Alexander Lankowski: Alex grew up in coastal Maine and later ventured to the far off land of New Hampshire to complete his undergraduate education at Dartmouth. After tiring of long cold winters, he decided to try his luck in the more tropical climes of Boston. There he spent several years doing translational infectious disease research and completed his medical education at Boston University. During medical school, he took time off to live in southwest Uganda, researching biologic and structural determinants of HIV treatment outcomes, as well as competing in rugby tournaments and hiking (extinct) volcanoes. He envisions a career that combines clinical medicine, advocacy, and research aimed at addressing health disparities. Outside of medicine, he enjoys cooking, playing sports, and learning about different cultures.
Steven McKee: Steven was born and reared in "The Natural State" - Arkansas. He began sailing at 3 years of age, water skiing at 5, and continues to love all things outdoors. He completed undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Arkansas, Go Hogs! Throughout college he lived briefly in Northern Spain and Costa Rica and spent time practicing both Spanish and surfing. During medical school, Steven traveled to Kenya to assist with a U.S. Center for Disease Control vaccine study. This experience stoked an already growing interest in global and underprivileged medicine. While in Africa he spent 7 days climbing Mnt. Kilimanjaro. Steven is now far from the comforts of home (and the South) yet he adores Philadelphia. In his free time he enjoys cycling and running the river trail, surfing in Jersey, and playing soccer and softball with the CHOP teams.
Laura Robinson: Laura grew up in Zionsville, IN, but headed south to complete her education. After studying cultural anthropology at Duke, she spent a year doing hunger advocacy in New York with Americorps. She then returned to North Carolina and crossed enemy lines to start medical school at UNC. While there, she did research on social supports for adolescents with chronic illness and was drawn to Med-Peds residency from an interest in transitions for patients with complex chronic conditions. Additional career interests include palliative care and health disparities. In her spare time, Laura enjoys reading, dance, and cooking and is enjoying life in the charming though not-so-well-known Devil’s Pocket neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Stephanie Smith: Stephanie (Steph) was born and raised in the Golden State of Cali in a suburb (aka Farm Town) somewhat close to San Francisco. She made the trek out east for college and earned her BS and MPH from Yale. After school, she decided to try out the big apple and worked at Sloan-Kettering doing clinical research in childhood cancer survivorship. That sparked her passion for medicine, so she made the trek back west and earned her MD in the land of palms at Stanford Medical School. After med school, Stephanie decided to become bi-coastal once again for her residency in med-peds to pursue her eventual career goal of pediatric oncology, cancer survivorship, and long-term follow-up care. In her free time, Steph enjoys running along the Schuylkill River (and in Central Park), taking the Amtrak to visit her husband in NYC (4 months married!), juggling, concocting tasty vegetarian meals, and eating virtually anything involving kale.
Ryan Close: Ryan's life began in Germany, before finding his way stateside. All recent schooling has been in New York City, where he majored in philosophy at NYU before completing his MD / MPH at Columbia. He has a passion for infectious disease research and travel, having combined the two in Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Swaziland. In 2011, Ryan co-hosted the Northeast Regional Med-Peds Conference in New York City. He frequents the Schukylkill River running trail and his favorite race is the half-marathon. But more important than any of the above, is Ryan's deep love for his friends, family...and dogs.
Alana Feiler: Alana was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She attended Yale University where she majored in Cognitive Science and then went on to receive an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University in England. She enrolled in a post-bac and subsequently in medical school at Penn. She completed an internship at Penn Family Medicine before joining the Penn Med-Peds program. Her career interests include adolescent medicine and transition of care for young adults with chronic illness. She also has strong interests in general pediatric and adult medicine and medical education. She played rugby in college, and enjoys soccer, basketball, cycling, and acoustic guitar.
Andrea Maxwell: Andrea was born in Neenah, Wisconsin. She attended Harvard College where she majored in biomedical engineering, then enrolled at the University of Michigan Medical School, where she took a year off to return to Harvard for MPH training. Andrea has researched transitions of care for complex adolescents, and written on post-traumatic stress disorder. She enjoys outdoor activities and travelling, and attends opera and theater performances.
Michael Rey: Michael was born in Englewood, New Jersey, and attended college at Harvard, where he majored in history and literature and wrote his thesis on the famous physician-writer William Carlos Williams. At some point in there, he spent a summer in the Pacific northwest and wrote a travel guide to the region. He completed a post-bac and subsequently enrolled in medical school here at Penn, where he did research in medical ethics for several years. Michael welcomed his first child, a daughter, in 2011, and he enjoys cooking and long-distance running.
Kea Gilbert: Kea attended Stanford University as an undergrad, where she majored in Human Biology and Italian, and received special honors in Procrastination Arts. From 2005 to 2007, Kea launched the Boston chapter of Peer Health Exchange, a nonprofit that trains college students to teach a comprehensive health curriculum in public high schools, and eureka (!), her love of working with adolescents was born. She enrolled at Penn for medical school in 2007, where she participated in a Gold Foundation service fellowship in Cambodia in HIV/AIDS care for orphans and vulnerable children, and conducted her scholarly pursuit on improving medical education around transgender health. Her career interests continue to include adolescent medicine and transgender health, with the new additions of medical education, integrative medicine, and palliation. Her personal interests include running, skiing, overambitious home art projects, vegetable gardening, and oggling the wild beauty of the American west as often as she can travel to the national parks. It is unknown whether or not she used Italian to teach transgender Cambodian adolescents how to raise delectable vegetables.
Moonjoo Han: Moonjoo attended Williams college, kicking butt and taking names as the captain of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams, and graduating in 2003 with a degree in biology, to become a… life insurance underwriter! After two years of this, she left for bigger & better things, enrolling in the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical School in 2007. During medical school, Moonjoo participated in oncology-related research, and was the founding vice-president of the med- peds interest group. Recently she has coached field hockey and lacrosse, and enjoys surfing and running.
Jonathan Ludmir: Jona was raised in distant Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, thousands of feet away from Philadelphia, before majoring in history at the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate work. Apparently ensnared by Philadelphia’s wily charms, Jona enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2006. Finally embracing his rebellious side, Jona has found an interest in global medicine, travelling to Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Argentina, and ultimately (for a year-off research project) Botswana. He enjoys playing piano and eating sushi, hopefully at the same time.
Adam Small: Adam is also threatening to become a certified “lifer,” having completed undergraduate (major in psychology), post-graduate (remediating the psychology for pre-med training), and medical school studies all at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania. During medical school, he worked in a Guatemalan day-care center while taking Spanish language courses, and successfully completed the Philadelphia marathon, which is about 25.9 miles further than either of the program directors can run without dropping out most of their left ventricles. In his spare time, Adam is a published creative writer, and his career interest is in children and adults with congenital heart disease.
Barry Rothschild: Born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin -- where cheese is put on things that would be considered criminal in some states -- Barry ventured out to the wild, wild west where he got a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford. During his junior year, he did a study abroad on a cruise ship where he circumnavigated the globe and visited 11 countries along the way. After college, he returned home for medical school at The Medical College of Wisconsin. While at MCW, he spent time doing medical work in the Philippines and Honduras. Now, he is thrilled to call Philadelphia home! In his spare time, Barry enjoys typing biographies in the third person, global travel, trying new restaurants, concerts (everything from hip-hop to independent rock to jazz), books, nerdy podcasts, and generally spending time with friends and family. His academic interests include medical education, transition of care in the context of chronic illness, critical care medicine, non-medical determinants of health, and roughly two trillion other things.
Stefanie Ruffolo: Stefanie was born and raised in Kenosha, WI, which sits on Lake Michigan about 50 minutes north of Chicago. She grew up within a 5 mile radius of most her close family and friends. Her first love was soccer, and played competitively through 1 year of college before deciding to direct her passions elsewhere. She moved on to become a Badger at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and majored in Psychology. Contemplating where she might get her best education and quality of life, she decided to stay close to home and attend the Medical College of Wisconsin. Being exposed to a strong Med Peds presence, she quickly sparked an interest in transitional care between pediatric and adult medicine. She is also very interested in medical education and how it can relate to the med-peds world. Coming from a strong Italian family, she found Philadelphia to be a perfect place to practice her Italian and feel like a home away from home. Along with the fabulous residents and staff, she has loved exploring the culture, music, and most importantly food the city has to offer.
Elaina grew up in West Virginia and first moved to Philadelphia in 2000 to attend undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania. There, she was captain of the varsity cross-country / track & field teams and graduated with a concentration in psychology and urban studies. After pursuing her post-bac studies, she attended Harvard Medical School. She moved back to Philadelphia to join the Penn Med-Peds family, and to join her husband- who practices law in the area. She intends to pursue a career in primary care. In addition to loving medicine, she also loves running, partaking in Philadelphia's fabulous restaurant scene and playing for the CHOP softball team!
Shelton Wright: Shelton was born in Boston but moved south to New Orleans just in time avoid an accent. Finally settling in Alabama, he spent his formative years in Birmingham, a place he will forever call home. He crept slightly north to go to college at Duke where he played rugby and learned the pleasures of Bojo’s and Cheerwine. After college he spent a year working in Zambia, helping manage an HIV program in a small town. Returning to the sweet home of grits and legit college football, he went to medical school at UAB. There he furthered his interests in global health research by working on a basic science project in a lab in Santiago, Chile during the summer after his 1st year of medical school and then for a year in-between his 3rd and 4th years, during which he obtained a master’s degree in translational research. In Chile, he was blessed with a mentor who “forced” him to learn to windsurf and to develop an appreciation for Chilean wine, two hobbies that are slightly difficult-but not impossible-to carry over to Pennsylvania. When he is not fattening himself up for the upcoming winter, Shelton loves to take advantage of the many trails at Wissahickon park, explore the countless eclectic scenes Philly has to offer and cheer his beloved Crimson Tide to victory