Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Global Surgery Group

Who We Are

We are a group of students, residents, and faculty who are promoting the Penn Global Surgery Group mission through education, collaboration, and research.


Students

William Huffman

William Huffman
Co-Director
 William.Huffman@Pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Will is one of the co-directors for PGSG. He is from Dayton, Ohio, and majored in biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame. His interest in global health stems from traveling as a child with his family while his father provided medical care in different countries. He hopes to merge his interests in surgery and global health into his career.


Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee
Co-Director
 Hannah.Lee7@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Hannah Lee is one of the Co-Directors of PGSG. She grew up in Central New Jersey and studied Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. While in college, she worked on orthopedic surgery research at CHOP and volunteered with medical/dental care teams at refugee camps in southeast Asia. Through these experiences, she became interested in global health and surgery. In particular, she is interested in the psychosocial/cultural effects of surgery on individuals in a community. Her goal is to improve physiological, social, emotional, and spiritual outcomes for patients in low-resource settings.


Bhavya Ancha

Bhavya Ancha
Lunch Talk Coordinator
 Bhavya.Ancha@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Bhavya’s passion for global heath and equity came from spending her summers and gap year in the Dominican Republic. Although very much missing the island girl environment as an urban transplant once again, being the Lunch Talk Coordinator for PGSG is keeping her continuously inspired!


Modesty Obasohan

Modesty Obasohan
Events Coordinator
 Modesty.Obasohan@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Modesty Obasohan serves as one of the Event Coordinators for PGSG. She is from Duplin County, North Carolina, and graduated with a BS in Genetics and minor in Spanish from North Carolina State University. As an undergraduate she spent five months studying at a university in Mexico, and upon return she interned at a free clinic and pharmacy for migrants and Black uninsured patients. She has conducted community outreach projects domestically and is excited to explore medical equity at the global scale. Her currents interests include critical care, medication availability, and perioperative safety in resource-limited settings.


Nicholas Kelly

Nicholas Kelly
Events Coordinator
 Nicholas.Kelly@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Nicholas Kelly is serving as one of the events coordinators of PGSG. He is from San Diego, CA. He graduated with a degree in Economics from Yale, where he rowed on the varsity heavyweight crew team. He worked for two years in finance in New York City before completing a post-baccalaureate premedical program at Bryn Mawr College. He has spent extended periods volunteering in children’s hospitals in both New York and San Diego, and he spent a summer in Buenos Aires, Argentina conducting social work at a group home for adolescent boys. He is interested in expanding access to healthcare, both at home and abroad.


Linda Saikali

Linda Saikali
Treasurer
 Linda.Saikali@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Linda is originally from Beckley, West Virginia, and she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2020 with a BS in Neuroscience, BA in Religious Studies, and a certificate in Global Studies. She became interested in global health after interning with an international non-profit organization that provides health care to refugees. She interested in exploring sustainable surgical approaches in resource-limited settings and addressing disparities in access to surgical care, both locally and abroad. 


Mariia (Masha) Alibekova

Mariia (Masha) Alibekova
Research Chair
 Mariia.Alibekova@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Masha is currently serving as a Research Chair for PGSG. Originally from Ukraine, she started at Penn as a PhD student studying bioengineering and focusing on single-cell proteomics. After two years, Masha joined the MD-PhD program at Perelman School of Medicine to pursue her dream career of a physician-scientist. Masha completed her M.S. in Engineering from University of Pennsylvania, B.S. in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines and A.S. in Engineering Science from Bergen Community College. She discovered her passion for surgery and surgical innovation when she volunteered at a surgical ICU and shadowed surgeons and surgeon-scientists. Masha is interested in surgical oncology and interventional radiology as well as in addressing disparities in access to healthcare. She is also passionate about developmental engineering and regenerative medicine research with the goal to improve health outcomes. Masha is currently working on her thesis project developing a new highly multiplexed single-cell proteomic assay with a hope to understand protein drivers of cell decision-making during development and disease. 



Faculty

David A. Spiegel, MD

David A. Spiegel, MD
Faculty Advisor
 spiegeld@email.chop.edu

David A. Spiegel, MD, is an attending surgeon in the Division of Orthopaedics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with expertise in neuromuscular disorders, spine conditions and fractures, and is an associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He attended Duke University for college, medical school, and orthopaedic surgical residency training, and then completed both a research and a clinical fellowship in pediatric orthopaedics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Spiegel has dedicated considerable energy to volunteer work in low and middle-income countries, most frequently Nepal and Iraq. His myriad contributions to global surgical development are detailed in our At Penn section.


Neil Sheth, MD

Neil Sheth, MD
Faculty Research Advisor
 neil.sheth@uphs.upenn.edu

Neil Sheth is Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He then spent 2 years on Wall Street as a Financial Analyst in Solomon Smith Barney's Healthcare Investment banking division prior to attending medical school at the Albany Medical College. Following medical school, he completed a 6 year Orthopaedic Surgery residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Following residency, he completed an adult hip and knee reconstruction fellowship at Rush University as well as a 3 month mini-fellowship at the Endo Klinik in Hamburg, Germany focusing on peri-prosthetic infection. Dr. Sheth has now returned to join the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and focuses his research on bone loss pertaining to revision total hip arthroplasty, peri-prosthetic infection and the role of orthopaedic surgery in global health.


Jordan Swanson, MD, MSc

Jordan Swanson, MD, MSc
Faculty Advisor
 swansonj@email.chop.edu

Jordan Swanson is an attending surgeon in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with special clinical expertise in cleft, craniofacial, and pediatric plastic surgery. His innovation and research initiatives are focused principally on how surgical care can be better adapted to low-resource settings, through design of clinical devices and techniques, locally-driven leadership and team capability strengthening, and reorienting care pathways appropriate to local contexts and resources. In parallel, these initiatives are also generating insight into less-invasive, patient-directed advances for surgical care delivery in tertiary settings. He previously worked and lived in Nicaragua, collaborating with Operation Smile and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health to build a joint Comprehensive Cleft and Craniofacial program, and is the primary investigator of the Cirugia Para el Pueblo pilot program to advance the access to and impact of rural surgical care in Nicaragua. He also serves as Director of Surgical Innovation at Operation Smile, in which he co-leads development of clinical training programs, surgical research, and clinical program design specific to lower-resource settings, and is a plastic surgeon at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.



Residents

Omar Ramadan

Omar Ramadan
General Surgery Resident Advisor
 omar.ramadan@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Omar Ramadan is a third-year categorical general surgery resident at Penn. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, raised in Kobe, Japan, and has Lebanese roots. He completed his undergraduate studies at Emory University, double-majoring in Biology and Economics. He received his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and spent a month in Beirut, Lebanon, with a general surgery service at a community hospital. He has a strong interest in health policy and global surgery, particularly in developing efficient and effective surgical care solutions in low-resource settings.