Department of Neurology & Rehabilitation 2016-2017 Residents


Message From Our Chief Residents

UIC Neurology: four years of limitless opportunities, preparing you for the challenge of your professional journey.


Welcome to University of Illinois at Chicago, nestled in the Illinois Medical district, in downtown Chicago. The UIC residency program is split amongst three residency sites: UIC, Jesse Brown VA and Christ Medical Center. Each clinical site has its unique strengths. UIC, our main hospital, is a comprehensive stroke center and also houses one of the largest sickle cell populations in the city. At Jesse Brown VA, the patient population consists of older patients with more exposure to dementia, stroke, movement disorders and spine cases. Advocate Christ Hospital, a tertiary level 1 trauma center on the south side of Chicago, runs one of the largest left ventricular assist device (LVAD) populations in the country and receives complicated neurological cases from many peripheral medical centers. The high complexity of the cases provides a vast and different pathology as well as an opportunity for independent thinking that allows us to further hone our neuroscience learning. Frequent case reports have been published from this hospital. The resident continuity clinic is run at both UIC and JBVA which exposes us early on to cater to a diverse patient population.


The high volume of patients to which we are exposed over the three hospitals allows for ample exposure to a wide and complicated variety of patient cases. Complicated neurosurgery and neuro-oncology patients challenge us and we get frequent opportunities to examine patients with unique neurological exam findings. The majority of our residents that have graduated from our program, have moved on to complete fellowships at competitive programs across the country and have always felt well prepared with the training they received at UIC. All residents are involved in research projects and we frequently travel for conferences, including the AAN, American Epilepsy Society and the International Stroke Conference.


Our residents stem from all over the world, and we bring unique strengths to our program. We also speak multiple languages which helps to make our patients more comfortable when we interact with them both on the floor and in clinic. We also get together frequently to celebrate the completion of challenging rotations and to support each other’s triumphs. Our program would not be as successful without the friendships we’ve built and the trust we’ve developed with each other.


Overall, we can confidently say that the high volume of patient exposure over three large academic centers, along with a highly supportive faculty allows UIC to stand out as an excellent neurology residency program. We look forward to meeting you and we hope that you’ll find that we have what it takes to be your family away from home for the next four years.



Iulia Dorneanu (

Martha Cruz (


Dr. Martha Cruz

Dr. Iulia Dorneanu

Dr. Wei He

Dr. Jaivir Rathore

Dr. Somayyeh Sabet


Dr. Shalene Amin

Dr. Izabela Biesiada


Dr. Andre Culpepper

Dr. Sunhee Kim

Dr. Akash Patel

Dr. Vinny Sharma


Dr. Fang Bai

Dr. Nikesh Bajaj

Dr. Nicole DiGiannantonio

Dr. Shama Farooq

Dr. Muhammad Husain

Dr. Gabriela Trifan


Dr. Andrew Christiana

Dr. Kevin Chen

Dr. Bayan Moustafa

Dr. Sarah Mufti

Dr. Jorge Rodriguez

Dr. Ali Zandieh


Dr. Swetha Pedavally