Skip to main content Skip to navigation
We care about your privacy. Read about your rights and how we protect your data. Get Details

Coronavirus Update:What patients and families need to know

Our Current Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellows

Infectious Disease Current Fellows

3rd Year Fellows

S HefterSefi Hefter
I come from the NYC 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 TaorminaGillian 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. 


2nd 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 bachelor’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!


1st Year Fellows

Jency Daniel

Jency Daniel
I've been a New Yorker my whole life. Aside from living abroad in Japan and Madagascar, D.C. is the place that captured me away from NY. I was drawn to the energy of this city full of passionate, driven people seeking to make high impact changes for the better. I already know that Children's National and the FDA/CDER track are perfectly poised to help me do just that: to learn everything I can about not only bread and butter pediatric ID, but also to equip me with the critical reasoning skills I would need to handle any weird bug I encountered in the future. The division is full of warm, nerdy and truly impressive senior fellows and mentors that I am privileged to learn from and work with. With the unique opportunity to be a medical officer at an agency like the FDA, I will work in teams to play a direct role in ensuring product safety and patient/ consumer protection. I am also passionate about health policy and legislative advocacy, and the ways in which the quality of the patient care we deliver everyday can be impacted by the laws and policies that govern us. I love tropical and emerging diseases, global health and epidemiology and my favorite pathogen has to be the Chikungunya virus because let's face it...it takes the prize for "Best Named Bug in the Microbe Kingdom." Unrelated to any of this, I also love hip hop, writing, pretending I'm a TV/ film/ food critic, photography, travel off the beaten path and themed parties.

Nick Geagan

Nick Geagan
I’m originally from Minnesota but have traveled around quite a bit for my medical training. I did medical school in Pennsylvania and in the upstate New York area before moving down south to Alabama for residency. This is my first time in the D.C. area and I am extremely excited to be here to experience all the food and culture the city has to offer. Being a fellow in CBER/FDA provides an exciting opportunity to get insight on up and coming vaccines and the process that leads to their approval. In my free time I really enjoy being outdoors whether it be hiking, camping or backpacking, which ties in closely with my favorite bug, Borrelia burgdorferi, considering tick checks are part of my regular routine. My clinical interests are related to diagnostics and how they can be incorporated into stewardship so I am always looking forward to learning about new technologies in the field!

Maria Rueda Altez

Maria Rueda Altez
I was born and raised in Lima, Peru and went to medical school at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. I came to D.C. for residency and loved it so much, I decided to stay for three more years to train in Infectious Diseases. D.C. is an amazing city to live in, with a diverse population, lots of culture and opportunities for advocacy everywhere. I enjoy discovering new cuisines by exploring new restaurants all around the DMV area. I’m also obsessed with escape rooms and try to go to a new one every month. My interests include antimicrobial stewardship and medical education, which I will have lots of opportunities to develop as the Traditional Track fellow. My spirit microorganism? I am a very visual learner, so I would have to pick Giardia lamblia as I will never be able to forget its cute “whiskers."


NIH/CNH Med-Peds Fellows

Janitzio Guzmán

Janitzio Guzmán (1st year)
I am a native son of Austin, TX. Though mom tells me I knew I wanted to be a kids’ doctor when I was six, I discovered in high school that I loved the microscopic world. I accepted a great opportunity to complete my undergraduate degree in microbiology at the Ohio State University, and after spending a couple of years working for the National Hispanic Institute, I decided that I was ready to pursue my lifelong dream of a career in medicine. After medical school at the University of Texas School of Medicine in San Antonio, TX, I matched to internal medicine-pediatrics residency at the University of Oklahoma in Tulsa. My mentor there encouraged me to take a look at the Children’s National’s pediatric ID program and the rest is, as they say, history. I’m thrilled to train at the National Institutes of Health and Children’s National Hospital as an adult and pediatric infectious diseases physician. I will nerd out unabashedly about parasites (especially Plasmodium vivax, my favorite of the malarias) and bugs in general. When I’m not busy thinking about microbes, I love to spend time outdoors with my pup, Copper.

Gregory Mak

Gregory Mak (3rd year)
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 three to four months a year). 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, 22 physicians have completed our pediatric infectious diseases fellowship training program and gone on to a variety of activities. Currently, 11 are in traditional academic practice (clinical, education, research duties) and four work in primarily clinical practices. The remaining seven are working in various infectious diseases venues: five are based with the FDA, One is with the CDC and one 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