First Year Fellows

Katie was born in raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she completed she her undergraduate degree in in chemical engineering and graduated summa cum laude. During that time, she was involved in basic science research aimed at the development of a targeted delivery nanoparticle for the delivery of various therapeutics to cancer and infectious diseases. She remained in Albuquerque for medical school, where she explored interests in quality improvement and patient safety. She was inducted into the AOA and Gold Humanism Society. Katie left the southwest to complete combined Internal-Medicine and Pediatrics residency and the University of Michigan. She hopes to incorporate her pediatrics training in the future by working with a transitional population of young adults with chronic lung disease as they transition from pediatric to adult providers. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, and exploring new beaches with her dog, Winston.  
  • 2009 – 2013: BS, Chemical Engineering, University of New Mexico
  • 2014 – 2018: MD, University of New Mexico School of Medicine
  • 2018 – 2022: Internal Medicine- Pediatrics Residency, University of Michigan
  • Pediatric to adult transitions of care
  • Chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure
  • ICU deconditioning
  1. Ashley CE, Carnes EC, Epler KE, et al. Delivery of Small Interfering RNA by Peptide-Targeted Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticle-Supported Lipid Bilayers. ACS Nano. 2012;6(3):2174-2188. doi:10.1021/nn204102q
  2. Epler KE, Padilla D, Phillips G, et al. Delivery of Ricin Toxin A-Chain by Peptide-Targeted Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticle-Supported Lipid Bilayers. Advanced Healthcare Materials. 2012;1(3):348-353. doi:10.1002/adhm.201200022
  3. Epler KE, Pierce A, Rappaport VJ. Pica in Pregnancy: An Unusual Presentation. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2017;130(6):1377-1379. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000002365
  4. Gorvetzian, JW; Epler KE; Schrader, et al. Operating Room Staff and Surgeon Documentation Curriculum Improves Wound Classification Accuracy. Heliyon 2018; 4(8) e00728. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00728
  5. Epler KE, Lenhan B, O’Callaghan T, Painter N, Troost J, Barrett J, Jacobson E. If Your Heart Were to Stop: Characterization and Comparison of Code Status Orders in Adult Patients Admitted with COVID-19. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 202. Doi: 10.1089/jpm.2021.0486  

Erica was born and raised in San Diego, California. She moved to the east coast to complete a dual undergraduate degree in Biology and Community Health at Tufts University in Boston where she graduated magna cum laude. She then moved to Miami where she earned both an MD and an MPH at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. During medical school she received the Alving Endowed Award for her research on improving screening rates for Hepatitis C Virus.  She was thrilled to return home to San Diego for her internal medicine residency at UC San Diego. During residency she realized her enthusiasm for pulmonary and critical care and conducted research on health disparities in asthma exacerbations and became interested in sleep in the ICU. Once again, she was ecstatic to match at UC San Diego for fellowship. Outside of the hospital, Erica enjoys running, cooking, hiking, taking road trips to Mexico and traveling.
  • 2010-2014: BS, Biology and Community Health, Tufts University
  • 2015-2019:  MD and MPH, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • 2019-2022: Internal Medicine Residency, UC San Diego
  • Health disparities in Asthma
  • Sleep in the ICU
  • Post-ICU care
  • Palliative care in the ICU
  1. Duthely LM, Carungo JA, Suthumphong CY, Feldman EB, Potter JE. Vaginal Dysplasia and HIV: An African American and Caribbean Cohort Study. Interdisciplinary Perspectives of Infectious Disease. 2019:   doi: 10.1155/2019/6189837 
  2. Feldman DI, Robinson WT, Pacor JM, Caddell LC, Feldman EB, Deitz RL, Feldman T, Martin SS, Nasir K, Blaha MJ. Harnessing mHealth technologies to increase physical activity and prevent cardiovascular disease. Journal of Clinical Cardiology. 2018: doi: 10.1002/clc.22968 
  3. Feldman EB, Balise R, Schiff E, Whitehead N, Thomas E. Barriers to Hepatitis C Screening in a Minority Population: A Comparison of Hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Screening Rates at a Community STD Clinic in Miami, FL. Journal of Community Health. 2017: doi: 10.1007/s10900-017-0335-6. 
  4. Hoshide R, Feldman E, Nayaran A, Taylor N. A Novel, Minimally-Invasive Approach to Repair Degenerative Disk Disease in an Ovine Model Using Injectable Polymethyl-Methacrylate and Bovine Collagen (PMMA/BC). Cureus. 2016: doi: 10.7759/cureus.729 
  5. Hoshide R, Feldman E, Gabel BC, Taylor N, Gharib J, Lee YP, Taylor W. Novel Transabadominal Motor Action Potential (TaMAP) Neuromonitoring System for Spinal Surgery. Cureus. 2016: doi: 10.7759/cureus.655 
  6. Hoshide R, Feldman E, Taylor W. Cadaveric Analysis of the Kambin’s Triangle. Cureus. 2014: doi: 10.7759/cureus.475 
  7. Lobo D, Feldman EB, Shah M, Malone TJ, Levin M. A bioinformatics expert system linking functional data to anatomical outcomes in limb regeneration. Regeneration. 2014: doi:10.1002/reg2.13. 
  8. Lobo D, Feldman EB, Shah M, Malone TJ, Levin M. Limbform: a functional ontology-based database of limb regeneration experiments. Bioinformatics. 2014: doi 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu582  

Ana Lucia Fuentes 

Dr. Fuentes was originally born in Arequipa, Peru, but immigrated to California with her family at a young age. She received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Loyola Marymount University, where she also played division I tennis. During this time, she developed a research interest in amyloid, and studied the effects of protein (IAPP) aggregation in diabetes.  She then moved to the East Coast to complete her medical school education. During her time in New Jersey, she pursued research focusing on the signaling pathways involved in severe asthma. She then came back to the best coast to complete her internal medicine residency at UC San Diego. It was there that she discovered her passion for pulmonary and critical care and became involved in research within the field. She was a winner at the UCSD Research Symposium for her work involving neutrophil extracellular trap formation in patients with COVID-19 and was invited to present at the internal medicine grand rounds. In her free time, Ana Lucia enjoys running, hiking, backpacking, and traveling. 
  • 2011-2015: Loyola Marymount University, BS in Biochemistry           
  • 2015-2019: Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, MD
  • 2019-2022: University of California San Diego, Internal Medicine Residency
  • Inhalant induced lung injury
  • Healthcare disparities in the ICU (and chronic pulmonary diseases)
  • Pulmonary hypertension 
  1. Fuentes AL, Crotty Alexander LE. Beware, vaping e-cigarettes around children is adversely impacting their lung health. Thorax. 2022 Jul;77(7):638-639. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2021-218168. Epub 2022 Jan 10. PMID: 35012999.
  2. Fuentes, A. & Crotty Alexander, L. Health effects, short and long term. In K. Wilson & S. Walley (Eds.), Electronic Cigarettes and Vape Devices: A Comprehensive Guide for Clinicians and Health Professionals. Springer.
  3. Fuentes, A., Hennessy, K., Pascual, J., Pepe, N., & Santiago, A. (2016). Identification of Plant Extracts that Inhibit the Formation of Diabetes-Linked IAPP Amyloid. Journal of Herbal Medicine, 6(1), 37-41.
  4. Ojiaku, C. A., Chung, E., Parikh, V., Williams, J. K., Schwab, A., Fuentes, A. L., … Panettieri, R. A. (2019). Transforming Growth Factor-β1 Decreases β2-Agonist–induced Relaxation in Human Airway Smooth Muscle. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology61(2), 209–218. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2018-0301oc
  5. Chopyk, .J,  Bojanowski C.M, Shin J., Moshensky, A., Fuentes A., Bonde, S.S., Chuki, D., Pride, D., Crotty Alexander, L. Compositional differences in the oral microbiome of e-cigarette users. Frontiers in Microbiology. Accepted April 26, 2021.
  6. Masso-Silva JA, Moshensky A, Lam MTY, Odish M, Patel A, Xu L, Hansen E, Trescott S, Nguyen C, Kim R, Perofsky K, Perera S, Ma L, Pham J, Rolfsen M, Olay J, Shin J, Dan JM, Abbott R, Ramirez S, Alexander TH, Lin GY, Fuentes AL, Advani I, Gunge D, Pretorius V, Malhotra A, Sun X, Duran J, Hepokoski M, Crotty S, Coufal NG, Meier A and Crotty Alexander LE. Increased peripheral blood neutrophil activation phenotypes and NETosis in critically ill COVID-19 patients: a case series and review of the literature. Clinical Infectious Diseases. Accepted on May 7, 2021

Stephanie Mergen 

Stephanie was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She then moved to Upstate New York where she graduated summa cum laude from St. Lawrence University. After commissioning in the U.S. Army in 2015, Stephanie returned to New York for medical school at the University of Rochester. She moved to Texas to complete Emergency Medicine residency at San Antonio Military Medical Center where she received multiple Army Achievement Medals for academics. Her clinical interests include point-of-care ultrasound, palliative and end-of-life care, austere and tactical medicine, and the multidisciplinary care team approach in healthcare.  In her free time, Stephanie enjoys reading, hiking, being outdoors, and spending time with her dog.
  • 2010-2014: BS, Psychology and Estudios Hispánicos, St. Lawerence University, Canton, NY
  • 2015-2019: MD, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY
  • 2019-2022: Emergency Medicine Residency, San Antonio Military Medical Center, Ft. Sam Houston, TX
  • Point-of-care ultrasound
  • End-of-life care
  • Multidisciplinary team care in medicine
  1. Mergen S, Long B, Matlock A. Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome: a narrative review for emergency clinicians. Journal of Emergency Medicine 2021 Dec; 61(6):666-673. PMID: 34696929

Michael Miller

Michael grew up on an apple orchard in Maryland and was an avid soccer player before starting undergraduate studies in Biology at the University of Chicago. During college, he worked in a lab and also began participating in clinical research. After college, he helped start and manage a COPD readmission reduction program in Chicago. He then moved back to charming Maryland for medical school at the University of Maryland. While there he worked on various point-of-care ultrasound projects and ML trauma investigations. He started shifting West for internal medicine residency at UPMC in Pittsburgh, PA. While there he hit the bench investigating the role of mitochondrial proteins in cellular senescence driving the development of IPF. He is thrilled to be joining a group of smart and friendly clinicians and investigators at UCSD for pulmonary and critical care fellowship. As a new West Coaster, he enjoys wearing ugly sun hats to walk his goldendoodle puppy, Scooter, and enjoys all the delicious cuisine that San Diego’s various neighborhoods have to offer.
  • 2009-2014: University of Chicago; BA Biological Sciences with specialization in Neuroscience
  • 2015-2019: University of Maryland School of Medicine; MD
  • 2019-2022: UPMC; Internal Medicine Residency
  • Extracorporeal life support
  • Cellular senescence
  • Heart-lung interactions
  • Pulmonary vascular disease
  1. Miller, M. A., Britton, N., Safadi, S., Siegel, A., Levine, A. R., & McCurdy, M. T. . Tele-Ultrasound in Resource-Limited Settings: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Public Health. (2019); 7(1): 244.

Danielle Munce

Danielle was born and raised in the Bay Area, completing her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley. She first made the trek from sunny Northern California to sunnier San Diego for medical school in 2012. She graduated from UCSD School of Medicine with academic honors including AMWA’s Glasgow-Rubin Academic Achievement Award. Danielle stayed at UCSD to complete her combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency and was awarded the Excellence in Leadership award by her graduating Internal Medicine class. Danielle was then selected to serve as one of the Internal Medicine Chief residents where she led the Advancing Women in Medicine curriculum and Resident Wellness Program. Danielle is now pursuing a combined Adult-Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship at UCSD/Rady Children’s. Prior to transitioning to her adult pulmonary years, Danielle completed a year of pediatric pulmonary fellowship where she was voted “Fellow of the Year” by the pediatric residents. Her career interests include transitions of care from pediatric to adult health-care systems, medical education, interstitial lung disease, and pulmonary embryology/development. Outside of the hospital she enjoys running along the beach, hiking, and playing beach games.
  • 2007-2011: BA, Molecular and Cellular Biology-Neurobiology, UC Berkeley, Berkeley CA
  • 2012-2016: MD, UC San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego CA
  • 2016-2020: Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency, UC San Diego, San Diego CA
  • 2020-2021: Internal Medicine Chief Resident, UC San Diego, San Diego CA
  • Transitions of Care 
  • Pulmonary Embryology and Development 
  • Interstitial Lung Disease 
  • Immunology 
  1. Munce D, Lim M, Akong K. Persistent recovery of pancreatic function in patients with cystic fibrosis after ivacaftor.Pediatr Pulmonol.2020;55(12):33381-3383 

Janna Raphelson 

Janna is a born Midwesterner from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She completed her undergraduate studies at University of Michigan where she was a Phi Beta Kappa honor society member. She then set off for Canada to attend her dream medical school, McGill University. While in Montreal she learned French and by the end of her four years could speak to patients and watch the Avengers in la belle langue française. She moved to beautiful San Diego for residency where she began clinical research on suspected obesity hypoventilation syndrome in patients undergoing bariatric surgery.  She also pursued the Residents As Clinical Educators track at UCSD and developed her passion for physical exam and other bedside teaching. She hopes to develop a critical care core curriculum for resident learners. In regards to future research, she is thrilled to have been selected as a 2022-23 ATS ASPIRE fellow and will continue to pursue clinical research in the areas of sleep medicine and pulmonary disease in obesity.
  • 2011-2015: University of Michigan
  • 2015-2019: McGill University Medical School
  • 2019-2022: University of California San Diego Internal Medicine Residency
  • Obesity and Pulmonary Disease
  • Sleep Medicine and Respiratory Mechanics
  • Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome

  • Raphelson JR, Schmickl CN, Sonners C, Kreitinger K, Grunvald E, Horgan S, Malhotra A. Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome and Postsurgical Outcomes in a Bariatric Surgery Cohort. Obes Surg. 2022 May 11. doi: 10.1007/s11695-022-06073-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35538187.
  • Raphelson JR, Kreitinger KY, Malhotra A. Positive Airway Pressure Therapy in Sleep-Disordered Breathing. Neurotherapeutics. 2021 Jan;18(1):75-80. doi: 10.1007/s13311-020-00971-x. Epub 2020 Nov 23. PMID: 33230691; PMCID: PMC8116368.
  • Kreitinger KY, Lui MMS, Owens RL, Schmickl CN, Grunvald E, Horgan S, Raphelson JR, Malhotra A. Screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea in a Diverse Bariatric Surgery Population. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Nov;28(11):2028-2034. doi: 10.1002/oby.23021. PMID: 33150742; PMCID: PMC7760780.

Megan was born and raised in Roswell, New Mexico. She attended University of Southern California, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and minored in Public Health and East Asian Languages & Cultures. She then moved across town to attend medical school at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Megan stayed at UCLA to complete her residency training in internal medicine and received the Excellence in Teaching with Humanism Residents and Fellows Award. She went on to serve an additional year as a Chief Resident and completed a Medical Education Fellowship, where she helped establish a longitudinal point-of-care ultrasound curriculum for the internal medicine residency program. Some of her general career interests include pulmonary hypertension and post-ICU recovery. Outside of the hospital, Megan enjoys staying active and spending time outdoors, including running, playing Spikeball, and stand-up paddleboarding.
  • 2010-2014: B.A., Biological Sciences, University of Southern California
  • 2010-2014: M.D., Dvaid Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles 
  • 2018-2021: Internal Medicine Residency, University of California Los Angeles
  • 2021-2022: Internal Medicine Chief Resident, University of California Los Angeles
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Critical care outcomes
  • Post-ICU care
  • Medical education
  1. Rahaghi FN, Trieu M, Shaikh F, Diaz AA, Liang L, Barjaktarevic I, Channick RN, Estépar RSJ, Washko GR, Saggar R. Evolution of obstructive lung function in advanced pulmonary arterial hypertension. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2021;

Show additional content areas below