• Annual Meeting Scholarship Recipients

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    2020 AAST/AWS Annual Meeting Scholarship

    For the sixth year, AAST has partnered with the Association of Women Surgeons to award a scholarship to one of the association's members. The recipients of this joint sponsored scholarship are listed below.

    Tanya Anand, M.D., M.P.H.

    Dr. Tanya Anand hails from Southern California and attained her undergraduate degree from Loma Linda University in Clinical Laboratory Science.  She then completed her MPH degree at the University of Southern California, with an interest in health policy and epidemiology.  She completed medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada, WI, and did her residency at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, California. Her interest in Trauma, Acute Care Surgery, and Critical Care led her to complete a 2-year fellowship at the University of Arizona.

    Dr. Anand’s research interests seek to improve all facets of care of the critically ill trauma, acute care, and burn patient. She is interested in understanding the impact of inflammation upon resuscitation and glycocalyx integrity in the critically ill trauma patient.  In addition, she has a passion for exploring avenues to improve patient equity in healthcare access. 

    Certified by the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, she is a member of multiple professional societies, including the American College of Surgeons, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the Association of Women Surgeons. 

    Dr. Anand is excited to join the University of Arizona faculty this fall.

    Kelsey Evans, M.D.








    Victoria Miles, M.D.

    Dr. Miles is a native of Mississippi and worked throughout college and medical school as a paramedic in the Mississippi Delta. She completed medical school at the University of Mississippi. She is a current PGY-4 resident at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga. She invests a great deal of time into both her coagulopathy of trauma research and efforts to improve the medical student surgical clerkship. She has received her institution’s resident teaching award two years in a row. She currently serves as the Resident Representative to the American College of Surgeons Committee on Resident Education. This year, she was chosen to represent ACS as the International Exchange Resident to the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Miles hopes to pursue an academic career in trauma and burn surgery alongside her husband who is pursuing a career in orthopedic traumatology. 

    Whitney Orji

    Whitney Orji is a fourth-year medical student at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She grew up just outside Austin, TX and attended Rice University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in bioengineering. At Penn, in addition to her MD training, Whitney took a year to pursue training in health services research as a David A. Asch Medical Student Scholar in the Master’s in Health Policy Research program. Whitney is broadly interested in health equity in the provision of surgical care.

    Radhika Tandon, M.S.

    Radhika is a second-year medical student at St. George’s University School of Medicine. As an undergraduate Biology major at Pace University she developed an interest in trauma surgery while a research assistant at Mount Sinai SOM. After college, she completed two years of basic science translational lung cancer research at Weill Cornell. She also helped establish the Women’s Lung & Health Center research program for Columbia Surgery. She is currently helping to develop the Association of Women’s Surgeons Chapter at SGU to support fellow aspiring surgeons. In her spare time, she enjoys running, swimming, and music.

    Tishina Tittley

    Tishina Tittley is a fourth-year medical student at Howard University College of Medicine pursuing a general surgeryresidency this year. She grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC and completed her undergraduate studies at Columbia University in New York City, where she majored in biological sciences. Prior to medical school, Tishina worked as a clinical research coordinator at the Bronx Veterans Affairs Hospital, where she managed research projects studying the secondary medical consequences of spinal cord injury. She currently serves as Social Media & Marketing Coordinator of the Association of Women Surgeons Medical Student Committee. Her primary research interests include surgical technology and innovation, surgical outcomes, and health disparities. Ultimately, Tishina hopes to pursue a career insurgical oncology or acute critical care. She can be found on Twitter @TishinaTittley.



    AAST Military Liaison Committee Annual Meeting Scholarship

    The AAST Military Liaison Committee offered a scholarship for the fourth time this year to medical students, residents, or in-training fellows within the military. 

    Lisa M. Angotti, M.D., M.S.

    Lisa was born and raised in Westfield, Massachusetts. She completed her undergraduate education at Union College in Schenectady, NY and completed her M.S. in Health Care Administration at the associated Union Graduate College. She completed medical school at Albany Medical College, earning her M.D. with a distinction in bioethics. While in medical school, Lisa commissioned in the United States Air Force. She stayed in Albany to complete her General Surgery Residency, and just completed an active duty Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery Fellowship at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. She is excited to begin her first assignment as an attending trauma surgeon with the USAF SMART program in Las Vegas, NV this summer.

    Carl Beyer, M.D.

    Major Carl Beyer grew up on the Florida Gulf Coast and received a B.A. in economics from the University of Florida. After college, he completed his M.D. at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA in the Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program. He then moved to Sacramento, CA for General Surgery training in the integrated UC Davis Health/David Grant USAF Medical Center residency. During his two years of dedicated research time, he focused on using DoD and VA data to study long-term trauma outcomes, as well as translational trauma resuscitation research. Carl is currently in his last year of residency with plans to pursue a fellowship in Trauma and Surgical Critical Care. Outside the hospital, he enjoys exploring the California wilderness with his wife and young daughter.

    Michelle Chung, DO, MPH, MS

    Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Michelle Y. Chung obtained her BS in Human Biology at UCSD. She then went to Boston University to obtain her MS in medical science and MPH in healthy policy and management. While there, she also did bio-genomics research at Harvard Medical School. She later attended Western University of Health Sciences for medical school and is currently a PGY-3 general surgery resident at New York Medical College at Metropolitan Hospital. She commissioned into the US Air Force in 2015 and is currently active duty, serving as a Captain. Dr. Chung has experience with working in underserved communities and has further developed an interest in ACS/Trauma, particularly in working with the military in combat medicine. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring new places to eat, and traveling with her friends.  

    Jun Elegino







    Blair C. Lee, M.D.

    Blair was born in Maryland and attended Cornell University, graduating with a degree in computer science in 1999. After a five-year career as an information technology consultant, he returned to school to complete a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program. He attended Georgetown University School of Medicine, graduating in 2010 through the U.S. Navy’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. Blair completed his intern year in General Surgery at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in 2011. He then completed the Undersea Medical Officer Candidate course, reporting for duty to the Naval Submarine School in 2012. He then reported to Naval Special Warfare Development Group in 2014, where he completed a tour as the command’s deputy medical officer. He returned to Portsmouth in 2017 to resume his residency in General Surgery, where he is currently a chief resident. He is currently pursuing a fellowship in trauma and critical care. Throughout his diverse professional and military career, Blair has enjoyed unwavering love and support from his wife and daughters. Together, they look forward to sharing both the challenges and the rewards that lie ahead.

    Alexander Malloy, M.D.

    Dr. Malloy was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He immigrated to the United States with his family during his adolescent years and completed his undergraduate degree in English at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.  He received his DO from Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, TN, and completed his general surgery residency at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI.  He is currently in his acute care surgery fellowship at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.  Dr. Malloy commissioned into the United States Army in 2009 with the Health Professions Scholarship Program and remains on active duty as a trauma and critical care surgeon and Army Major.  When he is not providing care to the critically injured patient, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons. 

    Justin Robbins, M.D.

    Justin Robbins, M.D. is a PGY-1 General Surgery resident at Wright State University and active duty Captain of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH. He received his MD at the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, OK and completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. Throughout his time in medical school he has participated in various research studies in the field of trauma surgery leading to publications in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery and American Journal of Surgery. His research interests focus on quality and outcomes improvement in trauma patients in urban and rural locations. He plans to pursue a fellowship in Trauma/Surgical Critical Care after his residency and will then go on to fulfill his active duty commitment with the Air Force. He aspires to be a part of the Critical Care Air Transport Team to help provide medical care to injured service members that are deployed abroad and to work as a faculty educator and researcher at a level 1 trauma center when stationed in the United States.

    AAST International Committee Annual Meeting Scholarship

    Abeer Aboalhassan







    Marianna M. Fischmann, M.D.

    Marianna M. Fischmann is a Brazilian physician who graduated from Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) in the state of Rio de Janeiro - Brazil. She is currently working as a Research Trainee at the Mayo Clinic Rochester in the Division of Trauma, Critical Care, and General Surgery. She is an aspiring surgeon and passionate about trauma and pediatric surgery. 


    Murad Habib, M.D.

    My name is Dr Murad Habib. I am currently working as Resident surgery at Ayub teaching hospital Abbottabad. I want to peruse my career in trauma surgery as there are very few people around me, its demanding & need of the hour. 




    2020 20forTwenty In-Training Fellow, Resident, and Medical Student Scholarship Recipients

    Every year, AAST offers and awards scholarships for medical students, residents, and in-training fellows to attend the Annual Meeting.  Below are this year's scholarship recipients.

    In-Training Fellow

    Gary Bass M.D., M.S., M.B.A.

    Following graduation from the General Surgery Residency Program of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (@RCSIrl), Dr Bass has joined the ACS Fellowship Program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He hopes to pursue a career in academic trauma surgery and critical care, focusing on surgical outcomes research. This is his first AAST Clinical Congress, and he is honoured to present as a speaker on some of his research.


    Mohamad Chehab, M.D.

    I am a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Arizona, Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Acute Care, Burns, and Emergency Surgery. I received my MD degree from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. I have authored more than 10 peer-reviewed publications that focus on traumatic brain injury, transfusions, and emergency general surgery in frail patients. I have participated in and presented at multiple national surgical meetings. I am an aspiring surgeon with a keen interest in quality improvement and patient outcomes.

    S Christopher Derderian, M.D.








    Heather Grant, M.D.

    Dr. Heather Grant is a native of Toronto, Ontario.  She received her bachelor's degree from Yale University and her medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.  She completed two years of general surgery residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical School - Baystate Medical Center before starting her research fellowship.  She is currently undertaking a number of clinical research projects while working towards a master of science degree at the Tufts University Clinical and Translational Science Institute.  Her primary research interest is pediatric trauma.

    Jeffery Jopling, M.D.







    Muhammad Khurrum, M.D.

    I graduated from Jinnah Medical and Dental College, in Karachi, Pakistan. After finishing medical school, I joined Aga Khan University Hospital and completed an internship. The hospital and the institution provided me with opportunities and expertise that helped build my clinical outlook. I am always fascinated by the research and wanted to explore science. In order to equip myself with the right tools to be a physician-scientist, I took a position as a research fellow at The University of Arizona Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. Over the past ten months at this institution, I have been humbled by the opportunities I have been provided. I have published more than ten articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at multiple national conferences. I also wrote several abstracts and was able to secure the podium presentation in multiple prestigious scientific meetings such as; The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, The Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress, Pediatric Trauma Society, the Military Health System Research Symposium and Academic Surgical Congress. My current research focus is on quality improvement initiatives, traumatic brain injuries, at-risk populations in trauma and emergency surgery, and trauma systems improvements. Due to the unique blend of my scientific training, clinical environment, choice of collaborators and mentors, I am currently working on eight different research projects encompassing a variety of issues within the trauma, general emergency surgery, and critical care specialties.

    Pooja Neiman, M.D.

    Pooja Neiman is a first-generation MD who is currently an NCSP Fellow at the University of Michigan and a General Surgery Resident at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. She completed her medical education at the UCLA School of Medicine and received her Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. While in college, Pooja launched a non-profit called Mobilizing Health, an organization that connected physicians and community leaders to medical advice via text messages to more than 5,000 patients in rural India. After running Mobilizing Health full-time for two years and overseeing its transition to UNICEF, she focused her energy on issues related to access to health care domestically. Pooja believes that access to quality, affordable health care is a basic need. In the future, Pooja sees her practice as a trauma surgeon evolve to include a health policy role. As a National Clinical Scholars Program Fellow, she is focusing on increasing access to quality, affordable health care in the U.S.

    Karen Wanersdorfer, D.O.

    Karen Wanersdorfer, DO is the current Surgical Critical Care Fellow at George Washington University Hospital in Washington DC. She is a native of Colorado, where her family still resides. Karen completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She was originally recruited to the university to join the women’s golf team. Upon graduation she attended Rocky Vista University in Parker, Colorado, completing her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree in 2013. After 2 years of Family Medicine Residency at Largo Medical Center in Largo, Florida, Karen discovered her true passion of surgery and transitioned to the General Surgery program. She completed 4 more years, graduating in 2019, before moving to Washington DC to start her Fellowship. Once completed, Karen will be continuing on at GWUH as an Associate Professor of Surgery and member of the Center for Trauma and Critical Care team in November 2020. Her research interests include pain management and sedation in critical care and resident education but is looking forward to expanding and developing new interests while at GWUH. When she has time away from the hospital, Karen enjoys baking a variety of treats in the kitchen, as well as exploring the outdoors while hiking, running and playing golf.



    Kovi Bessoff, M.D.







    Jared Griffard, M.D.








    Melissa Grisby, M.D.

    Dr. Melissa Grigsby is a 4th year General Surgery Resident at the University of California, Davis. She grew up in West Chester, Pennsylvania and went on to receive her B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore College. Afterwards, she earned her master’s degree in Exercise Science from East Stroudsburg University while serving as an assistant coach for their NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball team. She then returned to academia and obtained her medical degree from Geisinger Commonwealth Medical School. During her early residency training she developed a strong interest in Trauma Surgery and Critical Care due to its complexity, variability, team-oriented approach to patient care. Last year she focused her efforts in the lab. She investigated the role of pathogen associated molecular patterns in changing the structure of the human glucocorticoid receptor, and on the clinical side, she analyzed the morbidity and mortality of burn patients over the past 20 years. Dr. Grigsby plans to pursue a career as an academic Trauma and Acute Care Surgeon.

    Arthur Grimes, M.D.

    I am a PGY-4 General Surgery Resident at The University of Oklahoma Medical Center. Last year, I spent a dedicated research year focusing on trauma outcomes, frailty, prehabilitation, and quality improvement.





    Raymond Huang, M.D.

    I grew up in Los Angeles, California. I obtained my B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and then completed medical school at the State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine where I earned my M.D. I am currently in my fourth year of residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. After my second clinical year, I spent a year as a research fellow at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where I looked at the use of MRI in C-spine clearance and the use of stored whole blood in trauma resuscitation. I am a Stop the Bleed, ATLS, and Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness instructor. I plan on pursuing a fellowship in trauma surgery and critical care after general surgery residency.

    Javaneh Jabbari, M.D.








    Charles Liu, M.D., M.S.

    I am a PGY-3 general surgery resident at Stanford University. I recently completed 2 years of health services research training through the UCLA/VA National Clinician Scholars Program, where my research focused on understanding rates of catastrophic out-of-pocket spending among surgical and trauma patients, and how their spending has been affected by the Affordable Care Act. I hope to pursue a career in academic surgery focused on improving the care of underserved patients and closing racial and ethnic disparities in surgical outcomes.

    Chinelo Ogbudinkpa, M.D.

    Dr. Chinelo Ogbudinkpa was born in Nigeria and moved to the United States after high school. She completed her undergraduate degree at Rutgers University, Newark and obtained a medical degree from SUNY Buffalo. Presently, she is a 5th year general surgery resident at University of Illinois at Chicago, Metropolitan Group Hospitals. She is currently applying for a fellowship in Acute Care Surgery and intend on pursuing a career in academia.


    Eva Urrechaga, M.D.

    Eva is a PGY-4 general surgery resident at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami currently in her second year of post-doctoral research with the Department of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, and Burns. Her work includes projects that have investigated firearm injury risk factors, antibiotic use in the ICU, effects of the COVID pandemic on the acute care surgery service, and collaboration with the department of Pediatric Surgery on firearm and motor vehicle injuries.  Outside of research, she works as an instructor for Stop the Bleed and ATLS in the community and acts as a facilitator for medical students in their surgical clerkship workshops and small group sessions. 

    Medical Students

    Maritza "Diane" Essis

    Maritza “Diane” Essis is a fourth-year medical student at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. Her love of surgery stems from her own experience with a congenital heart defect that required open-heart surgery at age 3. Born in Lille, France to immigrant parents, she emigrated from France, with her mother, to Western Massachusetts less than a year after her life-saving surgery. She received her undergraduate degree from Connecticut College, where she played lacrosse and served as Student Government Association President. Before medical school, Diane obtained a Master’s in Management from Lasell College and worked for three years at the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Working in such close proximity to Boston Medical Center’s busy level one trauma center ignited her interest in trauma surgery of all kinds. Diane is fortunate to have an incredible mentor in Dr. Bryant Oliphant who has provided continued guidance and support. She hopes to become an academic surgeon and serve patients in the US and abroad with a particular interest in immigrant and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. In her spare time, she enjoys engaging in various sports with family and friends and spending time with her husband and toddler son. 

    Erik Holder

    I am a fourth-year MD/MPH student at Indiana University School of Medicine/School of Public Health.  I have researched in the area of plant biology, orthopedic surgery, and now trauma surgery, with potential plans to pursue a residency in obstetrics and gynecology.  I enjoy reading, traveling, hiking, and competing in triathlons!‚Äč


    August Houghton

    August Houghton grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and obtained his B.S. from Cornell University. He is currently a fourth-year medical student at Tulane University school of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana where he is also completing an MPH with a focus in disaster management.  With the guidance of excellent mentors from Tulane’s trauma department, August has developed a passion for the process of intellectual discovery possible through research. At this year's meeting, he is presenting an analysis of the relationship between firearm retail availability and firearm mortality in the US. His interest in firearm policy is a product of the natural interconnection between his interests in trauma, his MPH studies, and his passion for hunting and fishing when not in the hospital or studying. August is currently applying to general surgery residencies. He hopes to pursue a career in academic trauma and acute care surgery. He also hopes to respond to natural and man-made disasters worldwide.

    Scott Ninokawa

    Scott Ninokawa is a third-year medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine pursuing a dual MD/MS - Anatomy degree. Originally from Southern California, he studied molecular biology at the University of California - Los Angeles while working as an EMT. After graduation, he moved to the emergency department where he worked as a trauma technician and confirmed his interest in trauma and acute care. At Tulane, Scott is in the DeBakey Scholars Program and is an active member of the McSwain trauma research group. His research interests include trauma surgery and prehospital care. Scott has served as president of the Tulane Surgery Interest Group and currently serves as the vice president of the medical student government. In his free time, he enjoys SCUBA diving, backpacking, and ice climbing. Scott is extremely thankful to the mentors who have supported his scholarly development thus far and looks forward to pursuing a career in trauma and acute care surgery.

    Maxwell Presser

    Maxwell Presser is an MD/MPH candidate in the Class of 2021 at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He was born in Philadelphia, PA and completed his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied Health & Societies and Korean as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and James Joo-Jin Kim Scholar. Maxwell has conducted research on firearm violence and injury prevention at the University of Miami, the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and as the Injury Prevention Research Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco’s Wraparound Project. His research focuses on violence and traffic crashes among high-risk individuals, people experiencing mental illness, people experiencing homelessness, and children. He is particularly interested in hospital-based violence intervention programs.

    Maxwell developed and analyzed a longitudinal curriculum to teach medical students how to counsel patients on firearm safety. He has authored a book chapter on firearms in the Pacific and an op-ed in the Miami Herald to offer firearm safety recommendations to parents. He also served as a panelist at the 2019 Association of American Medical Colleges conference to discuss how medical institutions can address firearm violence. At the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Maxwell has held leadership positions in the Surgery and Trauma Surgery Interest Groups in anticipation of a career as a trauma surgeon and injury prevention advocate.

    Jackson Shampo

    I'm a 3rd year medical student pursuing a career working with critically ill patients. I'm planning to pursue residency/fellowship in either Critical Care Medicine or Emergency Medicine. I come from a background of team leadership; working with many student run organizations throughout college and medical school. Another passion of mine is working to provide medical care to the underserved populations in my community. I hope to one day be able to use my experience in leadership and medicine in order to organize programs to better provide care for these populations.

    Alexa Turpin

    I am an MS4 at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UMMSM). I grew up in Woodstown, NJ and I graduated from Cornell University in 2017. I am currently the Executive Director for the Department of Community Service (DOCS) at UMMSM, so I oversee the ten annual health fairs and three weekly clinics we host throughout South Florida. I also serve as the Curriculum Representative for my class. I have been participating in general surgery research since I was a second year. I have worked on projects involving morbidity & mortality of EA/TEF as well as surgical outcomes in the era of COVID-19. Most recently, I have been working on projects looking at outcomes of children involved in MVCs as well as outcomes of children hit by cars as pedestrians. I have taken a specific interest in pediatric trauma surgery research. This year I will be applying for general surgery residencies with the goal of pursing pediatric surgery.

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