Meet Our Residents!

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 such activities as annual weekend retreats (often at the beautiful NC coast), Durham Bulls baseball games, UNC sporting events, and listening to bluegrass at "Fridays on the Front Porch" at the Carolina Inn. 

First Years

Atkins 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.
Byramji 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.
Cadet 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.
Chapman 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. He's never met someone who shares his first name.
Ezekwe 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 baby girl!
Fenner Jordan Fenner, MD - Jordan received a degree in Kinesiology-Movement Science from the University of Michigan and her MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.  She chose to come to UNC because “the program was well-rounded with incredible diversity, the people all seemed genuinely nice, and the location!”  She is named after one of Carolina’s most famous alumni, Michael Jordan.  She loves yoga, watching Netflix, and trying creative baking recipes.  Jordan is a new, proud puppy mom to Tibi!
Frush Jack Frush, MD - Jack is a graduate of Duke University (Biomedical Engineering) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He is one our preliminary residents and will be headed to Duke for Radiology training at the end of the year. He chose pediatrics at UNC because "it means a lot to be able to provide care to children in my home state, and because the people at UNC are so wonderful!" He loves to cook, loves to grill, and loves to eat. He grew up in Durham and could not be happier about the ever-expanding food scene in the Triangle. While at the hospital and on campus at UNC, he will politely hide the fact that he is a huge Duke fan.
Gardner 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!
G-Wu Jennifer Gutierrez-Wu, MD - Jennifer received her medical training at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She also attended Brown 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.
Hayes 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.
Hegde 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!
Iskander 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!
Jibowu 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 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.
Lorentsen 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!
Macdougall 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. She enjoys running or hiking at the Eno. Thanks to her grandmother, she is obsessed with scrapbooking and saves every birthday card she's ever received. GO TAR HEELS!
Pettigrew 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!!
Pritt 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.
Schroeder 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.
Sperlazza 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.
Swaffar 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!
Swearingen Jordan Swearingen, MD - Jordan majored in Neuroscience and Chemistry at Duke University and attended medical school at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He chose UNC because of the people - "the faculty and residents at UNC were incredibly kind, caring, and supportive. Chapel Hill is an incredible place to live and work!" Jordan is one of our preliminary residents and will be joining the UNC Anesthesiology Residency Training Program at the end of the year. He enjoys cooking Lebanese food, trail running, hiking with his German Shepherd, and, in his words, "cheering on the best team in college basketball - Go Blue Devils!"
Wooten 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!

Second Years

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 recently welcomed a baby daughter to our world, 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 kindergarteners 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.
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's looking forward to 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.
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, MDCaroline, 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.
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!
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.   
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.
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.
Alexandra Turek, MD - Alexandra 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 best friends who live 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 recently adopted a cat and named her Raleigh.  Alex loves kayaking, hosting cookouts, playing volleyball, and hiking.
Sonia Varghese, MD, MPH, MBA - Sonia graduated from Austin College with a degree in International Economics and Finance.  She received her MPH from the University of North Texas and her MBA in Health Administration from Plymouth State University.  She completed her medical training at American University of Antigua College of Medicine.  Her hobbies include dance, watching and playing sports, cooking and painting.  Sonia plans a career in Child Neurology and is completing two years of Pediatrics before transitioning to Neurology training.
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 completed a half Ironman last summer; enjoys gardening, thrift shopping, and cooling; and loves cookie dough.  Liz and her husband are proud parents to a dog-like cat named Chi - she fetches and sits.

Third Years

Verma Bianca Allison, MD, MPH - Bianca grew up in Syracuse, NY. She majored in Social Anthropology and Health Policy at Harvard University and there, she also received her MPH degree. Bianca is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School. She chose UNC for residency because of the faculty's love of teaching and the laid back, but autonomous and capable, residents. Bianca loves to travel - the most adventurous thing she's done is whitewater raft down the Nile the summer she lived and worked in Uganda. To stay centered, she enjoys yoga, biking, hiking, live music, cooking and baking, binging on Netflix, listening to podcasts and reading novels - if you're ever looking for book recommendations, let her know!
Beg Amber Beg, MD - Though Amber was born and raised in Crimson Tide country, she is a Tar Heel, graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Biology. She earned her MD from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Amber chose to return "home" for residency training because she was happy to see that the culture of public service that she loved so much as an undergrad is very much a part of the pediatric residency program. Amber enjoys hiking, reading, traveling to new places and meeting new people and Carolina Basketball - GO HEELS!
Blount Tom Blount, MD - Tom is originally from Colorado.  He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Spanish - and two NCAA titles with the Men's Basketball team - go Bears!  He earned his MD from the University of Nebraska School of Medicine.  Tom enjoys basketball, fishing, cooking, biking, water-skiing and traveling.  If Tom could be any musician, he would be Bruce Springsteen.
Cholera Rushina Cholera, MD, PhD - Rushina completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Richmond.  After briefly considering a career as a biochemist she found her passion for medicine and global public health. She spent a year at the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research at the NIH and then headed south to Tar Heel country for her MD/PhD education at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She earned her PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, studying psychosocial barriers to care among HIV-infected people in South Africa. Rushina chose to stay at UNC for residency because of the the warmth and enthusiasm of the residents and faculty, the incredible supportive training environment, and the world-class clinical training paired with strong research collaborations with the UNC Gillings School of Public Health. In her spare time Rushina enjoys gardening, vegetarian cooking, and spending time in the beautiful NC mountains with her husband, toddler son, and 2 dogs.
Das Nikkan Das, MD - Nikkan graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and received her MD from Weill Cornell Medical College.  She chose to come to UNC because of the well-balanced training - a focus on primary care with the opportunity to see a multitude of subspecialties.  She also wanted the experience of practicing in community hospitals in addition to an academic medical center.  Nikkan is a major foodie and loves to sing and play guitar.  She is currently learning to play the ukulele.  
Flygt LeeAnne Flygt, MD, MAT - LeeAnne was born and raised in Madison, WI.  She majored in French and Biology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison; received her MA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and earned her MD from the University of Michigan Medical School.  LeeAnne chose to come to UNC because it is a strong academic program with a family feel - everyone is so friendly and welcoming.  LeeAnne enjoys the outdoors - running, kayaking, hiking, swimming - all of which are easy to do in NC (Chapel Hill is a great location right between the mountains and the beach).  She also enjoys crafting and decorating her new home.
Frye Endya Frye, MD - Endya is happy to call NC home! She graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (Aggie Pride!) with a degree in Biology and received her MD from The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Endya knew after attending Carolina's First Look she felt destined to be at UNC and was only confirmed on interview day by the warm family atmosphere. She ultimately chose to come to UNC for three reasons: it was THE program where she felt at home, the commitment to diversity, and opportunity for training in the Primary Care Program to pursue her dream of becoming a primary care doc. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends, traveling, watching movies and trying out new restaurants...a foodie in the making!
Gebremeskel Roman Melvin, MD - Roman was born in Finland, grew up in Toronto, and her family now calls Greenville, NC home.  She received her MD from Meharry Medical College.  Roman knew she loved Chapel Hill after attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for undergrad and had already thought about returning "home" for residency, and the interview day solidified that decision for her - the faculty and residents were friendly and welcoming and made it very clear that they were invested in making it a great experience for everyone involved.  Roman enjoys traveling, reading, Netflix, HGTV, and most importantly, Carolina Basketball - GO HEELS!   
Hilzendager Ashley Hilzendager, MD - Ashley received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Go Hokies!!  She attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine for medical school.  Ashley chose UNC because of her incredible interview day experience - the residents and faculty were warm and welcoming, and she could tell there was a real emphasis on both teaching and resident well-being.  She enjoys running, yoga, cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors.  Ashley is also a big fan of Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A and Chipotle.
CLawrence Christian Lawrence, MD - Christian is a graduate of North Carolina State University where he majored in Biochemistry. After going to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine for medical school, he knew that he loved the environment so it was pretty easy for him to decide to stay for residency training - the residents and faculty are fantastic people.  Christian can play the trumpet, baritone and tuba.  His favorite sports teams are the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, Cincinnati Bengals, and, of course, all teams NC State - Go Wolfpack!  Christian will be one of our Chief Residents in 2019-2020.      
Rachael Lester, MDRachael, originally from Menomonee Falls, WI, attended the University of Wisconsin studying Spanish and Biochemistry. She graduated from Mayo Medical School where she developed a love for clinical medicine, scholarship, and service.  She enjoys running, scrap booking, playing the piano and singing.  Rachael also has a big heart for four-legged friends; she is currently a foster mom to multiple dogs.
Leviste Miles Leviste, MD, MS - Miles graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Anthropology.  He received his MS and MD degrees from Eastern Virginia Medical School.  Miles chose to come to UNC because he was impressed with the people on his interview day - residents that care about each other and faculty that are passionate about teaching...and the Chapel Hill/Durham area has such a wonderful charm - a place that you can call a second home!  Miles' interests include weight lifting, swimming, racquetball, trying local breweries, comic books and baking.  He also loves watching football - especially the NY Giants.  
Kepke Melissa Moore, MD - Melissa was born in Colorado but has spent most of her life in North Carolina.  She majored in Spanish and Biology at Wake Forest University and attended medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  She chose to remain at UNC because the resident and attending physicians are kind and effective teachers - they truly care about their patients and enjoy working together.  Melissa enjoys backpacking, baking chocolate chip cookies and writing handwritten letters.  Melissa will be one of our Chief Residents in 2019-2020.
Okonye Jeffrey Okonye, MD - Jeffrey is a native of Houston, TX.  He majored in Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas and received his MD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Southwestern Medical School.  Jeffrey chose UNC because everyone was very welcoming and happy to be at UNC - it also seemed like a great family environment that would provide an opportunity to receive spectacular training.  He loves playing basketball, watching sports, and listening to music. Jeffrey also enjoys cooking and will try any recipe (as long as it takes less than 30 minutes).
Painter Alana Painter, MD - Alana majored in Nutrition at The Ohio State University and received her MD from the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.  She chose to come to UNC because it had every attribute she was looking for in a residency program: friendly residents who work together as a team, residents who feel supported, ample opportunity for research, and availability of all pediatric subspecialties.  Alana loves running, cooking and baking, HGTV (she wants to be BFFs with Chip and Jo), watching sports - especially Ohio State football - Go Buckeyes!  Alana will be one of our Chief Residents in 2019-2020.
Reddy Reshma Reddy, MD, MS - Reshma grew up near Atlanta, GA.  She received her MS in Biomedical Sciences from George Mason University and attended the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University for medical school.  Reshma went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for undergrad and could not wait to come back for residency!  She appreciated the supportive atmosphere and was also very excited about the diverse training opportunities offered by the Primary Care Residency.  Reshma enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, eating donuts, anything Lord of the Rings, and of course, Carolina basketball - GO HEELS!  
Sanders Sara Sanders, MD -  Sara received her medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine.  She chose to come to UNC because she felt she could get the full spectrum of training combined with a supportive, positive culture - she knew UNC would prepare her well for the next stages of her career.  Sara majored in Music at Centre College and still enjoys singing in her spare time.  She also enjoys traveling (been to 5 continents), Netflixing, hiking, and exploring the area - the beautiful greenery reminds her of her home state, Kentucky.
Sawyer Tarshree Sawyer, MD, MPH, MS - Tarshree majored in Biology at Bowling Green State University and received her MPH and MD from the University of Toledo College of Medicine.  She enjoys traveling and exploring new places, shopping, the occasional Netflix binge, and dancing.  Tarshree attended Carolina's First Look during medical school and fell in love with the program.  She was amazed by the friendly atmosphere, amount of diversity, and the focus on primary care.  As a native of Cleveland, OH, she endured many winters - NC's warmer climate was also a draw.
Shannon Sean Shannon, MD - Sean is the proud product of US Air Force veteran parents, living all over the place growing up, but now calls Louisville, KY home. He double majored in Biology and Chemistry at Western Kentucky University and attended the University of Louisville School of Medicine for medical school.  He chose UNC because the people were beyond welcoming, the training is top notch, and the area is beautiful - it also helped that his wife agreed Chapel Hill was her favorite.  As a recovering competitive swimmer, even the smell of chlorine still gives him a little anxiety.
Weinberg Steven Weinberg, MD - Steven attended the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) for both undergraduate (Economics) and medical school.  Steven was sold on UNC after his interview day: "I admired how cohesive the residents were. It was clear that the culture at UNC is welcoming and supportive".  He enjoys live music, swimming, art history, cooking Ethiopian food and golf.  Prior to moving to Chapel Hill, Steven had only lived in two places, Ann Arbor and Addis Ababa.

Combined Pediatrics - Anesthesiology

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 for medical school and was blown away by the people during her pediatrics clerkship - residents, attendings, coordinators, everyone!  The friendliness and genuine focus on education were major reasons she 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.  Marley is in her third year of training.

Meet our Internal Medicine - Pediatrics residents!