Trainees

Independent Fellows

Raed Abdulkareem, MD (PGY7)
Track: Traditional Cardiac
Education: University of Baghdad College of Medicine; Misr University for Science and Technology (MBBCh)
Prior Training: General Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago
Email: abdulkareemr@upmc.edu
 
James Ackerman, MD (PGY6)
Track: Traditional Thoracic
Education: Muhlenberg College (BS), The Commonwealth Medical College (MD)
Prior Training: General surgery, UPMC Mercy; Advanced General Thoracic and Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Fellowship, UPMC
Professional Interests: Foregut surgery, Thoracic oncology, Resident/medical student education
 
Evan T. Alicuben, MD (PGY6)
Track: Traditional Thoracic 
Education: Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
Prior Training: General Surgery Resident, University of Southern California
Professional Interests: Benign and malignant disorders, minimally invasive/robotic surgery, relational database design, large dataset analysis
 
Allison Beckham Davila, MD (PGY6) 
Track: Traditional Cardiac
Education: Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University 
Prior Training: General Surgery Resident, Loma Linda University Medical Center
Professional Interests: Cardiac Surgery 
Research Interests: Clinical outcomes in adult and pediatric heart surgery
 

Mohammad “Mahbub” Jamil, MBBS (PGY7)
Track: Traditional Cardiac
Education: Dhaka Medical College (MBBS)
Prior Training: General Surgery Resident, University of Toledo Medical Center; Surgical Critical Care Fellow, Albany Medical Center
Email: jamilmm@upmc.edu

 
Renee Levesque, MD (PGY6)
Track: Thoracic Track 
Prior Training: General Surgery Resident, University of Tennessee, Memphis 
 
Katherine Wailen Su, MD (PGY7)
Track: Traditional Thoracic
Education: Johns Hopkins University (BS), Rush University (MD)
Prior Training: General Surgery, Indiana University
Email: sukw@upmc.edu
 
Brian Yoo, MD (PGY7)
Track: Traditional Thoracic 
Education: John Hopkins University, Nerosurgery (BA); Boston University School of Medicine (MD)
Prior Training: General Surgery, University of Arizona
Professional Interests: Thoracic Surgery 
Research interests: Lung Cancer, Esophageal Cancer
 
     

Integrated Residents

Syed "Faaz" Ashraf, MBBS (PGY3)
Track: Integrated Cardiac 
Education: Imperial College London (BSc), University of London (MBBS)
Prior Training: Foundation year 1 and 2 doctor (House Officer and Senior House Officer), North East Thames Foundation School 
Professional Interests: Cardiothoracic surgery; congenital cardiac surgery
Research Intersts: Virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D printing in congential cardiac surgery; computational modeling in congenital cardiac disease, 3D printing in surgical simulation and medical education
Valentino Bianco, DO, MPH (PGY6)
Track: Integrated Cardiac
Education: University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health (MPH), Midwestern Unviersity (DO) 
Professional Interests: Adult Cardiac and Aortic Surgery 
Research Interests: Clinical Outcomes in Adult Cardiac Surgery, Transcatheter Aortic Surgery 
Email: biancov@upmc.edu

Patrick G. Chan, MD, MPH (PGY6)
Track: Integrated Cardiac
Email: chanpg@upmc.edu

Ernest G. Chan, MD, MPH (PGY4)
Track: Integrated Thoracic 
Education: MD (Stony Brook School of Medicine), MPH (University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health)
Professional & Research Interests: Lung cancer, esophageal cancer, benign esophageal diseases, benign pulmonary diseases, ECMO, lung transplant

Garrett Coyan, MD, MS (PGY5)
Track: Integrated Cardiac
Education: University of Michigan (BS), University of Kansas (MS), University of Kansas (MD), University of Pittsburgh (Graduate Certificate-Medical Product Innovation)
Prior Training (i.e. general surgery training): Resident, Cardiothoracic Surgery, UPMC (2014-2022); Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Cardiovascular Engineering, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine (2017-2019)
Professional Interests: Pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, adult/congenital structural heart disease, mechanical circulatory support/ECMO, Resident/medical student education
Research Interests: Tissue engineered cardiovascular devices (valves, patches, vascular grafts), medical device innovation, cardiovascular physiology, outcomes research/modeling, process of care improvement
Pubmed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Garrett%20Coyan%5BAuthor%5D
Email: coyangn@upmc.edu

Rachel Deitz, MD, MPH (PGY2)
Track: Integrated Thoracic
Education: University of Miami (MD, MPH)
Research & Professional Interests: Surgical access, international health, lung cancer screening, minimally invasive/robotic surgery
Email: deitzrl@upmc.edu
Keith A. Dufendach, MD (PGY4)
Track: Integrated Cardiac
Education: University of Pennsylvania (MD) 
Professional Interests: Adult Cardiac Surgerical Disease
Research Interests: Artifical intelligence and machine learning applied to cardiac surgery, with a special focus on automated cardiac imaging interpertation
Nicholas R. Hess, MD (PGY4)
Track: Integrated Cardiac 

Chigozirim “Chigo” Ekeke, MD (PGY4)
Track: Integrated Thoracic
Education: The Ohio State University (BS),  The Ohio State University College of Medicine (MD), University of Pittsburgh (Certificate in Clinical Research)
Prior Training: University of Pittsburgh, General Surgery
Professional Interests: All aspects of thoracic oncology; benign lung, esophageal and tracheal disease; robotic surgery; patient quality outcomes; and medical innovation
Research Interest: Translational, clinical, and innovative science focused in immunotherapy, immunotherapy delivery,  and improving thoracic surgery and critical care outcomes
Email: ekekecn@upmc.edu

Leonid Emerel, MD (PGY5)
Track: Integrated Thoracic
Education: Rutgers University (BA), Rutgers University (MD)
Professional Interests: Adult cardiac surgery, transcatheter aortic valve replacement
Research Interests: Echo-based assessment of ascending aortic stiffness and three-dimentional risk modeling in patients sustaining acute type-A aortic dissection. Mechanical stretch-induced oxidative and extracellular matrix remodeling in bicuspid valve aortopathy with application of smooth muscle cell bioreactor scaffolds and assembly and maintenance of bioreactor systems
Email: emerellv@upmc.edu
 
Bryant Fisher, MD (PGY2)
Track: Integrated Cardiac 
Kyla D. Joubert,  MD, MPH (PGY4)
Track: Integrated, Thoracic
Education: Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (MD), University of Pittsburgh (MPH)
Professional interests: Thoracic Oncology
Research Interests: Lung cancer immunology, occupational lung disease
Email: joubertkd2@upmc.edu
Mahnoor Imran, MBBS (PGY1)
Track: Integrated Cardiac 
Education: Ziauddin Medical College (MBBS), Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Aortic Institute, Yale School of Medicine 
Prior Training: (i.e. general surgery training): General Surgery Intern year at Yale New Haven Hospital 
Professional Interests: Aortic, Congenital Cardiac, and Global Surgery 
Research Interests: Clinical outcomes
Laura M. Seese, MD, MS (PGY4)
Track: Integrated Cardiac
Education: University of Pittsburgh (MS), University of California, Irvine (MD)
Professional interests: Congenital
Research Interests: Clinical outcomes research and randomized clinical trials in cardiac surgery
PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Laura+Seese
Email: seeselm@upmc.edu
Sarah Yousef, MD (PGY3)
Track: Integrated Thoracic
Email: yousefs@upmc.edu
Dongning Zhang, MD (PGY4)
Track: Integrated Thoracic
Education: University of California- Los Angeles (BS), University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (MD)
Professional Interests: Thoracic oncology
Research Interests: Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer, lung cancer
Email: zhangd4@upmc.edu