Samuel Burke, MD
BS—University of Pennsylvania
MD—University of Miami Medical School
PGY1—Saint Joseph Hospital
Emily Cole, MD, MPH
MD/MPH—Tufts University School of Medicine
PGY1—Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center
Samuel Burke M.D. grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota before attending the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He then taught English in Temuco, Chile through their ministry of education’s program English Opens Doors. He pursued his medical education at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He completed his preliminary medicine internship at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, Colorado before joining the IEEI ophthalmology residency program. Outside of ophthalmology Sam enjoys cooking, running, and traveling.
Emily Cole grew up in the Catskill Mountains in New York before attending Brown University for her undergraduate education, where she graduated with a bachelor of science in biology. After college, she worked for Teach for China as an elementary school teacher in rural Southwest China before applying to medical school. She was accepted to Tufts University School of Medicine, where she obtained a joint MD and Master’s in Public Health. After her third year of medical school, she was the Optical Coherence Tomography Research Fellow at New England Eye Center in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working in novel retinal imaging modalities such as OCT angiography. She completed her transitional year at NYC Health+Hospitals/Lincoln in Bronx, NY before joining IEEI. In her spare time, Emily enjoys rock climbing and time spent in the mountains with her dog and family.
Lawrence Geyman, MD
MD—Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
PGY1—Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Rajvi Mehta, MD
MD—Duke University School of Medicine
PGY1—State University of New York
Dr. Lawrence Geyman was raised in New Jersey and attended Columbia University, graduating cum laude and with Departmental Honors in Biology. He then attended the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he graduated with Distinction in Research and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.
During medical school, he performed research in imaging of retinal vasculature and metabolism in open-angle glaucoma at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. In studying metabolic imaging, he devised a new metric to explain changes in retinal health throughout the progression of glaucoma. His research has been presented at the annual international ARVO conference, published in journals such as the British Journal of Ophthalmology, and been the recipient of awards such as the Knights Templar Grant and Hot Topic Award. Additionally, he spent his weekends volunteering at the student-run free eye clinic, serving the surrounding neighborhoods.
Dr. Geyman completed his internship in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, before joining the IEEI family in Chicago. In his spare time, Dr. Geyman enjoys learning languages, traveling, playing acoustic guitar, and spending time with friends and family. He harbors a strong interest in medical history and history of ophthalmology.
Rajvi Mehta M.D. grew up in Mumbai, India before attending Brown University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. During her time at Brown, she started a social venture called Let’s Be Well Red (LBWR) to combat the widespread prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in India through the manufacture and sale of iron rich nutritional bars called Gudness. She then attended Duke University School of Medicine, NC where she continued to nurture her passion for global health and entrepreneurship. She won various business plan competitions and awards for her work with LBWR and was recently named one of the 50 Most Impactful Social Innovators by the World Corporate Social Responsibility Organization. While at Duke, she worked on portable OCT systems and telemedicine research for which she received the National Eye Institute Travel Grant to present her work at ARVO. She completed her intern year at Stony Brook University Hospital, NY before joining the IEEI ophthalmology residency program. Outside of ophthalmology, Rajvi enjoys painting, skating, karaoke, and watching game shows.
Nita Valikodath, MD
BS—Wayne State University
MD—University of Michigan Medical School
PGY1—The University of Chicago Medical Center
Ivy Zhu, MD
MD—University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
PGY1—Kaiser Foundation Hospital, San Francisco
Nita Valikodath, MD MS grew up in Rockwood, MI. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit, MI with a Presidential Scholarship and was accepted into the Honors College. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences and a Minor in Spanish. She then attended the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) in Ann Arbor, MI and received the UMMS Merit Scholarship. Her first year of medical school, she received a Summer Biomedical Research Program Grant. Through her medical school career, she developed a passion for ophthalmology and participated in several activities to further explore the field. She especially enjoyed working at the free ophthalmology clinic at the University of Michigan. She was accepted into the Master of Science in Clinical Research Program at the University of Michigan and received a NIH training grant to pursue research in ophthalmology. She worked at the Kellogg Eye Center during this year and cultivated an interest in telemedicine and global health in ophthalmology. Upon graduating, she was awarded the Robert I. Goldsmith Ophthalmology Award. She completed her transitional year internship at the University of Chicago-NorthShore HealthSystem in Evanston, IL. Outside of ophthalmology, Nita enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and trying new foods. She also loves being outdoors and doing various activities, including running, swimming, playing volleyball or doing yoga.
Ivy Zhu M.D. grew up in the northwestern suburbs of Illinois before attending Northwestern University where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and graduated magna cum laude with departmental honors. She then attended the University of Illinois College of Medicine where she became passionate about ophthalmology. During medical school, she conducted research in retinal surgical outcomes and also produced several publications in peer reviewed journals, book chapters, and presentations. She graduated from medical school with honors and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. She completed her medicine internship at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, CA before joining the IEEI ophthalmology residency program. Ivy is excited to continue her ophthalmology training at IEEI and serve the people of the Chicagoland area.
Second Year Residents (Class of 2020)
Kelley Bohm, MD
BS—Schreyer Honors College at Pennsylvania State
MD—Weill Cornell Medical College
PGY1—Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Talisa de Carlo, MD
BA—University of Pennsylvania
MD—Tufts University School of Medicine
PGY1—John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii
Kelley Bohm M.D. grew up in central Pennsylvania before attending the Schreyer Honors College at the Pennsylvania State University, where she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. She then attended Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY, where she developed and cultivated her interest in ophthalmology. After her first year of medical school, she was awarded an MSTAR summer fellowship to pursue dry eye syndrome research at Cornell. Between her third and fourth years, Kelley was awarded the position as the Cornea Clinical Research Fellow to research ocular surface diseases, such as Stevens Johnson Syndrome, and their treatments. Upon graduating with her medical degree, Kelley received the Edward Norton Prize in Ophthalmology. She completed her transitional year internship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY before joining the IEEI ophthalmology residency program. Outside of ophthalmology, Kelley enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, cooking, and spending time outdoors.
Dr. Talisa de Carlo was born and raised in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii and graduated cum laude from The University of Pennsylvania with a BA in biology. She spent her summers in Hawaii as an ophthalmic technician at Aloha Laser Vision and was a director for FocusFirst during the academic year organizing weekly vision screenings for children.
Dr. de Carlo received her medical doctorate with research honors at Tufts University School of Medicine. At Tufts she organized multiple health fairs and vision screening events and received the “Suffolk District Medical Society Medical Student Scholarship” and “TruFit Good Citizens Scholarship” for her community service endeavors. She also participated in a variety of clinical ophthalmology research for which she received the “William Dameshek Undergraduate Research Award” and the “Retina Research Foundation/Joseph M. and Eula C. Lawrence Travel Grant of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).”
Dr. de Carlo began investigating the novel technology optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) in 2014 during her OCT Fellowship with the New England Eye Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, authoring over 40 publications in this subject area and presenting at multiple national ophthalmology meetings. Additionally, Dr. de Carlo evaluates clinical trial images for the Boston Image Reading Center as a trained senior reader and is an invited reviewer and guest editor for a variety of ophthalmology journals.
In her free time, Dr. de Carlo is an avid hiker and painter, and enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family.
Judy L. Chen, MD
BA—University of Southern California
MD—David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
PGY1—Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center
Priyanka Chhadva, MD
BS—University of Miami
MD—Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami
PGY1—St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, IN
Judy Chen graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California with a double major in Neuroscience and Biological Sciences and a minor in Piano Performance. Subsequently, she received her medical degree from UCLA, where she pursued her passions for service by coordinating free health screenings and education seminars, and for music by performing in the medical school a cappella group and as a music therapy pianist. Dr. Chen also conducted cornea research, and was awarded the Stein Eye Institute Medical Student Research Program fellowship, during which she investigated the effects of ZEB1 mutation on corneal endothelial cell function, and their implications for the pathogenesis of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy 3. Following medical school, she completed her internship in internal medicine at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center before joining the ophthalmology residency program at Illinois Eye and Ear.
Priyanka Chhadva grew up in South Florida. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology. Priyanka received her medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
During medical school, Dr. Chhadva completed a year-long research fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Her research focused on dry eye disease as well as long-term refractive outcomes, and includes first author publications in peer-reviewed journals such as Ophthalmology and IOVS, as well as podium and poster presentation at national ophthalmology conferences (AAO, ARVO, ASCRS).
Throughout her education, she has dedicated time to community outreach, volunteering with medical missions in Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and India. Priyanka completed her intern year at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana prior to starting her residency at Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.
In her free time, she loves to travel, dine at trendy restaurants, attend group exercise classes, and spend time with her loved ones.
Levi Kanu, MD
BS—Johns Hopkins University
MD—Perelman School of Medicine, Univ. of Pennsylvania
PGY1—Mercy Medical Center
Daniel Oh, MD
MD—Harvard Medical School
PGY1—Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA
Levi Kanu grew up in Maryland and graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2011 with a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. During his time in medical school, Levi took a year out to pursue research, first performing R&D at a medical device company in California, and then conducting basic science research related to age-related macular degeneration. Levi went on to complete a preliminary internal medicine year at Mercy Medical Center before beginning his ophthalmology residency at UIC.
Daniel Oh graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemistry. He received his medical degree cum laude from Harvard Medical School, in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology track. He completed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research fellowship investigating aberrant retinal angiogenesis in proliferative diabetic retinopathy. His co-first author work was featured on the cover of Diabetes. His research has been presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Diabetes Association, the Society of Hospital Medicine, and the Society of General Internal Medicine. He was awarded the Dr. John D. and Mrs. Gretchen H. Bullock Ophthalmology Award for the outstanding senior student in ophthalmology and the Gragoudas Prize for the best basic and translational science paper during his research fellowship year. Prior to his residency at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dr. Oh completed a preliminary medicine year at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. He enjoys road trips, tennis, hiking, and spending time with family.
Third Year Residents (Class of 2019)
Grace Dunbar, MD
MD—University of Michigan
PGY1—Beaumont Hospital, Taylor, MI
Omar Hassan, MD
MD—University of Illinois at Chicago
PGY1—West Suburban Medical Center, Oak Park, IL
Dr. Grace Dunbar graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota with a BA in biology. As an undergraduate, she conducted basic science research in methylmercury toxicity, was selected for participation in the Mayo Innovations Scholars Program, and received the Dimsdale Prize for Undergraduate Medical Research.
Dr. Dunbar received her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, MI. In medical school, she conducted clinical research in sleep apnea and completed a research fellowship to study diabetic retinopathy under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas Gardner at the W. K. Kellogg Eye Center. She has published in academic journals, including Ophthalmology and Cornea, and has presented at national ophthalmology meetings. As a senior medical student, she received the Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in Clinical Skills and the Art of Medicine Award as well as the Robert I. Goldsmith Ophthalmology Award. Throughout her medical education, she has taken opportunities to serve her community through volunteering with various health service organizations.
Omar Hassan grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, IL. He graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and a focus on tissues and transport. During this time, he worked on developing micro-sized pH probes to investigate the pH gradient of the feline retina. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he spent much of his time in the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. His research at this time focused on keratolimbal stem cell allografts, specifically in aniridic patients. He finished his preliminary year at West Suburban Medical Center before starting his residency at UIC.
Lindsay Machen, MD
MD—Pennsylvania State University
PGY1—Reading Hospital, Reading, PA
Wyatt Messenger, MD
BS—Oregon State University
MD—Oregon Health & Sciences University
PGY1—Legacy Health Systems, Portland, OR
Lindsay Machen was raised in Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University with a BA in English and a minor in Biology. Dr. Machen received her medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. During medical school, she spent time performing medical dramas with the Kienle Center Players and researching iron deposition in the retinas of mice affected by iron-overload conditions, presented at ARVO 2015. In her fourth year, she received the Alphone E. Leure-Dupree award for exemplary research for her analysis of medical student recognition of non-verbal clues in the medical interview. Dr. Machen completed her intern year at Reading Hospital in Reading, PA prior to starting her residency at Illinois Eye and Ear. During her residency, she is looking forward to learning more about the field of ophthalmology and putting her efforts to work in underserved communities, both domestic and abroad. In her free time, she loves to run, dance, hike, and spend time with her wonderful loved ones.
Wyatt Messenger grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He graduated summa cum laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Health Management and received his medical degree at Oregon Health & Science University. Before residency, he completed a research fellowship at the University of Utah studying a novel treatment for central retinal artery occlusion in mice. He was inspired to go into medicine after living in Morelia, Mexico and working in the IMSS hospital system. In medical school, he was awarded the Paz Salud Health Scholarship, providing him the opportunity to work with ophthalmologists in Cojutepeque, El Salvador. He enjoys sports, camping, good coffee, and spending time with his family and friends.
Taylor Starnes, MD, PhD
BS—University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MD/PhD—University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
PGY1—University of Chicago Northshore
Alisa Thavikulwat, MD
BA—University of Rochester
MD—University of Rochester
PGY1—Medstar Harbor Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Dr. Starnes graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in molecular and cellular biology. He continued his training in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which culminates with the award of both the MD and PhD degrees. Dr. Starnes’ research focus for his graduate work was chronic inflammation and the immune response to wounds. He was awarded a prestigious F30 grant by the National Institutes of Health, and his research has been featured on the cover of Blood. He also did research projects in OCT imaging analysis of age-related macular degeneration and the inflammatory ocular manifestations of Muckle-Wells Syndrome (a systemic autoinflammatory disease). Dr. Starnes completed a transitional year program at the University of Chicago NorthShore in Evanston, Illinois, prior to his ophthalmology residency at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. In his free time, Dr. Starnes enjoys traveling and eating spicy food.
Dr. Alisa Thavikulwat grew up in Baltimore, MD and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY with a BA in Chemistry. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 2009. Through the Rochester Early Medical Scholars program, she then obtained her MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. During medical school, Dr. Thavikulwat volunteered and conducted research with the Ban Phaeo Mobile Eye Clinic in Thailand, which provides cataract surgery to rural patients in Thailand. She also spent a year at the National Eye Institute participating in the Medical Research Scholars Program, where she published research on age-related macular degeneration and presented at national meetings. As a medical student, she served in leadership positions in UR Well Eye Care, a student-run eye clinic providing eye care to uninsured patients, as well as in glaucoma screenings and school physicals. Before coming to the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dr. Thavikulwat completed a transitional year internship at Medstar Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, MD. She enjoys traveling, playing badminton, and cooking and eating Thai food.
Julie Goldman, MD
PGY1—Newton Wellesley Hospital, Newton MA
Ophthalmology Residency—Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary
Jennifer Park, MD
BS—Brown University, Providence RI
MD—Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx NY
PGY1—Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York NY
Ophthalmology Residency—New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, New York NY
Amy Mehta, MD
BS—Northeastern University, Boston MA
MD—New York Medical College, Valhalla NY
PGY1—Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk CT
Ophthalmology Residency—Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx NY
Brooke Johnson, DO
BS—Ferris State University, Big Rapids MI
DO—Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine DMC Campus, Detroit MI
Neurology Residency—Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal IL
Chau Pham, MD
BS—Emory University, Atlanta GA
MD—Case Western Reserve University SOM, Cleveland OH
PGY1—Metrohealth Hospital, Cleveland OH
Ophthalmology Residency—Washington University in St Louis, St Louis MO
Daniel Maidana, MD
MD—University of Buenos Aires
PGY1—University of Buenos Aires
Ophthalmology Residency—University of Barcelona
Matthew Byun, MD
BS—The Ohio State University, Columbus OH
MD—Wright State University, Dayton OH
PGY1—Mount Carmel Health, Columbus OH
Ophthalmology Residency—University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati OH
Ru-ik Chee, MD
BS—Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
MD—Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
PGY1—University of Pennsylvania, PA
Ophthalmology Residency—Weill Cornell Medical College, NY
Sarwar Zahid, MD
BS—New York University, New York NY
MD—University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor MI
PGY1—Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit MI
Ophthalmology Residency—New York University, New York NY
Nicole Scripsema, MD
BS—The University of Michigan
MD—New York Medical School
Ophthalmology Residency—New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, New York NY
Medical Retina and Uveitis Fellowship—Moorfields Eye Hospital
Vidi Shah, OD