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Program Leadership



Darcy Wooten, MD, MS 

​Fellowship Program Director
dawooten@health.ucsd.edu 
Darcy Wooten, MD, Mattended undergrad at Stanford University where she studied Human Biology. She completed medical school and IM residency at the University of California, San Francisco and earned a Masters in Health and Medicine Sciences from UC Berkeley.  She completed her ID fellowship training at Harbor UCLA before starting as faculty at UCSD in 2014.  Her areas of clinical interest include HIV Medicine and General Infectious Diseases.  Her passion is medical education.  She directs the Clinical Foundations course for first and second-year medical students and is highly involved in teaching, mentoring, and curricular development for clinical medical students and IM residents.  She served as the Associate Program Director for the ID Fellowship Program before moving into the Program Director role.  She is an active member of the IDSA's Community of Practice for Medical Education.  She enjoys spending time with her motorcycle-riding, bourbon-distilling husband, Joe, her energetic and independent toddler, Maya, and her loveable Aussie-Doodle, Bourbon. 

Nancy Law, DO, MPH 
Associate Fellowship Program Director
nalaw@health.ucsd.edu 
​Bio pending. 


Mary Lewinski, MD, PhD

​Associate Fellowship Program Director
mlewinski@health.ucsd.edu
​Bio pending. 

Meredith Lococo
​Fellowship Program Administrator
melococo@health.ucsd.edu
Meredith Lococo, BA was born and raised in Portland, Oregon before moving to Northern California in 2008 to complete a BA in International Studies at Humboldt State University. After graduation and traveling abroad, Meredith joined the University of California, San Diego in 2015 as coordinator for an ACGME-accredited fellowship in Department of Pediatrics. In 2018, she began coordinating the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program in the Department of Medicine.  Meredith is passionate about providing high-quality administrative support to physicians in-training, faculty and researchers.  In her spare time, you can find her chasing her 2 and 4 year old daughters, Margaret and June. 


2020-21 Infectious Diseases Fellows


​Michael Doud, MD, PhD

Incoming 2021 1st Year 
mdoud@health.ucsd.edu 
Michael Doud, MD, PhD, grew up in the Chicago suburbs before studying chemical engineering at the University of Michigan. He then spent two years as a research technician at Harvard Medical School, working in Dr. Timothy Springer's lab to determine the protein structure of a malaria vaccine target antigen. Dr. Doud moved to Seattle and completed combined MD/PhD training at the University of Washington, where he developed genomics technologies to study influenza virus evolution in Dr. Jesse Bloom's lab. He is currently completing internal medicine residency at UC San Diego. He has broad interests in basic science and infectious disease, including specific interests in bacteriophage biology and engineering therapeutic phages to treat antibiotic resistant infections.

Samantha Kaplan, MD

Incoming 2021 1st Year 
Email Pending 
Samantha Kaplan, MD, attended medical school at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. During medical school, she spent a year as an NIH Fogarty Global Health Fellow in Cape Town, South Africa, conducting research on the risk factors and outcomes of HIV patients who disengaged from antiretroviral therapy in Khayelitsha, South Africa. After medical school, she completed internal medicine residency at the University of Washington as a Global Health Pathway resident. For several months, she worked in western Kenya on a study comparing the response to latent tuberculosis diagnostics between HIV-infected and uninfected pregnant women. She then worked as a hospitalist in Seattle before coming to UCSD for ID fellowship. During ID fellowship, Dr. Kaplan hopes to pursue her interests in HIV/TB epidemiology and global public health, while exploring emerging infections and tropical and border medicine. Dr. Kaplan hopes to pursue formal epidemiology training during fellowship, with a subsequent career in academic infectious disease global public health research and/or programmatic development at the national or international level.

Brady Page, MD, MPH
Incoming 2021 1st Year 
Email Pending
Brady Page, MD, MPH, graduated from UC Berkeley before receiving his MD and MPH&TM from Tulane University, where he was a Ben Kean Fellow in Papua New Guinea, a Fulbright-Fogarty Fellow in Brazil, and a CDC Fellow in Atlanta. He later completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he continued to work on several projects in Papua New Guinea. Throughout his career, Dr. Page's clinical focus has been on addressing the infections and complications that disproportionately affect those living in communities that are underaccessed and underresourced. He is specifically interested in the epidemiology of outbreak-prone, resistant, or severe infections and the clinical management of patients who become critically ill from these infections in austere settings. Additionally, Dr. Page hopes to build on his relationships with clinical and research groups overseas to establish healthy, empowering, professional relationships between institutions in the US and abroad.

Benjamin Chen, MD, MPH

Incoming 2021 1st Year 
Email Pending 
Benjamin Chen, MD, MPH, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where he attended college and graduate school. After graduation, Dr. Chen moved to New Orleans for medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine. He is currently completing residency at University of Iowa and is looking forward to continuing his training at UC San Diego in July 2021. Dr. Chen's career interests are in global health and medical education, for which he has participated in research abroad and also piloted novel teaching tools. Dr. Chen's professional goal is to remain in academic ID as a clinician educator. 

Rachel Sigler, DO, MPH
1st Year Fellow
rsigler@health.ucsd.edu
Rachel Sigler, DO, MPH, completed undergraduate and received an MPH at George Washington University in Washington DC. She then attended medical school at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. After medical school, Dr. Sigler completed residency in internal medicine at University of Kansas Medical Center. During ID fellowship, Dr. Sigler has pursued her interests in Transplant ID and medical education. Dr. Sigler hopes to complete the fellowship in the clinician educator track and pursue additional training in transplant ID with a subsequent career in Transplant Infectious Disease.

Rehan Syed, MD, MSc
1st Year Fellow
​r1syed@health.ucsd.edu
Rehan Syed, MD, MSc, completed his undergraduate degree at Stanford University in human biology. In 2011, Dr. Syed received his MSc in public health at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the UK. Dr. Syed returned to California in 2013 and completed both medical school, and residency in internal medicine, at the University of California, San Diego, where he subsequently pursued ID Fellowship in July 2020. During ID Fellowship, Dr. Syed has pursued research on COVID-19 and Guillan-Barre syndrome and preliminary reviews of biomarkers for progression in tuberculosis, in addition to his clinical work. After fellowship, Dr. Syed hopes to pursue research on the molecular epidemiology of the progression of disease in tuberculosis on with a subsequent career in academic medicine.

Francisco Guerra, MD, PhD

1st Year Fellow
​fguerra@health.ucsd.edu

Bio pending.


Patricia (Katie) Riggs, DO

1st Year Fellow 
​pariggs@health.ucsd.edu

​​Bio pending.


Elliott Welford, MD

2nd Year Fellow 
ewelford@health.ucsd.edu 

Elliott Welford, MD, completed undergraduate at Mississippi State University in Microbiology, and subsequently graduated from medical school in 2015 from the university of mississippi.  Later that year, he moved to Ohio to complete residency in internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati.  Dr. Welford decided to go west to San Diego in 2019, and began training in ID Fellowship at the University of California, San Diego.  During fellowship, Dr. Welford has pursued research focusing on the overlapping epidemics of bacterial sexually transmitted infections and HIV.  His particular area of focus is on dynamic infectious disease modelling and economic modelling to evaluate the public health and economic impact of these infections.   After fellowship, Dr. Welford hopes to continue being a productive researcher in infectious disease and economic modelling by applying for a K award with a subsequent career in academic medicine.  

Sydne
y Ramirez, MD, PhD
2nd Year Fellow 
sir011@health.ucsd.edu

Sydney Ramirez, MD, PhD, graduated summa cum laude from California State University, Sacramento with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. She subsequently graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston combined MD/PhD program in 2017, where she conducted her graduate research in molecular virology in the laboratory of Shinji Makino, DVM, PhD, with an emphasis on coronaviruses and other RNA viruses. In summer 2017, she moved back to California to begin Internal Medicine residency at the University of California, San Diego as part of the Physician-Scientist Training Pathway (PSTP). Following completion of the residency portion of the PSTP, Dr. Ramirez began her fellowship training with the UCSD ID Fellowship in July 2019. 

During fellowship, Dr. Ramirez joined the laboratory of Shane Crotty, PhD, at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Her postdoctoral research is focused on adaptive immunity to COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2.  After fellowship, Dr. Ramirez hopes to continue a career in biomedical research and clinical ID practice, bridging the gap between the bench and the bedside, and forwarding our understanding of the interactions between viral pathogens and host immune responses in the context of viral infections and vaccination.


​Claudia Ramirez-Sanchez, MD

2nd Year Fellow 
ccramirezsanchez@health.ucsd.edu

Claudia Ramirez-Sanchez, MD is an Infectious Diseases Fellow at the University of California, San Diego completing her research years focused on Transplant Infectious Diseases. Originally from Santiago, Chile, she is a graduate from University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, fulfilled her Internal Medicine Residency at John H. Stroger Hospitals of Cook County and Rush University Medical Center Primary Care Residency, and has been an Infectious Diseases fellow at UC San Diego since 2019.

Dr. Ramirez-Sanchez has a passion for Transplant Infectious Diseases and multidrug resistant infections, currently studying the role of bacteriophages in increasingly difficult to treat infectious processes. She’s also studying the effect of fungal infections in lung and heart transplantation as well as Hepatitis C virus infection in transplant recipients from viremic donors.

In addition to infectious disease topics, Dr. Ramirez-Sanchez is interested in understanding disparities, inequities and implicit bias in our health care system.

Jocelyn Keehner, MD

2nd Year Fellow 
jkeehner@health.ucsd.edu

Jocelyn Keehner, MD professional interests include infection prevention and hospital epidemiology. Her research has focused primarily on occurrence of COVID infections in healthcare workers (HCW) and observing the impact of face masking, adequate PPE and vaccines on that population. Dr. Keehner is also involved in antibiotic stewardship through a QI project, in concert with the internal medicine and allergy departments, on improving beta lactam allergy assessment. She is also working on a project to assess the impact of Cannabidiol on improving post-covid anxiety and cognitive impairment.

Michael Tang, MD
3rd Year Fellow 
m1tang@health.ucsd.edu

Bio pending. 

Samuel Penziner, MD
3rd Year Fellow 
spenziner@health.ucsd.edu


Sam Penziner, MD obtained a B.A. in English literature from Yale University and an M.D. from NYU Medical School. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt before moving to UCSD for his fellowship in infectious diseases. He is interested in antibiotic resistance, virology, and phage therapy, and he currently conducts basic and translational research in the IPATH lab under Drs. David Pride and Robert "Chip" Schooley while collaborating with Dr. Nicole Steinmetz's lab in the department of nanoengineering. As a physician-researcher, he hopes to find ways to eventually develop phage therapy as a feasible alternative to antibiotics in the management of drug-resistant infections. 

Thaidra Gaufin, MD, PhD

3rd Year Fellow 
tgaufin@health.ucsd.edu

​Bio pending. 

Andrea Ramsey
, MD

3rd Year Fellow
aramsey@health.ucsd.edu

​Bio pending. 

Stephen Rawlings, MD, PhD

4th Year Fellow 
strawlings@health.ucsd.edu

Stephen Rawlings, MD, PhD, grew up in Connecticut and attended medical school at NYU before fleeing to warmer weather in Southern California. He completed his Internal Medicine Internship and Residency at UC San Diego before transitioning to the Infectious Diseases fellowship. His research mentors are Dr. Davey Smith and Dr. Sara Gianella. His PhD research involved interrogating HIV reservoirs in an in vitro model of HIV latency and this has dovetailed nicely with his work at the UCSD CFAR where he assists with the Last Gift study and revealing reservoirs in People with HIV. After the outbreak of COVID-19, he also assisted many research projects by recruiting clinical participants for studies run out of UCSD and affiliated with Scripps Translational Research Institute and The La Jolla Institute. His main research interests revolve around viral pathogenesis and immune responses to viral pathogens.


Alumni

After completing fellowship, our fellows have pursued both academic, private and community-based infectious diseases positions around the country and locally. Our fellowship has a strong track record of fellows obtaining academic faculty positions at UC San Diego.  Below are the past 5 years of graduating fellows and their current positions.

2021
Thomas Martin, MD: Infectious Diseases Physician, UC San Diego Health, San Diego, CA 

2020
Katya Prakash, MD: Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD
Katherine Promer, MD: Infectious Diseases Physician, UC San Diego Health and Palomar Health, San Diego, CA
Minji Kang, MD: Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX

2019
Sarah Burgdorf, MD, PhD: Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Lucy Horton, MD, MPH: Site Director, Asylum-Seekers Shelter Health Assessment Program, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Stephanie LaVergne, MD: Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Denver, Denver, CO
Melanie McCauley, MD: Research Physician, Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD

2018
Kevan Akrami, MD: Assistant Physician, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA

2017
Anne Cowell, MD:  Assistant Professor, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Jennifer Dan, MD, PhD:  Assistant Professor, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Susannah Graves, MD: Director, Tuberculosis Prevention and Control, City and County of San Francisco, Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Helen King, MD: Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX

2016
Monika Kumaraswamy, MD:  Assistant Professor, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Samuel Pan, MD: Infectious Disease Specialist, Alliance Medical Group – Waterbury Health, Waterbury, CT
Nella Green, MD: Infectious Disease Specialist, Palomar Health, Poway, CA
Jeffrey Jenks, MD: Associate Physician, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Shawn Koura, MD: Infectious Disease Specialist, Sharp Medical Center, Chula Vista, CA