Meet Our Residents
Ashna Aggarwal was born and raised in New Delhi, India. She completed medical school and a pathology residency at Maulana Azad Medical College in India. Her dissertation was on p63 expression in fine needle aspiration cytology of breast lesions. She worked for a year as a Senior Resident in the Cytology and Hematology divisions at the super specialty GB Pant Institute of Medical Research and the Lady Hardinge Medical College before moving to the US. Ashna is currently pursuing AP/ CP training. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, reading books (esp. comics), painting and is currently preparing for motherhood.
Cedric Bailey was born in Virginia but spent most of his life growing up in California. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Davis in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. He worked as an anatomic pathology technician grossing specimens, assisting during frozen sections, and serving as a diener at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California, where he fell in love with the wonderful world of pathology. He went on to study medicine at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, serving in a variety of student leadership positions focused on physician advocacy, medical education, and pathology. He is a combined AP/CP resident with a keen focus on mirroring the skills of famed Washington University pathologists and becoming an excellent physician. Outside of work, Cedric enjoys exploring St. Louis, commute cycling, finding new craft breweries, yoga, swimming, and planning his next surfing trip.
Carina Dehner was raised in Nuremberg, Germany and earned her medical degree from the Technical University of Munich. She performed a 3-year research project studying signaling mechanisms of pemphigus vulgaris at the Ludwig Maximilian University. In 2014 she received an MD-Scientist Fellowship to pursue a 1-year research project at Yale University for which she joined the lab of Dr. Martin Kriegel to study the influence of commensal gut and skin bacteria in autoimmune diseases (systemic lupus erythematosus and antiphospholipid syndrome). After graduating in July 2016 from medical school, she decided to stay in the US to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Kriegel’s lab studying the role of skin microbiota in the pathogenesis of cutaneous T cell lymphoma until starting residency in June 2018. Carina is an AP resident and enrolled in the Physician Scientist Training Program at Washington University in St. Louis. She enjoys running in Forest Park, exploring St. Louis’ craft brewery scene with friends and dancing.
Gary Grajales-Reyes was raised in Puerto Rico and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. He then joined Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine to complete an MD/PhD. He completed his PhD in immunology and worked in the lab of Dr. Kenneth Murphy, where he investigated the transcriptional control of dendritic cell development. Gary is now a CP resident and is part of the Physician Scientist Training Program at the Washington University School of Medicine. After completing his residency training, he will join Dr. Marco Colonna’s laboratory, where he will research innate immunity and Alzheimer disease.
Jacques Halabi was born and raised in France. In 2009, he attended the American University of Beirut where he received his bachelor’s degree in biology as well as his medical degree. Following his graduation in 2016, he joined the Moley Lab at Washington University in St Louis as a postdoctoral research fellow to study the destructive effects of ZIKA virus on the male and female reproductive tracts. His work won him the best abstract award at the society for reproductive investigation in 2017. He is a combined AP/CP resident, likely followed by a fellowship in an AP subspecialty. Jacques enjoys skiing, rock climbing, hiking, playing soccer and basketball, trying new food and watching movies.
Jane Lee was born and raised in Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Biology and Music. She earned her medical degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin. During medical school, she participated in research studying type 1 diabetes development in mice. Jane enjoys hiking, baking, and traveling. Jane is pursuing AP/CP training.
Liang Lu was born and raised in Harbin, a city in northern Manchuria, China. He completed his undergraduate studies in biomedical engineering at Georgia Tech and subsequently pursued a PhD in regenerative medicine in Dresden, Germany. His thesis focused on the design, validation, and optimization of a bioreactor system to mimic the physical environment of the heart. His passion for cardiac tissue engineering continued with postdoctoral research at MIT, where he devised biodegradable, vascularized polymer scaffolds for engineered heart tissue. He then returned to Georgia and earned his MD from the Medical College of Georgia. Liang is currently a combined AP/CP resident with research interests in biomedical devices, cardiac electrophysiology, tissue engineering, and drug delivery. In his free time, he enjoys badminton, cooking, wood carving, Chinese calligraphy, playing instruments (accordion, piano and ocarina) and making Federweisser (a tasty German beverage). On weekends, Liang usually goes cycling, hiking, and camping in the state parks near St. Louis.
Lily Mahapatra was born in Trenton, New Jersey and raised in Port Tobacco, Maryland. She graduated from Cornell University where she received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and microbiology. For three years after college, she studied immunoparasitology in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Research in Bethesda, Maryland as a post-baccalaureate research fellow. She then joined the MD/PhD program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied the oncofetal RNA binding protein, IMP-1 and earned a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Fellowship Award (F30-NRSA). Lily met her husband at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and they both are residents at Barnes Jewish Hospital, with Lily being a combined AP/CP resident in pathology. Lily loves to watercolor and crochet in her free time and she and her husband like to cook and watch Netflix (The Office and Parks and Recreation are favorites).
Ryan Sappenfield was born and raised in Southaven, Mississippi. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi in Exercise Science/Kinesiology, where he was first introduced to the world of pathology in the form of a histology course taught by one of his mentors. He went on to study medicine at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was elected junior AOA and served in a variety of student leadership positions. He is an AP/CP resident with an interest in Liver/GI and breast pathology. Outside of work, Ryan enjoys golf, traveling, fishing, and playing with his pup Arya.
Mei San Tang was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. She attended medical school at the Malaysian campus of Monash University and graduated with first-class honor. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. P’ng Loke at the New York University School of Medicine as a postdoctoral fellow, during which she did basic immunology research with a primary focus on macrophage activation. Mei San is a CP resident. Outside of work, she likes to read, travel and hike.
Brooj Abro grew up in Karachi, Pakistan where she lived until she started her residency training at the Washington University School of Medicine. She attended medical school at The Aga Khan University (Karachi, Pakistan) where she obtained her MD degree. To broaden and diversify her cultural and professional experience, Brooj decided to visit the United States for her final year medical school electives. She spent 3 months as a visiting medical student at the Pathology Department of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston and subsequently decided to pursue post-graduate training in the US. She is currently an AP/CP resident and plans to join the Hematopathology Fellowship Program at Washington University. Brooj enjoys swimming, hiking, sightseeing, and traveling.
Heba Abdelal was born and raised in the historical city of Cairo, Egypt. She grew up playing basketball, reading novels and coloring. She attended Ain shams university school of medicine in Cairo where she obtained her MD and Maters’ degree in anatomic pathology. She worked for the Egyptian forensic medicine authority as an anatomic pathology registrar before she moved to St. Louis city to start her combined AP/CP residency at the Washington University School of Medicine. Heba’s areas of interest include pediatric, gynecologic and breast pathology. She is deeply involved in charity and community development activities. She is a co-founder of the medical students in action group in her medical school, she is a past president of Rotaract club of Horus Heliopolis, a facilitator in supporting child rights through education, art and media (SCREAM) project by the international labor organization. Heba represented Egypt in two youth leadership awards (RYLA) in Lebanon and Washington DC, she also served as clinical skills mentor at the Egyptian Association for American Medical Training. Heba enjoys jogging, yoga, kayaking and reading novels.
Zahra Alipour was born and raised in Shiraz, Iran, and earned her MD degree from Azad University, Tehran Medical School. She practiced as a clinician for 4 years after graduation, while collaborating in several research studies, mostly focused on infectious diseases and public health in Iran. Before starting her residency in the US, Zahra lived in Toronto (Canada) for a few years, where she took part as a research assistant in a set of clinical trials on HCV and diabetes educator. Zahra will complete her AP/CP training in 2021. She enjoys running, music, reading, Persian calligraphy and traveling.
Adam Bailey grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, before moving to Upstate New York for high school and college at Colgate University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology. After working in virology laboratories at the NIH and the University of Washington in Seattle, Adam joined the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he worked to discover and characterize novel viruses in wild African primates in the laboratory of David O’Connor. Adam joined the CP residency program at the Washington University School of Medicine in 2017 as part of the Department of Pathology and Immunology’s physician-scientist training pathway (PSTP). His current research in the laboratory of Michael Diamond is focused on understanding the mechanisms governing viral hemorrhagic fever. Outside of work, Adam enjoys skiing, hiking, grilling, live music, home improvement, and spending time with his wife and 2-year-old daughter.
Jie-Fu (Jeff) Chen received his MD degree from National Taiwan University School of Medicine and completed postdoctoral research training in University of California Los Angeles. After graduation, he went on to work at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, under the mentorship of Dr. Hsian-Rong Tseng and Dr. Edwin Posadas. Jeff’s research interests focus on developing new blood-borne biomarkers and assays for detecting and monitoring aggressive cancers, with emphasis on characterizing circulating tumor cells and their association with metastasis in prostate cancer. He is currently an AP resident and will be starting a clinical fellowship in genitourinary pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2020.
Matthew Hedberg was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received his bachelor’s degree with honors in chemistry, from the University of Utah. Where he conducted undergraduate and postbaccalaureate research on the genetics of cholesterol homeostasis and translocation-associated sarcomas with Dr. James Metherall and Nobel laureate Dr. Mario Capecchi, respectively. He completed his MD and PhD as a member of the University of Pittsburgh-Carnegie Mellon University Medical Scientist Training Program. Where his thesis work under Dr. Jennifer Grandis focused on genetics and targeted therapies in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. He is an AP-only resident and will be going to the University of Pennsylvania in July 2020 for a physician-scientist research-track fellowship in dermatopathology. Matthew enjoys the arts, the outdoors, fine dining and travel. He is currently sampling as many St. Louis speakeasies and BBQ joints as he can find.
Arjun Raman was born in Long Island, New York but was raised in Houston, Texas and is still a fervent Houston Rockets fan. He went to the University of Chicago for his undergraduate studies, majoring in physics and chemistry. He then enrolled in the MD/PhD at UT Southwestern Medical Center where his PhD work involved understanding how proteins are built to evolve to new functions. His career interests are in the basic sciences to further understand how biological systems can adapt to stresses. He and his wife have a 10-month-old daughter. Teaching her how to use a sippy-cup has become his newest and most challenging hobby.
Neda Rezaee was born in Esfahan, Iran and grew up in a small town outside Esfahan. She received her MD from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. After graduation, she moved to the United States and completed her post-doctoral research fellowship at Johns Hopkins. While at Johns Hopkins, she conducted multiple clinical and translational research projects on pancreatic cancer and its precursor lesions. She is pursuing AP/CP training here at Washington University in St. Louis with a special interest in cancer research and digital imaging. Neda enjoys swimming, playing piano, dining, and hiking, and loves traveling with family and friends.
Behzad Salari was born and raised in Tabriz, Iran and received his MD from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. After graduation, he worked in the National Forensic Medicine Organization mainly as a medical examiner and co-authored a book in forensic medicine. His interest in clinical research started early in medical school and after moving to the United States, he did two research fellowships at Harvard University. He conducted multiple research projects on thyroid and gastrointestinal cancers during these fellowships. He is now a combined AP/CP resident at Washington University in St. Louis. Behzad loves spending time with family and friends, traveling, hiking, programming, and, watching TV series.
Nima Sharifai was raised in Jacksonville, Florida and spent most of his adult life in Miami, Florida, where he earned his bachelors, medical, and doctoral degrees. He has long been interested in neuroscience and completed his thesis work in the lab of Akira Chiba. There he implemented a technique for live visualization of protein-protein interactions within developing neurons. His work focused on identifying key molecular regulators involved in dendrogenesis and mapping their spatiotemporal interaction patterns at single neuron resolution. Nima is a combined AP/NP resident and will begin his neuropathology fellowship next year here at Washington University in St. Louis. Nima loves all things football and enjoys traveling with his family and friends.
Daniel Webber was raised in rural Oklahoma and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He went on to work as a clinical trials coordinator at Duke University before returning to Arkansas to complete an MD/PhD at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He completed his PhD work in the lab of Dr. Charlotte Hobbs, studying genetic and environmental risk factors for congenital heart defects. Daniel is a CP resident and is serving as the Chief Resident of Clinical Pathology this year. He will be completing a fellowship next year in molecular genetic pathology here at Washington University in St. Louis. He enjoys spending time with friends and family and is currently building an awesome tree-house for his three kids.
Lily Zhang was born in Chongqing, China and raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Statistics and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. She then went on to earn her MD from Washington University in St. Louis. Lily is an AP/CP resident and plans to complete a Hematopathology fellowship here at WashU. She enjoys cooking, photography, and spoiling her two cats.
Tiffany Chen is a native Texan. She completed her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry as part of the Dean’s Scholars honors program at the University of Texas in Austin. She then spent a year conducting pharmaceutical chemistry research at the University of California-San Fransico before pursuing her MD at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Tiffany is passionate about teaching, with extensive experiences since college and has co-chaired the surgical pathology medical student clerkship while in residency. She is finishing her AP residency and will be staying at Washington University in St. Louis to complete a dermatopathology fellowship from 2019-2020. Her hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, and camping.
Chiraag “Chuck” Gangahar is originally from Lincoln, Nebraska and completed medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He went on to do an internship at the Naval Medical Center San Diego and served as a practicing physician and Fleet Marine Force (FMF) qualified Medical Officer in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. He arrived at Washington University in St. Louis in 2016 for residency training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology. He has a strong interest in addressing unmet needs in preventive medicine and global healthcare throughout the Americas. He will be pursuing fellowship training in Cytopathology at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas in 2020. In his free time, Dr. Gangahar enjoys road and mountain biking as part of an active lifestyle.
Iván González was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. He grew up enjoying the amazing beaches that his country has to offer, including his favorite beach in Sosua. At a young age, he got involved in pathology and started working in the “Laboratorio de Patología Contreras-Robledo.” He stayed in his home-town and went to Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra to complete his MD. During medical school, Iván was a Teaching Assistant and later served as an instructor of anatomy, histology and pathology courses. Currently, he is an AP/CP resident who is highly interested in liver pathology and will be completing a Liver/GI fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine. Iván is also very interested in pediatric and transplant pathology. He enjoys running at Forest Park and likes being active and spending time with friends and family.
Aidas J. Mattis grew up in Los Angeles, California and completed his bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley. He went on to the University of Illinois for the joint MD/PhD program where he completed his PhD in Biochemistry at Champaign-Urbana, studying electron transfer in proteins with kinetic spectroscopy and membrane-protein X-ray crystallography. After receiving his MD from the University of Illinois, he came to Washington University for residency in anatomic and clinical pathology. At Washington University he further explored his interests in renal pathology that ultimately led to his acceptance of a fellowship position at Cedars-Sinai for Renal pathology in 2020-2021. His current research projects revolve around the kidney, including Wilms tumor and analyzing sequences from steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome patients. Aidas spends the bulk of his free time with his wife and two children and enjoys winemaking, fishing, and camping.
Chris O’ Conor grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and obtained his bachelors of science from Columbia University. He completed his MD/PhD at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, studying cartilage mechanotransduction in the department of biomedical engineering under the direction of Farshid Guilak. Chris is currently a third year combined AP/CP resident and has been involved in a broad range of research activities, including pediatric, forensic, cardiothoracic, breast, and cytopathology. After his residency, Chris will be moving back to North Carolina for a cytopathology fellowship at Duke University. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, swimming, hiking, traveling and raising his two boys. His favorite St. Louis weekend activities include the Magic House, Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis Zoo, and the Missouri History Museum.
Rehan Rais was born and grew up in his hometown of Karachi, Pakistan where he completed his early education and medical training at Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College. After graduation, Rehan moved to the US where he started a combined AP/CP residency at Washington University in St. Louis and is currently in his 3rd-year. He will be a Liver/GI pathology fellow in the next academic year. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and playing cricket.
Mark Zaydman grew up in Rochester, New York before moving to Cleveland, Ohio to study Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. He continued his Westward academic trajectory by completing MD and PhD degrees at Washington University in St Louis. As a CP and Physician Scientist Training Pathway (PSTP) resident, Mark’s academic interests have brought together his medical expertise and technical training leading to unique approaches to basic and applied problems in the fields of biochemistry, evolutionary biology, and laboratory medicine. During his free time, Mark enjoys cooking, fly fishing, and social dancing.
Ray Zhang grew up in New York. He attended Stony Brook University on a full-ride scholarship, then received graduate and medical school training at the University of Pennsylvania. He is now a CP resident at Washington University in St. Louis with a career interest in laboratory and software support for transfusion, transplantation and cellular therapy. Outside of work, he enjoys playing complicated games, tinkering with new technology, and raising his kids.
Huifang Zhou was brought up in China and she earned her medical degree at Shanxi Medical University. She then perused a master’s degree in pathology and worked as an instructor at the Department of Pathology, Shanxi Medical University. She went on to get her PhD at the Neuroscience Research Institute at Peking University, studying the role of inflammatory process and cytokines in the development of Parkinson’s disease. She accepted a postdoctoral research fellow position at Washington University and moved to the US in 2004. She continued her research in the field of inflammation and demonstrated that the innate and adaptive immune responses play essential roles in the initiation and progression of the aneurysmal process. In order to fulfill her dream of being both active in patient care and research, she joined the pathology residency program and is on a combined AP/CP track. She will be completing a hepatic pathology fellowship at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and practice as a liver-GI pathologist in academia.
Nicholas (Nick) Gau was raised in an Air Force family and claims Minnesota as his home. He earned a bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Clinical Laboratory Science from South Dakota State University. Nick was certified as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist by the National Credentialing Agency, and was a medical technologist for a large community hospital for 3 years, working in the chemistry, hematology, and blood bank laboratories. He earned his MD from the University of South Dakota, is currently a combined AP/CP resident, and serves as Anatomic Pathology Co-Chief Resident. Following residency, Nick will serve as a Transfusion Medicine fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. Among Nick’s favorite pastimes are strategy board games and exploring the St. Louis region with his wife and son.
Adam Lang is a fourth year AP/CP resident and one of the AP co-chief residents. He grew up in St. Charles Missouri, attended undergrad at Saint Louis University, and went to medical school at Creighton. Next year he will be joining a small Midwestern private practice group. His research interest is in post-mortem/explant findings following cardiac radioablation for the treatment of ventricular arrhythmia. His hobbies include racing for the Pastaria Big Shark bike racing team and he is an avid hiker and snowboarder.
Monica Patel was born and raised in Boca Raton, FL. She attended the University of Miami (GO CANES!) and received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience. In 2015, she earned her DO degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Currently, she serves as one of the Co-Chief Residents. Early in her career, Monica took a keen interest in forensic science and will be starting her fellowship in Forensic Pathology at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences (HCIFS) in Houston, TX in 2019. She hopes to flourish as a future Medical Examiner. Monica enjoys trying different vegetarian dishes, spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling around the world. During her residency, Monica has traveled to China, Belize, England, France, Thailand, Canada, Japan and several states within the US.