Neurosurgery residents in 2023

PGY-7 | Class of 2024

Nathan Han, MD 

Chief resident Dr. Han is originally from Cupertino, CA. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and recipient of AOA Carolyn Kuckein Research Fellowship. His research interest includes spinal cord neuro-protection in the setting of radiation, and factors associated with lumbosacral fusion stability. For his prior work in hydrocephalus, Dr. Han won the Top Poster Award in Pediatrics at the 2015 AANS Meeting. In his spare time, he plays the piano and creates recordings with his pianist wife.

Career Interests: Dr. Han accepted a position as a Spine Surgery Fellow at the University of California San Francisco, which will start in July 2024.

Ashish Sharma, MD

Chief resident Dr. Sharma grew up in Edmonton, Alberta before moving with his family to Huntsville, AL. He attended the University of Alabama before completing his degree in Biochemistry from Marquette University and attending medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin. His clinical interests include complex spine surgery. When not at work, he enjoys cooking, spending time with his friends and Pomeranian, Boo-Boo, and is also in charge of organizing the residents' social gatherings.

Career Interests: Dr. Sharma is interested in complex spine surgery.

PGY-6 | Class of 2025

Abdul-Kareem Ahmed, MD, SM

Dr. Ahmed has several interests in neurosurgery, including movement disorders and spine surgery. He is involved in studying the use of MRI-guided focused ultrasound to treat patients with movement disorders and brain tumors. Dr. Ahmed was awarded an NREF grant and an ABTA grant in medical school, to study multimodality monitoring in neuro-ICU patients and to study immunotherapy for glioblastoma, respectively. He studied science writing in graduate school and occasionally writes reflectively on experiences he’s had in medicine. Dr. Ahmed is from Wakefield, RI, and enjoys ocean swimming, walking on the beach and canoeing.

Career Interests: Dr. Ahmed is interested in functional neurosurgery and spine surgery.

Joshua Olexa, MD

Dr. Olexa's clinical and research interests include degenerative spinal pathology and neurosurgical trauma. His research has focused on decompression for traumatic spinal cord injury. Dr. Olexa's hobbies outside of neurosurgery include running, snowboarding and fishing.

Career Interests: Dr. Olexa is interested in complex spine surgery and trauma neurosurgery.

PGY-5 | Class of 2026

Phelan Shea, MD

Dr. Shea attended the University of Maryland for medical school, where he graduated magna cum laude and received awards for his publications and scientific contributions. Dr. Shea is interested in both open cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery as well as minimally invasive spine. He is a Boston native who enjoys playing hockey.

Career Interests: Dr. Shea plans on pursuing an open and endovascular fellowship starting in his PGY-7 year. He enjoys the diversity of the Baltimore population and would ultimately like to work long term in this area.

Jesse Stokum, MD, PhD

Dr. Stokum is passionate about basic science and clinical research with a particular interest in the molecular mechanisms and treatment of secondary injury after ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, and traumatic brain injury. He completed a PhD in neuroscience studying the molecular mechanisms of cerebral edema formation under the guidance of Dr. J. Marc Simard. He is a member of AOA and the recipient of the William H. Mosberg Jr. Award for Neurosurgery. Jesse was raised in rural southwestern PA, and enjoys home projects, running and having fun with his wife and their curly-haired daughter.

Career Interests: Dr. Stokum is considering an academic career in either cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery or peripheral nerve neurosurgery

PGY-4 | Class of 2027

Riccardo Serra, MD

Dr. Serra has many interests in neurosurgery, including neuro-oncology and vascular neurosurgery, CSF disorders and hydrocephalus. His research background includes drug delivery and drug re-purposing for glioblastoma and medulloblastoma, CSF shunting systems, and novel pathways (glymphatics, lymphatics) of CSF and interstitial fluid flow in the brain. By the end of his residency, Dr. Serra will have also received his PhD from the University of Maryland. For his work, Dr. Serra was the recipient of the Hydrocephalus Association Young Investigator Award, and the Earl Walker Outstanding International Postdoctoral Fellow Award from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Serra hails from Rome, Italy. In his free time, he enjoys sailing, reading modern and classic literature, gardening, contemporary art and biking with his wife.

Career Interests: Neuro-Oncology and skull base surgery, with a special interest in open vascular neurosurgery and hydrocephalus.

Nicole Wenger, MD, MBA

Dr. Wenger is interested in cerebrovascular neurosurgery. Having completed an MBA in medical school, she is also interested in quality and process improvement as well as how we systematically deliver healthcare. She grew up on a pig farm in Illinois and enjoys rugby, hiking and spending time with her two cats and two dogs.

Career Interests: Dr. Wenger is currently most interested in pursuing open vascular and endovascular neurosurgery, although maintains an interest in other subspecialties.

PGY-3 | Class of 2028

Shreyas Panchagnula, MD, MHS

Dr. Panchagnula grew up in New Jersey before attending Yale College, completing a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a focus in biomolecular engineering and drug delivery research. He attended Yale School of Medicine to complete a joint degree, Doctor of Medicine (cum laude) and Master of Health Science, pursuing genomics research in congenital hydrocephalus and other neurosurgical disorders. His use of integrative genomics to investigate neurodevelopmental origins of congenital hydrocephalus was published in a Nature Medicine. He was also awarded the Best Basic Science Award in the Pediatrics section of CNS 2020 and the Nicholas J. Giarman Prize for an outstanding medical student thesis. In his free time, Dr. Panchagnula enjoys traveling, playing the piano and delving into music composition.

Career Interests: Dr. Panchagnula is exploring his numerous interests across the field of neurosurgery. 

Parantap Patel, MD

Dr. Patel was born in New York City and raised in southeast Virginia. He graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University where he developed a strong research interest in neurotrauma, with particular focus in biomarkers and predictive modeling. He completed medical school at the University of Virginia where he developed a clinical interest in spinal surgery. In his spare time, Dr. Patel enjoys practicing archery, playing tennis, and spending time with his wife and family.

Career Interests: Dr. Patel is most interested in complex spine surgery and neurotrauma.

PGY-2 | Class of 2029

Steven Yarmoska, MD, PhD

Dr. Yarmoska has spent the last seven years in Atlanta, GA at Georgia Tech and Emory University. He has enjoyed his time helping to manage neurotrauma at Grady and Harborview, and hopes to bring the same enthusiasm to Shock Trauma. Dr. Yarmoska enjoys cooking, baking and trying new restaurant and breweries. He is an avid soccer and college sports fan as well.

Career Interests: Dr. Yarmoska’s current clinical interest in neurosurgery are in functional and neuro-oncology. Research-wise, he would like to leverage his graduate studies at Tech to work on expanding the utility of intraoperative ultrasound.

Kevin Kim, MD

Dr. Kim was raised in Clarksville, MD and graduated from UCLA with a BS in neuroscience. He attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine where he was inducted into AOA and was a recipient of the AOA Carolyn L. Kuckein Research Fellowship and William H. Mosberg Jr. Award for Neurosurgery. Outside of the hospital, Dr. Kim spends his free time watching sports, raising his bernedoodle and exploring new restaurants.

Career Interests: Skull base and open vascular surgery 

PGY-1 | Class of 2030

Maureen Rakovec, MD

Maureen was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Biology and Classics. She will receive her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine in May. During her time in medical school, she has developed a deep appreciation for providing care to the residents of Baltimore, and is excited to continue working with this population in residency. Outside of the hospital, Maureen is an amateur baker, foodie, coffee connoisseur, outdoorswoman and pet mom to her cat, Zarathustra.

Career Interests: Maureen has a wide-range of clinical interests, and her research interests include using data science to understand and improve outcomes, including quality of life, for neuro-oncology patients.

Jordan Saadon, MD

Jordan was born and raised in New York City, New York, and attended college at Brandeis University, and is currently attending Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. He is an avid New York sports fan, and enjoys skiing, exercising (lifting, swimming and sports), watching movies and has recently picked up golfing.

Career Interests: Jordan is interested in functional neurosurgery and plans to keep an open mind during his residency.

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