and a book chapter, and has coauthored five other peer-reviewed publications. He completed his residency at Wayne State University. During his fellowship, he will be working with Mike Ward on outcomes research, with emphasis on arthritis. He will also pursue an MSc in clinical epidemiology through the Duke-NIH Program.
2014 Entering Fellows
Shubhasree Dutta Choudhury, M.D. (Sree)
Internal Medicine Residency; Overlook Medical Center, New Jersey M.D.; Kolkata Medical College, India
Megha Sawhney, M.D.
Internal Medicine Residency; Cone Health University of North Carolina M.D.; Maulana Azad Medical College, India
2013 Entering Fellows
Seema Kumar Patel, M.D.
Internal Medicine Residency; Mountainside Hospital, Montclair, NJ M.D.; American University of Antigua, St George, Antigua and Barbuda
Kyawt Win Shwin , M.D.
Internal Medicine Residency; SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York
M.D.; Institute of Medicine, Yangon, Myanmar