PGY1

Brijae Chavarria, MD

Brijae Chavarria, MD
Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine

Hey! I’m originally from the Mt. Airy section of Philly and moved to Lansdale, PA when I was in high school. For undergrad, I took a leap and went to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, majoring in Nursing. It was there, working with an underserved population, that I learned the depths of the social sciences, service learning, and social determinants of health. After college, I alternated between working at a skilled nursing facility as a Charge RN and working on my post-baccalaureate pre-med courses at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. I went on to obtain both my Master of Arts in Urban Bioethics and Doctor of Medicine at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. My thesis for my MAUB degree focused on the perceived barriers to end of life planning in the Black American community. I can not think of a better city to learn Psychiatry in, than the one I was born in! I’m even more excited to be continuing my journey at an institution with such a rich Psychiatric history. When I’m not in the hospital, you can find me hanging out with my high school sweetheart/fiancé, cuddling our lab mix puppy Bodie (yes, named after the character on The Wire), spending time with my huge family, eating whatever my soul desires, or singing karaoke. 


Lauren Dubner, MD

Lauren Dubner, MD
Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College

I was raised in Radnor PA, and attended college at Washington University in St. Louis, where I cultivated my interests in neuroscience and psychology as a Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology major. My undergraduate thesis focused on neuroimaging in type 1 diabetic adolescents. Upon graduating, I pursued my research interests by working in a neurology laboratory at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, co-authoring several manuscripts on Alzheimer’s disease treatment and prevention, among other topics. The following year I began medical school in Philadelphia at Thomas Jefferson University, where I further developed my passion for psychiatry as co-President of Active Minds, an organization that raises awareness regarding mental health concerns among college and graduate students. I am thrilled to remain in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania for psychiatry residency! I really appreciate the warm and compassionate environment that Penn provides, as well as the incredible faculty and programming. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, going to the beach, reading, spending time with family and friends, and listening to podcasts. 


Golkoo Sadat Hosseini, MD

Golkoo Sadat Hosseini, MD
Islamic Azad University Tehran Medical

Hi, My name is Golkoo. If you are wondering, it’s a Persian name! I was born and raised in Iran, where I completed my medical education, and worked as a general physician for three years in underprivileged areas. During this time, my desire to pursue meaning and resilience for people who, unlike those struggling with physical ailments, too often cannot pinpoint the source of their pain, spur my determination to specialize in psychiatry. I joined the UPenn family in 2014 to study human development. Since then, Philadelphia has become my new home. My passion for mood disorders led me to work at the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Treatment and Research Program, TMS Treatment Program, and Center for Neuromodulation of Depression and Stress. I am extremely excited and grateful that my dream of becoming a psychiatry resident at Penn has become true! In addition to its top notch clinical and research opportunities, Penn psychiatry is where you can experience and learn the complexity of psychiatry to its fullest; its exogenous versus endogenous etiologies, psychological versus biological phenomena, and the fine margin separating pathological disorders from universal human suffering. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my best friend who is also my loving husband, playing music, watching movies, cooking, and hanging out with friends.


Lipi Gupta, MD

Lipi Gupta, MD
Virginia Commonweath University School of Medicine

Hi there!  I was born in India and raised mostly in the United States.  My childhood days were spent in awe of the natural world, physiology, and human behavior.  I've essentially never grown up because this is still mostly all I do. My liberal arts education at Carleton College allowed me to discover my purpose: to help youth in underserved communities develop their health, resilience, and to make the science behind it all accessible, because knowledge is power.  After piloting a project of my own and soaking up the wisdom of mentors while working with non-profits, I worked as a Clinical Research Assistant at The Ohio State University’s Child Psychiatry Department in order to refine my understanding of how to measure the impact of interventions. Under the wing of inspiring role models, I fell in love with the art of Psychiatry itself.  Wanting to work closely with youth again, I taught humanities and psychology at the Barrie School to middle and high school students, whose medical needs crystallized my resolve to pursue medicine. My medical school experiences, particularly those part of a health disparities track, affirmed my aspiration to become a child psychiatrist in partnership with community members and primary care providers.  I’m excited to call Penn home and get to know my patients and brilliant, caring colleagues whom I look forward to learning from everyday! Outside the hospital, you’d probably find me walking around the city to get to its green spaces or geek out over its unique history.

 


Atasha Jordan, MD, MBA

Atasha Jordan, MD, MBA
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

I was born in Barbados, and I grew up in Florida and Pennsylvania when my family moved to the US. I went to Harvard College for undergrad where I studied Neurobiology, Global Health and Health Policy, and French. In addition to being premed, I caught the entrepreneurship bug while in college; I did hair and makeup as my side hustle! I spent my year off before medical school teaching as a Fellow at the University of Hong Kong and running my own tutoring business. I went to medical school and business school here at the University of Pennsylvania, and I fell in love with Philadelphia in the process. In my free time, I love to explore the hidden gems in Philly, write for my blog, and take advantage of the latest flight deals to travel the world!


Cristina Lanzillotta, MD

Cristina Lanzillotta, MD
Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Born and raised in Massapequa, New York by a lifelong Long Islander and a migrant from the southern coast of Sicily, I grew up with a constant fascination for the world around me. I attended college at Loyola University Maryland where I engaged in small, humanities-focused classes and marveled at the long and complex story of humanity. One year of my education was spent in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England where I focused my studies on how to eat as much as humanly possible in every city in Europe. Later in college I realized a love of research, first in the study of yeast retrotransposons and then at Penn in Dr. Mitchell Lazar’s laboratory studying the transcriptional regulation of human metabolism. Life’s awesome journey then took me to study medicine at Jefferson. There, I found excitement and purpose in the field of psychiatry, followed by a unique connection with others in the field. I was exhilarated by the freedom to work within the ambiguity of the human mind, and again yearn to understand human nature and what drives us. Matching into psychiatry at Penn was a dream realized, and I could not be more excited to begin my training alongside such outstanding peers and mentors.


Mark Morales, MD

Mark Morales, MD
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

I grew up in a small beach town on the Jersey Shore. I received my undergraduate degree from Brown University in Slavic Studies, and I had the opportunity to study abroad in Russia and the Czech Republic. Following graduation, I moved to Philly to teach high school math in the public school system here. After three years in the classroom, I decided to switch directions and pursued a premedical postbac at Bryn Mawr. I then spent a year as an Americorps volunteer in Camden, NJ, where I worked on a community health team assisting patients with complex medical, psychiatric, and social issues. I completed medical school at Penn and met amazing mentors within the Department of Psychiatry. I chose to stay here for residency because of the warm, supportive faculty and incredible clinical opportunities in public psychiatry and addictions. In my free time, I love reading, trying new restaurants, and exploring the local music scene.


Desiree Oyola, MD

Desiree Oyola, MD
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra

Hi everyone! I go by Des or Desi and I’m a native New Yorker, having grown up in Queens all of my life. I completed my undergraduate work in SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island where I began working for a crisis hotline. There I educated high school and junior high students on mental health issues and the use of our crisis hotline. In college I also volunteered for my collegiate ambulance corps, SBVAC, which opened the door for me to work for the NYC 911-emergency system as an EMT. My patient experiences in EMS inspired me to further my scope of practice and pursue a career in medicine. I completed the Columbia postbac program where I was given the opportunity to work in clinical behavioral research at Columbia University Medical Center. I worked on projects that explored the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and medication adherence as well as PTSD symptom development in the emergency department. I attended the Donald and Barbara Zucker SOM in Long Island where I found mentors that fostered and grew my love for the field of mental health. The college and adolescent inpatient unit at Zucker Hillside Hospital sparked my fascination with first episode psychosis. Choosing UPenn for my residency was a no-brainer as soon as I realized the emphasis this program has on education, diversity, and patient care excellence.


Maria Paskell, MD

Maria Paskell, MD
University of Cincinnati School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, attended undergrad at The Ohio State University, and then went to medical school at University of Cincinnati – I am definitely a Midwesterner at heart! However, I am quickly adapting to the wonderful city of Philadelphia. I have been drawn to the field of psychiatry for much of my life and knew this was the specialty I planned to pursue upon entering medical school. Over the years, I have grown to have a particular interest in female mental health throughout the lifespan. I am especially interested in the relationship between cultural norms, perceived identity in society, and resultant mental well-being. However, with each rotation I do, I am finding new and interesting things to love in this field. I was initially drawn to Penn because of the wonderful and inspiring physicians in leadership and the genuine sense of warmth I felt on my interview day. That welcoming community has quickly been confirmed in my first month of internship year! As I look towards my coming years of residency, I am really excited about the diverse training experiences at Penn as well as the opportunity to tailor education to one’s specific interest. In particular, I am looking forward the psychotherapy track as this is a very strong interest of mine and was a standout feature of this program! In my free time I enjoy doing crossfit, reading a good nonfiction book, going for a nice walk around the city, and just relaxing with my husband!


Robert Seilheimer, MD, PhD

Robert Seilheimer, MD, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
Research Track

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I studied mathematics as an undergraduate at the University of Texas in Austin. There I became interested both in medicine and in the application of math to biology; I wrote my honors thesis on the mathematical modeling of the spread of epidemic disease. After a research fellowship at the NIH studying the molecular mechanisms of leukemia, I joined the combined MD-PhD program at Baylor College of Medicine. There I refined my research interest to Computational Neuroscience and joined the graduate program in Quantitative and Computational Biology. I worked on projects ranging from human psychophysics to single cell electrophysiology and wrote my dissertation on the contributions of different cell types to visual processing in the retina. After returning to medical school, I discovered my passion for Psychiatry while treating patients in the Psychiatric Emergency Center of Ben Taub Hospital. I am interested in neuromodulation therapies both clinically and scientifically and I am excited to pursue my training at Penn as a research track resident. In my free time I enjoy cooking, watching college football, and reading.

 


Sean Udell, MD

Sean Udell, MD
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Howdy! If you've ever seen The Birdcage with Robin Williams, then you have a taste for what my childhood was like growing up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the 1980s and 90s. Gloria Estefan, roller bladers in neon bikinis, sunshine, and drawbridges clogging up traffic -- that's where I'm from! By the time I was 18, I couldn't wait to get to a "real" city, so I moved to New York City and got my B.A. in history and urban studies at Columbia University. After Columbia, I joined Teach For America, where I taught middle school special education in Denver, Colorado. During my TFA corps experience, I earned masters in education at the University of Colorado - Denver. Following TFA, I joined the founding administration of Academy 360, a health-and-wellness elementary charter school. After a year in this role, it became clear to me that I wanted to support students as a mental health provider, so I made a relatively quick pivot to medicine via the Bryn Mawr Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical program. One year later, I joined the class of 2019 at Penn Med, and four years of medical school reinforced my desire to become a psychiatrist and to stay in Philadelphia at Penn! Training in Philadelphia at Penn offers tremendous opportunities for medical students and residents, and I am so proud to be a part of this team. When I'm not doctoring, you may find me rock climbing in the summer or skiing in the winter or on my bicycle during any month of the year!

 



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