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First Year Fellow

Dr. Anna Astashchanka was originally born in Minsk, Belarus and immigrated to the Denver, Colorado at the age of 8. She received her undergraduate and graduate in her home state of Colorado, being selected as a member of the first cohort of the University of Colorado BA/BS-MD Program. In college, Anna worked with the School of Public Health to research cancer epidemiology. During her time in medical school, she continued to pursue oncologic research focused on breast cancer cell biology, which earned her several awards including the Neil and Catherine Hamilton Award for excellence in research. After a lifetime of being landlocked, Anna migrated to the West Coast to complete her residency in Internal Medicine at University of California San Diego. During residency, she shifted her focus to pulmonary/critical care medicine, where she was engaged in research in pulmonary hypertension and CTEPH. Her academic interests include pulmonary hypertension and End-of-Life Care, both inside and outside the ICU. In her free time, Anna enjoys writing fiction, going to the beach, and taking weekend trips to enjoy everything Southern California has to offer.
  • 2010-2014: University of Colorado (Denver, CO), BS in Psychology with minors in Astrophysics and Interdisciplinary Research Methods
  • 2014-2018: University of Colorado School of Medicine - MD
  • 2018-2021: University of California San Diego, Internal Medicine Residency
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  •  End-of-Life Care
  • Delirium in the ICU
  1. Astashchanka, A.; Ryan, J.; Lin, E.; Nokes, B.; Jamieson, C.; Kligerman, S.; Malhotra, A.; Mandel, J.; Joshua, J. Pulmonary Complications in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients—A Clinician Primer. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 3227. doi: 10.3390/jcm10153227
  2.  Astashchanka, A, Fernandes, T, Papamatheakis, DG, et al. Risk factors and outcomes for patients requiring repeat thromboendarterectomy. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2020; 201: A6065.
  3.  Astashchanka, A., Shroka, T., Jacobsen, M.B., (2018). Mucin 2 (MUC2) modulates the aggressiveness of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2018 Oct 13. doi: 10.1007/s10549-018-4989-2. 

Aaron Birch





  • 2001-2004: University of California San Diego, BS
  • 2006-2010: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, MD
  • 2006-2010: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, MD
  • 2011-2014: Madigan Army Medical Center, Emergency Medicine Residency
  • 2018-2019: Madigan Army Medical Center, Austere and Wilderness Medicine Fellowship
  • Wilderness Medicine
  • Medical Education
  1. Hile L, Birch A, Walrath J, Hile D. Altitude Illness on Mount Rainier—Incidence and Climber’s Cognizance. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, December 2015 Volume 26, Issue 4, Page e1   
Hile D, Walrath J, Birch A, Hile L. Reliance on Technology Among Climbers on Mount Rainier. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, December 2015 Volume 26, Issue 4, Page e1  
Birch A, Um D, Laselle B. Ultrasound detection of superior vena cava thrombus as a cause of superior vena cava syndrome. West J Emerg Med. 2014   
Birch A, Walsh R, Davita D. Unique Mechanism of Chance Fracture in a Young Adult Male. West J Emerg Med. 2013

Alex Cypro



Alex was born in Prague, Czech Republic, and immigrated to the U.S. in elementary school. Eventually settling in Washington State, he went to UW for undergrad and medical school. In college, Alex conducted basic science research, including cell culture, immunohistochemistry, and fluorescent microscopy on projects related to mechanisms of aging. During medical school, he switched his focus to retrospective observation patient studies and was awarded a student research grant from the American Nephrology Society studying the incidence of acute kidney injury. For residency, Alex decided to try a new place while staying on the best coast. He completed his residency at UCSD and went on to serve as a VA Chief Medical Resident in Quality and Safety. Alex was fascinated by critical care and pulmonary medicine throughout medical school and residency. He conducted clinical outcome research of patients with lung cancer in residency. He chose UCSD for fellowship for the phenomenal clinical training, supportive program leadership, and varied research opportunities. Alex spends his free time cycling, adventure traveling and exploring the great outdoors. He and his high-school-sweetheart-now-wife Caitlin also just adopted two little kittens.
  • 2008-2012: University of Washington, BS in Neurobiology
  • 2013-2017: University of Washington, MD
  • 2017-2020: UC San Diego, Internal Medicine Residency
  • 2020-2021: UC San Diego, VA Chief Medical Resident in Quality and Safety
  • Lung cancer
  • Pulmonary vascular disease
  • Critical care outcomes
  • Medical education
  1. Cypro A, McGuire WC, Rolfsen M, Jones N, Shah NG, Cribbs SK, Kaul V, Bojanowski CM,Pedraza I, Lynch L, Guzman L, Larsson E, Crotty Alexander LE. An International Virtual COVID-19 Critical Care Training Forum for Healthcare Workers. ATS Scholar. 2021 Jun;2(2):278–286.
  2. Hogan N, Cypro A, Malhotra A. The Complex Relationship Between Poor Sleep Quality and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Clinical Pulmonary Medicine. 2020 Dec;27(6):168-174.
  3. Bechtold D, Salvatierra GG, Bulley E, Cypro A, Daratha KB. Geographic Variation in Treatment and Outcomes Among Patients With AMI: Investigating Urban-Rural Differences Among Hospitalized Patients. J Rural Health. 2017 Apr;33(2):158-166.
  4. Saha B, Cypro A, Martin GM, Oshima J. Rapamycin decreases DNA damage accumulation and enhances cell growth of WRN-deficient human fibroblasts. Aging Cell. 2014 Jun;13(3):573-5.

Rocky Fox



Rocky was born and raised in sunny San Diego before enlisting in the US Navy at the age of 22. After 6 years working as a nuclear power plant operator onboard the USS Henry M. Jackson out of Bangor Washington he returned to San Diego for undergraduate and graduate studies at UCSD. He then went onto medical school at Western University of Health Sciences on the Air Force health professions scholarship before completing residency at San Antonio Military Medical Center. Rocky enjoys distance running, rock climbing, playing music (piano and guitar), and hanging out with his son, Aiden.
  • 2008 – 2012: University of California San Diego, Warren College, Bachelor of Science Human Biology, Cum Laude
  • 2014: University of California San Diego, Masters of Science in Biology with emphasis in Neuroscience
  • 2015 – 2018: Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine May
  • 2018 – 2021: Internal Medicine Residency, San Antonio
  • Intervention pulmonology
  • ECMO
  • Critical Care
  1. Sadegh Nabavi*, Rocky Fox*, Christophe D. Proulx, Jon Y. Lin, Roger Y. Tsien and Roberto Malinow. Engineering a memory with LTD and LTP”, Nature, July 2014
  2. Sadegh Nabavi, Rocky Fox, Stephanie Alfonso, Jonathan Aow and Roberto Malinow. “GluA1 trafficking and metabotropic NMDA: addressing results from other laboratories inconsistent with ours”, Phil Trans B, December 2013
  3. Sadegh Nabavi, Helmut Kessels, Stephanie Alfonso, Jonathan Aow, Rocky Fox, and Roberto Malinow. “ Metabotropic NMDA receptor function is required for NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression”, PNAS, November 2012

Nicholas Hogan



Nick grew up in Northborough, Massachusetts and attended the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate studies, graduating with a B.A. in Molecular Biology and a minor in Economics. He continued his education in the Northeast, entering medical school at the University of Rochester where he also took advantage of Rochester’s Medical Humanities Pathway to study the architectural history of American medical schools. However, he soon felt the call of the West. During medical school he undertook a year-long Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellowship and came to UCSD to study transcriptional regulation of endothelial cell biology and inflammation in the lab of Dr. Christopher Glass. Nick left his research year enamored with the city of San Diego and the culture of UCSD, and after graduating medical school was thrilled to return to pursue his residency here in Internal Medicine. After residency he spent a year as a hospitalist at Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas and is now equally as thrilled to return to UCSD for fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care. He has clinical and research interests in the role of inflammation in various aspects of pulmonary disease, including asthma and acute lung injury, and looks forward to refining these interests throughout fellowship. A former sprinter during high school, he loves to run on San Diego’s many picturesque coastal routes—notably without the fear of frostbite. He’s also an avid football and baseball fan and enjoys catching a game, especially when the Red Sox come to town every couple years.
  • 2008-2012: University of Pennsylvania, B.A. in Molecular Biology and minor in Economics
  • 2012-2017: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • 2017-2020: Internal Medicine Residency at UC San Diego
  • Genomics
  • Immunology
  • Asthma
  • Acute Lung Injury
  • Medical History
  1. Hogan NT, Whalen MB, Stolze LK, Hadeli NK, Lam MT, Springstead JR, Glass CK, and Romanoski CE. “Transcriptional networks specifying homeostatic and inflammatory programs of gene expression in human aortic endothelial cells”. Garber M, ed. eLife. 2017;6:e22536. doi:10.7554/eLife.22536.
  2. Hogan N, Cypro A, Malhotra A. “The Complex Relationship Between Poor Sleep Quality and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”. Niederman, M, ed. Clinical Pulmonary Medicine. 2020, 27: 168-174. Review.

Alisha Kabadi



Alisha was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. In an effort to escape the rainy weather, Alisha ventured down to sunny California, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Studies at University of Southern California. After college, she spent a year at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, working in phase I and II clinical trials for monoclonal antibody treatments for HIV disease and a dose-dependent vaccine for Malaria. She attended Temple University School of Medicine, where she received multiple awards, including the 1st place Sol Sherry Award for Excellence in Research. Alisha returned to California to complete her residency in Internal Medicine at UCSD. Her interests rapidly changed during her pulmonary and ICU rotations, and she pursued studies assessing risk factors for massive hemoptysis in patients with CTEPH. Her career passions include pulmonary embolism, interstitial lung disease, hemodynamics in critically ill patients and preventative medicine. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling and cooking elaborate meals.
  • 2009-2013: BS, Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Studies, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2014-2018: MD, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2018-2021: Internal Medicine Residency, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA
  • Pulmonary embolism/pulmonary vascular disease
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Hemodynamics in critically ill patients
  • Preventative medicine
  1. Kabadi A, Saadi M, Schey R, Parkman HP. Taste and Smell Disturbances in Patients with Gastroparesis and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 2017;23(3):370-377.
  2. Ledgerwood JE, Hu Z, Costner P, Yamshchikov G, Enama ME, Plummer S, Hendel CS, Holman L, Larkin B, Gordon I, Bailer RT, Poretz DM, Sarwar U, Kabadi A, Koup R, Mascola JR, Graham BS. Phase I Clinical Evaluation of Seasonal Influenza Hemagglutinin (HA) DNA Vaccine Prime Followed by Trivalent Influenza Inactivated Vaccine (IIV3) Boost. Contemp Clin Trials. 2015;44:112-118
  3. Chang LJ, et al. Safety and tolerability of chikungunya virus-like particle vaccine in healthy adults: a phase 1 dose-escalation trial. Lancet. 2014:384(9959):2046-52


Nicholas Leverone



Nick grew up in Fairfax, Virginia and traveled all over his home state to complete his undergraduate, master's, and medical school training. While in medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University he was inducted into both the Gold Humanism and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Societies. He then made the transcontinental trip out to San Diego to do his internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Diego where he did clinical research focused on hypereosinophilia and eosinophilic lung disease. Nick was then selected as a Chief Medical Resident at where he helped advance the point-of-care ultrasound curriculum and spent time researching critical care education through Tele-ICU. His career interests include point-of-care ultrasound, medical education, and trying to figure out what aspect of pulmonary and critical care medicine he loves most! When outside the hospital Nick spends his time hitting the beach, exploring San Diego's various coffee shops, practicing his language skills (currently Japanese), or swimming to stay fit.
  • 2008-2011: BS, Biology & Biochemistry, Virginia Polytechnic and State University
  • 2011-2013: MS, Biology, George Mason University
  • 2013-2017: MD, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine
  • 2017-2020: UC San Diego, Internship and Residency, Internal Medicine
  • 2020-2021: UC San Diego, Chief Medical Resident
  • 2021-2024: UC San Diego, Fellowship, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
  • Pulmonary Hypertension 
  • Advanced Lung Disease
  • Critical Care Point-of-care 
  • Ultrasound
  • Medical Education
Leverone NA, Ramnath VR, Munce D, Raphelson JR, Ma J, Akuthota P, et al. Critical care education in a pandemic through tele-ICU. ATS Scholar 2021;2:29-33"

Alyssa Self



Alyssa grew up in Denver, CO and moved to Rhode Island to attend Brown University, where she earned a BS in Biology and graduated with honors. She returned to Colorado for medical school at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. While in medical school she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and received multiple awards, including the American College of Physicians Award. She then ventured to the Midwest to complete her internal medicine training at Washington University in St. Louis, where she stayed for an additional year as a Chief Resident. Her research in residency focused on pulmonary arterial hypertension in patients with connective tissue disease. Some of her general career interests include pulmonary vascular disease, physician burnout, and interstitial lung disease. Outside of the hospital she enjoys travel, yoga, hiking, and the San Diego sunshine.
  • 2009-2013: BS Biology, Brown University, Providence, RI
  • 2013-2017: MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO
  • 2017-2020: Internal Medicine Residency, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO
  • 2020-2021: Internal Medicine Chief Resident, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO
  • Pulmonary vascular disease
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Medical education

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