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Current Fellows




Third Year Fellows (Class of 2021)

Nicholas Giustini, MD

Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Medical School: USC Keck School of Medicine

IM Residency: UCLA

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? I really appreciate the camaraderie of everyone here. All the attendings are very accessible and willing to teach.

Research and Career Interests: I am involved in clinical research with Dr. Luda Bazhenova in the area of thoracic oncology. Ideally, I would like to pursue an academic career in thoracic oncology with continued work on early phase clinical trials.

Posters/Presentations/Publications

  • Giustini, N.P., et al., Advances in Treatment of Locally Advanced or Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Targeted Therapy. Clin Chest Med, 2020. 41(2): p. 223-235.
  • Giustini, N.P. and L. Bazhenova, ROS1-rearranged Non-small Cell Lung Cancer. Thorac Surg Clin, 2020. 30(2): p. 147-156.
  • Villanueva, N., Giustini, N.P., Bazhenova, L.A. Anaplastic lymphoma kinase. In: Salgia, R., ed. Targeted Therapies for Lung Cancer. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature; 2019: 31-54.  
  • Giustini, N., et al., Tenosynovial giant cell tumor: case report of a patient effectively treated with pexidartinib (PLX3397) and review of the literature. Clin Sarcoma Res, 2018. 8: p. 14-18.
  • Giustini, N.P., Patel, S., Chao, R.C., Bazhenova, L. Resistance to EGFR TKI Therapy via Newly Acquired Oncogenic Drivers: Case Series and Review of the Literature of Treatment Outcomes.  Poster Presentation at IASLC Targeted Therapies of Lung Cancer Meeting; February 19-22, 2020; Santa Monica, Ca. 
  • Giustini, N.P., Chao, R.C., Bazhenova, L. Resistance to EGFR TKI via newly acquired oncogenic drivers: a case series and review of the literature. Oral Presentation at 1st Annual EGFR Resisters Research Summit; November 15-16, 2019; Chicago, Il
Hobbies: I enjoy cooking, hiking, reading, and exploring new breweries/wineries.


Benjamin Goldenson, MD, PhD

MSTP 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.H., et al. Umbilical Cord Blood and iPSC-Derived Natural Killer Cells Demonstrate Key Differences in Cytotoxic Activity and KIR profiles. Submitted to Frontiers in Immunology

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


Kentson Lam, MD, PhD 

MSTP 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.

Akram Mesleh-Shayeb, MD

Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Medical School: University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine

IM Residency: (Med/Peds) University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis TN

What is your favorite part of UCSD fellowship? The excellent teaching faculty, diverse clinical training, mentorship, and having the flexibility to tailor your experience depending on your interests. I also enjoyed learning from the leading expertise on bleeding/thrombosis diseases at the affiliated hemophilia treatment center.

Research and Career Interests:  My research interests include hemostasis/thrombosis complications in patients with gastrointestinal malignancies and the study of biomarkers among these diseases. My mentors are Drs. Annette von Drygalski, Hitendra Patel and Shumei Kato. Long term, I would like to pursue a hematology/oncology career at an academic center. 

Posters/Presentations/Publications

  • Akram Mesleh Shayeb, Razelle Kurzrock, Shumei Kato. Comprehensive analysis of HER2 status through genomic, transcription, and translation among 5,305 patients with diverse malignancies. Poster presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. June 2020; Chicago, IL.
  • Akram Mesleh Shayeb, et alViral infection status influences hemophiliac arthropathy phenotype. Poster presentation at World Federation of Hemophilia Annual Congress. June 2020; Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. 
  • Akram Mesleh Shayeb, et alQuantitative measurements of hemophilic joint tissues by point-of-care musculoskeletal ultrasound are associated with clinical and functional joint outcome parameters. Oral presentation at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting. December 2020; Orlando, Florida.

Hobbies: I love exploring restaurants, rock climbing, fitness, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends. I also enjoy visiting any of the beautiful beaches in San Diego.


Justin Shaya, MD

Chief Fellow 2020-2021
Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI
Medical School: University of Michigan Medical School

IM Residency: University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor MI

What is your favorite part of UCSD followship? I think the program has tremendous flexibility, allowing fellows to tailor their experience to their clinical and research interests. The VA clinic experience is superb allowing fellows to really get into the driver's seat and experience what the day-to-day life of a clinical oncologist entails and affords real continuity to fellows. 

Research and Career Interests: My clinical interest is in GU oncology and specifically advanced prostate cancer and renal cell carcinoma. My research interests include the use of next generation sequencing to develop new targeted therapies for metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer. Additionally, I am interested in improving germline testing rates in advanced prostate cancer and developing novel strategies to address this growing issue.  

Posters/Presentations/Publications

  • Kuderer, N.M... Shaya J.A., et al. Clinical impact of COVID-19 on patients with cancer (CCC19): a cohort study. The Lancet, 2020. 
  • Shaya, J.A., et al. Genomic-directed personalized matched targeted therapy approach may improve clinical outcomes among patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology 38, no. 15_suppl.
  • Shaya, J.A., et al. "Multivariate Models of Prognostic Significance of Circulating Tumor DNA (ctDNA) in Metastatic Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC)." Journal of Urology 203.Supplement 4 (2020): e1094-e95.
  • Shaya, J.A., et al. Survival outcomes of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients with pancreatic metastases (PM): Pooled analysis form a large clinical trials database. J Clin Oncol 38, 2020.  
  • Shaya, J.A., et al. "Analysis of the Prognostic Significance of Circulating Tumor DNA (Ctdna) in Metastatic Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer (Mcrpc)." Journal of Clinical Oncology 38.6_suppl (2020): 110-10.
  • Shaya, J.A., and Rana R. McKay. "Immunotherapy Combinations Transform the Treatment Paradigm for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma." Annals of translational medicine 7.Suppl 8 (2019): S385-S85.  

Hobbies:  I'm a sushi fanatic and love trying new poke and sushi restaurants. My favorite place in San Diego is Torrey Pines State Reserve since it offers the beach and low impact hiking all in one location. It is conviently 10 minutes from the hospital.


Second 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

MSTP 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:  My PhD research involved looking at the tumor microenvironment and mechanisms of metastasis in renal cell carcinoma. In fellowship, I plan to continue to look at the biology of aggressive solid tumors to determine if we can find new therapeutic avenues or markers of aggression that can subsequently be translated to the clinic.

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • 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:  Undecided at this point. I am interested more in solid Oncology

Posters/Presentations/Publications 

  • 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. 


First 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

 

Michael Dennis, MD

Hometown: Danville, NH

Medical school: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

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

 

Nisha Hariharan, MD

Hometown: Fremont, CA

Medical School: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine

IM Residency: University of California, Davis, Sacramento CA

 

Anupama Kumar, MD

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine

IM Residency: Tufts Medical Center, Boston MA

 

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

 

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


Incoming 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 Chang, 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