Page Content

Meet Our Residents

Mayo Clinic neurologic surgery residents in the operating room

Our residents come from medical schools around the U.S. and outside the country. Learn more about our residents below or download our resident profiles overview.

Class of 2022

Chris Marcellino, M.D.

Chris Marcellino, M.D.
Undergraduate: University of California - Berkeley
Medical school: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Interests: Neurocritical care, neurotrauma, stroke treatment
About me: I was born in Los Angeles, California, and completed a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. I then worked at Apple Inc. for five years where I worked on the first five versions of the iPhone and the first iPad, designed the app installation for the App Store, the app and icon manager, portions of UIKit, and patented push email technology. I was a two-time Apple WWDC conference speaker. Before starting medical school, I worked in McKerrow lab at UCSF studying parasite gene expression and used computer vision to screen drugs for neglected tropical diseases via a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Brandon McCutcheon

Brandon McCutcheon, M.D.
Undergraduate: US Air Force Academy
Graduate: Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
Medical school: University of California - San Diego
Interests: General neurosurgery, spine, innovation
About me: I am originally from San Diego, California. I hold a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Chemistry, and I completed a Master’s in Public Policy at Harvard University. I then returned to San Diego to earn my M.D. at the University of California - San Diego. My interests are in innovation, device design, and entrepreneurship. I completed the Stanford Biodesign and Innovation Fellowship in 2019-2020. Outside of work, I enjoy fitness, cinema, and hiking with his German Shepherd.

Lorenzo Rinaldo, M.D., Ph.D.

Lorenzo Rinaldo, M.D., Ph.D.
Undergraduate: Loyola University Chicago
Medical school: University of Chicago
Interests: Cerebrovascular and skull base
About me: I was born in Padova, Italy before moving to the United States at a young age. I lived in Connecticut initially and later moved to Rochester, MN for high school. After attending college at Loyola University, I completed the M.D./Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago. I have an interest in studying the pathophysiology of aneurysm formation and growth. Outside of neurosurgery, I enjoy hanging out with my wife, Lindsey, and three children, Aldo, Annabelle, and Etta. My other hobbies include playing soccer and basketball.

Class of 2023

Lucas Carlstrom, M.D., Ph.D.

Lucas Carlstrom, M.D., Ph.D.
Undergraduate: Iowa State University
Graduate: Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Neuroscience
Medical school: Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine
Interests: Neural regeneration and neuroprotection, neuro-oncology, cerebrospinal fluid dynamics, cellular aging and senescence, skull base and complex cranial surgery, radiation-induced neurotoxicity, pain, and neuro trauma
About me: I was born in San Antonio, Texas but raised mostly in the upper Midwest. I pursued undergraduate education at Iowa State University before matriculating into the Medical Scientist Training Program to obtain M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Mayo Clinic. My Ph.D. thesis focused on applying insights into how the brain and spinal cord become wired during development towards neural restorative mechanisms after disease or injury. I am also interested in neuro-oncology and cerebrospinal fluid dynamics. I was elected as the resident member in the national ACGME Neurosurgery Review Committee and am passionate about education and surgical training, particularly neuroanatomy, microsurgical skills, and novel technologies such as 3D printing and virtual/augmented reality. I am currently a neurosurgery chief, with plans to complete the enfolded skull base neuro-oncology fellowship followed by an external complex minimally-invasive skull base neuro-oncology fellowship. Outside of neurosurgery, I enjoy a variety of activities, including triathlons (completed an Ironman in early 2021), skiing, scuba diving, and traveling. My wife and I are expecting our first child in 2021.

Megan (Kaszuba) Everson, M.D.

Megan (Kaszuba) Everson, M.D.
Undergraduate:
St. Olaf College
Medical school: Rush University
Interests: Peripheral nerve and trauma
About me: I grew up in Downers Grove, Illinois; a western suburb of Chicago. I completed my undergraduate studies at St. Olaf College in nearby Northfield, Minnesota, where I was involved in student government along with ballet, dance team, and ballroom dance. An undergraduate project through the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program sparked my initial interest in Mayo Clinic. I returned to Chicago for medical school at Rush University. My neurosurgical interests include peripheral nerve, trauma, and women in medicine. I plan to complete an enfolded peripheral nerve fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Spinner during my PGY-7 year. Outside of neurosurgery, I enjoy spending time with my husband and child, tackling home renovation projects, playing with my dogs (a Cocker Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel), and working on my flower and vegetable gardens.

Cody Nesvick, M.D.

Cody Nesvick, M.D.
Undergraduate: University of Tennessee
Medical school: University of Tennessee
Interests: Pediatric neurooncology, skull base surgery, vascular neurosurgery.
About me: I was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After completing a course of study in neuroscience at the University of Tennessee, I obtained my M.D. at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. During medical school, I developed an avid interest in neuro-oncology research and held research appointments at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the National Institutes of Health. My academic interests include the basic science of CNS tumors, pediatric neuro-oncology, skull base surgery, neurocritical care, and vascular neurosurgery. In my spare time, I enjoy cycling, playing guitar, and spending time with my wife and daughters.

Class of 2024

Anthony Mikula, M.D.

Anthony Mikula, M.D.
Undergraduate: University of Minnesota
Medical school: University of Wisconsin – Madison
Interests: Spine surgery, including spinal deformity & spine tumors
About me: I grew up in the small town of Shell Lake, Wisconsin, and I completed a biochemistry degree at the University of Minnesota and attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I enjoy golfing, softball, hiking, skiing, reading, and spending time with my wife, Elizabeth, and other family and friends.

Soliman Oushy, M.D.

Soliman Oushy, M.D.
Undergraduate: New Mexico State University
Medical school: University of Colorado School of Medicine
Interests: Cerebrovascular disease, endovascular neurosurgery, education
About me: I grew up in New Mexico where I was inspired to pursue medicine through the mentorship of my high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Heisenberg. I attended college in New Mexico before moving to Denver, Colorado for medical school. I am interested in neurosurgical education and cerebrovascular neurosurgery. My interests outside of neurosurgery include exercise, partially completed DIY projects, and sleep.

Joshua Spear, M.D.

Joshua Spear, M.D.
Undergraduate: Georgia State University
Medical school: Morehouse School of Medicine
Interests: Spine surgery, mentoring, health equity, healthcare management
About me: I am a native of Atlanta, Georgia. I attended Georgia State University where I double majored in biology and psychology. After graduating from Georgia State University, I attended Morehouse School of Medicine where I served on the Curriculum Committee and Board of Trustees. Currently, I am pursuing an MBA with concentrations in Healthcare Management and Financial Business. I enjoy watching movies, lifting weights, mentoring, and playing chess.

Class of 2025

Patrick Flanigan, M.D.

Patrick Flanigan, M.D.
Undergraduate: Southwestern University
Medical school: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Interests: Neuro-oncology, spine surgery, and device development
About me: I grew up in Austin, Texas, and attended college nearby at Southwestern University, where I played varsity soccer and was the swim team captain. After graduating, I attended the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine where I developed an interest in brain tumor research. I enjoy skiing, fishing, rock climbing, archery, and spending time with my wife, Mitra, who is a resident in cardiothoracic surgery at Mayo Clinic.

Hannah Gilder, M.D.

Hannah Gilder, M.D.
Undergraduate: Tulane University
Medical school: Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine
About me: I completed my B.S. in neuroscience and Spanish at Tulane University in New Orleans and then came to Rochester to attend Mayo Medical School as an M.D. student. I was fortunate enough to match at my home institution for residency with one of my medical school compatriots, Ryan, with whom I enjoy discussing the finer points of neurosurgery and strategic planting of fruit trees. I spend a significant part of time and energy outside the hospital converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, seeking rest, rational soundness, The Shire, a weak spot on the Death Star, safe passage along the King’s Road, and the Elder Wand.

Panagiotis Kerezoudis, M.D., M.S.

Panagiotis Kerezoudis, M.D., M.S.
Graduate:
Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Medical school: University of Athens
Interests: Epilepsy surgery, spine surgery, regenerative medicine, patient-reported outcomes research, and health services research
About me: I was born and raised in Athens, Greece. I graduated from the National and Kapodistrian University in 2015. Shortly after, I joined the Mayo Clinic Neuro-Informatics Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Bydon, while simultaneously being accepted into the Mayo Graduate School's Master's program in Clinical and Translational Science. The focus of my work has been on comparative effectiveness and patient-reported outcomes research in the realm of cranial and spine surgery. I also serve as one of the co-investigators working on regenerative medicine stem cell trials involving people with degenerative spine disease and traumatic spinal cord injury. I am currently working on human brain motor electrophysiology and brain-computer interface studies with Dr. Kai Miller. I will be pursuing an enfolded Ph.D. degree in computational neuroscience. In my free time, I enjoy cycling, watching movies, salsa dancing, and traveling with my family.

 Ryan Naylor, M.D., Ph.D.

Ryan Naylor, M.D., Ph.D.
Undergraduate: University of California – Irvine
Medical school: Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine
Interests: Neuro-oncology, neuro trauma, skull base, and cerebrovascular surgery
About me: I grew up in San Diego, California, and I attended the University of California - Irvine where I played water polo and majored in biology and chemistry. After a two-year hiatus working as a lab tech at UCSF, I completed my M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. My interests outside of neurosurgery include spending time with my wife, Missy, and our children, Nora and Caleb, as well as exercising and cooking.

Class of 2026

Nitesh Patel, M.D.

Nitesh Patel, M.D.
Undergraduate: Southern Nazarene University
Medical school: Texas A&M College of Medicine
Interests: Cerebrovascular
About me: I was born and raised in England and moved to Atlanta, Texas at the age of 11. My parents moved to the small town in northeast Texas to operate a small hotel, and while helping my parents work in the hotel at a young age, I learned the importance of hard work, being of service to others, and how to fix an air conditioner in the middle of the night. I was the first in my family to attend college and subsequently became the first physician in my family after graduating from Texas A&M College of Medicine. My interests outside of neurosurgery include eating, sleeping, binging TV shows, travelling, hiking, and football (soccer).

Pierce Peters, M.D.

Pierce Peters, M.D.
Undergraduate: Macalester College
Medical school: Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine
About me: I was born in San Diego, California, but moved to Minnesota when I was young and have lived there since. I completed an undergraduate degree in chemistry while also playing basketball and golf at Macalester College. Subsequently, I attended medical school at the Mayo Clinic. Outside of neurosurgery, I enjoy listening to and playing classical music, researching the work of Bob Dylan, keeping in touch with friends/family, and playing all sports. Most of all, I enjoy exploring Rochester and the rest of the world with my wife, Simrit, who is a resident in OB/GYN at Mayo Clinic.

Juliana Rotter, M.D.

Juliana Rotter, M.D.
Undergraduate: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Medical school: Georgetown University School of Medicine
About me: Several months after my birth in Lages, Brazil, I was brought to the Mayo Clinic for life-saving medical treatment before being raised in San Francisco. After studying biological engineering and management at MIT, I spent a decade as a Surface Warfare Officer-Nuclear in the United States Navy. I deployed throughout the Asian Pacific, Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf for ballistic missile defense, anti-submarine warfare, and humanitarian aid/disaster relief missions. I completed the M.D. program at Georgetown University School of Medicine while serving as a caregiver for my grandmother with Parkinson’s Disease, which sparked my interest in functional neurosurgery. Outside of neurosurgery, I enjoy horseback riding, skiing, hiking, and spending time outdoors.

Kristen Scheitler

Kristen Scheitler, M.D.
Undergraduate:
Washington University in St. Louis (WashU)
Medical school: University of Missouri School of Medicine (MU)
About me: I am a classically trained pianist. After obtaining my degree in finance from Washington University in St. Louis, I taught piano, music theory, and performed professionally, including opening for artists such as Macklemore and Chuck Berry, and performing at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Upon deciding to pursue medicine, I completed my postbaccalaureate premedical studies at WashU, where I also worked in laboratories investigating cancer epidemiology and genes involved in metastasis. I matriculated at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and was awarded a grant from the American Brain Tumor Association as a first-year medical student for my research in stereotactic radiosurgery. I was also awarded the Post-Sophomore Fellowship in Pathology at MU, which afforded me the unparalleled opportunity to complete an additional year of medical training in neuropathology, surgical pathology, transfusion medicine, forensic pathology, and other disciplines. My research in transfusion medicine received national recognition from the American College of Physicians, and I also assisted in the development and implementation of an accredited informatics curriculum for pathology residents at MU. I was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and received the Samuel P.W. Black Prize for Excellence in Neurosurgery. In my free time, I enjoy playing piano and accordion, songwriting, rock-climbing, reading as much historical literature as possible, and attempting to complete all of the New York Times crossword puzzles.

Class of 2027

Salomon Cohen Cohen, M.D.

Salomon Cohen Cohen, M.D.
Medical school: Universidad Anahuac Escuela de Medicina
Interests: Skull-base oncology
About me: I am a Mexican board-certified neurosurgeon with fellowship training in skull base oncology. I received my medical degree at the Universidad Anáhuac in Mexico City. I then completed my neurosurgery residency at the Instituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirugía also in Mexico City. After finishing my training in Mexico, I performed a year-long research fellowship in skull base neuroanatomy at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. I joined Mayo Clinic. Rochester in 2018 where I completed a neurosurgical international clinical fellowship (2018-2019) and later a skull base oncology clinical fellowship (2019-2020) under the supervision of Dr. Link and Dr. Van Gompel. If not the first, then one of few Mexicans to match here at Mayo Clinic for neurosurgery residency, I plan to fulfill my final requirements for becoming a practicing neurosurgeon in the United States. During my free time, I enjoy traveling, and spending time with my wife, daughter, and two dogs.

Nikita Lakomkin, M.D.

Nikita Lakomkin, M.D.
Undergraduate: Vanderbilt University
Medical school: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Interests: Neuro-oncology, trauma, complex spine, translational imaging
About me: I was born in Russia and grew up in eastern Connecticut. I attended Vanderbilt University, where I first developed an interest in cancer imaging and translational research, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in the biological sciences. I subsequently matriculated at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, earning my M.D. degree with distinction in research as well as the Dr. Morris B. Bender Award in Clinical Neurology. Throughout my time in medical school, I was extensively involved in academic pursuits, obtaining grant funding for my work with MR Spectroscopy in brain tumors and leading a productive clinical outcomes research program for surgical patients. Outside of neurosurgery, my interests include tennis, skiing, basketball, and playing competitive chess. Most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my fiancée, Emily, who is a teacher in Rochester.

Michelle McQuinn, M.D.

Michelle McQuinn, M.D.
Undergraduate: University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Medical school: New York University School of Medicine
Interests: Neuro-oncology, functional neurosurgery, clinical outcomes research, data science
About me: I split my time growing up between Lemont, Illinois - a suburb of Chicago - and Estes Park, Colorado - a small, idyllic tourist town bordering the Rocky Mountain National Park. I returned to my Midwestern roots for college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where I majored in biological sciences. I then went on to medical school at New York University School of Medicine. Outside of medicine, I enjoy discovering new music, art, and stories (be it novels, film, or television); puzzles (both jigsaw and crossword); hiking in and exploring national and state parks; as well as learning more about each unique environment in which I currently lives.

Ryan (Chase) Ransom, M.D., Ph.D.

Ryan (Chase) Ransom, M.D., Ph.D.
Undergraduate:
Harding University
Medical school: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine
Interests: cerebrovascular and skull base neurosurgery, spine and peripheral nerve trauma
About me: I grew up in Arkansas and attended Harding University, where I studied religion and biology. After studying arts and humanities abroad in Florence, Italy, I attended medical school at the University of Arkansas. As a medical student, I found a passion for regenerative neuroscience and translating discoveries to help neurosurgical patients and their families. At the University of Arkansas, I obtained NIH support to complete my Ph.D. research at Stanford University under the guidance of surgeon-scientist Dr. Michael Longaker. As a graduate student, I sought to understand how nerves organize tissue regeneration in salamanders, mice, and humans – species with varying degrees of regenerative potential – to help guide tissue regeneration in actual patients with debilitating injuries. My scientific findings were recognized in the form of two NIH R01 grant awards, and published in journals such as Nature, Science, and Cell. My research interests broadly include novel approaches to healing the brain and spinal cord after injury. Outside of neurosurgery, I enjoy traveling to new places, skiing, snowboarding, playing golf, and reading, as well as spending time with my wife, Katie, and our two retrievers.

Class of 2028

Rahul Kumar, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.

Rahul Kumar, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.
Undergraduate: University of Pennsylvania
Graduate: St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences & University of Pennsylvania
Medical school: University of Tennessee Health Science Center
About me: I was raised in the suburbs of Memphis, TN. I majored in biochemistry and biophysics while receiving my M.S. in physics from the University of Pennsylvania. While subsequently pursuing my M.D. at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, I completed my Ph.D. at the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences under the mentorship of Paul Northcott, Ph.D. During this time, I utilized applied and functional genomics to study medulloblastoma and other pediatric brain tumors. In addition to neurosurgery, my academic interests span oncology, developmental biology, and genomics. In my free time, I enjoy honing my data science skills, spirited drives in good weather, and flying when the skies are clear.

Alex Pais, M.D.

Alex Pais, M.D.
Undergraduate: George Mason University
Medical school: Virginia Commonwealth University
About me: I grew up in a military family and moved frequently. I have lived in numerous locations in the United States and graduated high school in Stuttgart, Germany. I elected to enlist in the Marine Corps upon graduating high school. After serving two tours to the Middle East as an infantry marine, I earned my B.S. from George Mason University in conflict analysis and resolution. During this time, my mother was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. Witnessing the tremendous medical care she received during her long battle with cancer influenced me to change careers and pursue medicine. I completed both my post-baccalaureate coursework and M.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University. I consider my experience of a close loved one’s struggle with a terminal illness an indispensable component of my medical education. With this memory, I strive to embody the Mayo Clinic’s primary value that the needs of the patient come first. Outside of neurosurgery, I enjoy playing guitar. While my playing is mediocre, my taste for expensive guitar gear is superb. I also enjoy being physically active and spending time with my wife, Rachael. She is an exceptionally talented cook which directly competes with my general enjoyment of exercise.

Zach Pennington, M.D.

Zach Pennington, M.D.
Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University
Medical school: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
About me: I was born and raised in Midland, Michigan. I completed my undergraduate studies in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where I was elected Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. I then went on to attend the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. During the course of my studies, I completed an institution-funded research year under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Sciubba and Dr. Nicholas Theodore in the Department of Neurosurgery, with focuses on predictive analytics and complication avoidance in spinal deformity and spinal tumor surgery, and on a porcine model of traumatic spinal cord injury. For my work, I received the Harvey Cushing Medical Student Research Award. My research interests include spinal tumor outcomes research and minimally invasive spinal deformity techniques. Outside of neurosurgery, my interests include weightlifting and Big Ten football.

Jenny Perez, M.D., Ph.D.

Jenny Perez, M.D., Ph.D.
Undergraduate: Oakland University
Graduate: Wayne State University School of Medicine
Medical school: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
About me: I was born and raised in Houston, TX and have now lived in six different states. Prior to medical school, I pursued a traditional Ph.D. with research focusing on changes in molecular pathways during neuron degeneration and subsequent regeneration. I went on to complete a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in collaboration with the Allen Brain Institute with research aimed at developing functional neuronal circuits from stem cells in vitro and implanting them in vivo. During medical school, I served four years as Class President and mentored premedical students from underrepresented minorities. I gained an interest in personalized treatment strategies for brain tumors and earned a Copeland Fellowship for my research in pediatric high grade gliomas. I spend my free time playing guitar, and my husband amd I travel around taking scenic photos with our drone.