Aisha Elfasi grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Florida, majoring in Biology. She decided to stay in sunny Florida for medical school and was honored to be able to join the Gator family at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Her outstanding clinical experience as a medical student made her certain that she would love to become a double Gator by completing residency here. She is thrilled for this new journey and looks forward to finally becoming a neurologist! She is interested in exploring potential subspecialties including Neuroimmunology, Neuro-ophthalmology, Vascular Neurology, and Neurophysiology. Aisha is excited to contribute to the field of neurology and envisions a future career in academic neurology where she will help patients through clinical practice, research, and medical education. In her free time, Aisha enjoys cooking, baking, spending time with her family, and exploring Florida’s beautiful sights and nature trails.
Calvin Hu MD
Calvin Hu came from Columbia, South Carolina. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BS in biochemistry.In college, he developed an interest in medicine and neuroscience. He completed his medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is currently completing his Neurology residency at the University of Florida. Calvin enjoys traveling, video games, tennis, and building computers
Meghan Humbert grew up in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico before she moved to New London, CT to complete her undergraduate degree in Biology at Connecticut College. She then pursued her masters degree at Emory University in Physician Assistant studies and worked as a PA in an Urgent Care in Gainesville, GA. Although she loved working as a PA, she knew she always wanted to be a doctor and so, with some encouragement from family and friends, she decided to apply to medical school and obtained her medical degree from LECOM in Seton Hill, PA. When she’s not working, Meghan enjoys spending time with her family and friends (preferably by a beach!), playing tennis, baking, and reading historical fiction novels.
David Mendoza is a born and bred New Yorker, growing up in Queens and Brooklyn. Having always admired military service, he joined the US Army during wartime. During his enlistment, which included a yearlong deployment to Iraq, he discovered his passion for medicine while training in special operations. After completing his service in the Army, he returned to New York to study chemistry at Pace University in pursuit of a medical degree. He went on to obtain his MD from Florida International University in Miami. David is currently a neurology resident at UF, cultivating his interests in vascular neurology and neurocritical care.
Elsa Rodriguez was born in Miami, FL and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology at Florida State University. Growing up in Miami, she had a passion for learning about different cultures, and would travel often to her family’s beautiful country of Colombia. She went to medical school in Caguas, Puerto Rico, where she developed her love for treating the underserved and underrepresented Hispanic community.
Janani Sadasivan was born and raised in the metro-Detroit area. She studied Biopsychology, Cognition & Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, followed by working for a year in Jacksonville, Florida with AmeriCorps as a health educator. Though she returned to her home state for medical school at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, she loved North Florida and decided to come back after learning about UF’s amazing neurology program. She loves reading, playing tennis, cooking, and her American bulldog back home named Taz.
Matthew Vasquez is from St. Petersburg, Florida. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida. As an undergraduate, Matthew was an official UF tour guide and used to give tours of the campus to high schoolers and prospective college students. After working as a neurology research assistant for 2 years, he became excited about movement disorders, particularly those treated with deep brain stimulation. Inspired to become a neurologist, he went off to complete his medical training at Ponce Health Sciences University in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Matthew returns to Gainesville excited to once again be in the environment where his dream started. He will gladly take you on your next tour of the Gator Nation, now available in Spanish
Crystal Yu MD
Crystal Yu was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, NY. She first discovered her love of neuroscience at a sleep away camp in high school and she has had brains on the brain ever since. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience at Brown University, worked as a laboratory technician in Massachusetts for a couple years, and then went on to medical school at Albany Medical College. She has truly been a northerner all her life! After doing an away rotation at UF, however, she found she loved both the UF neurology department as well as life in Gainesville and was thrilled on match day to discover her new status as a northern transplant. Her Georgia born and raised husband was also excited to say farewell to frigid winter weather! In her spare time, Crystal loves ballroom dancing with her husband, taking innumerable photos of their Siberian cat, Fiskr, cooking and baking a wide variety of cuisine, and engaging in nerdy pastimes including playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends and making costumes inspired from video games.
Tiffany Eisenbach grew up outside of rainy Seattle, Washington where she spent her winters whale watching in Puget Sound and her summers wakeboarding on the Columbia River. Through hiking in the Olympic and Cascade mountains and running for cross country and track, she developed a passion for the outdoors and nature. She attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN where she continued participating in choirs and furthered her interest in human biology, deciding to apply to medical school. She additionally studied abroad in India and Peru during college and developed a love for travel. Upon graduating, she attended medical school at the University of Washington where she eventually found her fit in neurology due to the patient relationships, fascinating diseases of the nervous system, and fun neuro exam. During medical school, she had the privilege of training in diverse locations, including Seattle; Spokane, Washington; Butte, Montana; and many other sites scattered throughout the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Needless to say, when starting neurology residency, she was ready to settle down in one place for a while and was also excited for that place to be warm, sunny, snow-less Florida! In Gainesville, she has been able to enjoy all of her favorite activities including going to the beach, exploring nature parks and trails, visiting historical sites, learning about new wildlife, and calisthenics. As there is still so much in the world of neurology to explore, she is not sure yet what her fellowship choice will be, although she is considering pursuing a career in general neurology for the sake of maintaining a wide and varied patient population.
Lorena was born and raised in Havana, Cuba, and moved to the States when she was a teenager. Neurology has been a part of her life as long as she can remember. Both of her parents are in the field, and it was through them that she first learned about the fascinating intricacy of the brain and nervous system in general. As an undergrad, Lorena decided to further explore her passion for medicine by shadowing neurology attendings during Epilepsy clinic, and by joining a neurology research lab that gave her, her first direct exposure to electrophysiology. She went to medical school in Puerto Rico with an open mind regarding specialty choice, but neurology cases always stood out more for her than others did, and her love for the specialty solidified as she further exposed herself to the different pathologies. During her time as a medical student, she was the president of the SIGN Chapter at her school, and became particularly interested in Multiple Sclerosis which led her to do research on the topic and become an active advocate for MS patients. Pursuing medicine in a bilingual setting, with great exposure to rural and underserved communities, provided her with the skills to help in the care of patients with diverse backgrounds. One of Lorena’s goals as a physician is to make neurology more readily available to the underprivileged sector of the patient population. In her free time, she enjoys taking her camera out for a stroll. Gainesville has great scenery to help diversify her amateur photographer portfolio. She also really enjoys salsa dancing, which is something that helps keep her connected to her Cuban roots.
Edna Johnson was raised in sunny South Florida. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology and Psychology here at the University of Florida. It was during this time that she first developed an interest in neurology. Edna completed her Masters in Medical Sciences at the University of South Florida and went on to complete medical school at Florida International University in Miami, FL. She is thrilled to return to UF to complete her training as a Neurologist.
Vlad was born in Ukraine and moved to the U.S. with his family when he was 18 months old. He was raised in sunny South Florida. He grew up playing and watching sports, including hockey, basketball, soccer, and football. Vlad attended the University of Florida and graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. During his time at UF, Vlad worked as a research assistant in the Department of Psychology to determine the effects of goal setting and feedback on memory performance. Vlad’s favorite subject in medical school was neuroanatomy and since taking the course, he has not looked back. He aspires to be a clinical neurologist with an interest in movement disorders. In his free time, Vlad enjoys playing the piano, weightlifting, and playing basketball.
Heather Panic grew up in Louisiana and took the long route to become a neurologist. After graduating with a degree in computer science, she spent a decade in Europe developing software for the NATO military alliance. She then decided to switch careers and completed a neuroscience PhD on the topic of spatial orientation and navigation at Brandeis University, followed by her MD at the University of Miami. She is interested in pursuing a career in academic medicine, likely in vestibular neurology. She is delighted to be completing her residency at UF Neurology, with its supportive atmosphere and broad range of subspecialty training. Outside of medicine, she is a fan of anything related to airplanes and space, and she enjoys games, cooking, creating electronic music and art, and traveling the world.
Gabriel Swords grew up in the small town of Eureka, Illinois where he went to college and studied chemistry and psychology. His interest in neurology first began in undergrad where he wrote his honor’s thesis on neuroinflammation in Gulf War Illness. He would later attend the University of Illinois College of Medicine where his love for the brain blossomed as he founded and led the Student Interest Group in Neurology and got involved in research involving Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. While in medical school he also served on the committee on health information and technology as part of the AMA-MSS and coauthored an official report on the future implications of machine intelligence in healthcare as well as blockchain technology. In his spare time, Gabriel enjoys grilling whilst chilling with friends, beach bummin’ in the sun, and whacking white balls with metal sticks.
Lizmarie Tirado-Castro is originally from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. While completing her bachelor’s and medical degree on the island, she became fascinated by neurological diseases and their treatments. She moved to the sunny state of Florida to pursue neurology. She enjoys cooking and baking, so be on the lookout for her famous red velvet cookies!
Briana Wasserstrom is originally from south Florida, but spent most of her summers in her favorite Smoky Mountains near Asheville, NC. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology & Cell Sciences from the University of Florida, where she spent four years researching AML treatment modalities, as well as juggling three jobs as a preschool teacher, sushi roller, and marketing assistant for a tutor company. She then ventured to the Hudson Valley, NY where she obtained a master’s degree and her medical degree at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. It was during medical school that she developed a deep interest in neurology. Briana is thrilled to be returning to her alma mater for her neurology residency training. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, hiking/camping, musical theater and spending time with family/friends.
Ziyad is a native Floridian from Jacksonville. Growing up he enjoyed outdoor activities such as swimming, weight-lifting and fishing with his three brothers. Ziyad completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Florida State University and attended medical school at William Carey University in Mississippi. During his clinical training, he met a number of Neurologists who served as mentors that guided his path to residency. In the future, he has aspirations to practice in the great state of Florida.
Freddy Abraham is from Western Pennsylvania, not far from Pittsburgh. He received a B.S. in Biology from Grove City College, where he also minored in Theology and met his wife, Emily. After one year working for a pain clinic, Freddy enrolled in Liberty University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. Freddy is excited to join University of Florida’s Neurology Department. When he isn’t studying puzzling Neurological pathology, Freddy enjoys strategy games–like Chess and Settlers of Catan, hiking, and other outdoor activities with his wife, and spending time with family and friends.
Ramsha Farrukh was raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She was fascinated with neurology early on when she majored in Neuroscience at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB). She completed her medical degree from UAB as well and took advantage of research, leadership, teaching, and service opportunities. She is thrilled to continue with her next steps in training at the University of Florida. In her spare time, she loves reading, trying new recipes, and spending time outdoors.
Kristin Hedtke is originally from Delano, Minnesota and grew up reading everything she could get her hands on and exploring the great outdoors. She moved south for college at the University of Houston in Houston, TX where she studied biochemical and biophysical sciences. It was here that a neuroscience course first introduced her to the exciting possibility of a career in neurology. She attended medical school at UT Health San Antonio and was further drawn to the field of neurology by the fascinating cases she studied and took part in. She is looking forward to residency training at the University of Florida. Outside of medicine, Kristin enjoys reading, playing tennis, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
Claudia Hernandez is originally from Havana, Cuba and moved to Florida at a young age where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Florida Gulf Coast University. Her passion for Neurology manifested at an early age when her family member was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Her journey in medicine continued at the Medical College of Georgia. During medical school, her love for the complexity and beauty of the neurological system combined with the rapidly growing field of research and understanding solidified her pursuit of becoming a Neurologist. During medical school, she spent much of her time volunteering for Clínica Latina, a free clinic for the underserved Spanish speaking population of Georgia. With the resources and supportive faculty at the University of Florida, she strives to continue her efforts to bridge the gap between the underserved populations and access to care. In her spare time, Claudia enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and embroidering. She also spends much of her free time tending to her garden and looks forward to all that she can grow in sunny Florida!
Marcos spent his early childhood at the Brazilian Cerrado then moved to the Atlantic Forest, where he spent most of his life. He grew up dedicated to music, as most of his family, and various sports. The curiosity for what controls the minds and bodies that learn, reason, create and execute ignited a genuine desire to understand the central nervous system. After graduating from medical school, Marcos became a research fellow at MGH/Harvard Medical School. There he investigated the EEG patterns of patients on ECMO , the neurotoxicity of CAR-T therapy, the use of Dexmedetomidine to prevent delirium, methods to predict the neurological outcome of comatose patients, among other research projects. His main areas of interest are Behavioral Neurology and Computational NeurosciencesIn his spare time, Marcos enjoys playing the Accordion and Guitar, meeting family and friends, playing soccer, and exploring new places and cultures. Marcos is thrilled to have just joined a team of uniquely creative, passion-driven, and supportive professionals at UF!
Riley grew up in the small Midwest town of Galesburg, Illinois. He later attended college nearby in Monmouth, Illinois where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Biopsychology from Monmouth College. During his time there he developed a passion for neuroscience and decided to pursue a career in the field. Interested more in the clinical application of neuroscience, he attended medical school at the University of Illinois and graduated with neurology as his chosen specialty. Outside of medicine, Riley enjoys playing guitar, golfing, camping, and hiking.
Jessie Walker was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She attended the University of Florida, where she graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She obtained a second Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida International University. She went on to study medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, where she developed her strong passion and interest in the field of Neurology. She is so thrilled to return to Gainesville to become a Neurologist at her alma mater! During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, running, photography, and Gator Football.
Brianna Alex MD
Brianna Alex grew up in Indianapolis, IN and graduated from the hilly and beautiful Indiana University with a BS in Neuroscience. She then served in AmeriCorps as a health educator to refugees. After her grandmother had a stroke, Brianna’s desire to help patients with neurological conditions grew, so she returned to Indiana University for medical school. She is thrilled to join UF’s neurology program and explore opportunities in medical education and advocacy. She enjoys hiking, landscape photography, listening to podcasts, and a good pour-over coffee.
David J Emch MD
David Emch grew up in Noblesville, IN in the surrounding suburbs of Indianapolis. His interest in Neuroscience began at the Kowalski Research Lab at Butler University, studying the regulation of synaptic proteins at the C. Elegans Neuromuscular Junction while attaining his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry. While in medical school at the Indiana University School of Medicine, his rotations on the neurology stroke service and neurocritical care unit fostered academic passions in vascular and neurocritical care neurology with additional career goals in medical science teaching and medical student mentoring. During medical school he developed an interest in hospital leadership and quality improvement while organizing fellow medical students for various service projects and relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. He enjoys playing the trumpet, having had the honor to play with the jazz ensembles at Butler University and Noblesville High School. His other hobbies include running and weightlifting as well as fishing, swimming, and all things ocean related.
Leonid Gozman was born in Ukraine but moved to the US when he was two years old. He grew up in an immigrant neighborhood in Brooklyn and completed his undergraduate degree in History and Psychology at CUNY Macaulay Honors College/Brooklyn College. After that he completed his M.D. at Tel Aviv University where he discovered his love for neurology while completing his second year module. Leonid was drawn to UF because of the strong academic neurology program, the warm and welcoming department, and the promise of no more New York traffic. In his free time, Leonid likes to be outdoors, either skiing in the winter, or hiking, golfing, and mushroom hunting in the summer. At home he enjoys reading, drinking tea, and cooking.
Karina Maria Rodriguez, was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, so she is an island gal. Karina went to medical school in her hometown at the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo. She knew she wanted to go into the Neurology field very early in her career because of its complexity and beauty. Also, she enjoys teaching and supporting students interested in the Neuro world in any way she can. Karina is very drawn to Headache Medicine because even though headaches are a frequent complaint among patients, how much they can impact their lives is not always understood. In her free time, Karina loves to practice creative writing, binge-watch TV series, and go out and discover new places to eat.
Bhavin Patel was born and raised in the small beach town of Fort Pierce, Florida. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Florida. It was during this time that he worked as a free-lance photographer that he developed his love of working with others. Having a curiosity for the complexity of the human mind, he was drawn to Neurology while completing medical school in the Appalachian Mountains at Lincoln Memorial University. This curiosity grew into a pursuit after working with two of his clinical neurology mentors on a variety of fascinating cases. Outside of medicine, Bhavin enjoys cooking, reading, video gaming, and playing basketball with friends.
Neha Pirwani MD
Neha Pirwani grew up in Chicago, IL and moved to Upstate New York to pursue her bachelor’s and MBA in healthcare management degrees. She then went on to obtain her medical degree from Albany Medical College. During medical school, Neha became eager to learn about different neurological diseases, explore a multitude of neurological subspecialties, and help patients through her clinical practice. Neha graduated from medical school with a distinction in Health Systems Analysis and is also passionate about quality improvement projects in health care. Her family moved to Ocala, FL about 4 years ago, and she is honored to be able to join the Gator family by completing her residency here. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
William “Bill” Remley was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and completed medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine – Bradenton. He is excited to be back in Gainesville, FL, although this time with his fiancé who is a pediatrics resident also at UF. They enjoy the outdoors, fitness, and nutrition. He is a long-time sports fan, especially Gator football and baseball. Prior to residency, he spent much of his free time officiating youth baseball. He is undecided on his neurology subspecialty interests but looks forward to exploring all UF has to offer!
Rory M Weston MD, PhD
Rory Weston has been interested in neurology since college, having majored in behavioral neuroscience at Western Washington University. He subsequently attended Virginia Commonwealth University where he received a PhD in neuroscience in addition to his medical degree. He has a strong interest in research and has worked on the molecular neurobiology of alcohol use disorder, Huntington’s disease, and schizophrenia. Rory enjoys the outdoors, board games, VR, and BBQ.