Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellows

Our Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship lasts three years. Meet our fellows who are at different stages of their career development, and learn about their research projects. All of our current fellows are members of the Stanford Society of Physician Scholars (SSPS) in the Department of Pediatrics.

Matthew Wallenstein, Class of 2017

MD: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, NY

Residency Program: Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA

Primary Mentors: Gary M. Shaw, DrPH and David K. Stevenson, MD

Research: My research interests are premature birth and its causes, with a focus on maternal obesity and inflammation. I am working with David Stevenson and Gary Shaw, who are the Principal Investigator and Co-Prinicipal Investigator, respectively, of the March of Dimes Prematurity Reserach Center at Stanford University.  

Yassar Arain, Class of 2018

MD: Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR

Residency Program: Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA

Primary MentorWilliam Rhine, MD

Research: My research is centered on utilizing clinical informatics strategies to learn from the current practice of medicine. Currently, I have helped develop Premie BiliRecs, an EMR-integrated tool that provides recommendations for treating hyperbilirubinemia in preterm neonates based on expert guidelines. Premie BiliRecs has the potential to provide clinical decision support, while simultaneously generating evidence for improving hyperbilirubinemia management.

Anoop Rao, Class of 2018

MD: Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore in Mangalore, India

Residency Program: Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY

Primary MentorWilliam Rhine, MD and Paul Yock, MD

Research: My research interests involve designing and prototyping devices using 3D printers. Specifically, I study the use, fabrication, and assembly of sensors to gather data in the neonatal critical care environment. During my time as a fellow, I have been awarded the Marshall Klaus Perinatal Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics and become a collaborator on the Innovators in General Pediatrics grant by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health. I am also PI on a grant for building a mHealth platform to improve maternal and child care in India.

Other experience: In addition to my clinical training, I completed a biomedical informatics fellowship at Harvard Medical School and received a master's degree in toxicology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Neha Kumbhat, Class of 2019

MD: Grant Medical College, affliated with Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, in Mumbai, India

Residency Program: Brookdale University Hospital & Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY

Primary Mentor: Alexis Davis, MD, MS Epi

Research: TBD

Anna-Kaisa Niemi, Class of 2019

MD: University of Oulu Medical School in Oulu, Finland

Residency Program: Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, CA

Primary Mentor: TBD

Research: My interests include the diagnosis and treatment of neonatal metabolic disorders as well as integrative medicine approaches in neonatal care. My project is yet to be determined.

Other experience: I hold a PhD in mitochondrial genetics, also from the University of Oulu where I completed my medical training. Following my pediatric residency training, I did fellowships in Clinical Genetics and then Medical Biochemical Genetics at Stanford, and I am Board Certified in these specialties. I am pursuing a 2-year online fellowship in Integrative Medicine (University of Arizona) concurrent with my fellowship training in Neonatal-Perinatal medicine.

Vidya Pai, Class of 2019

MD: University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in San Diego, CA

Residency Program: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA

Primary MentorHenry Lee, MD

Research: TBD

Anca Pasca, Class of 2019

MD: Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Residency Program: Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA

Primary MentorTheo Palmer, PhD

Research: I am particularly interested in brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders associated with preterm birth and perinatal diseases. Using 3D human cortical neural cultures derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, I am able to model normal and abnormal brain development in vitro. This allows for investigation of the effects of specific perinatal events (i.e. hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy) on neuronal development and maturation. Additionally, I am exploring the effects of various medications, like steroids, used in the neonatal population and known to adversely impact brain development. My goal is to uncover specific neuronal phenotypes and molecular pathways associated with neonatal diseases and to identify targeted therapies aimed at improving the long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of NICU graduates.

Dr. Pasca is taking a two-year leave from clinical practice to pursue research under her PSDP Research Award. She will return in 2018 to complete her third year of clinical fellowship training.