We are proud to train top residents from around the world, representing 4 continents and 14 states. We provide them an experience that combines clinical care with research opportunities, an understanding of all neurological subspecialties, as well as more in-depth training in specific programs of their choosing. Our department is stronger thanks to their dedication to our patients and their commitment to improve treatments and cure neurological disease.


Nahayo Esperant-Hilaire, MD


Nahayo Esperant-Hilaire, MD
3rd Year Resident

My name is Nahayo Esperant-Hilaire. I am from Wheaton, IL, but grew up in the central African great lakes region. My family and I moved to the United States in 2008. I attended Wheaton North High School in Wheaton, IL, graduating from Wheaton College with a BS in Biology. After college, I moved to Morro Bay, CA and became a CNA while preparing to matriculate into medical school. I returned to Illinois to pursue my goal to become a physician and attended SIU School of Medicine. After graduation I researched Alzheimer disease at my alma mater. I am currently finishing my preliminary year in internal medicine at Northside Hospital in Lawrenceville, GA.
I have observed that neurology is a less represented specialty in underdeveloped countries. This became evident after spending a week in La Merced, Peru, volunteering on a medical mission service trip. It was devastating to see patients being sent away without any treatment because of the lack of infrastructure and shortage of neurologists. My ambition is to become a top-notch neurologist and work on bringing neurology expertise to underserved areas around the globe. I am fortunate to have been accepted into one of the most recognized neurology residency programs in the country, here at UCLA.
I have five brothers and two sisters. Most of my siblings reside in the USA, and the rest live in Australia. I enjoy bicycling, volleyball, and soccer. I have visited many national parks and the one I enjoyed the most was Yellowstone. My favorite food is ceviche.



Leonard Brian Hickman, MD, MSCI
3rd Year Resident

Brian grew up in Northern Indiana and went to the University of Notre Dame for undergrad, where he studied psychology. He attended Washington University in St. Louis for medical school, where he found his interests in neurology, coffee, and camping in the Ozarks. He also happened to meet his future wife across the dissection table in Anatomy. He performed research on EEG activity during states of unconsciousness, including during general anesthesia and following seizures, as a TL1 grant scholar. In addition to graduating from medical school as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society, he earned a master’s degree in clinical research. He completed his intern year in internal medicine at the University of California, Irvine, where his wife is an OB/GYN resident. In his free time, he enjoys reading sci-fi and history, hiking in national parks, running, and traveling to new places to scuba dive.



Phat Huynh, MD, PhD
3rd Year Resident

Phat was born and raised in Nha Trang, a tropical paradise in the central coast of Vietnam. His immediate family moved to Orange County when he was 14 where he attended high school and dreamed to become an architect. However, the stark contrast in health disparities between the United States and his home country that Phat observed on a home visit prompted him to look into a career in medicine where he thought he could make a greater impact. Phat attended UCLA as an undergraduate with a major in Molecular biology and a minor in biomedical research, where he first discovered his love for the latter. Phat pursued several independent research projects in the Teplow lab studying the role of protein misfolding in the context of Alzheimer disease. Phat’s interests in the field of neurodegeneration led him to attend the MD-PhD program at Washington University in St. Louis, where he completed a PhD thesis in the laboratory of David M. Holtzman, a leader in the field. Phat’s research interests include the role of apolipoprotein E in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease and the potential of antisense oligonucleotides as a therapeutic revenue for neurodegenerative diseases. Phat is a proud bruin, and he is thrilled to be back in southern California to pursue neurology residency at UCLA. He plans to pursue an academic career as a physician-scientist. In his spare time, you can find him shredding on the slopes at Big Bear or Mammoth in the Winter, or falling off his surfboard at San Onofre in the Summer. He occasionally enjoys more mundane activities such as hiking, camping, and cooking (mostly Vietnamese food).




Thanh-Liem (TL) Huynh-Tran, MD
3rd Year Resident

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Thanh-Liem “TL” Huynh-Tran majored in Biology at Stanford University. He then returned to southern California to attend the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. There he developed an interest in medical education and was involved in the teaching fellowship program for medical students, mentorship programs for undergraduates, and the Los Angeles chapter of the International Brain Bee for high school students. In his free time, he enjoys wine tasting, restoring leather products, creating food sculptures, and playing with other people’s pets.

Jenny Lee


Jenny Lee, MD
3rd Year Resident

Jenny was born in San Diego, CA, and grew up in South Korea until age 19. She then came back to the U.S. and attended Emory University. She double majored in Biology and Educational Studies and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 2016. Jenny then moved to Chicago to receive her medical degree in 2020 from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, where she became a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society. She will have completed PGY-1 at the University of California Los Angeles, and she is excited to explore various fields of neurology in the upcoming years. Jenny always wanted to be a physician, and her interest in neurology sparked when her grandmother suffered from a stroke. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking (mostly Korean food), and traveling. She de-stresses by watching Netflix/YouTube, taking care of her plants, and writing diaries every day.

Tirth Patel


Tirth Patel, MD, PhD
3rd Year Resident

"I caught the neurology bug as an undergraduate student here at UCLA. I was fortunate to be a part of the Student Stroke Team (steadfast motto "Time is brain") for three years.  I had the amazing opportunity to get involved in the care of acute stroke patients, which fostered my passion in neurology. I then took this newfound passion and interest with me to  Washington University in St. Louis. I joined the MD/PhD program there, obtaining my PhD in the laboratory of Dr. David Holtzman. My work focused on the role of tau protein on pathogenesis and therapeutics of Alzheimer disease and other forms of neurodegeneration. After almost a decade away from sunny southern California, I am excited to be back at UCLA (time, flat circle etc etc). Outside of work I am a big fan of biking, reading, watching sports, playing video games, and devouring chicken tenders."


Nolan Pearson, MD, MM


Nolan Pearson, MD, MM
3rd Year Resident

Nolan grew up in suburban Dallas/Fort Worth. He then attended Oberlin College in Ohio, where he split his time between the science library, the practice rooms, and the only bar in town while completing a double degree in Piano Performance and Biochemistry. After a gap year spent working as a caregiver for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease, Nolan relocated to Evanston, Illinois to complete a Master of Music at Northwestern studying with the inimitable Ursula Oppens. He remained at NU as an Instructor while pursuing a performance career for several years, bopping around from Hong Kong to Banff to Istanbul to play beautiful music with wonderful colleagues. He meanwhile began volunteering at a free health clinic in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village and fell in love with patient care. After much soul-searching, he embarked on a new adventure, and attended the University of Michigan Medical School where he received the Dean’s Commendation for the Art of Medicine and discovered a passion for Neurology. He completed his intern year with the UCLA Department of Medicine and is excited to begin training in his chosen field with UCLA Neurology. In his spare time, Nolan loves to escape to SoCal’s stunning beaches and mountains, tend to his cat-friendly houseplants, and explore Los Angeles with new friends.

Vivian Shen


Vivian Shen, MD
3rd Year Resident

Born in the east coast, Vivian moved to California when she was 6 years old and spent the majority of her life there. She went on to pursue a bioengineering degree at UC Berkeley and then worked for a year at the consulting firm Accenture in SF before starting medical school in Brooklyn, NY at SUNY Downstate. There she discovered her interest in neurology through her sub-internships there and at Mount Sinai and met great faculty along the way. She is thrilled to be continuing her education at UCLA neurology for residency while enjoying the great natural outdoors that the west coast has to offer! Her interests are in movement disorders, and she hopes to pursue further research in that area. She enjoys teaching and was an anatomy tutor in medical school and president of the Notochords acapella group. In her free time, she enjoys ocean views, exploring new places, dancing, singing, and hiking.

Kylie Ternes


Kylie Ternes, MD
3rd Year Resident

Kylie is originally from Mammoth Lakes, California and grew up in the Eastern Sierras before moving to her adopted hometown of Austin, Texas as a teenager. She then moved to Baltimore to attend Johns Hopkins University for undergrad where she majored in Neuroscience and English Literature. She was also a member of the varsity women’s swim team and is an All-American athlete. After college, she moved to Philadelphia to work and do research at the University of Pennsylvania Frontotemporal Degeneration Center which sparked her interest in neurology as a future career. She then moved back to Texas to attend Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and developed an interest in working with underserved populations through the lens of neurology. She went back to Philadelphia to complete her preliminary year in internal medicine and is excited to finally move back to the West Coast with her cat in tow for neurology residency. In her free time, Kylie enjoys live music, film, reading, and being outside—whether eating at restaurants or hiking, skiing, or swimming.


 Ghochani, Yasmin

Yasmin Ghochani, MD, PhD
2nd Year Resident

Yasmin attended the University of CA, San Diego (UCSD) for her undergraduate studies, double majoring in Biochemistry/Cell Biology and Cognitive Neuroscience. As internships at The Scripps Research Institute’s MIND, and Pfizer Global R&D – La Jolla got her interested in research, she then continued to obtain her Master’s Degree at UCSD in biology with emphasis in neuroendocrinology of reproduction in the Mellon Lab. With aspirations for an academic career, she then conducted her Ph.D. studies at the University of CA, Los Angeles in Molecular Biology. Her dissertation research was more translational, as she studied the Glioblastoma perivascular niche in search of vascular mediators of tumor growth and invasion with the Kornblum lab. Newly interested in translational research, and to appease her passion to provide direct care to patients, Yasmin attended medical school at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. She continued to conduct research at the Barrow Neurological Institute, where she studied the safety and efficacy of various endovascular techniques and adjuvant therapies in treatment of Basilar Tip Aneurysms with Dr. Ducruet. Yasmin learned a great deal regarding neurological vascular interventions through this project and continues to have a keen interest in vascular neurology today. Yasmin has completed her PGY-1 with the UCLA Department of Medicine based at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. Outside of work, Yasmin is the proud Mom of her curious 6-year-old son and 2.5-year-old daughter. She is a fan of walking around town while shopping with friends and family, enjoys yoga with her kids, and is a lover of all water activities. She and her spouse also love travelling near and far and try to get out of town at every opportunity. 

Erick Juarez


Erick Martínez Juárez, MD
2nd Year Resident

Born in a small town called Bainbridge and raised in a migrant farmworker camp in deep rural southwest Georgia, Erick is the second of five proud children to Mexican immigrant farmworkers. After becoming the first Hispanic valedictorian of his high school, he briefly attended the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York before changing his career goals. After leaving the Academy, he enrolled at Harvard University, where he graduated with a BA in neurobiology in 2015 and became the first person in his entire family history to graduate from college. Prior to medical school, Erick spent a year in Medellín, Colombia, as a teaching fellow for former child soldiers through the Princeton in Latin America program. He also worked briefly for a growing bioplastics company near his hometown before matriculating at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University. It was at MCG where he followed through with his passion for neurology. He will have completed PGY-1 with the incredible UCLA Department of Medicine based at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. Within neurology, Erick is currently interested in vascular neurology, movement disorders, and EDI, but he is open and excited to explore everything that neurology and UCLA has to offer! He aspires to uplift all communities, especially Latinxs and farmworkers, in earnest through medicine and (likely) public service. During his free time, Erick loves dancing to Latin music (Bad Bunny, reggaeton, cumbia, salsa, merengue, etc -- he hopes to improve his budding skills here in SoCal!), eating tacos, reppin Georgia, running, watching & playing sports, and exploring new cultures & their cuisines.

Rebecca Jules


Rebecca Jules, MD
2nd Year Resident

Rebecca was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, then moved to South Florida as a teenager. Her initial interest in the neurosciences was sparked in high school during a lecture on neurotransmitters. She then attended the University of Florida where she majored in neuroscience. She remained at the University of Florida for medical school in the hopes of becoming a neurologist. After medical school, she traveled from one coast to another to complete her intern year at UCLA-Olive View and remained in LA for her neurology training at UCLA. Within neurology, her interests include global neurology in hopes to practice neurology in different areas of the world. When she is not working, her interests include going to comedy shows, exploring the diverse food scene in LA, hiking around the area, and honing her Spanish skills by binge-watching telenovelas.

Ramita Karra


Ramita Karra, MD
2nd Year Resident

Ramita Karra was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, and is a proud graduate of University of Maryland, College Park (go Terps!). Along with having the chance to represent her university at the College Table Tennis National Championships, she was the recipient of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellowship and discovered her love for the neurologic sciences while exploring cholinergic modulation of neurogenesis in the mouse olfactory bulb. After her undergraduate studies, she spent two years as a Post-Baccalaureate Intramural Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she was introduced to neurogenetics and analyzed whole exome sequencing data from multiple neurofibromatosis type 2 tumor types. A proud moment during these years included winning the annual baking contest in her lab with espresso dark chocolate cupcakes. After graduating from the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, she found her way back to the NIH as a Post-Doctoral Intramural Research Fellow and had the opportunity to further refine her interest in neurogenetics while delving into whole genome sequencing data from patients with ALS and related disorders. She is thrilled for the opportunity to train in sunny LA, and continues to enjoy exploring hiking trails, baking, and aspiring to drink less coffee.

Noelle Kobayashi


Noelle Kobayashi, MD
2nd Year Resident

Noelle Kobayashi is a native of Southern California. She grew up in Orange County where she played soccer, hit the slopes, and spent too much time trying to capture lizards in an attempt to emulate her childhood hero Steve Irwin. She attended undergrad in Colorado majoring in Biomedical Sciences. While in Colorado she used her free time to hike, snowboard, go to concerts with friends, and shower her three fur babies with love.  During her gap year she joined a stem cell research lab at UCI and became a hot yoga instructor. She decided the weather in California was just too unpredictable, so she moved across country to Ohio to attend THE Ohio State University for medical school where she developed a passion for education and health care equity. Her interest in neurology stemmed from watching family members develop Parkinsons disease and this interest was solidified during her Neurology clerkship. She is thrilled to be back in Southern California closer to family (the cross-country flight with a dog and two cats was never fun to coordinate) and is looking forward to putting all of the winter coats and parkas in a box in the closet that doesn’t get touched until the snowboard comes out!

Amir Molaie


Amir Molaie, MD
2nd Year Resident

Amir was born in Los Angeles and grew up with an early interest in the brain, inspired by his father’s work as a Neurologist. He studied neuroscience at UC San Diego, and subsequently worked on various related endeavors, including within the UCSD Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, the UCSF Cognition and Addiction laboratory, and as a Master’s Student at Tufts University, before pursuing his medical degree at Tufts. There, he furthered his interest in all things Neurology with research projects in Neuro-Ophthalmology and Vascular Neurology. Amir is delighted to be back on the West Coast to complete his training at UCLA. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling & watching stand-up comedy.

Alvin Singh


Alvin Singh, MD
2nd Year Resident

Alvin was born in and spent the majority of his life in Chicago. He went on to obtain a Bio-Psych double degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and his Masters in Global Health from Northwestern University. He then worked for 2 years managing world-wide clinical trials in both industry and academia, while learning more about neurology from a clinical research perspective. During his MS1 year at the Chicago Medical School, Alvin was fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend the 2018 AAN Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, where he felt his connection to neurology deepen. Then, as fate would have it, he would couples match in LA with his wife, who is training in Internal Medicine at Harbor-UCLA. Alvin completed his intern year at UCLA-Olive View and is excited to begin his Neurology residency at UCLA. Given his first-generation, low-income upbringing, he is passionate about working with underserved populations through the lens of neurology. In his spare time, he can be found watching college basketball, sampling LA’s best foods/cocktails, cooking alongside his wife, or being a cat dad to Leo.

Emily Tillmaand


Emily Tillmaand, MD, PhD
2nd Year Resident

Emily was born in Upstate New York and moved around in New York and the Midwest before settling in Southwestern Ohio as a teenager. She first showed an interest in Neurology in elementary school proclaiming that “the best way to use your brain is to study the brain!” However, she decided to study Chemistry at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH for her undergraduate education. There, she also worked as a resident assistant, spent her summers on basic science research and ran for/captained the cross country and track teams. After college, she worked as a research technician at the Cleveland Clinic, where she first encountered the career of a Physician Scientist and felt that it was a great fit for her. With this new goal in mind, Emily headed to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to complete her MD/PhD, this time melding her love of the nervous system with chemistry, studying the neurochemistry of primary sensory neurons particularly as it relates to pain and itch sensation. Her clinical rotations also reinforced her desire to evaluate and treat patients with neurological disorders. She completed her intern year with the UCLA Department of Medicine and is honored to train with UCLA Neurology. Throughout it all, Emily continues to run competitively, garden, find new ways to reduce her carbon footprint and intermittently tap into her joy of performing in choirs and musicals.

Vanessa Vides, MD


Vanessa Vides, MD
2nd Year Resident

Vanessa is from Las Vegas, NV but spent some of her early childhood in northern NJ where she was born. She was awarded the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she double majored in Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Initially, it was Vanessa’s deep interest in Medical Oncology and the Medical Humanities that compelled her to pursue a career in medicine, Neurology would come to captivate her interest later on in medical school. She attended The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine where she obtained her medical degree. She graduated with honors and was formally inducted into the AOA Honor Society in 2021. Vanessa was awarded the American Society of Hematology MMSAP Scholarship which facilitated her research at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Under the guidance of her mentor Dr. Saar Gill, she completed correlative studies on a clinical trial that assessed the safety, feasibility, and response rates of patients with CLL who were treated with CAR T cells in combination with Ibrutinib. Vanessa was also very involved in medical education during her time at Penn State where she functioned as the curriculum chair for her class.  Vanessa also deferred her first year of medical school to help Penn State co-create a new medical curriculum for its new regional campus. Vanessa completed her Internal Medicine Internship at The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. Vanessa’s professional interests include Neuro-Oncology, Neuro-Cardiology, medical education, and the medical humanities. Vanessa’s other interests include spending time with her yellow lab Maddux, running long distances, reading, poetry writing, playing the piano, and expanding her Chuck Taylor shoe collection.


Mallory Blackwood MD


Mallory Blackwood, MD
1st Year Resident

Mallory was born & raised in Richmond Virginia, where she spent most of her time in theater. She gained a late-blooming interest in neuroscience thanks to the liberal arts requirement at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where she matriculated into the film department, but graduated with a psychology degree and minor in Neuroscience. Upon graduation, she delved further into clinical neuroscience at Univeristy College London, where she completed a masters in clinical neuroscience. Although London remains one of her favorite cities, her interest in neurostimulation and neuroimaging brought her back to the states as a research assistant at John’s Hopkins. Resolved to pursue a clinical career, she then returned to Virginia’s Appalachian region for medical school at Virginia Tech (and for some decent biscuits). There she spent 4 years hiking, running and researching Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation before matching to UCLA for residency. She did her PGY1 medicine year at our very own west LA Veterans Hospital. When not I’m the hospital, she can be found climbing rocks, chilling at the beach or attempting to perfect a laminated pastry!

Adrianna Carrasco MD


Adrianna Carrasco, MD
1st Year Resident

Adrianna was born in San Jose, California and is the second of five children. She studied neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to medical school, she explored behavioral neurology through clinical research within the areas of autism, sensory processing disorders then Alzheimer’s and dementias at the University of California, San Francisco. After living in northern California all her life, Adrianna sought new horizons on the East Coast and went to medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical school (EVMS). During her time there, she collaborated with fellow researchers at EVMS and New York University to identify and characterize proteins involved in plaque formation in rapidly progressive Alzheimer’s cases. She is also passionate about understanding and addressing healthcare disparities. Her prior research includes analyzing a government antipsychotic deprescription initiative for dementia patients and its effects across different ethnoracial groups. After five years of living on the East Coast, she is happy to be back in California for her neurology training. When she is not working, you can find her rock climbing, learning to surf, hiking, or attending music concerts.

Sama Elrahi MD


Sama Elrahi, MD
1st Year Resident

Sama was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She attended Houston Community College and later the University of Houston, majoring in Biochemical and Biophysical Sciences. After completing her undergraduate studies, she worked as a pharmacy technician for five years. Witnessing the struggles faced by her patients in affording and understanding their medications, she felt compelled to become a better advocate through Medicine. She attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, graduating as salutatorian and inductee into both the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Honor Societies. A specialty quiz unexpectedly catapulted her into a neurology elective that ignited her interest. Through her consistent work with the neurology department, she earned an American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for Excellence. She was so confident that UCLA Neurology was the perfect program for her that she embarked on an adventure to Los Angeles, despite never having visited before. Even her mischievous cat managed to break out on the plane from Houston to LA! She completed her internship at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, a county safety net hospital. She is passionate about Headache neurology and improving quality of life for patients with these debilitating disorders. As a first-generation immigrant with a low-income upbringing, she is passionate about promoting health equity, working with underserved populations, and improving access to neurological care. Outside of medicine, Sama finds joy in music, especially metal, live shows, cooking, mixology, video games, and playing with her chonky cat.

Sebastian Green MD


Sebastian Green, MD
1st Year Resident

Sebastian was born and raised in London, England. Age 18, he attended the University of Bristol for his medical degree before continuing onto University College London (UCL) in 2017 to complete the UK Foundation Programme within the National Health Service. At UCL he began his clinical research career, studying the neuropsychopharmacology of cannabidiol with Dr. Michael Bloomfield, and doing epilepsy research at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square. Sebastian carried this academic inquiry onto the University of Oxford, where he completed his master’s degree in neuroscience in 2020 graduating top in his class. Here he wrote two theses; one investigated the longitudinal relationship between cerebral blood flow and cognitive performance with Professor Sana Suri, and the other investigated the role of GABA activity in motor learning with Professor Charlotte Stagg. He then returned to the University of Bristol working with Professor Liz Coulthard to review the utility of sleep-tracking devices in Alzheimer’s disease. He moved to UCLA in 2022 and completed his intern year with the UCLA Department of Internal Medicine. Sebastian has adapted well to California living and spends most of his free time hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, driving his convertible sports car, and learning to surf. He has held onto some of his cultural roots, and still enjoys talking about the weather and playing piano as an Associate of the Royal Schools of Music.

Mahdieh Hosseini MD


Mahdieh Hosseini, MD
1st Year Resident

Mahdieh was born in Washington DC. She is the daughter of a Mexican-American mother and Iranian father and grew up partly in DC and partly in Tehran, Iran. She attended college at Johns Hopkins University where she graduated with honors in Chemistry. Her fascination with the nervous system developed during college when she performed research in mouse models of Alzheimer’s Dementia. She moved to Philadelphia for medical school at Temple University. To explore her passion for neuroscience research she took a year of independent study to participate in the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program where she worked under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Hallett. She studied the use of non- invasive neuromodulation including TMS and tDCS in treating focal dystonias, as well as PET imaging to understand cholinergic disturbances in movement disorders. In addition to neuroscience research, she is passionate about caring for underserved communities. 

She loves the outdoors and nature, spending time with family and friends, restaurants with good views and international traveling.

Adnan Husein MD


Adnan Husein, MD
1st Year Resident

Adnan Husein was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He pursued a Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree at the University of Western Ontario where he earned an honors specialization in interdisciplinary medical science. His initial interest in neuroscience was sparked during a lecture on visual pathways in an undergraduate elective, ‘The Physiology of Senses’. Upon graduation, Adnan ventured to Chicago, where he attended the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University, earning his medical degree. Throughout his education, Adnan was always captivated by the intricate workings of the human mind, and the impact of neurological disease processes on cognition, behavior, and function. His ultimate decision to pursue neurology was based on a desire to understand the mind-brain connection and how we can improve the way patients interact with the world. Adnan had the opportunity to contribute to significant research focusing on the contemporary neurological outcomes of medically managed asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis. Adnan has a strong passion for medical education and mentorship, recognizing the essential role of physicians as educators within their communities and to their patients. Outside of medicine, Adnan’s interests reflect the diverse spirits of the cities he has lived in. As a former improvisational actor, he cherishes the dramatic arts and often indulges in the comedy scenes on his days off. Embracing the natural beauty of Los Angeles, Adnan takes full advantage of the city’s stunning oceans and mountains, regularly enjoying beach days and hikes. He is also an avid sports fan, a passionate traveler, and an adventurous foodie — always eager to explore different cuisines, particularly when enjoyed on a sunny patio.

Elaine Ramirez MD


Elaine Ramirez, MD
1st Year Resident

Elaine was born and raised near Houston, Texas. She attended college at the University of Texas at Dallas where she discovered an interest in neurology while majoring in neuroscience and working in a regenerative neurobiology laboratory. During these four years, she also collaborated with a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. to increase accessibility to cost-effective medication for neglected tropical diseases. Her interest in health inequities and our healthcare system brought her to Austin where she had the opportunity to pursue an MD/MBA at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School and McCombs School of Business. She stayed in Austin another year to complete her preliminary year in internal medicine and be close to family. Having spent her whole life in Texas thus far, Elaine is excited to move to California for her neurology training at UCLA. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, listening to live music and visiting national parks.

John Thompson MD


John Thompson, MD
1st Year Resident

John was born in Tennessee and spent his early childhood there before moving to Minnesota in middle school. Despite the snow, he stayed in Minnesota and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Philosophy. While there, he worked in the lab of Dr. Christy Haynes developing analytical techniques to quantify inflammatory, bioactive lipids produced by cells in response to nanoparticles and allergens. At this point, John had it with dark winters and moved out to beautiful, sunny, and completely devoid-of-snow Southern California to purse his MD-PhD as part of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed his PhD at Caltech in the lab of Dr. Linda Hsieh-Wilson, studying how protein glycosylation affects neuronal signaling and metabolism. He also designed novel chemical and mass spectrometry techniques to detect and characterize dynamic sugar modifications across cells and tissues. Throughout his training, John was continually struck not just by the persistent enigma that is neuroscience, but also by just how profound an effect neurological disease can have on a person. He decided to pursue neurology residency (still in sunny Southern California) at UCLA where he is excited to continue exploring his dual passions for understanding the brain and helping people heal from neurological insults. In his spare time, John enjoys hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, and arguing with his wife (a cardiologist) about whether the heart or the brain is more important (obviously the brain).

Edith Yuan MD


Edith Yuan, MD
1st Year Resident

Growing up in Taipei, Taiwan, Edith has an innate love for boba (though her favorite drink is passionfruit green tea without boba). She moved to Laguna Niguel, California, when she was 10 years old and discovered the joy of playing the violin. She continued playing throughout college and medical school, where she was a violinist in the Baroque Ensemble and the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra, respectively. At UC Berkeley, Edith graduated with honors from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology with an emphasis in neurobiology and minored in music. After college, Edith conducted 2 years of research in neuro-oncology under the mentorship of Dr. Anders Persson. She continued her research at USC Keck School of Medicine in Dr. Frank Attenello’s laboratory. During her research year, Edith participated in the American Brain Tumor Association Research Fellowship and was presented the Rubinstein Award. Her projects have focused on investigating the roles of lncRNAs in modulating glioblastoma resistance to temozolomide. In her free time, she loves to explore new restaurants, attend classical music concerts, watch reality TV shows, and go to Disneyland.

Sebiha Abdullahi MD


Sebiha Abdullahi, MD
1st Year Resident (Peds Neurology)

Sebiha was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She moved to the US to pursue her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at Wellesley College. Following her undergraduate studies, she spent two years as a research fellow at the Yale Translational Developmental Neuroscience Research where she developed her passion for working with children with neurodevelopmental disorders and conducting research in the field. She then moved to LA to attend the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and has been working with Dr. Rujuta Wilson to study motor differences in children at high risk for autism. She was excited to stay at UCLA for her Child Neurology residency. In her spare time, she enjoys going on long walks with friends, tending to her plants, talking to her family in Ethiopia and trying new cuisines across LA with her husband.

John Nguyen MD


John Nguyen, MD
1st Year Resident (Peds Neurology)

John was born and raised in Washington state and majored in Neuroscience at the University of Washington in Seattle. There, he spent much of his time in the laboratory of Dr. Heather Mefford in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetic Medicine (now located at St. Jude Children’s Center for Pediatric Neurologic Disease). John took an interest in the lab’s aims at understanding the genetic basis of pediatric epilepsy, where his projects were focused on using custom microarray technologies to validate rare and pathogenic copy number variants in the developmental and epileptic encephalopathies. He then went on to attend the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in snowy Michigan and was fortunate to match in sunny Los Angeles for his residency training at UCLA in Child Neurology. Within the specialty, John’s academic interests include pediatric epilepsy, epilepsy genetics, neonatal neurology, high risk infant follow up, and medical education. Outside of medicine, John is a big fan of all things video games (challenge him to a match in Super Smash Bros!), running and exercising on Southern California’s beach boardwalks, and going hiking in the Pacific Palisades. He also loves playing his clarinet, and he has fond memories of playing in his medical student music interest group called “Spinal Chords” back in Michigan as well as in many community concert bands and wind ensembles in college and medical school.


Megan Cheng MD


Megan Cheng, MD

Megan was born and raised in Ithaca, New York until the age of nine, when she moved with her parents back to their home country of Taiwan. This move and her (initial) illiteracy in Chinese sparked her interests in education, memory, and linguistics. When she moved back to the US to attend Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, she majored in neuroscience and minored in linguistics. She also participated in research studying reward circuit deficits underlying comorbid schizophrenia and substance use. After college, she worked as a clinical research coordinator in the Trauma and Burn Surgery department at Children’s National in Washington, DC, studying the use of checklists in trauma activations and other quality improvement measures. Luckily, her gap years did not convince her to deviate from a career in neurology. She decided to attend medical school at UCLA DGSOM and discovered that the west coast hype is well-deserved! She is thrilled to be staying at her home program for residency and is currently completing her IM intern year at the West LA VA. Her academic interests in neurology include headache, neuroimmunology, and movement disorders – as well as dispelling the neurophobia that so many medical students experience. Outside of medicine, she enjoys recreating recipes from her childhood in Taiwan, trying out new restaurants in LA, watching Kdramas (and learning Korean), playing badminton, and dancing around her apartment (where no one is watching)! She is also a proud cat mom to Kamo (Japanese for duck - yes, she named her cat Duck).

Brendan Cohn-Sheehy MD


Brendan Cohn-Sheehy, MD, PhD

Brendan is a Santa Monica native who has long been fascinated by how the brain supports our complex life experiences. This fascination led him on a whirlwind tour of the University of California, from UCLA (high school lab assistant), to UC Berkeley (B.A. in Psychology with Honors), to UCSF (clinical neuroimaging research), to UC Davis (M.D./Ph.D. Program), and back to UCLA (Resident Physician in Neurology). Brendan aims to eventually serve as an academic neurologist with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases that impact cognition and behavior, and with a mix of clinical, research, and teaching responsibilities. In particular, he hopes to build on his doctoral research in the cognitive neuroscience of human memory, to develop diagnostics and interventions for early-stage cognitive decline. Outside of these pursuits, Brendan tries to compose a bit of jazz and fiction while two little dogs vie for his attention.

Matthew Du MD


Matthew Du, MD

Matthew grew up in Orange County, CA, then Dallas, Texas where his family resides today. After attending Princeton University for his undergraduate studies, he spent his gap year living and working in Lawndale, one of Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods, at a federally qualified health center. He learned what it meant to love one’s neighborhood while seeking its welfare in creative ways such as helping the health center launch a transportation program for patient appointments as well as raise awareness for its aquaponics farm that provides fresh produce and jobs for the community. He then attended medical school at the University of Chicago where he developed a love for neurology in his third year. His passion for neurology comes from the unique burden patients with neurological disease experience and the opportunity to help these patients navigate their illness journey. Matthew hopes to combine his passions of community health, doctor-patient communication, and clinical and virtue ethics as a neurologist. Finally, Matthew is an avid violist and guitarist who loves to connect with others through musical performance, including his patients. He feels so blessed and honored to be receiving his neurology training at UCLA and now lives with his wife, Whitney, and dog, Penny, in the great city of Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando valley.

Ashni Patel MD


Ashni Patel, MD

Originally from a small town in rural Illinois, Ashni learned to love traveling and exploring the world at a young age. She attended Washington University in St. Louis where she majored in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology. It was there that she developed a unique understanding of the brain and a curiosity that drove her towards medicine. She continued her education at Chicago Medical School where she learned more about the field of Neurology and its intriguing intersections with women’s health. She was thrilled to join UCLA Neurology which gave her the opportunity to escape the midwestern winters while also pursuing the field of Neurology with the most inspirational cohort. Outside of medicine, she spends her time outdoors soaking up the California sunshine and enjoying the proximity to a real beach (sorry Lake Michigan).

Clare Schrodt MD


Clare Schrodt, MD

Clare grew up in Louisville, Kentucky before moving to St. Louis to join the Medical Scholars Program at Saint Louis University. While an undergraduate, she majored in Neuroscience with a minor in Theology, spending all remaining free time exploring the food scene of St. Louis. As she matriculated into the SLU School of Medicine, she became more interested in the intersection of diet, environmentalism, and medicine, and she focused her extracurricular time on researching and volunteering with populations facing food insecurity in the greater St. Louis area. As a medical student, she helped initiate the SLUSOM academic support and peer tutoring program, led guided weekly meditation for medical students, and was selected as an AOA officer of her class. Her academic interests include the gut-brain connection and microbiome intervention, and she also hopes to spend her career studying and working to optimize medical education in the clinical setting. Outside of work, you can find Clare trail running around LA, skiing at Big Bear, creating vegetarian recipes to share with family and friends, and searching high and low for the best burrito in West LA. She participated in the couple's match with her fiancé, who is an Interventional Radiology resident at UCLA, and more importantly, is her unshakeable partner on the pickleball court.

Yuxing Xia MD


Yuxing Xia, MD, PhD

Yuxing was born in Hunan province in China and grew up around the suburbs of Philadelphia. He went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he majored in Biology and Creative Writing and Literature through the Honors program. He worked in several neuroscience labs before embarking on the MD-PhD path. 
He decided to attend the University of Florida (UF) for his combined MD-PhD training. He joined Dr. Benoit Giasson's lab at the Center for Translational Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CTRND) and was affiliated with the McKnight Brain Institute (MBI). For his PhD research, he studied microtubule dysfunction and aggregation of tau protein in Alzheimer's disease models and also worked on several projects involving alpha-synuclein in Parkinson's disease. 
For his main thesis project, he studied the tau S320F/P301S aggregating mutations (SPAM) and discovered a role of phosphorylated tau in gut enteric neuron dysfunction and cell death. Of note, he defended his PhD thesis on April 1st. Throughout the years, his research has been supported by a F30 fellowship through the National Institute on Aging, the Toffler Trust, the Bryan-Robinson Foundation, and the Clinical Translational Science Institute at UF. 
Yuxing is excited to join UCLA for neurology residency and to explore Los Angeles. In his free time, he enjoys biking along the beach, running, reading poetry, and playing chess.