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Meet Our Current Residents in Neurosurgery

Postgraduate Year 7 (Class of 2016)
Postgraduate Year 6 (Class of 2017)
Postgraduate Year 5 (Class of 2018)
Postgraduate Year 4 (Class of 2019)
Postgraduate Year 3 (Class of 2020)
Postgraduate Year 2 (Class of 2021)
Postgraduate Year 1 (Class of 2022)


Postgraduate Year 7

Johns Hopkins Dome

Justin Caplan, MD

Chief Resident
Undergraduate Education: Johns Hopkins University (2005)
Medical School: Harvard (2009)

Research areas:

Awards and grants:

  • Irving J. Sherman Award for Resident Achievement (2012), The Johns Hopkins University, Department of Neurological Surgery
  • Timothy P. Susco Chair of Research Award for Excellence in Brain Aneurysm Research (2013), Brain Aneurysm Foundation
  • Seed Funding Grant: A Modeling Enabled Database for Aneurysm Hemodynamics and Risk Stratification (2014), Institute for Data-Intensive Engineering and Science, Johns Hopkins University
  • Walter Dandy Award for Clinical Research (2014), The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine
Jennifer Cheng, M.D.

Jennifer Cheng, MD

Chief Resident
Undergraduate Education: Vanderbilt (2001)
M.S.: MIT (2004)
Medical School: Johns Hopkins (2009)

Sheng-fu (Larry) Lo, M.D.

Sheng-fu (Larry) Lo, MD

Chief Resident
Undergraduate Education: Macalester College (2004)
Medical School: Yale (2009)

Research areas:

Awards and grants: 

  • Best New Technology for 2013, North American Spine Society
  • Project: An evaluation of recombinant protein therapeutics for spinal fusion (2014), Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Foundation
  • Preventing painful spinal compression fractures after radiation therapy to spinal metastases: mitigating risk with radiation hypofractionation and teriparatide (2014), Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Foundation

Postgraduate Year 6

Ben Elder, M.D.

Benjamin Elder, MD, PhD

Undergraduate Education: Yale (2003)
Ph.D.: Rice (2009)
Medical School: Baylor (2010) 

Research areas:

  • Developing a rat model of spinal fusion to study the effects of various parameters on spinal fusion (bone graft material, CSF leak, antibiotics, stem cell grafts).
  • Studying a rabbit model of spinal fusion to identify the effects of low dose BMP and Teriparatide on spinal fusion.
  • Tracking mesenchymal stem cells used in the bone graft in a mouse model of spinal fusion.

Grants and awards: 

  • Irving J. Sherman Award for Resident Achievement/Outstanding Junior Resident (2013), The Johns Hopkins University, Department of Neurological Surgery
  • Employee of the Month (2014), U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiologic Health, Division of Orthopedic Devices
  • Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves Sanford Larson Award for Outstanding Resident Research (2014) Congress of Neurological Surgery/American Association for Neurological Surgery
Rory Goodwin, M.D.

Rory Goodwin, MD, PhD

Undergraduate Education: University of Florida (2002)
Ph.D.: Johns Hopkins University (2008)
Medical School: Johns Hopkins (2010)

Research areas:

  • Microarray profiling of complex biological systems
  • Treatments in spinal cord injury models and associated SCI complications
  • Influence of methylation, extracellular matrix proteins and receptor tyrosine kinase signaling in malignant glioma, chordoma, and metastatic tumors
  • Retrospective and prospective analyses of prognostic factors, clinical outcomes, costs, and quality-adjusted life years of patients diagnosed with metastatic disease to the spine
  • Systematic reviews of metastatic cancer to the spinal column and establishment of management guidelines

Grants and awards: 

  • Edward H. Oldfield, MD Research Award (2014), NREF and Academy of Neurological Surgery
  • Postdoctoral Enrichment Program (2014), Burroughs Welcome Fund
  • Postdoctoral Science Fellowship (2014), UNCF-Merck
  • Harvard Medical School Global Clinical Research Scholars' Tuition Scholarship (2014), American College of Surgeons Resident Research Scholarship Alternate
Thomas Kosztowski, M.D.

Thomas Kosztowski, MD

Undergraduate Education: University of Illinois (2005)
Medical School: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2010)

Research areas: 

  • Assessing outcomes in the treatment of degenerative diseases of the cervical and lumbar spine
  • Increased rates of instrumentation failure using C2 pedicle screws vs the shorter C3 lateral mass screws as the top of a long fusion construct
  • Natural history of osteophyte reabsorption in the cervical spine after decompression
  • Role of  C1/2 joint BMP in fusion
  • New instrument designed to better separate scar tissue from bone in redo spine surgeries
  • SOCI Clinical Investigation program at the School of Public Health

Postgraduate Year 5

Chikezie Eseonu, M.D.

Chikezie Eseonu, MD

Undergraduate Education: Harvard (2007)
Medical School: Yale (2011)

Research areas:

  • Multi-targeting nanoparticle particle drug delivery of SiRNA to high grade human gliomas in Alfredo Quinones' lab and Jordan Green's biomedical engineering lab
  • Outcome studies of gliomas, pituitary tumors and meningiomas

Awards and grants:

  • Shining Star Award (2014) The Johns Hopkins Hospital, School of Medicine
  • Diversity supplemental grant in health-related research (2015), National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, M.D.

Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, MD

 Undergraduate Education: Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Saltillo (2005)
Medical School: Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi (2011)

Research areas: 

  • How brain tumors elude the immune system by suppressing it., specifically the effect of checkpoint molecules and how we can inhibit them to help the immune cells recognize tumor cells and create a durable and effective immune response against the tumor
  • Mechanisms that brain tumor cells use to migrate and invade normal brain tissue, as well as ways to inhibit these mechanisms and decrease the invasion of normal brain by tumor cells
  • Mechanisms of vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) with a mouse model of SAH to allow us to understand the mechanisms by which aneurysm patients sustain strokes after the initial hemorrhage
  • Outcomes of patients with cerebrovascular disease
  • Outcomes of brain tumor patients

Postgraduate Year 4

Matt Bender, M.D.

Matthew Bender, MD

Undergraduate Education: Yale (2006)
Medical School: Johns Hopkins (2012)

Rajiv Iyer, M.D.

Rajiv Iyer, MD

Undergraduate Education: New York University (2007)
Medical School: New York University (2012)


Postgraduate Year 3

Christopher Jackson, M.D.

Chris Jackson, MD

Undergraduate Education: Wake Forest (2008)
Medical School: Johns Hopkins (2013)

Bowen Jiang, M.D.

Bowen Jiang, MD

Undergraduate Education: Stanford (2008)
Medical School: Stanford (2012)

Grants and awards: 

  • Most Outstanding Rotating Intern of the Year (2013), Department of General Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Camilo Molina, M.D.

Camilo Molina, MD

Undergraduate Education: Miami University, Oxford, Ohio (2008)
Medical School: Johns Hopkins (2013)

Teresa Wojtasiewicz, M.D.

Teresa Wojtasiewicz

Undergraduate Education: Barnard College of Columbia University (2007)
Medical School: Columbia (2013)

Postgraduate Year 2

Christina Jackson, M.D.

Christina Jackson, MD

 Undergraduate Education: University of Texas at Austin (2009)
Medical School: Harvard (2014)

Erick Westbroek, M.D.

Erick Westbroek, MD

Undergraduate Education: University of Utah (2009)
Medical School: Stanford (2014)

Awards and grants: 

  • Outstanding Rotating Intern, Department of Surgery (2015), The Johns Hopkins Hospital, School of Medicine

Postgraduate Year 1
Yike Jin, M.D.

Yike Jin, MD

Undergraduate Education: Johns Hopkins University (2011)
Medical School: Johns Hopkins (2015)

Daniel Lubelski, M.D.

Daniel Lubelski, MD

Undergraduate Education: City University of New York, Queens College, Flushing, New York (2009)
Medical School: Cleveland Clinic (2015)

Dimetrios Mathios, M.D.

Dimetrios Mathios, MD

Undergraduate Education: University of Athens School of Health Sciences (2011)
Medical School: University of Athens (2015)

Risheng Xu, M.D.

Risheng Xu, MD, PhD

Undergraduate Education: Harvard (2007)
Medical School: Johns Hopkins (2015)

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