Meet Our Fellows
First Year Fellows
Catherine Bernstein, MD
I am originally from Maryland, but have lived in North Carolina for a long time! I completed my undergraduate training in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins, but quickly realized that I wanted to go to medical school after taking a gap year. I spent the year after college graduation working at a wilderness therapy program in Georgia, which was definitely one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. After that year, I came to UNC for medical school and also obtained my Master’s in Public Health, where I focused on adverse childhood experiences. I couples matched with my husband for pediatrics residency, and was able to stay at UNC while he matched to Duke—I try not to hold it against him! I wanted to stay at UNC for neonatology fellowship because of the excellent training, the amazing people, and the phenomenal quality of life in this area of North Carolina. I am thrilled to be able to pursue my passion by taking care of the most vulnerable patients and their families as they navigate the challenges of having a child in the NICU.
In my free time, I love to hike, backpack, bake bread with my sourdough starter, do crossword puzzles, and spend time with my friends and family (including my husband and cat, Anchovy).
Emily Cox, DO
Hi everyone! As a North Carolina native, I grew up in Raleigh before attending NC State University, where I received my BS in Biological Sciences with a concentration in human biology. Following a gap year spent learning the ropes of a busy dermatology clinic as a medical assistant, I attended medical school at Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine. I then completed my pediatric residency at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, where neonatology was solidified as my calling. I feel intellectually and emotionally fulfilled in the NICU, and I enjoy the multidisciplinary team dynamic and the relationships built with families as we support them throughout their journey.
Having published research on the effects of distance from my residency’s NICU follow-up clinic on other socioeconomic barriers to follow-up clinic attendance, I am currently interested in researching neonatal follow-up and neurodevelopmental outcomes. I am thrilled to return home to the Triangle for fellowship at UNC, a program with the proven ability to teach pediatricians to become incredible neonatologists. Outside the hospital, you can find me baking, riding my Peloton, or having dinner with friends!
Kelly Orgel, MD
Hi everyone. I grew up in New Jersey before making the trip down to Chapel Hill to attend college at UNC, where I met my husband, Ryan, the very first week of undergrad! We absolutely fell in love with Chapel Hill and have made this our long-term home. I have now completed my undergrad, MD, PhD, and Pediatrics Residency training at UNC. When interviewing here for Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship, I was drawn to the cutting-edge research, excellent patient care, and the same small town, family feel that I have loved about UNC all along. During my fellowship, I will participate in the Pediatric Scientist Development Program (PSDP) where my research will focus on the pathogenesis and prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis.
Outside of the hospital, you will find me spending time with my husband and our two children, Aiden (6) and Emma (3). We love exploring local parks and museums, traveling to the beach, visiting family, and taking our Australian Shepherd, Mia, on walks. As a fun fact, our daughter, Emma, was born very premature and was a patient in the UNC Neonatal Critical Center. We were so impressed with the compassion, dedication, and care that our daughter and whole family received from this unit. I am beyond excited to be a part of the UNC Neonatology Family and strive for that same level of care for my patients.
Jeanette Van Steyn, MD
I grew up in Aiken, South Carolina and attended medical school at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia Campus. I received a Health Professions Scholarship Program scholarship from the US Army and following my graduation from medical school completed my pediatric residency at Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis McChord (Tacoma, Washington). After residency, I was stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord and Fort Hood/Cavazos (Killeen, Texas) as an active duty general pediatrician, pediatric hospitalist, and Army Battalion Surgeon. I also served as the Community Pediatrics Rotation Director for the Pediatric Program at Madigan for two years. My time as an active duty pediatrician solidified my love for neonatology and graduate medical education. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three Rhodesian Ridgebacks as well as running, hiking, backpacking, and traveling.
I was drawn to the NICU program at UNC because of the strong clinical experiences available to fellows and the opportunity to be involved in global health research.
Second Year Fellows
Amalia Lee, MD, MPH
Hey Everyone! I was born and raised in Waldorf, MD. Then, I followed the Sun (and warmth!) to North Carolina and never looked back. I went to North Carolina State University (GO PACK!) for undergraduate training where I majored in Biomedical Engineering and Biochemistry. I enlisted in the Army National Guard after high school and completed ROTC program while in undergrad to earn my commission as an officer. I have continued my military service with the Army throughout my medical training. I love North Carolina so much I stayed for medical school at UNC (even though they are our rival school), where I stayed an extra year to earn my Master’s of Public Health. The amazing culture, commitment to diversity, well-rounded training, and most importantly the people; made it an easy decision to remain at UNC for residency.
I desired to stay at UNC as a fellow because of the amazing people, commitment to teaching/mentorship, and breath of opportunities for research. My research interests center on neurodevelopmental health outcomes, involvement with the NICU follow up clinic, medical education, and health disparities. I have an amazing husband and together we have two wonderful daughters: Aria and Maya who keep us on our toes! Outside of the hospital, you can find my family and me cheering for NC State at sporting events, exploring museums/parks/zoo, or hanging out at the beach! My own time is spent cycling/strength training with my Peloton!
Third Year Fellows
Macrina Liguori, MD
I was born in Norfolk, VA but spent most of my childhood in Austin, TX, where I was a pre-professional ballet dancer. After discovering a fascination of biology in high school, I decided to pursue a pre-med track. I received my BA from Hendrix College in Arkansas with a major in Biology and minor in Spanish. I moved back to Texas for medical school, where I trained at UT Southwestern in Dallas. I joined the UNC family as a pediatric resident and have loved my time here. Like some of my co-fellows, I had always thought that neonatology was an interesting field, and my time in the unit as a resident solidified my decision to stay on as a neonatal fellow. I am particularly interested in the fields of bioethics and palliative care and their respective roles in the NICU. Outside of the unit, I love to listen to live music, stay active, bargain shop, and spend time with my husband and our energetic puppies, Pepper and Winston.
Amy MacKay, MD
I grew up in Mobile, Alabama and attended undergrad at Birmingham-Southern College and then medical school at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Before starting medical school, I gained basic science research skills and worked on my French fluency by doing a Fulbright year of research in Lausanne, Switzerland. The true highlight of the year was meeting my now husband, Stephen, in Switzerland and all the travels that living in Europe entails. He is from South Africa and was there doing research as well. After completing medical school, I did my pediatric residency in Norfolk, Virginia at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughter’s (Eastern Virginia Medical School). I was drawn to UNC to complete my NICU fellowship because of the family atmosphere, research opportunities and wonderful location. My research interests involve global health and neonatal resuscitation. We have two cats and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Swansea. We love spending time outdoors and checking out all the breweries and local restaurants.
Neha Hassan, MD-now at Ochsner Health, New Orleans
Hi everyone, my name is Neha Hassan and I am excited to be a part of the UNC Neonatology family. I was born and raised in Hyderabad, India. I went to medical school in China at Jiangsu University and decided to come to the US after I graduated from medical school. I spent a few years in India and the US while studying for the USMLE and gaining clinical experience. I enjoyed my time spent in Northern Virginia before I moved to Greenville, NC. I just finished Pediatrics Residency at East Carolina University and enjoyed the three years I spent there. I always had a passion towards Neonatology. I enjoyed my UNC interview experience, the faculty was very approachable and my most memorable experience was the lunch with the fellows. I’m interested in the extremely low birth weight patient population and global health research. On a fun note, I also enjoy trying different cuisines, cooking, gardening, art and music. I am excited to be in the triangle area for the next three years and look forward to exploring all that it has to offer.
Simone Schneider, MD-now at Duke Health
I grew up in South Florida and attended undergrad at the University of Florida. I then moved to Chicago, Illinois for medical school at Rush University, and stayed in the area for pediatrics residency at the University of Chicago. After residency I was a neonatal hospitalist at Northwestern University prior to moving a little closer to home and to warmer weather to start NICU fellowship at UNC. I was drawn to UNC due to their strong clinical experience, diversity of patients, abundant research opportunities, and the tight knit family feel to the division.
My clinical interests are in neuro-developmental outcomes of extremely premature infants. My husband is also a physician at UNC and we have a 1 year old daughter. My family and I love spending time outdoors, trying new restaurants, and listening to live music.
Lana Zhang, MD-now at Children’s Hospital King’s Daughters
Hi everyone! I was born in China but grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland. I went to UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) for college where I studied Biology and English literature. During undergrad, I participated in some really interesting research on cocaine addiction in rats and pheromones in mice. I went to medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. It took me all four years, but I finally started to love country music! I later performed clinical research at Children’s National in DC on orthostatic hypotension the year following medical school. Soon after, I relocated to Norfolk, VA for residency at CHKD (Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters). I developed a “Residents As Teachers” curriculum by creating Chalk-Talks to teach medical students and instructed other residents to insert umbilical lines. I quickly grew to love all the babies, decided that I wanted to be a Neo, and applied for NICU fellowship. In addition to being impressed by UNC’s kind people and level of academic research, I know that I will receive great training here. My partner and I are very excited to be in the area and explore all the wonderful food. Our little family includes a high-energy labradoodle puppy named Sebastian and a spunky bunny named Gus Gus.
Please take a few moments to meet the faculty and staff of the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine.