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Our Current Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellows

Infectious Disease Current Fellows

3rd Year Fellows

M BozellaMichael Bozzella
I'm originally from the Boston area, and have spent most of my life in the north east between undergrad in western NY, medical school in Maine and residency in Boston. I'm excited to be here in D.C. for this next life chapter, and be immersed in all things infectious. I'm looking forward to getting to know a new city and exploring its museums, restaurants and theaters. I have a particular interest in medical education and its use in promoting antimicrobial stewardship, and I have been known to get way too excited by purulence and febrile travelers. While I normally love a good virus, one of my current favorite organisms is Rickettsia rickettsii (just another prime example of how nature is out to get us).

A YountsAlexandra Yonts
I was born a Buckeye, raised a Husker and most recently lived in the sunny land of Northern California, so I am excited to be back in B1G 10 country (Go Big Red!) and in a place where people actually get excited about sports. Other than spectating at athletic events, I also enjoy exploring the DMV via my tastebuds, cooking, baking, going to concerts, painting, hiking and skiing. As a CBER FDA fellow, I am looking forward to broadening my skill set and learning about the very different world of clinical vaccine trials and the processes involved in getting them to market. I’m also excited and honored to continue to work with sick children and their families, and to participate in the fascinating medical detective work that is Pediatric Infectious Disease every day! As the granddaughter of a dairy farmer, I would have to say my favorite infectious organism is Mycobacterium bovis or anything else that can be found in unpasteurized milk.


2nd Year Fellows

Mark Connelly

Mark Connelly
I was born in Maryland and raised as a Terrapin before medical school and residency introduced me to the land of the Tar Heels. After my time there, my family and I moved back to D.C. where I first completed a fellowship in pediatric critical care before starting my ID fellowship. I am very interested in learning more about severe viral infections and how the immune system handles them. I am a beach bum at heart and would spend all day in the water if I could, so I would have to choose Vibrio vulnificus as my spirit microorganism.

Sefi Hefter

Sefi Hefter
I come from the New York City area where I've been most of my life until venturing "down south" (it’s all relative!) for fellowship, and I am already loving the D.C. area. When I'm not working, you'll find me spending time with family and friends, cooking and reading. I also love some good trivia! Nothing relaxes me like a crossword puzzle or watching Jeopardy! at the end of a long day. Favorite infection for $800: What is EBV? EBV, its range of presentations, and the effects on the immune system fascinate me. But I must admit, playing favorites is hard for me. I love all of ID! I am also so excited to learn about and participate in the vaccine approval process as an FDA CBER fellow.

Gillian Taormina

Gillian Taormina
I’m from New York and completed my education and pediatrics training in various parts of the state, until now! I enjoy going to concerts, baseball games, movies, museums and trying new restaurants/breweries. I’m excited to immerse myself in the world of ID and the work at FDA/CDER, and to be surrounded by people who get equally excited about cultures, susceptibilities, and antibiotic stewardship. While I try not to play favorites (yet), I’m partial to Aspergillus because a microbiology Ph.D. friend somehow turned that into a nickname for me.


1st Year Fellows

Jonathan Albert

Jonathan Albert
Raised in New Jersey, I was a Drexel dragon during college, a GW Hippo during med school and a St. Chris Apple during residency. At last, I am honored to join my co-fellows as a Bear at Children’s National! As a CBER FDA fellow, I am excited to learn more about vaccine development, clinical trials and the regulatory decisions that go into bringing vaccines to market. My clinical interests include medical education, describing bizarre rashes and the sweet smell of Streptococcus anginosus in the micro lab. If I had to choose a favorite microorganism, though, it would have to be Naegleria fowleri.

Amy Bishara

Amy Bishara
I’m an Ohioan raised by Egyptian parents who loves playing and watching soccer (specifically Barca and Messi)! I have a master’s degree in Medical Anthropology and have always had a passion for global health. My favorite infectious organism is Plasmodium falciparum. I trained in the south (Tennessee for med school and Alabama for residency) and am excited to train in such a diverse area full of infections from all over the world for fellowship. I decided to go into ID after working in Rwanda during my second year of residency where I saw the impact of infectious diseases and effective antimicrobial treatments on individuals in low resource settings. As a CDER FDA fellow I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to play a role in diagnostic and antimicrobial stewardship as well as the development of new antimicrobial agents.

Lauren Powell

Lauren Powell
I was born in the same town as the King himself, Tupelo, Mississippi, and grew up swimming in his backyard. From there my family moved to the furniture capital of the world, North Carolina, where I was lucky to have the beautiful smoky mountains right outside my back door. This allowed my love for the outdoors to blossom. I wasn’t born a Tarheel, but I was definitely raised one, eventually making it my alma mater. I bleed Carolina blue and if you ever want to watch a game with me just make sure you have earplugs. Life then led me to Denver, Colorado where I continued my medical training and fell in love not only with pediatrics, but global health. I had the pleasure of traveling abroad on multiple medical missions eventually leading to my passion for tropical disease, and hence the reason I chose the lovely field I am in now. I made my way back south during residency to the Big Easy and loved every minute of it. I’m adventurous and plan to obtain my MPH in Global Health Epidemiology and Disease Control to broaden my horizons during fellowship. As a lover of tropical diseases, I’d have to say my favorite organism is Taenia solium as it amazes me the tapeworm can cause more problems even as it’s dying. My other hobbies, besides moving every few years and going to school for the rest of my life, include eating at all the amazing restaurants wherever I am, traveling (of course), photography, live music and watching other sporting events besides the Tarheels, such as the New Orleans Saints, Who Dat!


NIH/CNH Med-Peds Fellow (2nd year)

Gregory Mak

Gregory Mak
Born and raised in NYC and trained in upstate NY, I decided to venture south to D.C. for ID fellowship for a change in scenery (also to see if I would miss the lovely experience of shoveling snow and digging out my car 3-4 months a year). Despite my short tenure in D.C., I’ve been enjoying the great restaurants and food scene here (halfway through the Washingtonian top 100 restaurants list!). My favorite place in D.C. is The Wharf where you can sit by the docks and watch the planes take off. My favorite organism would be Bartonella bacilliformis. The history behind this bacterium and its discovery is so fascinating – go look it up! - but I don’t recommend doing what Carrión did.

What Are Our Recent Graduates Up To?

What Are Our Recent Graduates Up To?

Since 2010, 19 physicians have completed our pediatric infectious diseases fellowship training program and gone on to a variety of activities. Currently, 8 are in traditional academic practice (clinical, education and research duties) and 5 work in primarily clinical practices (2 are providing clinical infectious diseases services in under served countries). The remaining 6 are working in various infectious diseases venues: 4 are based with the FDA, 1 is with the CDC and 1 is doing bench research with no clinical duties.

Quotes From Our Alumni

Quotes From Our Alumni

“D.C. is a cool city. It has a bit of everything; history, architecture, food, art, culture, politics, you name it. It also makes an interesting place to work. We have a fun group with lots of fellows and engaging faculty and staff. There is always the potential of a rural, urban and/or exotic differential being on your list of patients to see daily. We see and do a lot, but never feel overwhelmed!” – Dr. Amol Purandare, Alumnus 2018

“My experiences at Children’s National and the FDA have prepared me well for my new position. Children’s National provided me with a strong clinical background and the FDA a strong understanding of clinical trials and regulatory science.” – Dr. George Dubrocq, Alumnus 2017

“Looking back on my training, Children's National and the FDA was the perfect combination for me. I saw a tremendous volume of patients presenting with both common and uncommon infectious diseases and learned from amazing attendings on the wards and in the microbiology lab. Through my time in the FDA CDER track, I developed an understanding of drug development, clinical trials and labeling that has proven invaluable in my interactions with patients and in my pursuit of scholarly activity.” – Dr. Kimberly Martin, Alumna 2015

“During residency I became interested in pediatric HIV and international health. Out of residency, I worked for the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative in Malawi, and thereafter decided to pursue a Peds ID fellowship at Children's National because I knew it would offer me the opportunity to continue to pursue my interests in HIV, tropical medicine and international health but more importantly would give me the tools to become an effective clinician and independent physician scientist.

My primary scholarly research was completed at the FDA with a focus on evaluating safety and effectiveness of new vaccines.  In addition, the fellowship offered me the opportunity to conduct investigator-initiated clinical research projects and I took courses in epidemiology and biostatistics in the school of public health at GWU. The support and academic experience at Children's National were optimal to pursue a career as a physician scientist.

After fellowship, I accepted a faculty position at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital/CWRU School of Medicine.  In September 2016, I was awarded a K23 Mentored Career Development Award from the NIH to study the relationship of cardiovascular health and inflammation in children infected with HIV in Uganda.

The Peds ID fellowship at Children's National offered me the mentorship and environment to enable me to purse my research career and work towards achieving my long-term career objective and become a pediatric clinical research with international expertise in metabolic and cardiovascular complications of HIV.” – Dr. Sahera Fargo, Alumna 2013