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Current Fellows



Fourth Year Fellows (PSTP Program)

Benjamin Goldenson, MD, PhD

PSTP Program

Hometown: Berkeley, CA

Medical School: Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine

IM Residency: University of California, San Diego

PhD Program: Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship?  The people in the fellowship program, my co-fellows and the faculty

Research and Career Interests:  Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation. Research Mentor: Dr. Dan Kaufman

Posters/Presentations/Publications: 

  • Goldenson, B., et al. (2020) Umbilical Cord Blood and iPSC-Derived Natural Killer Cells Demonstrate Key Differences in Cytotoxic Activity and KIR profiles. Frontiers in Immunology. 11:561553. PMID: 33178188.
  • Goldenson, B., el al. Gemtuzumab ozogamicin for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia in adults. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy(2020): 1-14. PMID: 32990476.
  • Goldenson, B. and Park, S. The Vaping Epidemic: Implications for Cancer Care. Poster Presentation at AVAHO Meeting; September 12-19, 2020; San Diego, CA.

Hobbies: I enjoy basketball, running, photography, and exploring San Diego. 


Kentson Lam, MD, PhD 

PSTP Program

Hometown: Sacramento, CA 
Medical School: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine 
IM Residency: University of California, San Diego
PhD Program: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? I enjoy spending time with my co-fellows. In addition, the research, and collaborations here at UCSD are outstanding.
Research and Career Interests:  I am currently investigating how protein homeostasis is an important mechanism in regulating cancer stem cells. My research mentor is Dr. Robert Signer.
Posters/Presentations/Publications
  • Allan, John N... Lam, K, et al. 2019. 'Efficacy of Therapies Following Venetoclax Discontinuation in CLL: Focus on B-Cell Receptor Signal Transduction Inhibitors and Cellular Therapies', Blood, 134: 502-02.
  • Mato, A. R... K. Lam, et al. 2020. 'Assessment of the Efficacy of Therapies Following Venetoclax Discontinuation in CLL Reveals BTK inhibition as an Effective Strategy', Clin Cancer Res. PMID: 32198151

Hobbies: I enjoy running and basketball, both of which are extremely easy to do in San Diego. The weather allows for comfortable running in the many beaches, parks, trails in the city. I also enjoy spending time with my family.


Third Year Fellows (Class of 2022)

James Buturla, MD

Hometown: Queens, NY

Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine

IM Residency: University of Connecticut, Farmington CT

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? Camaraderie among fellows and excellent teaching faculty.

Research and Career Interests: Tumor immunology.

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • Giustini NP, Jeong AR, Buturla J, Bazhenova L. Advances in Treatment of Locally Advanced or Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Targeted Therapy. Clin Chest Med. 2020;41(2):223‐235. 
  • Ménoret A, Buturla JA, Xu MM, et al. T cell-directed IL-17 production by lung granular γδ T cells is coordinated by a novel IL-2 and IL-1β circuit. Mucosal Immunol. 2018;11(5):1398‐1407. 
  • Svedova J, Ménoret A, Mittal P, Ryan JM, Buturla JA, Vella AT. Therapeutic blockade of CD54 attenuates pulmonary barrier damage in T cell-induced acute lung injury. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2017;313(1):L177‐L191.
Hobbies: Hiking, biking, reading to the kids.

Autumn Jeong, MD

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Medical School: University of Southern California (USC)

Residency: Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC+USC)

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? The supportive environment of program leadership and co-fellows

Research and Career Interests:  Benign hematology

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • Jeong AR, Ball ED, Goodman AM. Predicting responses to checkpoint inhibitors in lymphoma: Are we up to the standards of solid tumors? Clinical Medical Insights: Oncology. Submitted
  • Giustini NP, Jeong AR, Burtula J, Bazhenova L. Advances of treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer: targeted therapy. Clinics of Chest Medicine. 2020;41(2):223-235.
  • Chang J, Douer D, Aldoss I, Vahdani G, Jeong AR, et al. Combination Chemotherapy Plus Dasatinib Leads to Comparable Overall Survival and Relapse-Free Survival Rates as Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Philadelphia Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Cancer Medicine. 2019;8(6):2832-2839.
  • O'Neill C, Manojlovic Z, Jeong AR, et al. Comprehensive molecular profiling of idiopathic erythrocytosis by genetic ancestry. Poster presentation, American Society of Hematology meeting, Orlando, FL, Dec, 2019
  • Jeong AR, Hu J, Higgins S, Wysong A, In G. Clinical experience with dermatofibrosarcoma protubernas (DFSP) in a diverse ethnic population. Abstract, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, Chicago, IL. Jun, 2018
Hobbies: Jigsaw puzzle, going to legoland with my daughter, collecting fun peripheral smear pictures


Shiruyeh Schokrpur, MD, PhD

Chief Fellow 2021-2022

PSTP program

Hometown: Fresno, CA

Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine

IM Residency: University of California, San Diego

PhD Program: University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? The variety of patient experiences among clinical sites, including seeing patients on clinical trial at Moores Cancer Center.

Research and Career Interests: I am very interested in a career in translational medicine and this guides my current research interests. These focus on developing new ways to enhance immunotherapy responses. I am also interested in developing new predictive markers to guide clinical use of immunotherapy. I am currently mentored by Dr. Silvio Gutkind in the Department of Pharmacology and Dr. Sandip Patel in the department of Hematology and Oncology. 

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • Kelly K, Chen S, Eldredge JB, Benjamin DJ, Patel SP, Mulroy MC, Tabbara N, Sharp J, Chan J, Cummings AL, Daly ME, Goldman JW, Gubens MA, Harris JP, Onaitis MW, Schokrpur S, and Zhu VW. Role of Chemotherapy Plus Immune Checkpoint Inhibition in Oncogenic Driven Lung Cancer:A University of California Lung Cancer Consortium Retrospective Study. 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting; 2021 June 4-8; Chicago, IL.
  • Hu J*, Schokrpur S*, et al. A Non-integrating lentiviral Approach Overcomes Cas9-Induced Immune Rejection to Establish an Immunocompetent Metastatic Renal Cancer Model. Molecular Therapy – Methods & Clinical Development. 2018 Jun 15; 9:203-10. 
  • Schokrpur S, et al. Syncope with a Sinister Source: An Extremely Rare Presentation of a Mediastinal Liposarcoma. Accepted for poster presentation at the American Thoracic Society International Conference 2018; 2018 May 18-21; San Diego, CA.
Hobbies: Exploring restaurants and breweries, hiking and beaches. 

Jade Zhou, MD, PhD

Hometown: Houston, TX

Medical School: University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

IM Residency: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX

PhD Program: University of Texas Health Sciences Center

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? Supportive leadership who are very responsive to our feedback and of course my co-fellows! Living in San Diego is a huge perk as well (beautiful weather, close to the beach, tons of outdoor activities). 

Research and Career Interests:  I am interested in solid tumor oncology with a plan to become a community oncologist. 

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • Zhou, J., Kane, S., Ramsey, C., Akhondzadeh, M.A., Banerjee, A., Shatsky, R., Gold, K.A. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Stage at Diagnosis of Breast and Colorectal Cancers. Oral presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting, June 2021. 
  • Zhou, J., Kane, S., Curtis, C., Ramsey, C., Akhondzadeh, M.A., Banerjee, A., Califano J., Gold, K.A. Improving documentation of cancer staging at an academic cancer center utilizing an EMR-based system with public accountability.  Poster presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Care Symposium, October 2020.
  • Bayraktar, S., Zhou, J., et al. Clinical Outcome and Toxicity from Taxanes in Breast Cancer Patients with BRCA1 and BRCA2 Pathogenic Germline Mutations. Breast Journal. 2020 May.
  • Zhou, J.Z., et al. Osteocytic connexin hemichannels suppress breast cancer growth and bone metastasis. Oncogene. 2016 Oct. 27;35(43):5597-5607.
  • Jiang, J.X., Riquelme, M.A., Zhou, J.Z. ATP, a double-edged sword in cancer. Oncoscience. 2015 Aug. 30;2(8):673-4.
  • Zhou, J.Z., Riquelme, M.A., Gao, X., Ellies, L.G., Sun, L.Z., Jiang, J.X. Differential impact of adenosine nucleotides released by osteocytes on breast cancer growth and bone metastasis. Oncogene. 2015 Apr. 2;34(14):1831-42. 

Hobbies: My happy place is Del Mar dog beach. I make a point of going there at least once every 2 weeks. I love all the great hiking trails around here as well. I also like driving further out to the nearby state parks for hiking. 


Second Year Fellows (Class of 2023)

Jeremy Chang, MD

Hometown: Moraga, CA

Medical School: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

IM Residency: Los Angeles County & University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? The supportive program leadership and all of my wonderful co-fellows! Also being able to live in beautiful San Diego.

Research and Career Interests: I am primarily interested in clinical research for solid tumors and hoping to pursue a career at an academic institution.

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • Chang, J.S., Douer, D., Aldoss, I., Vahdani, G., Jeong, A.R., Ghaznavi, Z., Zhang, S.S., Yaghmour, G., Lee, K.J., Weissman, A., & Akhtari, M. Combination chemotherapy plus dasatinib leads to comparable overall survival and relapse-free survival rates as allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Philadelphia positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cancer Medicine. 2019, Jun; 8(6): 2832-2839.
  • Chang, J.S., Hsiao, M., Blodget, E., & Akhtari, M. Increased risk of 100-day and 1-year infection-related mortality and complications in haploidentical stem cell transplantation. Journal of Blood Medicine. 2019, May; 10(1): 135-143.
  • Chang, J.S., Tran, J., Kamel, D., & Basu, A. Nivolumab-induced hypophysitis leading to hypopituitarism and secondary empty sella syndrome in a patient with non-small cell lung cancer. BMJ Case Reports. 2019, Mar; 12(3): e228135.
  • Chang, J.S., Kwan, B., Panjwani, N., Villanueva, N., Diamond, S., Wong-Sefidan, I., & Muchmore, E. Prostate adenocarcinoma metastases to the testis and brain: case report and review of the literature. Oxford Medical Case Reports. 2017, Aug; 2017(8): 142–144.
  • Castro, J.E., Choi, M.Y., Carvajal, T., Almahasnah, E., Chang, J.S., James, D.F., & Kipps, T.J. Ofatumumab and high-dose methylprednisolone for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Blood Cancer Journal. 2014, Nov; 4(11): 258.

Hobbies Traveling, cooking steak, swimming, NBA basketball

Michael Dennis, MD

Hometown: Danville, NH

Medical school: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

IM Residency: Boston University/Boston Medical Center, Boston MA

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? My favorite part of the fellowship is the people I interact with on a regular basis (faculty, fellows, nursing, support staff, and patients). It also helps that we are located in a beautiful warm climate.

Research and Career Interests: I am interested in clinical research. I want to work at an academic center after fellowship, specializing in either thoracic or genitourinary oncology.

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • Hildebrand L, Pierce C, Dennis M, Paracha M, Maoz A. "Artificial Intelligence for Histology-Based Detection of Microsatellite Instability and Prediction of Response to Immunotherapy in Colorectal Cancer." Cancers (Jan., 2021).
  • Gupta V, Dennis M, Ko N. "Identifying Actionable Causes of Potentially Avoidable Readmissions to an Oncology Service at a Safety Net Hospital." JCO Oncology Practice (March 2021)
  • Dennis M, Maoz A, Cirstea D, Lerner A, Patel A, Sarosiek S. "Treatment Disparities in Minority Groups with Multiple Myeloma at a Large Safety-Net Hospital." Leukemia and Lymphoma (May, 2020).
  • White P, Dennis M, Jone E, Weinberg J, Sarosiek S. "Risk Factors for the Development of Hypocalcemia in Cancer Patients Treated with Bone Modifying Agents." JNCCN (Apr., 2020). 
  • Dcona MM, Damle PK, Zarate-Perez F, Morris BL, Nawaz Z, Dennis M, Deng X, Korwar S, Singh S, Ellis KC, Royer WE, Bandyopadhyay D, Escalante C, Grossman SR. "Active-site tryptophan, the target of anti-neoplastic CtBP inhibitors, mediates inhibitor disruption of CtBP oligomerization and transcription coregulatory activities." Molecular Pharmacology (2019). 
  • Dennis M, Maoz A, Hughes D, Sanchorawala V, Sloan JM, Sarosiek S. "Bortezomib ocular toxicities: Outcomes with ketotifen." Am J Hematol (2019). DOI: 10.1002/ajh.25382.
  • Maoz A, Dennis M, Greenson J. "The Crohn's-like lymphoid reaction to colorectal cancer - tertiary lymphoid structures with immunologic and potentially therapeutic relevance in colorectal cancer." Frontiers in Immunology (2019). 
  • Qiao S, Dennis M, Song X, Vadysirisack DD, Salunke D, Nash Z, Yang Z, Liesa M, Yoshioka J, Matsuzawa S, Shirihai OS, Lee RS, Reed JC, Ellisen LW. "A REDD1/TXNIP pro-oxidant complex regulates ATG4B activity to control stress-induced autophagy and sustain exercise capacity." Nature Communications (2015). 

Hobbies I am married and have a daughter. We love spending time at the beach, at the zoo, and exploring local parks. I also like fishing, boating, and sports. I am a huge fan NFL football.

Nisha Hariharan, MD

Hometown: Fremont, CA

Medical School: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine

IM Residency: University of California, Davis, Sacramento CA

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? Great teaching from faculty, a perfect balance of strong clinical training and academics, and getting to live in sunny San Diego!

Research and Career Interests: I am interested in malignant hematology. 

Posters/Presentations/Publications  

  • Hariharan N, et al. Bleeding in patients with sickle cell disease: a population-based study. Blood Adv. 2020. 10;4(5): 793-802.
  • Hariharan N, et al. Examination of the cumulative incidence of all bleeding in patients with sickle cell disease: a population-based study. Oral Presentation at ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Diego. December 1, 2018.
  • Pham B, Hoeg R, Hariharan N, et al. Treatment with FLAG followed by second allogeneic stem cell transplant for relapsed acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. ASCO meeting 2019.
  • Hariharan N, Chen BY, Olympia R. Implementation of an MRI program for the evaluation of pediatric right lower quadrant abdominal pain: effect on emergency department length of stay in adolescent females. Oral Presentation at American College of Emergency Physicians Research Forum, Las Vegas, October 2016.
  • Xu XM, ..., Hariharan N, et al. Chaperonins facilitate KNOTTED1 cell-to-cell trafficking and stem cell function. Science. 2011. 333(6046): 1141-44.

Hobbies: Spending time at San Diego's beautiful beaches, exploring new restaurants, running, and of course, watching Netflix 

Anupama Kumar, MD

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine

IM Residency: Tufts Medical Center, Boston MA

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? The excellent teaching from the faculty, the encouragement from program leadership, and the supportive environment created by my co-fellows.

Research and Career Interests: I am primarily interested in malignant hematology. 

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • Kumar, A.D.Inker, L.A., Drew, D.A., Comenzo, R.L., Varga, C. (2019). Monoclonal gammopathies and their significance: A retrospective analysis of monoclonal gammopathy and renal disease. Presented as oral presentation at Internal Kidney and Monoclonal Gammopathy (IKMG) Research Group Meeting; Montreal, Canada. 
  • Godara, A., Kumar, A., Miller, K.B., Saif, M.W. (2021). Myelodysplastic Syndrome in Patients with Gastro-Pancreatic Malignancies: A Case Series and Review of Literature. Cancer Med J. 4 (2): 52-59. 

Hobbies: Hiking, salsa dancing, exploring new areas in San Diego

Elizabeth Pan, MD

Hometown: Miami, FL

Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California

IM Residency: University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? The people, especially my co-fellows. 

Research and Career Interests: I am interested in solid tumors and specifically GU oncology. 

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • Pan E, Bogumil D, Cortessis V, Yu S, Nieva J. "A systemic review of the efficacy of preclinical models of lung cancer drugs." April 23, 2020.

Hobbies: Exploring new dessert places, perfecting matcha lattes, going to concerts/music festivals.

Karen Yun, MD

Hometown: Irvine, CA

Medical School: Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo

IM Residency: University of California, San Diego

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? The camaraderie among fellows and faculty. 

Research and Career Interests: I am interested in thoracic oncology and clinical trials. My research mentor is Dr. Bazhenova. 

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • Yun K, Daniels G, Gold K, Mccowen K, Patel SP. Rapid onset type 1 diabetes with anti-PD-1 directed therapy. Oncotarget. 2020 Jul 14;11(28):2740-2746.

Hobbies: Running, biking, hiking. 


First Year Fellows (Class of 2024)

Hemali Batra- Sharma, MD

IM Residency: University of California, San Diego, La Jolla CA

Justin Chen, MD

IM Residency: University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Renee Cheng, MD

IM Residency: University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

Sharon Choi, MD, PhD

IM Residency: University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Peter Moussa, MD

IM Residency: Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 

Poorva Vaidya, MD

IM Residency: University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA