Fellows in the Department of Neurology are trained and mentored by faculty who are recognized internationally as leaders in the field. We offer fellowship programs in 11 subspecialties and include research and clinical practice in eight practice locations, providing a rich, diverse experience. Meet our current Headache and Facial Pain Fellows. 

Barlas Benkli, MD

Barlas Benkli, MD

Barlas Benkli completed his medical training with full scholarship at Koç University School of Medicine in Istanbul, a Times Higher Education listed institution that places an emphasis on multidisciplinary research. During and after his medical school years he has acquired substantial research experience at University of California San Francisco and Columbia University. He acquired further basic science research experience at Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oxford, UK where he studied as a fully funded DPhil (PhD) student during the term 2017-2018 before starting his Neurology residency at University of Texas – Houston, one of nation's largest neurology programs. He served as a chief resident during his final year and received the annual "Excellence in Teaching" award. After his residency, he completed his interventional pain medicine fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University before the start of his Headache and Facial Pain fellowship at UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program. His clinical interests include headache medicine, and interventional management of spine pain.

Molly Fensterward, MD

Molly Fensterwald

Molly Fensterwald is a headache fellow at the UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program. Her path to neurology began as an undergraduate major in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior at UC Davis, where she was chosen as a Beckman Research Scholar in organic chemistry and graduated summa cum laude. She spent a post-graduate year working in a lab for Google Life Sciences, investigating the use of nanoparticles in cancer detection. Though rewarding, Molly felt a calling to become a doctor and pursued her MD at UC Davis School of Medicine. She completed her neurology residency at UCLA where she served as a chief resident. With an interest in teaching and education, she completed a Medical Education Fellowship through the David Geffen School of Medicine, implementing a project that incorporated simulation-based learning into the neurology residency curriculum for neurologic emergencies. Molly is captivated by the complexities of headache medicine and plans to pursue an academic career to further her contributions to medical education and clinical research. As a former club lacrosse All-American collegiate athlete, she is also an outdoor enthusiast who loves to hike, run, and explore new trails in the greater Los Angeles area.

Karla Minota, MD

Karla Minota

Karla was born and raised in Colombia. She completed her medical school training at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota. After medical school, she completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. There, she focused on translational research in autonomic disorders and worked to develop CSF biomarkers as diagnostic tools for alpha-synucleinopathies. Her journey then led her to sunny Southern California, where she successfully completed her neurology training at UCLA. Throughout this period, she had the opportunity to work with patients from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and witnessed firsthand the challenges and barriers that vulnerable populations encounter within the medical system. This experience inspired her to serve as a co-lead for the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative at UCLA, where she pioneered the creation of a health equity curriculum for neurology residents. Her clinical interests include headache medicine, neurology education and health equity. She is currently a first year fellow at the UCLA Goldberg Migraine program, and she looks forward to a career focused on improving access to comprehensive headache care for all.


Fatima Traore, MD

Fatima Traore

Fatima Traoré’s fascination for the brain and nervous system started at Pomona College where she majored in Neurosciences. During her gap years, she honed her clinical research skills managing clinical trials for a medical device technology company.  While pursuing her M.D. at New York Medical College, she was selected as one of ten minority scholars by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). This experience cemented her commitment to clinical neurology. She completed neurology residency at UCLA where she served as one of 3 chief residents during her final year.  Her clinical interests include education, mentorship, headache medicine, and global neurology.  Throughout her career, Dr Traoré has been heavily involved in teaching and mentoring medical students, international students and minorities from all backgrounds. As a clinician educator, she designed and led the implementation of UCLA’s first resident lumbar puncture clinic that has provided structured training to junior neurology residents. In 2022, she received the Excellence in Teaching with Humanism award from David Geffen School of Medicine.  She is now completing her final year of fellowship at UCLA Golberg migraine program.

Previous Graduates of the UCLA Headache and Facial Pain Fellowship

* completed UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT fellowship

** completed Interventional Pain training 


Shawn Conger- Love, MD**  - Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Neurology

Maria Pia Grant Tejada* - Associate Physician, Pediatric Neurology


Peony Pak, MD** - Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Neurology

Sinifunanya Nwaobi, MD, PhD - Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Neurology


Karen Morgenshtern Yacoby, MD - The Queen’s Medical Center, Hawaii 

Katherine Podraza, MD, PhD - University of Connecticut, CT


Dorothy Dada, MD, PhD* - Providence St John’s Physician Partners, Santa Monica, CA


Joshua Kamins, MD* - Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Neurology


Chelsea Hesterman, MD - Associate Professor, UCLA Department of Neurology


Mollie M. Johnston, MD** - Associate Professor, UCLA Department of Neurology


Marisa Chang, MD** - Neurological Associates of West LA; Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Neurology