First-year Fellows

Rachel Hilburg, MD
Hometown: Bedford, New York
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine
Residency: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Research Interests: Medical education, palliative care
Hobbies/Interests: Hiking, baseball, cooking, trying new restaurants
Why Penn? Penn offers amazing clinical training with experienced faculty and a commitment to education and phenomenal patient care. People at all levels at Penn are making tremendous contributions to the field of nephrology, yet they are all very humble, collaborative, and eager to teach and guide the fellows!

Bader Kfoury, MD 
Hometown: Ain Al Soufsaf, Lebanon
Medical School: American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Residency: Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Staten Island University Hospital Program 
Research Interests: Acute kidney injury in ICU outcome , Health disparities in patient with CKD/ESRD
Hobbies/Interests: Cooking and tasting, do it yourself projects, art and crafts, yoga, traveling
Why Penn? I chose Penn for the phenomenal faculty and the collegial environment. Penn is a world class institution that provides amazing learning opportunities in  a great city. 

Keenan P. Laraway, MD
Hometown: Iowa City,  IA
Medical School: The University of IOWA Carver College of Medicine (with distinction in Teaching)
Residency: University of Iowa Hospitals/Clinics
Scholarly Interests: 1) Medical Education (especially ethics and clinical reasoning) 2) Nephrology-driven Primary Care for Advancing CKD Patients 3) Critical Care 4) Intersection between Nephrology and Consult-Liaison Psychiatry 5) Palliative medicine
Hobbies: Cooking/baking, piano-playing, reading mysteries, writing, watching my dogs (I'll watch yours, too!), US politics, sports refereeing/officiating, yelling for the Iowa Hawkeyes, and recently napping! 
Why Penn: I might be one of the few drawn to Nephrology because of its current challenges. I appreciate the great strides made in "Making Nephrology Great Again" through use of social media (this is scintillating to me!), blogs, and educational summits. However, I believe that Nephrology's greatness is and always was in its simplicity. In today's medical climate with iEverything, each of us risks "analysis-paralysis" as well as what Dr. Seldin described as "therapeutic frenzy." To me, the sage nephrologists will always be the keepers of common sense, which I suspect is actually our greatest weapon in the fight against disease. When I visited Penn, meeting Dr. Berns and the team of faculty and fellows convinced me of just this. Penn Nephrology is leading a resurgence in Nephrology through a return to the discipline's roots: common sense grounded in a dedication to mastering human physiology, a helpful spirit of collaboration, and a commitment to intellectual curiosity from each of us fortunate enough to call him/herself a nephrologist. I couldn't possibly say no. I'm just grateful Penn Nephrology said yes! 

Mansur Pathan, MD
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit MI 
Research Interests: Cardiac function in renal transplant recipients
Hobbies/Interests: Hiking, food, finance 
Why Penn? Penn offers a chance to learn from some of the best minds in medicine in a stimulating and supportive environment.

Ghazal Z. Quinn, MD
Hometown: Wynnewood, PA
Medical School: Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Residency: Lankenau Medical Center
Research Interests: Immunology and B cell biology in particular, translational research 
Hobbies/Interests: Trying new restaurants, travel, painting 
Why Penn? Outstanding faculty and collegial environment, research opportunities in immunology

Sean K. Verma, MD 
Hometown: Titusville, FL
Medical School: University of South Florida College of Medicine
Residency: University of South Florida 
Research Interests: cardiorenal syndrome, renal outcomes in LVAD patients, home hemodialysis
Hobbies/Interests: basketball and football, traveling, trying new restaurants
Why Penn?  research opportunities in all aspects of nephrology, opportunity to train in three distinct hospital settings, large fellowship program, nationally recognized, distinguished, and welcoming faculty 

Second-year Fellows

Head shot of Solomon DawsonSolomon Dawson, MD

Hometown: Binghamton, New York
Medical School: University of Virginia School of Medicine
Residency: Thomas Jefferson University
Research Interests: Work in Progress
Hobbies/Interests: Violin, Guitar, Cooking, Photography
Why Penn? Welcoming faculty, large program, great city, good leadership

Head shot of Samantha GelfandSamantha Gelfand, MD

Hometown: Orange, Connecticut
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Residency: Yale-New Haven Hospital
Research Interests: Palliative care in dialysis patients, conservative management of ESRD
Hobbies/interests: Tennis, yoga, Argentine tango, SCUBA diving
Why Penn? I chose Penn because of the dynamism of the faculty and depth of opportunity available to fellows

Christos Kallis headshotChristos Kallis, MD

Hometown: Cyprus 
Medical School: University College London Medical School, United Kingdom
Residency: Albert Einstein Medical Center
Research Interests: Although I am on a clinical track, I am looking forward to participate in a quality improvement project with the help of colleagues and mentors
Hobbies/Interests: Traveling and exploring new cultures, basketball, soccer, swimming.
Why Penn? I chose the Penn Nephrology Fellowship Program because of its clear commitment to the highest quality of patient care and the enthusiasm for teaching by its incredibly experienced and dedicated faculty. The expertise in a wide range of clinical services provided at Penn, along with its state-of-of-the-art facilities, is unique and fulfilling. Overall, I felt that the broadly diverse experiences offered by this Program across three teaching hospitals, would be the best in preparing me for future practice.

Meaghan Roche headshotMeaghan Roche, MD

Hometown: Chevy Chase, Maryland
Medical School: New York Medical College
Residency: Boston University
Research Interests: Addiction medicine and pain management in patients with ESRD, HCV and HIV effects on the kidney, health outcome disparities in CKD and ESRD, treatment strategies for myeloma cast nephropathy
Hobbies/Interests: Exploring Philadelphia, running, cooking, traveling to beaches and mountains, college basketball, Netflix and HBO
Why Penn? Friendly, supportive, down-to-earth colleagues in a great city with world-class medicine and research opportunities

Toltaku Thomas headshotToltaku Thomas, MD

Hometown: Hong, Adamawa State, Nigeria 
Medical School: University of Maiduguri COMS Nigeria
Residency: Brookdale University Hospital
Research Interest: Racial variations in prevalence of ESRD and CKD
Hobbies/Interests: Travel, chess and skydiving
Why Penn?  I choose Penn because I believe it has the academic environment that will provide me with quality training to build my capacity as a future nephrologist, and the renal division has a solid tradition for decades of training future leaders in the frontiers of kidney diseases, Secondly, I have always regarded the city of Philadelphia as one the unique places in America that is steeped in history and traditions, which is why I love the City of Brotherly Love.

Hao Wang headshotHao (Christina) Wang, MD

Hometown: Hangzhou, China (born); Seattle, Washington
Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine
Residency: University of California, San Francisco
Research Interests: Artificial kidney and innovations in dialysis and renal replacement therapy = Hemodynamic effects of dialysis = Transplant allocation = Use of cystatin C as a biomarker for renal function = Mathematical modeling
Hobbies/Interests: Swimming, Painting, Trying new restaurants, Wine tasting
Why Penn? Penn is a strong clinical program not only in nephrology but in multiple fields in medicine. It has a collaborative network with a strong undergrad and graduate programs with Business and Engineering which I thought would provide me ample opportunity to foster my research interests into a career. Philadelphia is also a fun city, and a good mixture of a big city with spacious suburbs. The city has great food and affordable living, and an exciting change for me having been on the West Coast for the last two decades of my life.

Tiffany Wong headshotTiffany Wong, MD

Hometown: Floral Park, New York
Medical School: George Washington University
Residency: University of Pennsylvania
Research Interests: QI
Hobbies/Interests: Drinking red wine, trying out new restaurants, riding my bike, zip-lining
Why Penn? The faculty is phenomenal- everyone is a wonderful teacher and incredibly down to earth. Furthermore, the program is very responsive to feedback and readily incorporates changes to improve things for fellows.

Instructors and Post-Doctoral Fellows

Gaia (Muallem) Coppock, MD

ASN Ben Lipps Fellowship and Measey Senior Research Fellowship 
Clinical Nephrology Fellowship 2012-2014
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Medical School: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Residency: University of Virginia
Research Interests: Immunology and kidney disease
Hobby/Interests: Travel
Why Penn? Great nephrology and immunology training


Head shot of Jia NgJia Hwei NG, MD

Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Medical School: Penang Medical College, Ireland
Residency: Crozer Chester Medical Center
Research Interests: Anemia is dialysis patients
Hobby/Interests: Walking in the park and Orchards
Why Penn? Excellent faculty, great research opportunities and availability of Masters Program in Clinical Epidemiology.


Head shot of Vishnu PotluriVishnu Potluri, MD

Hometown: Hyderabad, India
Medical School: P.S.I. Medical College
Residency: Lankenau Hospital
Research Interests: One of my interests lies in studying the relationship between geography, time and health. I am fortunate to receive an ASN fellows research grant, and through this grant, I am currently exploring the relationship between neighborhood environment and phosphate control among patients on dialysis. I also have a keen interest in learning new software and computing capabilities to advance my research
Hobbies/Interests: - Calligraphy, photography, and art. I am also passionate about protecting our environment and sustainable living
Why Penn? Penn provides me with an excellent balance between clinical and research training. I have the opportunity to learn from among the best clinical nephrologists, and at the same time receive mentor-ship from fantastic clinical researchers. The depth of clinical biostatistics and epidemiology at Penn, along with the broad scope of the University’s research capabilities, allows me to collaborate with experts in any field easily!


Head shot of Sarah SchraubenSarah Schrauben, MD

Post-Doc Fellow
Clinical Nephrology Fellowship 2014-2016
Hometown: Fowler, MI 
Medical School: Michigan State University
Residency: University of Pennsylvania
Research Interests: Epidemiology of Chronic Kidney Disease, Health Behavior Research, Mixed Methods Research
Hobby/Interests: Anything active and outdoors, running, rock climbing, and traveling
Why Penn? I was impressed by how welcoming and supportive Penn was during my residency training and decided to stay for fellowship training due to the rigorous clinical experience and opportunities for advanced research training (i.e. Master's of Science in Clinical Epidemiology program).

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