For a list of our residency graduates, please see our Alumni page.
Catherine Gestrich, DO
I'm from Bedford, Virginia, and I attended Liberty University for undergrad, where I studied Biology. I then attended West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and graduated in 2017. My primary interests are pediatric and perinatal pathology.
My current research project involves investigating the molecular pathology of pediatric glioblastoma. I specifically chose this program because of the wide variety of cases, the excellent (and friendly) faculty and abundant research opportunities. Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my husband and my boston terrier and traveling.
Akisha Glasgow, MD
I am from Trinidad. I went to Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma for my undergraduate degree in Biology PreMed with a minor in Chemistry. I attended St. George's University for medical school and graduated in 2009, after which, I worked as a surgical house officer in Trinidad.
I would like to specialize in Breast/GYN pathology. I chose this program because I found that the attendings were not only very knowledgeable but also approachable. Some of my hobbies include fishing, reading, gardening and more recently, biking.
Behiye Goksel, MD
Hi! My name is Behiye Goksel. I am from Turkey and graduated from Pamukkale University School of Medicine. Before residency, I did research at The Ohio State University on digital image analysis of brain neoplasms. I am currently interested in gynecological and breast pathology but still open to any other subspecialties.
Research-wise, I am studying prognostic differences between African-American and Caucasian women with respect to endometrial cancer. I love traveling, but because of lack of time and resources, I spend my free time with friends, Netflix and my mean cat, "Zipir."
Rachael Nakfoor, MD
I was born in Lansing, MI, and grew up in Atlanta, GA. Initially, I wanted to be a veterinarian and attended the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. However, I decided to pursue a career in human medicine and received my medical degree from Ross University. Prior to residency, I worked at my local Medical Examiner’s Office where I gained some hands-on experience in forensic pathology. UH Cleveland Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University has enthusiastic faculty, friendly and supportive residents, and numerous research opportunities. In my free time, I enjoy sketching, photography, hiking, traveling and trying new recipes. Also, I enjoy playing with my two cats, Tigerlily and Bella.
Kara Roncin, MD
I was born and raised in rural Saskatchewan, Canada, and obtained my Bachelor of Science with honors in the field of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Saskatchewan. Soon after, I enrolled in medical school at Medical University of the Americas on the island of Nevis and completed another Bachelor of Science in Health Science in addition to obtaining my medical degree. During clinical rotations at various hospitals throughout the United States, I fell in love with the challenges that pathology presented. Pathology is behind every patient case, and can be essential to multiple facets of patient care.
My subspecialty interests are breast and genitourinary pathology, with particular interest in digital pathology and teaching. Within the UH system, I am a current resident member of the Quality Improvement (QI) GME taskforce and the Special Topics committee. Some of my ongoing research projects are in the fields of breast pathology and digital pathology but I am often found leading an unknown session after hours or editing videos for my surgical pathology-focused YouTube account. The formation of a game night group has also been a big highlight of my time at UH, as we have members from not only our own department of pathology, but also the Cleveland Clinic, and the University of Cincinnati!
In the future, I hope to establish some pathology-specific software projects, including interfacing for many of the tasks completed daily at most residency programs. Cleveland is a beautiful city, with essentially any activity one could hope for, and I enjoy spending time at the various events throughout the Northeast Ohio region, when I am not at home working on a project with my husband, James.
Yi Yuan Zhou, MD
Hi! My name is Yi Yuan, but I go by Yi (pronounced like the letter). I was born in Shanghai, China but grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacology at the University of Toronto and a Master of Science degree in neuroscience from the University of Ottawa. I attended Trinity School of Medicine in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.
My current interests in pathology are in perinatal and pediatric pathology, but I am also interested in integrating new technologies to improve and facilitate how pathology is practiced and taught. In my spare time, I enjoy playing video games, cooking, drawing, swimming, watching anime and other animated media and reading.
J.D. Chesser, MD, PhD
My name is J.D Cheeser but everyone calls me Goose. I was born and raised in southeast Alabama. After high school, I attended The University of Alabama earning a BS in biology followed by The University of Mississippi where I earned a Ph.D. in biology studying plant ecology. After attending medical school at the University of South Alabama I moved to Cleveland to pursue residency training in pathology. My interests include humor theory, antiquarian books, North American folk instruments, the psycholinguistics, lexical, and grammatical evolution of Modern English, and the languages, scripture, orthodoxy and heterodoxies of Christianity.
Nathaniel Havens, DO
Originally from South Jersey, I am a class of 2015 graduate of Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. I completed my undergraduate studies also at Rowan, where I earned a degree in biochemistry with a Spanish minor. After medical school and some time in family medicine, I worked as an analytical chemist for Johnson Matthey.
My current interests in pathology include molecular and hematopathology. I chose University Hospitals for many reasons, including the academic strength of the program, particularly the clinical pathology components, the people I met on the interview day, and the supportive, collegial environment. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano, hiking, traveling and skiing. I also love to experience new restaurants and cuisines. Though originally trained as a classical pianist, I've recently begun experimenting with software synthesizers and sound design.
Brandon Maveal, MD
I attended the University of Toledo in Ohio as an undergrad and then received my medical degree from Ross University. I have always loved biology, chemistry, and science in general. I have worked in many different fields, including farming, junkyard, UPS and as a pharmacy technician. I truly enjoy learning, whether it is a new skill, a new fact, or a life lesson.
I enjoy hands-on learning by doing, but also enjoy a good book. I am a firm believer in exercising mind and body, so I exercise regularly. For fun, I love to play guitar/bass, watch movies, go to concerts, listen to music, practice martial arts and have fun with friends. I am easily won over with coffee and food.
Priya Nirmalanantham, MD
My name is Priya Nirmalanantham. I was born in Sri Lanka but moved to Canada at a young age, and grew up in Brampton, Ontario. I completed my undergraduate studies in Biology and Pharmacology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. I then went on to complete my medical degree at Saba University School of Medicine.
Since graduating, I have been involved in research activities at Juravinski Hospital, looking at the molecular profile of FIGO 1 Endometrioid Endometrial Adenocarcinoma that behave more aggressively than expected with metastasis and recurrences. On a personal level, I am a spiritual person who loves sketching, painting, cooking and reading. Overall, I am very excited and honored to be entering the field of pathology and look forward to growing both professionally and personally over the next four years!
Abdullah Osme, MD
I was born and raised in Turkey, and I went to medical school at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University in Istanbul. After my graduation, I worked as an emergency room doctor for two months and then completed one year of a family medicine residency. After that, I decided to pursue a career in the U.S. and joined Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). There I was involved in proteomics research about lipid metabolism of the liver for one and a half years.
Subsequently, I joined Case Western Reserve University, where I conducted research analyzing mesenchymal stem cells and inflammatory bowel disease for another year and a half. I am currently a first-year resident at University Hospitals. Outside medicine, I enjoy spending time with my family and cooking different Turkish cuisine. I also enjoy playing table tennis, and am always up for a challenge to a match!
Theresa Spivey, MD
I am excited to be a part of the University Hospitals/Case Western Reserve University Pathology Program! I was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando majoring in Psychology and Molecular & Microbiology with a minor in Business. After debating in which field to pursue graduate studies, I ultimately ended up at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in St. Maarten. There I discovered my love of Pathology and desire to specialize in the field.
My specific career goals are dependent upon my experience during residency where I hope to find my niche and setting (academic vs. community). I enjoy teaching (I was the histology TA and pathology tutor at AUC), and the continuously evolving field that we are a part of. I hope to gain some experience in research as well as improving my presentation skills to fellow physicians and other providers. My interests outside of work include spending time with my dog, Huxley, and my significant other, Abe, who will be relocating with me to Cleveland. I enjoy traveling, anything involving food/cooking, hiking, video games and movies/TV shows. Additionally, I am passionate about giving back to the community by volunteering at a local food pantry.
Shanelle De Lancy, MD
I was born and raised in the twin island republic, Trinidad & Tobago. Following high school, I opted to remain close to home. I attended St. George’s University SOM in the neighboring island of Grenada, where I discovered my passion for pathology. Following a brief stint as a learning strategist, I found myself engrossed by medical education and have been working as a teaching fellow in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at my alma mater. I hope to continue teaching medical students throughout residency. My current field of interest is hematopathology but I will be keeping an open mind throughout training. Outside of medicine, I enjoy trying new restaurants and foods, reading novels, NBA, playing board/card games, listening to music and hanging out with my family and friends.
Luvy Delfin Mendez, MD
I can proudly say I am a Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals first-year pathology resident. I was born and raised in Cuba. I received my medical degree with honors from the University of Medical Sciences in Havana. A few years later I finished Family Medicine and Anatomic Pathology residencies. Then, I attended two fellowships in Oncopathology and Molecular Pathology. I practiced in the National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology in Havana, Cuba for two years, where I gained strong clinical knowledge that allowed me to engage in a wider variety of research topics and clinical trials mostly related to prostatic adenocarcinoma and bone and soft tissue tumors. Later on, I was part of Labopat team, Puebla Mexico for almost a year. I am confident that the Case Western Reserve University/UH Pathology Program, has all the elements to develop well-rounded pathologists. In my free time, I enjoy camping and traveling. I also take pleasure in cooking for my family and friends and trying new restaurants here and there. I love dogs and a cup of coffee anytime.
Riley Lochner, MD
I was born and raised in San Diego, Calif. I went to the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. for undergrad, where I conducted research in marine microbiology. I completed an MS in Biomedical Forensic Science from Syracuse University, where I worked as a graduate teaching assistant in Forensic Pathology. During graduate school I interned for two years at the medical examiner’s office, functioning as a death investigator and autopsy technician. I then went on to complete my medical studies at Ross University. I am interested in forensic pathology and neuropathology. I hope to gain more teaching and research experience during residency. I enjoy traveling, all things food/cooking related, movies, museums and board games. We are both excited to explore our new city and are looking forward to find ways to give back to our new community.
Oziel Valdez Sanchez, MC
My name is Oziel Valdez-Sanchez. I am the eldest son in my family, and I have one brother and one sister. I was born in 1990 in Monterrey, Mexico, where I graduated from ‘Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon’ School of Medicine, which is the biggest university in the northeast of Mexico. I consider that I have an inquisitive mind, am someone who likes to understand the “whys” and the “hows” of the disease process, and other topics beyond medicine, and I think that pathology is the medical specialty that best matches those interests. Outside of medicine, I like to do simple things such as having a conversation on any topic with a good friend, taking a walk, contemplating the scenery and practicing meditation.
Daniel Shen. MD
I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I attended University of Toronto as an undergraduate studying human biology and physiology. Subsequently, I received my medical degree from St. George's University. As a child, I spent my summers in my uncle's lab in Nanjing, China where I began to discover my interest in life sciences. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as an assistant researcher at University Health Network, where I familiarized myself with the laboratory environment and underwent training to use confocal microscopes. Outside of academics, I like to meet people, read news, watch shows, follow sports and travel abroad.
Mingfei Yan, MD
Hi, my name is Mingfei. I was born and raised in China, and I went to medical school at Xi’an Jiaotong University in my hometown. Afterward, I went to The Chinese University of Hong Kong for a PhD, during which time I researched breast cancer biology. After moving to the U.S., I worked at MD Anderson Cancer Center for prostate cancer research before I was matched into the pathology residency program at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals. I found pathology a very promising specialty for me to pursue postgraduate medical training, since it really allows us to dig inside the pathogenesis of different diseases, and thus help us to make accurate and personalized diagnosis as well as to innovate novel therapeutics for patients. In my spare time, I enjoy swimming, cooking, watching movies and traveling, etc.
Alwalid Ammoun, MD
Hi, this Alwalid and you can call me by Waleed, as most people around me do. I was born in Syria and I grew up in different places in the Middle East. I received my medical degree from Damascus University and I moved to the United States right after graduation. I was involved in research projects at NYU, focusing on the enhanced clearance of pathological conformations of both Amyloid beta and tau proteins in Alzheimer’s disease, using both active and passive immunization approaches.
When it comes to spare time, I’m very adventurous, I like soccer and biking and I work out regularly. I enjoy reading, music, traveling and learning about different cultures and that would always include trying new recipes. Also, I’m always down for a good concert or show.
My future career goals are still open and depend on my experience during residency, and among many reasons that made me choose Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals is the strength of both AP and CP, so I’m quite sure that will help me find my niche.
I’m very excited and proud to be part of this team, and I look forward to working with all of you.
Rabail Aslam, MBBS
My name is Dr. Rabail Aslam Rai. I attained my MD degree at one of the premier medical schools in Pakistan. I moved to the USA a few years back and have since established myself as a physician-scientist. I am currently completing my postdoctoral fellowship training at RUSH University Medical Center. My team at RUSH has worked on innovating a novel multiplex imaging technique that has the potential to revolutionize diagnostic imaging. I am super excited to be starting my residency training at Case Western Reserve University, this summer.
In addition to volunteering at PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) Chicago & I am also an active member of a few local NGOs. I love teaching medical students in my spare time. I also enjoy photography, playing piano, listening to audiobooks, cooking healthy meals and high energy athletic training.
Emily Bulson, DO
Hi! I am originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I studied biomedical science at GVSU in Grand Rapids, Michigan prior to obtaining my medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pennsylvania. Through my surgical experience before medical school and during my clinical years, I developed a passion for the diverse field of pathology and I am ecstatic to be joining Case Western Reserve’s pathology team at UH!
My current interests are just as vast as the field and I am eager to further explore all subspecialties. After narrowing my focus during residency, I hope to pursue a fellowship and work in an academic setting. In my spare time, I like to stay active. I enjoy the outdoors, taking my dog to the park, playing ping pong, and learning new songs on the piano.
Waleed Khan, MD
I was born in Multan, Pakistan, and moved to Canada prior to my first birthday. I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario Canada, and completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo. There I developed my love for medicine and more importantly my love for pathology. I had the opportunity to work with an endocrinologist in osteoporosis research involving atypical femoral fractures. It is there, where I was connected with different pathologists and my love for pathology had further grown. After working on different research projects for a couple of years I decided to pursue medicine at St. George's University in Grenada. Outside of medicine, I like to work with my hands. I love working with computers and have built desktop computers for myself and my family, I love playing video games, and working on my car. I am a huge NBA fan and plan to go to as many sporting events as I can while living in Cleveland. I am excited and greatly looking forward to spending at least my next 4 years here!
Jax Rezakhani, MD
I was born in Iran, spent my early childhood in both Iran and Australia and received my medical degree from Tehran Azad Medical School. I spent almost three years in a medically underserved area of the country as a family physician and participated in volunteer activities.
I then went on to a postgraduate study in biomedical and laboratory sciences at Linköping University in Sweden. I have enjoyed working on a variety of projects including a confocal morphometric and proteomic study on amyloid-beta-induced astrogliosis and the effect of Genistein treatment in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. I began practice as a research and teaching assistant, followed by a position as a pathology assistant and lab manager in a pathobiology lab.
My areas of interest include neuropathology and pediatrics. My future research plans are directed toward understanding the molecular pathogenesis and biologically targeted therapeutics in pediatric brain tumors. I aspire to be a confident, disciplined, and compassionate pathologist with a good work/life balance.
I spend most of my money on traveling to broaden my mind and horizon, explore cultures and meet new people. I love the quiet of a breathtaking Swiss nature, as much as the noise of a thrilling US city. Oceans and mountains make me feel calm. I care about the environment and I believe in logic and science. By the way, cats are my best companion, if you love them, I am your friend, without further introduction.
Arshna Qureshi, MBBS
I was born and grew up in Delhi, the capital city of India known for its enriched culture and vibrant history. I received my medical diploma at Lady Hardinge Medical College. After my graduation, I moved to the United States as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Transformative Molecular Medicine (ITMM) in Cleveland. At ITMM I have been primarily working on developing a novel method for restoring bone marrow and stem cell functions after brain-death. In addition, I have been involved in the design and regulation of a clinical trial aimed at allaying unpropitious effects of blood transfusion via experimental drugs such as ethyl nitrite a resnitrosylating agent. My other academic interest include medical education, digital pathology, and informatics. During my free time, I volunteer at Cleveland Ibn Bin Siba Clinic, a local free clinic serving the uninsured and underprivileged community members. Outside of medicine, I enjoy trying out different cafés – Presti’s and Algebra Tea House are among my favorites here. While I continue to be mesmerized by snow, I enjoy hiking and traveling when the weather permits. Over the recent years, I have become increasingly fond of the peace and tranquility offered by the small yet beautiful city of Cleveland, a change of heart that the “Delhiite” in me still finds it hard to believe. I look forward to spending many more wonderful years here in Cleveland.