Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Gold Humanism Honor Society

Class of 2017

Our current cohort of students is shown here. A list of students from past classes and where they are now can be found on a separate page.

Nilan Schnure

Nilan Schnure
Chapter Co-President
 nschnure@upenn.edu

Hi! I am a fourth-year medical student currently applying for residency in Internal Medicine. I was born in Oakland, CA and grew up in Bethesda, MD with my parents and younger sister. I graduated from Princeton in 2012 after studying molecular biology and global health. During this time my passions were running the 400 meter hurdles on the track team and singing tenor in an all-male a cappella group. I worked for a year in San Francisco doing breast cancer clinical work before coming to Penn for medical school!


Jonathan Wood

Jonathan Wood
Chapter Co-President
 jowood@upenn.edu

I’m a small-town New Englander at heart--born in Texas, with soil from Yankee Stadium sprinkled under my hospital gurney (true story!). I majored in dusty books at Yale and then served seven years in the Air Force before coming to Penn Med. My dream is to practice primary care and economic development simultaneously. I’m working through an MBA before applying to Family Medicine residencies.


Annie Duckles

Annie Duckles
Chair for Community Engagement and Patient Care
 aduckles@upenn.edu

Hello! My name is Annie and I’m a CDYO (combined-degree year out) student. I am originally from a small town outside of Rochester, NY and went to college in Washington, DC. I’m taking this year to do my Masters in Public Health at Penn and plan on applying into primary care track internal medicine programs next year. My interests include women’s health, refugee health, and medical student/physician wellness. Outside of medicine, my life hobbies consist of creating cocktails, tasting whiskey, and doing crafts!


Jeremy Zuckerberg

Jeremy Zuckerberg
Chair for Medical Student Wellness
 jzuck@upenn.edu

Hi! My name is Jeremy. I’m originally from Baltimore (read: Bal-mer) and moved to Philly after finishing undergrad at the University of Maryland. I am applying for residency in Pediatrics with the hopes that my juggling hobby has some sort of therapeutic power. I am humbled to be apart of GHHS and look forward to the exciting opportunities this group will bring to the Perelman community!


Rebecca Abelman

Rebecca Abelman
 rabelman@upenn.edu

Hi! I’m Rebecca and I’m a fourth-year applying into Internal Medicine. While I’m originally from Denver, Colorado, I went to college at Georgetown University, where I studied Religious Studies with a focus on Tibetan Buddhism. Before medical school, I taught English in Taizhou, Zhejiang, China. I am interested in primary care, infectious diseases, and incarceration health. I also love modern art, fiction reading, and typical Colorado fare (yoga, hiking, granola, etc.).


Justin Becker

Justin Becker
 justinbe@upenn.edu


Isabella Bellon

Isabella Bellon
 bellon@upenn.edu

Hi! I am Isa, a 4th year student applying into Family Medicine and I have a special interest in women’s and adolescent health.  I am originally from Brazil and moved to North Carolina when I was 14 years old.  I completed my undergraduate studies at UNC Chapel Hill where I studied Psychology.  In my free time, I explore the many amazing restaurants in Philadelphia and go to concerts. I am also currently working on trying all the bubble tea flavors in Chinatown!


Christopher Brusalis

Christopher Brusalis
 brusalis@upenn.edu

Hi Penn Med! I’m originally from Long Island, NY, I spent an additional year in med school doing clinical research in orthopaedic surgery, and am now applying into orthopaedics. I’m also completing the Certificate program in Medical Education. Hobbies include basketball, fantasy football, and watching Game of Thrones and Veep. I’m very happy to talk about my med school experience (doing a year out program, medical education, applying into a surgical subspecialty, Philly restaurants).


Peter Chansky

Peter Chansky
 pchansky@upenn.edu

Hi Penn Med! My name is Peter and I'm a returning MS4 after completing a one-year clinical research fellowship in Dermatology. I’m originally from Bryn Mawr, PA and went to college at Penn before staying for medical school. I’m particularly interested in complex medical Dermatology and improving access to dermatologic care for underserved populations.  Outside of medical school I love to host dinner parties and brunches for my friends, run along the river trail, and teach rigorous spin classes set to popular music (find me at Pottruck!).  Feel free to reach out to me with any questions about Dermatology, Philadelphia, or if you are in need of a new brunch recipe!


Kylee Clyatt

Kylee Clyatt
 kyleeja@upenn.edu


Roseann Day

Roseann Day
 dayro@upenn.edu

My name is Ro and I’m an MS4 applying in family medicine. Originally from outside Philadelphia, I went to school in DC and worked in San Francisco before returning to Philly for med school. My interests in medicine include family planning, addiction medicine, and care of the urban underserved. My interests in life include playing soccer, hiking, gardening, cooking, and reading fiction. Please feel free to contact me to talk about any of the above, or if you have a particularly excellent bad joke you’re willing to share for my collection.


Chris DeFrancesco

Chris DeFrancesco
 cdefra@upenn.edu

Hi! My name is Chris, and I am a current year-out student at Perelman. I am spending a year at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia working alongside some of the orthopaedic surgeons and staff in clinical research projects. Along the way, I am pursuing coursework toward a Certificate in Clinical Research. While I am excited to apply to ortho residencies next fall, I am also excited to make the most of my time left here at Penn. This includes working in various student organizations and helping with upperclass outreach to the rest of the school. In my free time, I really enjoy to travel (at least across Broad or South Streets), explore the food scene here, and watch ridiculous amounts of college football. Feel free to reach out!


Merritt Edlind

Merritt Edlind
 edlindm@upenn.edu


Joseph Stanley Ensign-Lewis

Joseph Stanley Ensign-Lewis
 ejo@upenn.edu


Christopher Gaw

Christopher Gaw
 cgaw@upenn.edu

Hi, I'm Chris, and I'm a fourth-year applying into Pediatrics. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, I completed my undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University before starting medical school. My professional interests include public health, injury epidemiology and prevention, and clinical bioethics. In my free time, I enjoy reading, half-marathon running, and trying new restaurants.


Geoff Gusoff

Geoff Gusoff
 ggusoff@upenn.edu

I’m a 4th year medical student taking a year out to study primary care innovation and local economic development at the business school. I’m planning to apply in Family Medicine. During medical school I’ve been most involved in the Family Medicine Interest Group, Social Justice Healthcare Group, and the Philadelphia Workers Association, a local organization of immigrant day laborers organizing for better working conditions. Before medical school, I spent 2 years working on “liberation medicine” projects in El Salvador and Peru, 2 years studying social ethics and liberation theology in divinity school, and 2 years teaching ESL for a labor union. I’m also a big fan of improv comedy and firepits.


Jason Han

Jason Han
 hanjason@upenn.edu

Hi! My name is Jason, and I'm a fourth-year applying into cardiothoracic surgery. While I find the field of surgery to be tremendously rewarding, I'm also interested in improving healthy dietary and exercise habits that can reduce or prevent cardiovascular morbidities. I'm also interested in talking about what a stronger ethical framework would look like inside the OR. My hobbies outside of medicine involve writing, entrepreneurship, and trail running.


Brendan Hart

Brendan Hart
 brenhart@upenn.edu

My name is Brendan Hart, and I’m an MS4 applying to residencies in emergency medicine. I’m originally from New Jersey, and I studied anthropology as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. I also received a PhD in sociomedical sciences from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. While at Columbia, I co-authored a book on the history of autism in the United States (The Autism Matrix), and I spent nearly three years conducting dissertation research on autism activism and expertise in Morocco. Outside of medical school, I enjoy spending time with my wife and son, playing basketball, and exploring the Wissahickon Valley Park.


Alan Herbst

Alan Herbst
 daherbst@upenn.edu

Hello! I am a 4th year medical student applying into general surgery for residency. I’m a southerner and country boy at heart, hailing from a small town in Kentucky. I graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2010 with aspirations to become a lawyer. Fortunately, I was steered away from law and after moving to Pennsylvania I completed the Penn Post-bacc. While in medical school, my focus shifted to education and surgery as these fields became increasingly important to me. In my free time, I attempt to live a chill life and play the occasional (or not so occasional) video game.


Alex Herndon

Alex Herndon
 aherndon@upenn.edu

My name is Alex, and I am in my final year at Penn Med applying into Emergency Medicine. I am originally from a far away place called Seattle, Washington where I also joined the ranks in attending the University of Washington and as a result will always bleed purple and gold and answer to the cry of the husky. With my roots in the Pacific Northwest and my desire to practice emergency medicine it is only natural that some of my interests revolve around wilderness medicine. Whether I am diving in the deep blue or hiking white caps, I love the idea of always being prepared! Outside of medical school you can find me cooking, dancing, attempting to paint, but above all else enjoying a good laugh.


Lauren Kelly

Lauren Kelly
 lakelly@upenn.edu

Hey! I’m a fifth year combined MD/MPH student applying in Internal Medicine. Before medical school, I did the Masters program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia. I’m interested in serious illness care and the use of media as a health communications tool to effect public health outcomes. I have been focusing my year out on developing a podcast about patient and provider experiences with death and dying to promote advance care planning. I enjoy singing (especially in Spoof Band!), oil painting, jewelry design, and tennis. I’d love to chat about any and all things!


Greg Kennedy

Greg Kennedy
 kennedyg@upenn.edu

Hi all, my name is Greg and I’m a fourth year applying in General Surgery. I was born in Boston and grew up in Florida before going to Princeton for college. I studied History as an undergrad and did a year of graduate study in the History of Medicine at the University of Cambridge before coming to medical school. At Penn Med, I’ve been involved with the United Community Clinic, the Agnew Surgical Society, and the Admissions Committee. My clinical and research interests are primarily in Thoracic Surgery and Surgical Oncology. In my free time, I enjoy reading, golf, craft beer, and country music.


Esha Khurana

Esha Khurana
 esha@upenn.edu


Jenna Klubnick

Jenna Klubnick
 klubnick@upenn.edu


Neha Limaye

Neha Limaye
 nlimaye@upenn.edu

Hey! I’m a fourth/fifth year at Penn, originally from New Jersey. I studied Global Disease Control at Duke during undergrad, and served in India for a year on a grass-roots development fellowship before medical school. I spent the last year working on reproductive health research in the Amazon of Peru, and am now enjoying all of the free time of our last year with lots of running, reading, and exploring up and down the east coast. I am very interested in primary and community-based care, global health, infectious disease, and the intersection of all of those things in teenagers.


Christy Marcaccio

Christy Marcaccio
 cmarc@upenn.edu

Hi! My name is Christy Marcaccio. I was born in NYC, raised in New England, and (mostly) educated in Philadelphia. I studied neuroscience and philosophy as an undergraduate at Penn and was lucky to have the opportunity to stay at Penn for medical school. My long-term dream is to practice vascular surgery in an academic setting and have the privilege of training future generations of surgeons. In my spare time, you will find me running, cycling, skiing, and/or sporting my Tedy Bruschi jersey (Go Patriots!).


Liz Messenger

Liz Messenger
 emess@upenn.edu

Hi all! My name is Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Messenger. I am originally from Shelby Township, Michigan, and I graduated from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) with a degree in Neuroscience in 2013 before joining the Penn Med community. I am very excited to be applying into dermatology this coming year, and when I am not busy with school, you can definitely find me running the Schuylkill or doing anything involving the outdoors (after applying sunscreen, of course!).


Lauren Miller

Lauren Miller
 milauren@upenn.edu

Hi, I’m Lauren! I’m from Ohio and went to school at the University of Pittsburgh where I studied Neuroscience. I am spending a year in business school to complete the MD/MBA dual degree, and plan to apply into ENT next year.  I like biking, baking, and enjoying good beers with friends.


Brian Mugo

Brian Mugo
 bmugo@upenn.edu

Hi! My name is Brian and I’m an MS4 planning on going into Internal Medicine residency next year.  I’m originally from Kenya, but moved to Ames, IA (my dad was a graduate student at ISU at the time) when I was 11.5 years old.  My parents now call South Carolina home, but now that I’ve lived in the Northeast for the past 7 years, it’s starting to feel more like home to me.  Outside of school, I love watching sports - in particular, I’m a big Arsenal fan and try to catch as many of the games that I can.  I also love playing sports - if not soccer on the Penn Med intramural team, you can catch me playing pick-up Ultimate at Penn Park on the weekend.  I also plan on spending a good chunk of fourth year trying to get really good at ping-pong.


Ann Prybylowski

Ann Prybylowski
 annpryb@upenn.edu

I am a fourth-year medical student currently applying for residency in Pediatrics. I was born and raised in Chester, New Jersey. I graduated from Duke University in 2013 with degrees in Biology, Chemistry, and Women’s Studies. Outside of school work I love to bake, knit, run, and sing (I am not talented enough to do all of these activities simultaneously!). I am particularly interested in community outreach after spending time at Prevention Point, Covenant House, and the Women’s Refugee Clinic.


Sara Rendell

Sara Rendell
 srendell@upenn.edu

Hi! I am an MD/PhD student planning to go into internal medicine. My PhD work is in medical anthropology, and I study inequality and health care, particularly the lives and health of illegal immigrants and refugees. I also do some consulting for the World Health Organization in the area of maternal and child health. I love in person conversations, writing and reading poetry, and running/cycling.


Leah Seifu

Leah Seifu
 lseifu@upenn.edu

Hi, my name is Leah Seifu, and I grew up in Silver Spring, MD (outside of Washington, DC). I went to college at Harvard, where I studied Human Evolutionary Biology and Global Health/Health Policy. I am going into Pediatrics and potentially Neonatology, and am most interested in early child health, food systems/nutrition, and public health (domestic and international). I also took one year out of medical school to get a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Johns Hopkins last year. In my free time, I love to dance - especially modern, jazz, and hip hop - and run, cook anything vegetarian/vegan, and explore Philly!


Ashish Thakrar

Ashish Thakrar
 athakrar@upenn.edu

Hi! I’m a 4th year who grew up in nearby Bethlehem, PA. With all this fourth-year free time, I like biking around the city, playing piano, reading in Clark Park, and daydreaming about the day I’ll finally get a dog. I’m applying into Internal Medicine, specifically Primary Care tracks, and I’m planning to work in community medicine and local public health.


Benjamin Yu

Benjamin Yu
 benjay@upenn.edu

Hi! My name is Ben, and I'm a fourth-year applying into psychiatry. I am interested in narrative medicine, empathy within the medical training process, and trauma-informed patient care. Outside of medicine, I also enjoy burritos, sports, reading, and hiking.