The residents, by far, are the best part of our residency program! The environment is supportive and collegial. Residents spend time together outside of work enjoying Fridays on the Front Porch at the Carolina Inn, trivia night at Vecino, or an evening together at a classmate’s home…just to name a few of their favorite activities.  We currently have 64 residents in our program: 46 traditional general pediatrics residents, 12 primary care pediatrics residents, 2 child neurology residents, 2 preliminary pediatrics residents, 1 combined pediatrics – anesthesiology resident, and 1 accelerated research pathway resident.  Our residents are from 37 different medical schools, representing 20 states.

First Year Residents

Kim Breglio, MD, PhD
Kim is joining our program as a graduate of Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine.  She completed her undergraduate studies in Ecological Determinants of Health at McGill University and received her doctorate in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.  In her spare time, Kim enjoys painting with acrylics and watercolors and cooking, especially fresh pasta and ravioli; she also has an adventurous side – once while swimming in the Amazon, she was stung by a sting ray.  She and her husband are the proud parents to an adorable one-year-old son.  Kim is one of our Preliminary Pediatrics residents; she will be headed to Duke University for Dermatology residency training at the end of this academic year.

Erin Cook, MD
Erin was born and raised in Wilmington, NC and fun fact, she attended the same high school that Michael Jordan did – Go Laney!  She is one of our Triple Heels – undergraduate (Biology and Chemistry), medical school, and residency training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She chose to remain at UNC for residency “because of the people!  The faculty, staff and residents at UNC are amazing. They are some of the best teachers, mentors, and friends that I have met. It is also an honor and privilege to be able to care for the people of my home state.”  She and her husband enjoy doing anything outdoors – running, hiking, kayaking, white water rafting, snowboarding.  They also love taking their dog for long walks; she’s a golden doodle named Finley.

John Devine, MD
John is from the Thousand Islands Region of New York.  He loves spending time with his family (including his four sisters!), being outdoors, boating, fishing, sports, film, music, cooking/baking, and landscaping…in his words, “I love life”.  He majored in Biology at the University of Albany SUNY and received his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University.  John chose UNC for residency because “I fell in love with the idea of their Primary Care Residency program. I knew that I would receive excellent training and education, and when I had my interview it solidified every thought I had about UNC being an amazing program. The faculty, residents and people in the community I met were people I knew that I wanted to surround myself with in order to become a competent pediatrician. I am beyond excited and thankful to be a part of UNC!”

Luma Essaid, MD
Another of our Triple Heels, Luma attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for undergraduate school (Nutrition and Public Health), medical school, and now residency training.  She loves spending time with family and friends, baking, exploring the abundant parks and outdoor activities in North Carolina, especially taking day trips to her favorite place in the world, Kure Beach.  She chose UNC Pediatrics because of the “commitment to service, advocacy, and inclusion…as well as an emphasis throughout the program on diversity, dedication to teaching, and service to the children of our State.  Training at UNC will lead to a solid foundation of general pediatrics, with broad subspecialty exposure, as well as the unique opportunity to experience the field of pediatrics in multiple health care settings.”

Natalie Ford, MD
Natalie received a BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MD from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.  She chose UNC for residency because “of the family feel that was evident among the residents and faculty on my interview day.  I’m also excited for the diversity in training this program provides. As an added bonus, my husband and I will finally get to live as a normal married couple as he lived in Chapel Hill and worked at UNC during my medical training.”  Natalie enjoys baking, snow skiing, traveling (whenever possible) and most importantly, cheering for the TAR HEELS!

Joanna Glanz, MD
Joanna hails from the New England area.  She attended Brown University where she majored in Biology and completed her medical training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  She chose UNC Pediatrics because she was “impressed with the warm and welcoming environment on my interview day.  In addition, the combination of working at UNC as well as the community hospitals at Cone Health and WakeMed seemed like the perfect balance for training. I was also attracted to the area for the significantly better weather (when compared to New England) and the great quality of life.”  Joanna loves coffee Oreo ice cream, skiing, and being outdoors.  She has a crazy amount of nicknames, and residency will be her first time living outside of New England.

Michelle Gorecki, MD, MPH
Michelle studied Human Physiology at the University of Iowa and received both her MD and MPH from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  She chose to come to UNC for residency training because “I was struck by how kind and approachable each and every faculty and resident were during my interview day!  I knew I could thrive in such a welcoming environment.”  Michelle enjoys hiking (recent excursions in Acadia and Joshua Tree National Parks), trying out new recipes whilst listening to podcasts, and is a fantasy football league enthusiast.  She is currently working to teach herself the art of cake decorating.

Che Kamath, MD
Che majored in Basic Biological and Medical Service at the University of Florida and also received her medical degree from the UF College of Medicine.  She chose UNC Pediatrics “because I knew that I would be working alongside dedicated and passionate individuals. From the residents to the administrative staff, I knew that I would be joining a close-knit family that truly cares for another. I am excited to work in an environment that is diverse, collaborative, and has many opportunities for research, advocacy and medical education.”  Che enjoys a nice bike ride, cooking, and taking in a basketball, soccer, or hockey game.

Annika Koppen, MD
Annika graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in Business and received her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.  She chose UNC for residency because “the residents I met on my interview day were so friendly, welcoming, and genuinely enthusiastic about the program. It seemed like together they formed a really tight-knit community and it felt like something I really wanted to be a part of. I also loved Chapel Hill and thought it seemed like a great place to live!”  Annika loves to bake, spend time outdoors, and watch sports (especially tennis and soccer). Her favorite animal is a giraffe, and one of her travel goals is to go on a safari to see them in their natural habitat.

Taylor Kulik, MD
Taylor comes to us by way of Binghamton University (BA Biological Sciences) and The Ohio State University College of Medicine.  He chose UNC for residency training because of “the sense of family and camaraderie between residents was more palpable and apparent than at any other program I visited. I knew almost instantly that I wanted to be a part of that incredible culture. Dr. McNeal-Trice is a phenomenal steward for the program, and the ways in which she demonstrated her love for the residents, the institution, and Chapel Hill as a whole left me feeling that UNC would be the perfect place to start my next adventure. Lastly, I have to concede – I’ve always been a little partial to Carolina blue!”  Taylor has a twin sister (who got most of the looks!).  He played college basketball for one year and still likes to play after a solid hour of stretching. This self-proclaimed karaoke star believes he was in a boy band in another life.

Amalia Lee, MD, MPH
Amalia is a member of our Primary Care Residency.  She received a BS in Biomedical Engineering and Biochemistry from North Carolina State University.  She received both her MPH and MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  She chose to remain at UNC because of “the People! There is no other place that felt like home!  Additionally, I love UNC’s commitment to diversity and to improving the health of the community!”  Amalia has been in the Army since 2009.  She loves exploring museums with her daughter, and she and her husband are huge NC State fans – go Wolfpack!

Diana Mannschreck, MD
Diana majored in Nursing at the University of Washington and received her MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  She grew up in Montana near Glacier National Park and was a postpartum and NICU nurse in Seattle for two years before deciding to pursue medicine.  Her husband completed his MBA at Duke, and they are excited to return to North Carolina for the chicken and waffles, amazing barbecue, and intense UNC – Duke basketball rivalry (although they are now a house divided!).  Outside of medicine, Diana enjoys weightlifting, skiing, hiking, country music concerts, trying new restaurants, and spending time outdoors in the North Carolina sunshine!

Alex Ponkratz, MD
Alex attended Marquette University where she majored in Biomedical Sciences.  She received her medical training at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  She chose UNC because “the residents on my interview day were close friends and seemed genuinely happy, and I immediately felt welcomed.  I was very impressed by the program leadership and their true interest in the residents’ lives.  I also love the diverse patient population and the opportunity to train at multiple sites.  Also, the thought of exchanging cold Wisconsin winters for warmer Carolina weather was also exciting!”  As a true Green Bay native, Alex is a die-hard Packers fan and lives for cheese!  She also enjoys eating, baking, watching movies, and reading.  Alex is also an ordained minister.

Luke Quehl, MD
Luke grew up on a farm near Cincinnati, Ohio.  He double majored in English and Biology at Boston University where he also received his medical degree.  He joins UNC Pediatrics as a resident in our Child Neurology Residency Program.  He enjoys anything that puts him outside including bicycling, camping, farming, and traveling.  Luke’s undergraduate English studies focused on oral tradition; he enjoys the vast differences in how two patients might explain the same symptoms, and how to tailor his interview style to establish their trust and build upon their medical literacy.  He likes to tinker with tech, design, and programming and has designed and built sets for plays.  More recently, he has dabbled in 3D printing.

Jordan Reasor, MD
Jordan received both her BS (Biological and Medical Sciences) and MD from the University of Florida.  She “chose UNC for my pediatric residency training because I wanted a place that supported and encouraged my varied interests regarding children’s health and would provide well-rounded training so I could be a competent and confident pediatrician; UNC met those requirements and they do so while providing a supportive and fun environment.  The beautiful location put this program over the top!”  Having grown up in Florida, her favorite place in the world is Disney, and she has all the pro-tips on planning a trip there!   Jordan enjoys traveling to new places and learning about their history.  Her other interests include going to the movies, seeing Broadway shows, cooking, and baking, especially with friends.

Shenell Reynolds, DO
Shenell, a member of our Primary Care Residency, graduated from Alabama State University with a degree in Biology and Chemistry.  She completed her medical training at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Auburn Campus.  She chose UNC because “after completing an away rotation, I felt like I gained a new family.  I learned and grew so much within a matter of weeks, and was truly blown away with how knowledgeable yet supportive everyone was.  I was also really drawn to the duality of the program in that it has strong foundations in both academics and community service.”  Most of Shenell’s childhood was spent building life-sized roller coasters and making up dance routines with her siblings, so many believed she would end up being an engineer or a dancer. Life led her down a different path, but to this day, some of her favorite pastimes include going to amusement parks and having dance parties with her daughter!

Mac Segars, MD
After graduating from Clemson University with a degree in Mathematical Sciences, Mac served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique for two years at a rural site accessible only by canoe.  He then attended medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine.  He chose UNC for his residency training because “the UNC community was the most welcoming that I found, and hiking trails are within minutes of the hospital!  The opportunities in primary care training and global public health are also top notch.”  His hobbies include hiking, backpacking, SCUBA, snorkeling, writing, drawing, and improv.  Mac is a member of our Primary Care Residency.

Jessica Sibley, MD, JD
Jessica received her BS in Environmental Sciences from Duke University and her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.  Prior to attending medical school, she worked as an attorney in North Carolina.  She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and chose to remain for residency because of “the wonderful faculty and residents who taught me so much as a medical student, the great location, and the opportunities for advocacy.”  Jessica is a huge music fan and loves playing piano, listening to Spotify and vinyl records, and going to concerts. She and her husband, David, enjoy traveling and have two dogs and two cats who get along surprisingly well.

Ajan Sivaramamoorthy, MD
Ajan majored in Chemistry at Vanderbilt University and completed his medical education at Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  Between undergraduate and medical school, he spent time with AmeriCorps working for one year at a high school and another with the National Health Corps as a patient navigator.  He chose to come to UNC for residency because of “the excellent clinical training, the close-knit community feel of the program and the genuine commitment to serving children of all backgrounds.”  In his spare time, Ajan enjoys getting outdoors, playing soccer, and reading.

Sahal Thahir, MD
Sahal comes to us from Blacksburg, VA where he attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (BS Biochemistry) and Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.  He chose UNC Pediatrics because of “the program’s commitment to education, research, and clinical practice that impacts children and families of diverse backgrounds.  The community at UNC Children’s seemed to be defined by common attitude of humility, persistence, and positivity.  It was clearly an environment which would foster my development into the pediatrician I aim to become.”  Sahal is an avid outdoorsman, musician, and, in his words, a long-suffering D.C. sports fan.

Catherine Trub, MD
Catherine is a graduate of Wake Forest University, receiving a BA in English.  She completed her medical training at Emory University School of Medicine.  She chose UNC Pediatrics because “I wanted to train in a supportive and friendly environment with co-residents and faculty focused on the care of children and their families. When I interviewed at UNC, I knew I had found the right people to help support me in my journey to becoming a pediatrician. The location—perfectly nestled between the mountains and the beach—was a great bonus as well!”  Catherine likes to knit colorful sweaters, enjoys a good run, and is a fan of hot yoga.  She and her husband also love trying out new restaurants or cooking together at home.

Christel Wekon-Kemeni, MD
Christel graduated from the University of Miami with BS Microbiology and Immunology and received his MD from Wake Forest School of Medicine of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  He chose UNC for “a variety of reasons…I was very impressed by how warm, friendly and genuine everyone in the program was, from the residents all the way up to the program leadership…I was also very appreciative of how committed the program leadership was in promoting and sustaining a diverse and inclusive environment to learn and grow in…I loved that this residency program was focused on providing both a solid foundation of general pediatrics and a wide exposure to a vast variety of subspecialties.”  Christel started a blog called Black Man, M.D. during his MS1 year and has been consistently maintaining it ever since.  He loves playing FIFA, board games, shooting pool, listening to music, working out, reading, spending quality time with his significant other (BTW – they happened to run into LeBron James on their very first date!) and cheering on the U – Go Canes!

Alicia Whiteis, MD
After receiving her BS in Business Administration and Biology from the University of Texas at Dallas, Alicia went to medical school at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.  She chose UNC because “I completed an away rotation at UNC and loved it!  The residents and attendings were so friendly, supportive and genuine and the culture of the program made me feel like I was joining a big family!  The diverse patient population and unique experiences that UNC has appealed to me as well.  I also love North Carolina and all its beauty!”  Alicia has had her pilot’s license since college and loves to fly in her free time.  She also enjoys hiking, baking, eating the things she bakes, and going on adventures with her significant other and their corgi!

Second Year Residents

Chris Atkins, MD, MMS
Chris earned a BA in Political Science from Vanderbilt University, an MMS in Medical Sciences from the University of South Florida, and his MD from the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.  He chose UNC because he had the “opportunity to complete an away rotation at UNC and loved my experience here.  All of the residents and attendings were supportive, friendly, and continually strived to provide the best care possible for their patients.  In addition, the culture of the program and leadership involved truly have the best interest of their residents at heart.  Lastly, I have always wanted to eventually end up in North Carolina and could not have fallen in love with Chapel Hill and the surrounding area more.” He met his wife at their White Coat Ceremony; she sat next to him.  Together they love exploring the outdoors and have gone hiking from coast to coast.  Highlights include the Great Smoky Mountains, Crater Lake in Oregon, and the Redwoods in California.

Darius Byramji, MD
Darius went to the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a degree in Business Administration/Supply-Chain Management.  For medical school, he attended Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.  Darius chose UNC because “the residents and faculty at UNC just felt like one big and happy family. Everyone genuinely enjoys working with each other and care about those around them.  The chance to care for such a diverse patient population was very appealing, as well.  And finally, North Carolina and Chapel Hill are such beautiful places, my wife and I couldn’t resist the chance to enjoy it for ourselves!”  He enjoys playing the guitar and loves spending time in the kitchen, especially baking and dessert creation.  Darius is also a big fan of Houston sports.

Joane Cadet, MD
Joane graduated from the University of Florida for both undergraduate (Biology with a minor in Latin American Studies) and medical school.  She chose to come to UNC because of “its family-like atmosphere, dedication to serving the community and the diversity of training offered by the various sites UNC is affiliated with.  On my interview day, it was obvious that the faculty were very invested in resident education and that the residents really enjoyed working with each other.”  Joane enjoys cooking, spending time outdoors, reading and journaling.  She also sang with an acapella group during medical school called the Notochords, and she has gone on multiple mission trips to Haiti.

Hutton Chapman, MD
Hutton earned a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Virginia and completed his medical training at Tufts University School of Medicine.  He chose to come to UNC because on his interview day, he was “blown away by how friendly and welcoming everyone was.  I quickly saw that this could be a place that my wife and I could call home.  I was also so impressed with the UNC Children’s Hospital, especially with what they offer to help kids’ stay in the hospital be as fun and as normal as possible (how many other places have an actual school in the hospital?!).”  Hutton’s wife is a NICU nurse (who only slightly influenced his decision to go into pediatrics), and they are the proud parents of a handsome son!  He’s never met someone who shares his first name.

Ejiofor Ezekwe, MD, PhD
Ejiofor is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Biological Sciences).  He earned both is MD and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  Ejiofor chose UNC for residency because “the program offers a tremendous combination of excellent clinical training with a rich and vibrant research enterprise.  But what makes UNC truly special are the people.  As a medical student, I experienced how dedicated, collaborative, and thoughtful all the faculty, staff, and residents are in caring for patients and teaching learners.”  He is a huge sports fan (especially his hometown Baltimore Ravens and the TAR HEELS), avid fan of strength training, and a singer.  He and his wife are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter and are expecting their second child!

Drew Gardner, MD
Drew earned a degree in Exercise Science from Elon University, where he also played varsity soccer and served as team captain.  He received his MD from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.  Drew chose UNC because of “the wonderful balance of intellect, diversity, and kindness. I greatly enjoyed an away rotation at UNC, even when I ended up with the flu.  A couple days after my diagnosis, both the fellow and attending texted me to see how I was feeling.  The following week, they revised my chest conference presentation, spending time outside of their busy day to help me develop professionally.  I knew from this experience that this program has something truly special – residents that work well as a team, faculty who love to teach, research and advocacy opportunities, and genuine people ready to lend a hand to those in need.”  Drew enjoys running, playing guitar, and snowboarding and surfing (or master of wiping out).  He and his wife have a sweet but wild dachshund who protects the neighborhood from bags in the wind!   They are also the proud parents of an adorable baby boy!

Jennifer Gutierrez-Wu, MD
Jennifer received her medical training at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.  She also attended Brown University for undergrad, majoring in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.  Jennifer chose to come to UNC for “the combination of excellent clinical training in a great city, research and global health opportunities, commitment to diversity, and the wonderful people.”  During college, she was in a Latin dance group, and she is actively trying to recruit her husband to the dance floor.  She enjoys any outdoor activity, and when indoors, she enjoys baking and cooking for friends and family.

Catherine Hayes, MD
Catherine majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and minored in Music at Middlebury College.  She received her MD from Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.  Catherine chose UNC because she “did an away rotation with pulmonology loved it!  I was especially impressed by the enthusiasm for teaching and learning and the tight-knit resident community.”  She is a former high school racewalker, college rower, and medical school broomball player.  Catherine’s current interests include hiking, knitting, playing the flute, baking, and crossword puzzles.


Anisha Hegde, MD
Anisha attended the University of Georgia where she double majored in Genetics and Comparative Literature.  She earned her medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.  She chose to come to UNC because she “loves how committed the program is to serving its diverse patient population well, and the residents I met on interview day seemed like a family with amazingly supportive faculty.”  Anisha enjoys traveling and is currently teaching herself to play the mandolin – on a perfect, both at the same time!

Chris Iskander, MD, MPH
Chris went to Wake Forest University earning a BA in History and to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine for his MPH work and medical training.  He chose to remain at UNC for residency training because he wanted to “work with the AMAZING residents who taught me so much as a student.”  Chris is a huge sports fan and loves cheering on the TAR HEELS!  He also travels as much as possible, and has actually been to more countries than US states.  He’s learning to cook but has already mastered eating!

Lade Jibowu, MD, MPH
Lade received a BA in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University, an MPH from the University of Texas School of Public Health, and her MD from the University of School of Medicine at San Antonio.  She chose UNC for residency because “I was impressed by the strong sense of camaraderie among the residents, the excellent mentorship, and the diverse clinical opportunities available for training.  It was evident during my interview experience that at Carolina, I would be afforded the exposure and support needed to discover my path and flourish in my future career as a pediatrician.”  Lade loves documentaries, exploring the latest afro beats music, jamming on the alto saxophone, and cheering on the Blue Devils!

Macrina Liguori, MD
Macrina earned a BA in Biology from Hendrix College and received her medical training at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Southwestern Medical School.  Macrina chose UNC because she “loved the variety of settings in which we get to work. And, of course, it was obvious that the residents and faculty were truly friends with each other.  They were all so welcoming on my visits to the program; I felt sure they would make a great residency family.  Lastly, North Carolina seems like a wonderful place to live, and the residents seemed to have the lifestyle I was looking for in residency.”  She loves to dance, especially ballet – she performed the role of Clara in the Nutcracker with Ballet Austin when she was in high school.  Macrina also enjoys bargain shopping, DIY projects, and spending time with family and friends.

Alex Lorentsen, MD
Alex graduated from Davidson College with a degree in Psychology and earned her MD from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.  She chose to come to UNC because of “the people I met on my interview day.  They were so incredibly welcoming and genuinely happy people!  I also liked the diversity of training sites.”  Alex loves riding horses and used to do so competitively.  She also enjoys running, hiking, and anything outdoors.  She and her husband met at Davidson College and love North Carolina – Go Wildcats!

Jessica Macdougall, MD, MS
Jessica is one of our Triple Heels – undergraduate (Psychology), medical school and now residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill!  She also spent a year at Georgetown University, earning an MS in Physiology.  She chose to remain at UNC because of the Primary Care Residency: “I knew that this residency would provide everything I needed to become a good general pediatrician while being surrounded by the most supportive colleagues.”  Jessica and her husband first met on Franklin Street after the UNC National Championship win in 2009.  They have a German Shepherd mix named Isabelle.  Jessica enjoys running or hiking at the Eno.  Thanks to her grandmother, she is obsessed with scrap-booking and saves every birthday card she’s ever received.  GO TAR HEELS!

Zach Pettigrew, MD
Zach went to Emory University, earning a degree in Anthropology and Human Biology.  Before attending Baylor College of Medicine, he worked at a refugee resettlement agency.  Zach chose to join the UNC Primary Care Residency because at both UNC and Cone Health, he “found a group of people who shared a similar passion to take care of children and adolescents from all backgrounds—be they native North Carolinians or recently relocated refugees—while challenging themselves to become expert clinicians and strong community leaders.  By the end of my two interview days at UNC and Cone, I had found a program at which I could not only ‘fit in’, but also one in which I could thrive and successfully reach my career goal of becoming a primary care pediatrician.”  He enjoys traveling, exploring outdoors, cooking, and playing volleyball.  Zach is a big foodie and love trying out new cuisines and restaurants!!

Nikki Pritt, MD
Nikki received a BA in Neurobiology from Harvard University and her MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School.  Prior to medical school, she worked with homeless children as an AmeriCorps member at the YWCA Family Center in Columbus, OH, while also doing research in the adolescent medicine department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  She chose to come to UNC because of “the diverse clinical experiences, focus on teaching, dedication to primary care, ideal location, great vibes, and wonderful, friendly people.”  During college, Nikki was a member of a breakdance/hip hop crew.  She still enjoys dancing in addition to painting, practicing yoga, running, spending time with family, gardening, baking, and going on outdoor adventures.  Nikki is a huge Harry Potter fan and taught her dog Harry Potter tricks.

Katie Schroeder, MD
Katie graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Spanish.  She went to medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  She chose to stay at UNC for residency because “of the wonderful residents and faculty I worked with as a medical student; I knew they were the kind of people I wanted as coworkers and role models.  I also liked the ability to train in multiple hospitals and UNC’s mission to serve the people of my home state.”  Katie loves spending time with friends and family, any outdoor activity (especially tennis and hiking along the Eno River), and learning to cook new recipes.

Justin Sperlazza, MD, PhD
Justin completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chemistry) and received both his PhD and MD from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. His PhD is in Cancer and Molecular Medicine, and he plans to pursue a career in both clinical medicine as well as research.  Justin chose to return to UNC for residency because “of the strong mission to care for the children of North Carolina, both through clinical care and scientific advancement.”  Outside of work, he is an avid competitive gamer.  He cares for far too many cats, but loves each of them.  Justin also enjoys cooking with his wife, everything from fresh homemade pastas to smoking wild game.  They are also the proud parents of a cute baby boy!

Caitlan Swaffar, MD
Caitlan graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.  She received her MD from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.  She chose UNC because she was “drawn to the unique opportunity to train in both academic and community hospitals.  I also had a great interview day and really enjoyed learning some new magic tricks!”  Caitlan absolutely loves doughnuts, and to maintain a balanced lifestyle, she also enjoys running half marathons and hiking.  She is, of course, a huge Virginia Tech fan and makes every effort to make it back to Blacksburg for a football game – Go Hokies!

Nate Wooten, MD
Nate earned a degree in Health and Exercise Science from Wake Forest University and his MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  Nate is in our Child Neurology program; he’ll complete two years of Pediatrics before transitioning to Neurology.  He chose UNC for training because “as a native North Carolinian, it was fun traveling the country for interviews and seeing new places.  At the end of the day though, nowhere else compared to the perfect triad of great academics, beautiful weather, and warm people!”  Nate threw the hammer in college (Go Deacs!) and has backpacked in the Patagonia Mountains with his wife Melissa!  He and Melissa are new parents to a handsome baby boy!

Third Year Residents

Chris Cummings, MD, PhD
Chris majored in Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.  He received both his PhD (Cancer Biology) and MD from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  Chris did an away rotation at UNC which helped him make his residency decision: “I was blown away by how invested the attendings and fellows were in the education of the residents, and at the volume of teaching that was done every day during rounds, conferences, and afternoon chalk talks.  I also was excited to live in the Chapel Hill area with all of the amenities that come from being in a college town.”  Outside of work, he and his wife are doting parents to a beautiful daughter, and he also enjoys exploring new restaurants, hiking, and golfing.

Paige Dudley, MD, MS
Paige received a degree in Health and Exercise Science from Furman University and a master’s in Exercise Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  She completed her medical school training at East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine.  Paige chose to come to UNC for the Primary Care Residency – it “is the perfect combination of a major medical center with a smaller community hospital to give me the most well-rounded training I could find.”  Prior to joining our program, Paige served as an Active Duty Navy flight surgeon for a Marine helicopter squadron for four years.  She currently serves in the Navy Reserves.

Blaire Hanvey, MD
Blaire is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Elementary Education.  Prior to returning to Carolina for medical school, Blaire taught kindergartners for three years.  She chose to remain at UNC for residency because “UNC has deep roots in a mission to serve the underserved people of NC.  We give a powerful voice to people who are otherwise silenced by poverty and adverse life events.”  Some people hoard shoes, others collect movies or jewelry; Blaire’s passion is collecting children’s books.  She loves snuggling up with her son and a tall stack of picture books in the library.  Her favorite book is Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox.

Kirabo Herbert, MD
Kirabo grew up in Georgia, outside of Atlanta.  She graduated from Duke University with a degree in Biology and received her MD from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.  She chose UNC for residency because of “the warmth and enthusiasm of the residents and faculty.  My first exposure to the program was UNC’s First Look Weekend, which highlighted the commitment to diversity.  My interview day stood out to further highlight UNC as a program filled with great people who love teaching, where I could receive great training.  I’m very excited to be closer to home and back in the Triangle!”  Kirabo loves dancing, Duke Athletics (Go Blue Devils!), soccer, and watching Netflix/Hulu.

Joelle Kane, MD
Joelle attended Florida State University for both undergraduate and medical school.  She chose to come to UNC for residency because “during my away rotation I was embraced by the fun, caring, and kind residents at UNC.  They made me feel right at home and I enjoyed every day of learning from them and the enthusiastic faculty.  It was clear to me that UNC would be a wonderful place for my husband and me to come train at!”  Joelle loves traveling, exploring the outdoors, and singing in the car after a long day.  She will be one of our Chief Residents in 2020-2021.

Laura Lemley, MD
Laura was born and raised in Thomson, Georgia.  She graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Biology then returned to Georgia to attend the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.  Laura chose UNC for Pediatrics Residency because she was “looking for an academic program where the residents were like family, supportive of each other, and supported by the faculty.  Rotating at different hospitals provides an invaluable experience, and there is an exceptional commitment to teaching and learning here.  Additionally, Chapel Hill is an incredible place to live and work!”  Laura loves laughing, traveling and exploring new places, being outside, going for jogs or walks especially on the beach, watching the sunset on her back porch in Thomson, learning new things and SCUBA diving.  She has enjoyed adding more Carolina Blue to her wardrobe.

Hillary Liken, MD
Hillary double majored in Biology and Psychology at the University of Georgia.  She completed her medical education at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.  Hillary chose UNC Pediatrics because “the people I met during my interview seemed so supportive of one another and genuinely happy to be at UNC.  It was also a program with both access to all the pediatric subspecialties and the opportunity to learn in a community hospital setting.”  She loves the beach, hiking, food, all varieties of desserts, and the occasional lottery ticket – she rarely wins, but she still hasn’t given up hope.  She will be one of our Chief Residents in 2020-2021.

Andy Liu, MD, MS
Andy is a proud Davidson College alumnus (was there when Steph Curry took them on a Cinderella run to the Elite 8!).  He received a master’s in Accountancy from Wake Forest University and his MD from the University of Vermont College of Medicine.  Andy chose UNC Pediatrics because “when I came for my interview, I immediately felt the warmth of people in the program and I remember thinking ‘I want to be a part of this family’ – people here genuinely care about each other and are excited to go to work every day and make a difference together.”  He enjoys snowboarding and playing basketball – he can make a layup…sometimes.

Pamela Londres, MD
Pamela attended the University of Florida for both undergraduate (Biology) and medical school.  She chose UNC because “I could see it combines strong academic training with exposure to diverse practice settings and an incredibly fun, supportive group of co-workers.”  Fireflies are her second favorite animal (another perk of NC) and her favorite places in the world are Disney, Yellowstone, and home.  If she wasn’t a doctor, Pamela would probably be a park ranger.  And most importantly, Pamela loves cheering on her forever team – Go Gators!

Caroline Newman, MD
Caroline, a native of Greensboro, completed her medical training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  She chose to remain at UNC for residency because “I loved the welcoming, collegial atmosphere among residents and attendings.  I knew that the Primary Care Residency would prepare me well to be a general pediatrician.”  Caroline was a varsity tennis player at the College of Charleston but now showcases her athletic ability by running to the nearest dessert.  She loves going on long runs, playing soccer, or hanging by the pool – of course, any of these activities are made way better by getting to do them with her wonderful family and friends.  She also has an addiction to crushed ice and Diet Dr. Pepper.

Phil Nguyen, MD
Phil graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in Biological and Medical Sciences and also went to medical school there.  He completed his first two years of Pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis and chose to transfer to UNC to be close to his fiancee, fellow third year Brooke Prestridge.  He enjoys hip hop dance, Philippine cultural and folk dance as well as beach volleyball.  We are thrilled to welcome him to the UNC Pediatrics family!

Brooke Prestridge, MD
Brooke received both her BS (Interdisciplinary Studies of Biology and Medicine) and MD degrees from the University of Florida.  She chose UNC because of “the amazing family feel I got during my interview and the opportunity to learn in such diverse hospital settings.  Since starting, I have felt nothing but warmth and kindness from all of the faculty at UNC and have already grown so much as a young physician.”  When not in the hospital, Brooke enjoys playing with her two puppies (Bailey and Liam), knitting/sewing, doing anything outdoors, hanging with my family and watching Florida football – Go Gators!

Sarah Rice, MD
Sarah earned a BA in Theology from the University of Notre Dame and her MD from Emory University School of Medicine.  She chose UNC Pediatrics because “UNC had everything I was looking for in a residency program–a warm and welcoming community, an excellent balance of primary and subspecialty care.  And it is in an unbeatable area!”  In her spare time, Sarah enjoys running, hiking, cooking, reading and playing with her dog!  She and her husband are the proud parents to an adorable son!

Derica Sams, MD
Derica majored in Biology at Emory University and received her MD from Morehouse School of Medicine.  She was drawn to UNC Pediatrics because of “the ability to train in such an enriching environment that allows me to work with patients from all communities.  UNC is a very welcoming and friendly place to be.”  Derica is a pseudo-extreme sports enthusiast, loves to binge watch Netflix documentaries, and enjoys attempting to cook new recipes from Pinterest.  She and her husband are proud pet parents to an awesome Golden Morkie named Sammie Sams and a sweet little boy!

Bobby Slater, MD
Bobby received a BS degree in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and his MD from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  He chose UNC Pediatrics because “I absolutely love the area, everyone is incredibly nice, and the opportunity to see three very different locations all played into the decision.  Truthfully though, it just felt like the right place for my wife and me to move to.”  In his free time, he enjoys being active and spending time outdoors.  Bobby is undefeated in 30 straight Connect Four games over the past two years.

Tiffany St. Clair, MD
Tiffany earned a BA in Exercise & Sport Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine.  She chose UNC for residency training because of “the diverse clinical experiences I knew I would get here.  Having the opportunity to rotate at a large academic site like UNC as well as smaller community hospitals was very attractive to me.  Also, UNC offers a great balance of both outpatient and inpatient medicine.  I think UNC’s curriculum equips residents to be well-rounded primary care physicians. Last but certainly not least,  I’m a TAR HEEL!”  Prior to medical school, Tiffany was a high school science teacher – “it was awesome.”  She enjoys yoga and ice cream.  Tiffany and her husband are doting parents to a precious little boy!

Anne Steptoe, MD, MBA
Anne received her BA from Harvard University (Classics and English), her MBA from Duke University (Health Sector Management), and her MD from The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.  She chose UNC because “I wanted a residency program with a dedicated primary care track that took seriously the idea that future primary care pediatricians should learn a different set of skills and do so in a community setting.”  Anne is a former competitive whitewater kayaker, a crockpot aficionado, and a rare book collector.

Stephanie Toder, MD
Stephanie now calls Arlington, VA home but also grew up in Poland, South Africa, and Canada. She attended Davidson College for her undergraduate studies (Biology) and completed her medical training at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.  Stephanie chose UNC because of the “well rounded teaching and community hospital training experiences.  Happy residents with administrative support for maintaining resident wellness.  Fantastic place to work and live.”  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, and going on walks.

Alex Turek, MD
Alex received a BA in Biochemistry from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and her MD from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.  She chose UNC Pediatrics because of “the ability to train in a large academic center and community hospitals, the emphasis on primary care, and the friendly residents and faculty I met during my away rotation.  I also fell in love with the Durham/Chapel Hill area many years ago while visiting friends who lived here.”  Alex enjoys being outdoors as often as possible and has already found many beautiful parks and rivers in the area.  She and her husband have a cat named Raleigh.  Alex loves kayaking, hosting cookouts, playing volleyball, and hiking.

Liz Willis, DO
Liz earned a BS in Biology from Wingate University, where she also played volleyball.  She received her DO from Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine.  Liz chose UNC Pediatrics because it’s an “amazing program”, she had an “awesome experience with residents and faculty during her away rotation”, and it’s “close to home and family”.  She has completed a half Ironman competition and enjoys gardening, thrift shopping, and cooking.  One of her favorite foods is cookie dough. Liz and her husband are proud parents to a dog-like cat named Chi – she fetches and sits.  She will be one of our Chief Residents in 2020-2021.

Pediatrics – Anesthesiology Resident

Marley Lawrence, MD
Marley went to Wake Forest University for undergraduate school, where she was captain of the Cross-Country and Track teams.  She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and chose to remain at UNC for residency because she “was blown away by the people during her pediatrics clerkship – residents, attendings, coordinators, everyone!  The friendliness and genuine focus on education were major reasons I chose to stay at UNC for residency.  Another reason is the combined Pediatrics – Anesthesiology Residency Program,” which Marley is a part of.  She enjoys hiking, trail running and once won a baking competition with her pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  She and her husband stay busy with twins, a boy and a girl!  Marley is in her fifth year of training.

Please visit this site to get to know our Med-Peds residents!