Meet Our Residents

PGY-1

Carolina Cuello Oderiz, MD
Carolina Cuello Oderiz
Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Medical School: Universidad de Buenos Aires
Professional Interests: general neurology, epilepsy, neurophysiology, movement disorders, vascular neurology
Personal Interests: Volleyball, biking, yoga, theater and cooking
What do you like about the residency program? Upstate M. C. is a combination of an academic center with camaraderie in a vibrant city near the beautiful outdoors of central NY
Raja Godasi, MD
Raja Godasi
Hometown: Amalapuram/Hyderabad, India
Medical School: Narayana Medical College, India
Professional Interests: Vascular Neurology, Movement Disorders.
Personal Interests: Traveling, Eating Out, Cooking and Gaming.
What do you like about the residency program? The core strength of any residency program is its people, the people at upstate are friendly and dedicated. Another thing that attracted me to the program was the excellent program leadership, which is passionate about training residents to achieve their full potential.
Mina Michael, MD
Mina Michael
Hometown: North York, Ontario, Canada
Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine
College: University of Western Ontario
Personal Interests: Reading, listening to music, electric guitar, cooking, movies, video games
Lee Pfaff, MD
Lee Pfaff
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Medical School: SUNY Upstate Medical University
College: Rochester Institute of Technology
Professional Interests: Neuro ICU and Stroke/IR but I am keeping an open mind.
Personal Interests: In my free time I like to play video games, go to the gym and read SciFi books. I'm that nerd that stays up thinking about the theory of relativity.
What do you like about the residency program? As a medical student here at Upstate I had a chance to get to know the faculty fairly well. The amount of passion and excitement about the neuroscience is far more than any aspiring neurologist could ask for. With great facilities, a wide range of sub-specialties and commitment to evidence based medicine there was no program I would rather be at.
Tea Shergelashvili, MD
Tea Shergelashvili
Hometown: Zestaphoni, Georgia
Medical School: Tbilisi State Medical University
Personal Interests: Cooking, gardening, photography and handicrafts
Dina Yacoub, MD
Dina Yacoub
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Medical School: West Virginia University School of Medicine
College: Arizona State University
Professional Interests: epilepsy, stroke and neurocritical care.
Personal Interests: travel, cooking (I love trying out new recipes), watching movies and spending time with my kids!
What do you like about the residency program? There are many reasons why I chose Upstate, but the thing that stood out to me was the people. It felt like such a positive and supportive training environment compared to the other places I interviewed at. The other aspect that really stood out about the program, was the creation of the "NAR". This is a unique opportunity to evaluate neurological cases that come through the ED starting in the PGY-2 year.

PGY-2

Rashid Ahmed, MD
Rashid Ahmed
Hometown: Zanzibar, Tanzania
Medical School: Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College
Professional Interests: Neuro-critical care,Vascular neurology.I love teaching too.
Personal Interests: Soccer,cricket,tennis,marathons,hiking,basketball,formula one,anything outdoor!live music ,music, movies,travelling,spending time with friends and family! Passionate about community work/volunteering with a focus on children's health.
What do you like about the residency program? I found the program to be very strong academically.The greatest strength of the program are the people at Upstate. I found them to be friendly, warm, supportive and motivated.They made me feel right at home on interview day. I was impressed by the commitment and dedication of the program director. She actively involves and challenges the residents, in finding innovative ways of learning and teaching! I also look forward to exploring Syracuse and the neighboring areas.
Golshan Fahimi, MD
Golshan Fahimi
Hometown: Urmia, Iran
Medical School: Urmia University of Medical Sciences Faculty of Medicine
Professional Interests: Epilepsy, Neurophysiology, Cognitive and behavioral Neurology
Personal Interests: Watching movies, Dancing, Yoga, Traveling and Hiking
What do you like about the residency program? I admire the program on both professional and personal level. SUNY became a top choice for me because of how personable the resident and attending physicians were, the strength of both research and clinical medicine.I feel so lucky to have the opprtunity to train here.Along those lines, I think what makes any program great is the people. I don't think you could have have a better set of people than what we have here.Coming in as an outsider of the group, I could not have asked for a warmer welcome from faculty, our senior residents and my classmates.
Kimberly Laxton, MD
Kimberly Laxton
Hometown: Camillus, NY
Medical School: SUNY Upstate Medical University, College of Medicine
College: LeMoyne College
Professional Interests: Neuroimmunology, Stroke
Personal Interests: whitewater rafting, skydiving, distance running, singing too loudly at concerts, spending time with friends, volleyball and kickball
What do you like about the residency program? Growing up in the Syracuse area is something that I wouldn't change for the world. I was honored to be able to attend medical school at Upstate Medical University Hospital, and when the time came to make a decision for Residency I honestly couldn't think of a better place to continue to grow as a professional. The faculty here are very supportive of both professional and personal growth, and you can really tell that they always are putting their patients first.
Ekene Nwoye, MD
Ekene Nwoye
Hometown: Enugu, Nigeria
Medical School: New York Medical College
College: University of Nebraska
Professional Interests: Stroke and epilepsy management in women
Personal Interests: Cooking, playing sports, movies
What do you like about the residency program? very friendly atmosphere
Neil Suryadevara, MD
Neil Suryadevara
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Medical School: St. George's University School of Medicine
College: University of Rochester
Professional Interests: General neurology, vascular neurology
Personal Interests: The outdoors, reading, movies, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
What do you like about the residency program? It's great having supportive faculty, a friendly workplace culture, and the resources of a research university all right here in my home city.
Syed Shah, MD
Syed Shah
Hometown: Taxila, Pakistan
Medical School: Shifa College of Medicine
Professional Interests: Neuroimmunology, Stroke
Personal Interests: Playing sports, movies, and spending time with family and friends
What do you like about the residency program? Upstate is a very diverse program both in term of people and the opportunities. The faculty here is very supportive and welcoming.
Irine Siraj, MD
Irine Siraj
Hometown: Pickering, Ontario, Canada
Medical School: Jahurul Islam Medical College & Hospital
Professional Interests: Neuro-hospitalist, but I am keeping an open mind.
Personal Interests: oil painting, cooking, organic gardening, reading, exploring new places and cultures, and my absolute favorite--a fun conversation over a cup of hot coffee!
What do you like about the residency program? I chose SUNY Upstate not only because of its outstanding reputation, but also because of the lovely and friendly environment. After learning about Upstateā€™s award-winning neurology program, I knew that it would be the best place for me to gain the knowledge, skills, and experiences in becoming a superb physician; all the while being in close proximity to my family (in Ontario, Canada). Lastly, I absolutely love the camaraderie that is present among residents at Upstate! I can confidently say that when I complete my residency, I will not only become a competent neurologist, I will also gain a lifetime of friendship from the Upstate Medical University.

PGY-3

Sherif Elwan, MD
Sherif Elwan
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Medical School: Ain Shams University Faculty of Medicine
College: Ain Shams University
What do you like about the residency program? Excellent Training in basic neurology and neurological emergencies. Wide range of Sub specialties.
Amr Ewida, MD
Amr Ewida
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Medical School: Ain Shams University Faculty of Medicine
Professional Interests: Epilepsy and Neurophysiology
Personal Interests: Music, sports, reading, charity work, traveling and exploring different cultures
What do you like about the residency program? Strong academic environment with helpful and positive attitude from everyone.
Hesham  Ghonim, MD
Hesham Ghonim
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Medical School: University of Cairo Faculty of Medicine
Professional Interests: Epilepsy, Neurophysiology, Cerebrovascular diseases, Neuroscience
Personal Interests: Astronomy, physics, movies, traveling, adventures, flying
What do you like about the residency program? Residency program is very well structured. Wide exposure to most fields of neurology with diverse patient population and clinical cases, ranging from the bread and butter to the unsolvable neurological puzzles. Great fellowship attachments. Program director is very reachable and thoughtful about residents. Also living in Upstate offers many gorgeous destinations especially for nature lovers, and is within a driving distance to NYC and Cape Cod! Overall, program here has everything I'm looking for.
Hussaini Sharmeen, MD
Hussaini Sharmeen
Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan
Medical School: Ziauddin Medical College
Carlos Ynigo Lopez, MD
Carlos Ynigo Lopez
Hometown: Laguna, Philippines
Medical School: St. Luke's College of Medicine, William H. Quasha Memorial
College: University of Philippines
Professional Interests: Stroke, Interventional Neurology
Personal Interests: Video Games, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee,
What do you like about the residency program? I love how people are both fun and nerdy. No matter how heavy the workload is, there will always be someone in the department to make you smile. They are definitely my family in Syracuse.
Husitha Vanguru, MD
Husitha Vanguru
Hometown: Nandyal, India
Medical School: Osmania Medical College
Professional Interests: Stroke, Interventional Neurology
Personal Interests: Music, reading autobiographies, watching moviews & hanging out with friends and family
What do you like about the residency program? Diverse patient population, strong Stroke and Neuro Critical Care exposure.
Furqan Waseem, MD
Furqan Waseem
Hometown: Sahiwal, Pakistan
Medical School: King Edward Medical College
Professional Interests: Neurophysiology, Epilepsy and General Neurology
Personal Interests: Cooking, shopping, soccer and going out with friends
What do you like about the residency program? I love Upstate because it gave me a feeling of having a family. Program Leadership and the admin staff is amazing and very helpful. Residents are very friendly and have the spirit to educate the incoming residents. Patient population is very diverse which intrigues me to study and explore more about the neurological diseases. We have a busy neuro ICU which gives exposure to a wide range of neurological emergencies which we get to handle. Also, pediatric neurology service gives us the exposure to a wide array of diseases which are not common. Upstate area is beautiful in summer and has plenty of lakes. Summer weekends are best for BBQs and spending day outside near the lakes.

PGY-4

Jessica  Ahlum, MD
Jessica Ahlum
Hometown: Danville, PA
Medical School: Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
College: The Pennsylvania State Univesity, State College, PA
Rahul  Chandak, MD
Rahul Chandak
Hometown: Mubai, India
Medical School: Topiwala National Medical College, India
Aashrai Gudlavalleti, MD
Aashrai Gudlavalleti
Hometown: Hyderabad, India
Medical School: Kilpauk Medical College, India
Professional Interests: Neurology and Epidemiology
Personal Interests: hiking, music, traveling and reading (fiction and non-fiction)
What do you like about the residency program? Diverse clinical exposure and an excellent faculty dedicated to teaching.
Bakhtier Nurmukhamedov, MD
Bakhtier Nurmukhamedov
Hometown: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Medical School: Tashkent Medical Academy, Uzbekistan
Professional Interests: Epilepsy, Neurocritical Care
Personal Interests: Travel, cooking, photography, stargazing, playing soccer, spending time with my family and friends.
What do you like about the residency program? flexibility, educational part, availability of attendings, friendly environment.
Rohit Swarnkar, MD
Rohit Swarnkar
Hometown: Jamesville, NY
Medical School: Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science, Chicago, IL
College: Columbia University, New York, NY
Professional Interests: General neurology, process improvements
Personal Interests: Playing the guitar, going outside occasionally
Claribel Wee, MD
Claribel Wee
Hometown: Plano, TX
Medical School: Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science, Chicago, IL
College: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Professional Interests: Neurocritical Care, Stroke, Vascular Neurology, Administration
Personal Interests: Hiking, Kayaking, Traveling, Interior Design, Epicurean Adventures
What do you like about the residency program? I love the immediate sense of being in an Upstate "family"; our attendings are highly knowledgeable and relatable and there is a wonderful sense of camaraderie among the residents. I have also greatly appreciated the variety of cases we see as a tertiary center with a wide catchment area extending from Pennsylvania to Canada. Not only do we have a very robust stroke and critical care program but we see rare neurological conditions regularly on our general neurology service and in our clinics
Taqi Zafar, MD
Taqi Zafar
Hometown: Faisalabad, Pakistan
Medical School: Shifa College of Medicine, Pakistan

Top