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Meet the Fellows
Meet our current child neurology fellows, learn about their interests and why they chose to train at Children's National.
- Mrinmayee Takle
Hometown: Herndon, VA
Undergraduate School: Virginia Commonwealth University
Medical School: University of Virginia School of Medicine
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Still exploring my options!
Personal Interests: Traveling, running at Rock Creek Park, hiking in Shenandoah, and exploring new restaurants
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? The supportive atmosphere, diversity of patients, exposure to different neurological subspecialties, opportunity to see very rare conditions, and city of D.C.!
Future Plans: Undecided, but likely in an academic institution where I can pursue my interests of medical education and global health
- Elizabeth Pickup
Hometown: Woodbury, MN
Undergraduate School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Medical School: University of Minnesota
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: stroke, neurocritical care
Personal Interests: Running, hiking, baking
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? Children's National has a strong emphasis on clinical training, but also provides opportunities to engage with research and medical education. We treat a very diverse patient population, see a wide range of conditions, and have access to every subspeciality within child neurology. Every attending I have worked with has been invested in my learning, and my co-fellows are amazing!
Future Plans: Likely fellowship
- Nouf Alaqla
Hometown: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Medical School: Umm Al-qura University
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Neuro-oncology, epilepsy
Personal Interests: Sleeping, music, spending time with family and friends
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? The diverse patient population, supportive atmosphere and great research opportunities.
Future Plans: TBD
- Natalie Kukulka
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Undergraduate School: Lake Forest College
Medical School: University of Missouri School of Medicine at Columbia
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Neurocritical Care, Fetal and Neonatal Neurology, Movement Disorders
Personal Interests: Dancing (especially ballroom dancing), photography, traveling abroad and trying new food!
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? For the breadth and depth of professional opportunities, emphasis on education, supportive environment and exposure to a large variety in disease presentation.
Future Plans: Future fellowship
- Marina Eskandar
Hometown: Springfield, Virginia
Undergraduate School: George Mason University, Neuroscience
Medical School: George Washington University
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Epilepsy, Neonatal Cooling
Personal Interests: Family, music, reading, travel and my Orthodox Church
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? The diverse patient population and interesting cases as well as the approachable faculty who are personally invested in every fellow
Future Plans: Undecided, but likely to start practicing!
- Ilyse Genser
Undergraduate School: SUNY Binghamton University, Integrative Neuroscience
Medical School: New York Medical College
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Neuro-oncology, Epilepsy
Personal Interests: Skiing, hiking, ice cream, petting other people's dogs
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? I loved the autonomy fellows were given paired with the great support system of attendings and colleagues always available to teach and answer questions. Plus D.C. is a great city to live in!
Future Plans: TBD!
- Molly Moehlman
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Undergraduate School: Trinity University, Biology and Mathematics
Medical School: UT Southwestern
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Neuro-immunology
Personal Interests: Reading, golf, knitting and cooking
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? I loved the people that I met and the variety of opportunities available with exposure to every subfield within Neurology. I also was excited to get to explore D.C. for the next five years.
Future Plans: Possibly fellowship with an ultimate goal of working at an academic center and being involved in medical education.
- Mejdi Najjar
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Undergraduate School: University of Miami, Neuroscience
Medical School: University of Central Florida
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Neurocritical care, stroke
Personal Interests: Spending family time with wife and son, visiting various museums, sports (soccer, basketball), music production (jazz, hip-hop).
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? Great exposure to interesting cases, fellow autonomy, multiple subspecialities, large program with many fellows. All in a really diverse and interesting city.
Future Plans: Epilepsy fellowship with plans to continue with Neuro ICU and stroke training.
- Nicki Pariseau
Hometown: Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but grew up in Houston, Texas
Undergraduate School: Rice University, History
Medical School: The University of Texas Medical School in Houston
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Neuro-oncology, Neuro-critical Care and Stroke
Personal Interests: Theatre, acting, singing, international travel and history
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? I was looking for a program in a major city that had a diverse patient population, a place where the complex gets referred in instead of sent out. I wanted to see the medical mysteries, the latest clinical research in practice and the broadest array of diseases possible. But, more than that, I wanted to end up at a program with a friendly and supportive environment with people that I genuinely liked. Children's National marked all of the check boxes.
Future Plans: Fellowship
- Heather Kaminsky
Hometown: Schenectady, New York
Undergraduate School: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Biology
Graduate School: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Biology (M.S.), Thesis on Neurobiology of Addiction
Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Epilepsy, Headache and Neurodevelopment
Personal Interests: Singing, traveling, botanical gardens and arboretums, thrifting and dystopian fiction
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? I was impressed by the teaching and faculty, as well as the wide range of pathology we have the opportunity to learn about. I also love our awesome co-residents and fellows! (Top 3!)
Future Plans: I am interested in additional fellowship, possibly in epilepsy and then I would like to join a practice affiliated with a research hospital in a major metro city.
- Justine Record
Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland
Undergraduate School: Carnegie Mellon University, Biology
Medical School: University of Maryland School of Medicine
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Epilepsy
Personal Interests: Swing dancing, yoga and exploring D.C. - especially museums and new places to eat!
Why did you choose to train at Children's National? I have known that I wanted to pursue pediatric neurology at Children's National since I was pre-med, had the opportunity to shadow several pediatric neurologists at Children's National and spend a summer at Brainy Camps. I very much appreciate the supportive environment at Children's National and absolutely love D.C.!
Future Plans: Epilepsy fellowship at CHOP!
- Kuntal Sen
Hometown: Kolkata, India
Medical School: Grant Government Medical College, Mumbai
Prior Training: Combined Pediatrics - Medical Genetics & Genomics Residency, Children’s Hospital of Michigan/ Wayne State University
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Orphan diseases
Personal Interests: Bollywood, cooking and hikes
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? To train with a mentor whose work I had followed for a long time; and also because of the great balance between clinical and academic opportunities. The program leadership is vehemently committed to the success of trainees.
Future Plans: Attending in neurogenetics at CNH!
- Victoria Vinarsky
Hometown: Evansville, Wisconsin
Undergraduate School: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Psychology
Graduate School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Biomedical Science-Research Concentration
Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Epilepsy and Neurocritical Care
Personal Interests: Exploring D.C., brunch, kickboxing and travel
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? Large academic center with a wide variety of cases, great people
Future Plans: Epilepsy fellowship at GW!
- Eric Strong
Hometown: Washington, District of Columbia
Undergraduate School: Florida Gulf Coast University, Chemistry
Medical School: The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Epilepsy, Neurodevelopmental disabilities
Personal Interests: Spending time with my wife and children; Star Wars; 49ers football
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? The strong emphasis on training education, the diverse patient population, and most importantly, the brilliant and engaging people that make up the Child Neurology department.
Future Plans: Attending neurologist at Geisinger Health Care
- Carlos Castillo Pinto
Hometown: Panama City, Panama
Medical School: Universidad Latina de Panama
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Neurocritical Care and Epilepsy
Personal Interests: Cooking, CrossFit and dancing
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? As a fellow, you will get exposed to a large variety of cases, including complex neurological conditions that require a multidisciplinary approach in order to provide a better quality of life to our patients. Children’s National’s Child Neurology Program provides a perfect balance between clinical duties, academics and research. In addition, you get to live in one of the most amazing cities in the U.S.
Future Plans: Fellowship in neuro-critical care at Miami Children's
- Jennifer Harmon
Hometown: Ora, South Carolina
Medical School: Medical University of South Carolina
Areas of Interest in Child Neurology: Neurogenetics / Neurometabolism
Personal Interests: Baking/cooking, exploring new playgrounds in the DMV with my kids, dabbling with the ukulele and piano
Why did you choose to train at Children’s National? I wanted an institution with high volume and significant fellow autonomy where I would get many opportunities to learn by seeing, diagnosing and treating a LOT of patients, and I wanted an institution with good relationships within the fellowship and the department – CNH was a good mix of both!
Future Plans: Fellowship at CNH in medical genetics