Current Research Track Residents

Sheila Shanmugan, M.D., Ph.D.

Sheila Shanmugan, M.D., Ph.D.

I am a PGY4 resident on the research track, working with Dr. Ted Satterthwaite. I have always been fascinated by the brain so I majored in Biological Basis of Behavior as an undergrad at Penn. I loved Philly and stayed at Penn for my MD/PhD training. I am passionate about women's behavioral health, and during grad school, I used neuroimaging to examine how childhood adversity confers a risk for executive dysfunction during menopause. I chose to stay at Penn because I could not imagine a more warm and supportive place to continue training that also has cutting-edge neuroimaging research and clinical opportunities. 

William R. Smith M.D., Ph.D

William R. Smith M.D., Ph.D

I am a PGY4 resident on the research track. I became interested in research during my time at NIH in the Department of Bioethics. I then completed my MD training at Emory and my PhD at Notre Dame, focusing on moral and political issues in healthcare resource allocation.  I am continuing work on issues in resource allocation, but also interested in psychiatric nosology. Clinically, my chief interests are in psychosis, consultation, and in the interactions in severe, chronic mental illness and other social and economic issues in patient's lives.

Robert Seilheimer, M.D., Ph.D.

Robert Seilheimer, M.D., Ph.D.

I am a PGY 3 resident on the research track and I'm interested in using neuromodulation both to investigate neural circuits underlying psychiatric disease and to treat it. I studied mathematics in college and earned a PhD in computational biology in the MSTP at Baylor College of Medicine. For my PhD research, I delineated the contributions of different cell types in the retina to the spatial and temporal processing of ganglion cells. To do this, I used multi-electrode array recordings and computational modeling. I chose Penn Psychiatry because it offers great clinical training, the opportunity to work with top-notch research mentors in psychiatry, neuroscience, and neuro-engineering, and the time to choose the right mentor, develop a project, and see it through.

Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.

Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.

I am a PGY 2 resident on the research track with an interest in population-based research and associations between inflammation, the microbiome, and psychiatric illness. My interest in combining research with clinical practice developed while working in clinical research at the Boston Children's Hospital after graduating from Tufts University. These dual interests lead me to enroll in the MD/PhD program at the University at Buffalo, where I completed my PhD in the department of epidemiology studying associations between periodontal disease, edentulism, inflammation, the oral microbiome, and risk of hypertension among participants in the Women's Health Initiative. Through the Penn research track, I look forward to continuing to develop clinical skills and apply epidemiologic methods to address research questions within the field of psychiatry.  

Kevin W. Hoffman, M.D., Ph.D.

Kevin W. Hoffman, M.D., Ph.D.

 I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and first came to the Philly area to attend Haverford College, where I studied physics and chemistry. While at Haverford I developed as a scientist, but also discovered that I wanted a more direct role helping people. I continued my education in the combined MD-PhD program at Mount Sinai, where I completed my PhD in microbiology, studying how the immune system responds to neuroinvasive viruses. I came to Penn to combine my research interests with my clinical interests, including children with comorbid psychiatric and complex medical illnesses, psychosis, and the schizophrenia prodrome. Research wise I remain interested in learning how immune-brain interactions contribute to and predict disease outcomes. Outside of the clinic and lab, I’m still a kid at heart and can often be found reading the nerdiest sci-fi/fantasy books I can get ahold of as well as playing with or obsessively talking about my cats!

Dustin R. Todaro, M.D., Ph.D.

Dustin R. Todaro, M.D., Ph.D.

As a PGY 2 resident on the research track, I am currently exploring the breadth of research opportunities available at Penn.  My interest in basic science research began as an undergraduate at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  I then joined the MD/PhD program at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, where I completed my doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology.  My graduate training was founded in kinetic-based enzymology and focused on examining mechanistic conservation across the HECT ubiquitin ligase superfamily.  As I continue my training at Penn, I plan to pursue my research interests in molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders, while cultivating my clinical interests in neuropsychiatry.

Calvin Chan, M.D., Ph.D.

Calvin Chan, M.D., Ph.D.

I was born and raised in Northern Virginia just outside of DC. After graduating college, my passion for scientific discovery led me to pursue a post-baccalaureate fellowship at the NIH where I fostered a long-lasting interest to integrate novel findings in basic sciences with clinical medicine. This led me to join the MD/PhD program at the University of Cincinnati wherein my PhD studies in the immunology program uncovered an underappreciated and complex interface between the immune system and adipose tissue function in obesity. For me, the research track at Penn was the ideal place to blend top notch clinical training in Psychiatry with unparalleled opportunities to dissect the inter-relationship between inflammation and metabolism in modifying behavioral health. 


Joshua Franklin, M.D., Ph.D.

Joshua Franklin, M.D., Ph.D.

I am a PGY 1 resident on the research track interested in the anthropology of childhood, medical anthropology, and cultural psychiatry.  I grew up in New Jersey and became interested in research as an undergraduate at Princeton, where I majored in anthropology and conducted ethnographic research in southern Brazil.  I joined the MD-PhD program at Penn, where I completed a PhD in anthropology focused on gender-affirming medical care for children.  As I continue my research during residency, I am interested in the social and cultural dimensions of childhood, and the medicalization of childhood experiences of psychiatric illness.  Outside of residency, I enjoy distance running and going on bike rides with my daughter. 


Teddy G. Goetz, M.D., M.S.

Teddy G. Goetz, M.D., M.S.

(Pronouns: he/him or they/them)  At Yale, I studied biochemistry and gender studies, conducting research on a wide spectrum of biologically-and socially-determined aspects of gender-based health disparities, and earned my M.S. developing the first animal model of gender-affirming hormone therapy.  I also ravenously wrote and engaged in feminist and LGBTQ activism, which continued during medical school at Columbia in New York City--both within my medial school and nationally as Co-Director of Research and Analytics for the Medical Student Pride Alliance (national LGBTQ medical student organization).  My current focuses include mixed-methods research on LGBTQ mental health, as well as narrative medicine and physician advocacy.  My goal is to have a dual clinical and research career, developing evidence-based therapeutic interventions for transgender, non-binary, and/or gender diverse individuals.  Some of my research can be found at teddygoetz.com.


Angela Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Angela Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

I am a PGY 1 resident on the research track interested in addiction psychiatry and women's mental health.  I attended the University of Maryland, College Park for undergrad, where I majored in Psychology and Neurophysiology  Afterwards, I spent a research year in Amsterdam studying risk-taking behaviors before landing in New Haven to do my MD-PhD at Yale.  During my PhD, I investigated sex differences in stress and nicotine addiction.  I'm excited to continue my training at Penn, with all the amazing opportunities and support in both research and clinical training that are available here.  


Gary Liu, M.D., Ph.D.

Gary Liu, M.D., Ph.D.

My research career began by studying heart development and gastrulation in the chick model system at Dr. Takashi Mikawa's lab.  I then transitioned to the field of systems neuroscience during my MD/PhD.  For my thesis work in Dr. Benjamin Arenkiel's lab, I explored how different inhibitory interneurons affect sensory processing in the mammalian olfactory bulb. As a PGY 1, I am seeking to transition again into clinical and  translational research with the aim to directly affect patient care. 


Smrithi Prem, M.D., Ph.D.

Smrithi Prem, M.D., Ph.D.

I am a PGY 1 resident on the research track.  My interest in the human brain and neuroscience research started after I took a biopsychology course in high school and became fascinated by how brain "dysfunction" could lead to everything from abnormal motor movements to altered perception of reality.  Through several research experiences in college, I became intrigued by brain development and its contributions to neuropsychiatric disorders.  My clinical interests in mental illness and my research interests in developmental neuroscience led me to enroll in the MD/PhD Program at Rutgers RWJMS.  For my dissertation work I utilized induced pluripotent stem cell technology to study the development of neural cells from kids with idiopathic and genetic autism.  Through the Penn research track, I wish to combine my interests in neurodevelopment, psychiatry, and genetics to explore the development underpinning of mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  



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