Meet the Current Residents 

Class of 2019

Joanna Mattis, MD PhD (Google Scholar)
Stanford School of Medicine, 2015

Most of my free time is spent with my two sons and my husband. We are regulars at the Philadelphia Zoo and the Please Touch Museum, as well as our local playground. My husband is British and we visit England as often as possible. I previously played the clarinet and am hoping to start that again before the end of residency.

I am interested in movement disorders, sleep or epilepsy. I am particularly interested in Deep Brain Stimulation and other therapeutics targeting neural circuits. On the research side, my PhD focused on the development and application of optogenetic tools for circuit dissection.

Sara Manning Peskin, MD MS
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 2015

In my spare time, I do a bit of writing, including contributing to the Huffington Post. I enjoy taking my dog to the park, and telling my husband what a great wife he has. I also like to run, albeit extremely slowly.

I'm a travel junkie, so naturally I'm excited about neurology in low-resource settings.  I want to learn how patients can be diagnosed and treated in countries where basic imaging and labs aren't available.  I also like learning how neurologic diseases interplay with cultural beliefs, like kuru in New Guinea and seizures in Ancient Rome.

Xin (Linda) Zhou, MD (Google Scholar)
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2015

I enjoy trying new restaurants (currently 5+ pages of Philly restaurants in my google doc) and craft beers, traveling abroad, jogging along the Schuylkill River Trail (so beautiful, especially in the fall), spending the afternoon in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and browsing through Reading Terminal Market.

My academic background is in neuro-oncologic basic science research, but I am keeping an open mind regarding sub-specialization after residency.

Class of 2020

Moe Hein (Harry) Aung, MD, PhD (Google Scholar)
Emory University School of Medicine, 2016

I enjoy quality time with my family and friends - sharing a meal, playing board games, traveling, watching movie, etc. I also like to play sports such as basketball, volleyball, and ping-pong.

I am interested in neuro-ophthalmology, neuro-immunology, stroke, and movement disorders. I am also very interested in continuing my research endeavors, especially in the realm of translational research - understanding the underlying pathogenesis of retinal and neurological diseases and developing potential therapeutic targets or means.

John Best, MD (ResearchGate)
University of California San Francisco, 2016

I enjoy cooking, especially East and Southeast Asian cuisines. My life leveled up when I discovered a Burmese grocery store in South Philly last month. Time away from work is predominantly spent outdoors, be it cycling, climbing or hiking.

My past work has been in global health in Asia. Moving forward, I hope to understand the disparities of neurologic disease burden and improve access to therapies. I have particular interests in infectious diseases as well as neurodegeneration and stroke.  

Adys Mendizabal, MD, MA (Google Scholar)
Temple University School of Medicine, 2016

I'm a big sports fanatic, particularly of college football (Go Canes) and the NBA (Go Heat).  Since moving to Philadelphia I started running long distances, and I've ran in the Broad Street Run as well as the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. In addition to sports and running, as the good Cuban that I am, I love cooking (especially rice and beans), and salsa dancing.

I am interested in pursuing an academic career in health disparities in neurology, particularly social determinants of health.  Other academic interests include neuro-epidemiology, health outcomes, neuro-psychiatry, and ethics.

Class of 2021

Alexander Gill, MD, PhD (Google Scholar)
University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, 2017

I have always loved hiking, camping, and the great outdoors. I have a strong passion for cooking, particularly experimenting with new foods, styles, and flavors and I enjoy hosting dinner parties. I like gardening and in the summer I grow my own herbs and vegetables. When I have the time, I love to travel and explore new cultures and cuisines.

My academic interests include neuroimmunology and neuroinfectious disease. I hope to pursue a career in academic medicine studying the role of immune activation and inflammation in causing neuronal dysfunction, particularly in the setting of CNS infections and inflammation-associated neurodegenerative disease.

Andrea Fuentes, MD (Google Scholar)
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, 2017

In my free time, I enjoy traveling, doing Pilates, and exploring different foods near and far. In my alternate life, I would be a travel food writer.

While I hope to continue exploring neurologic subspecialties during residency, I am interested in movement disorders, epilepsy and neuromuscular diseases. My research interest thus far has been in movement disorders, with an emphasis on progressive supranuclear palsy.

Rima Shah Chakrabarti, MD (Google Scholar)
UT Southwestern Medical Center, 2017

I have practiced classical Indian dance, ballet, and hip hop and I like to choreograph dances that fuse these dance forms. I also enjoy singing a capella, inventing meal recipes with whatever is lying around in the kitchen, reading non-fiction, and 'talking science' with my husband, Gaurab.

My academic interest is leaning towards neuroimmunology. Specifically, I am interested in studying the roles of lipids and lipoproteins in immune-mediated white matter and neurodegenerative diseases.

Graduate Career Paths

Beyond residency, we position our trainees for excellence in Fellowship training and career advancement.

Two-thirds of our residents remain at Penn to complete their Fellowship training. In many cases, these Fellowship programs combine further clinical experience with research activities. Support for Fellowship research comes from both R25 Fellowship support as well as several training grants held by faculty within Neurology.

The remaining one-third of our residents elect to leave Penn for their Fellowship and choose positions at top institutions across the country. Over the past ten years, these institutions have included Partners, UCSF, Wash U, Michigan, NYU, NIH, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Stanford.

Our residents work with world-class clinicians and researchers in every field of neurology. This diversity is reflected in the areas of focus they pursue after residency. Over the past ten years, the distribution of chosen specialty has been:

See members of prior classes


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Contact Information

Department of Neurology
3 Gates, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Frances E. Jensen, MD, FACP
Chair of Neurology

Raymond S. Price, MD
Program Director

Vanna Hing, Residency Coordinator
Telephone: (215) 662-3370