Get to know our current fellows and fellowship leaders:

Second-year fellows (2021-2023)

Drs. Jonathan Jakubowski and Morgan Schoer are this year’s Co-chief Fellows

Jonathan Kopacz Jakubowski, MD, Co-chief Fellow
Medical School: Pomorski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Szczecinie, Poland
Residency: Chicago Medical School/Rosalind Franklin University in McHenry, IL

Jonathan is interested in the emerging discipline of studying the effect of oncological medications on the kidneys.

The iconic Ted Drewes.

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: Running in forest park, grabbing ice cream at Ted Drewes or Clementines, and watching premier league soccer at Amsterdam Tavern. 

Jonathan is also an avid skier (and ski instructor), has a keen interest in swimming and sailing, and is a scuba PADI Divemaster.  He enjoys mountain biking, soccer, and landscape and underwater photography. 

Favorite restaurant/bar: Hamilton Steakhouse and Molly’s in Soulard

Morgan Brooke Schoer, MD, Co-chief Fellow
Medical School: Washington University in St. Louis
Residency: Barnes Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

Morgan took an extra year between her third and fourth years of medical school to do full-time research. “My goal is to become an academic nephrologist and clinician-educator with a diverse scope of practice.”

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: Morgan enjoys biking in the park and visiting the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

The Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Favorite restaurant/bar: Cate Zone Chinese Cafe. Morgan likes cooking and baking and trying new restaurants. Early in her medical education, she was a member and coordinator of the Culinary Medicine Program at WashU.

Nyein Chann Wai Lynn, MBBS
Medical School: University of Medicine 2, Myanmar
Residency: Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Twitter: @NyeinLynn1

Nyein hopes to one day work as a transplant nephrologist, ideally taking the expertise and experience he gains from this fellowship back to his home country of Myanmar.

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: “Forest Park which is a huge green space where we can visit many different places including the Missouri History Museum, Science Center, Zoo, and Art Museum. We enjoy its beautiful scenery, wildlife and lakes, while working out at the same time!

Beautiful Forest Park has something for everyone.

Nyein also enjoys playing soccer, watching movies, and always looks forward to fine dining and sightseeing trips with family, friends and colleagues.

Favorite restaurant/bar: Restaurants in the Central West End (which is near BJH) where there are many different types of foods including Asian foods (Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Chinese), Mexican and Western foods.

Zoey Levine, MD
Medical School: St. George University, Grenada
Residency: The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY.

Zoey has been able to combine her love of traveling with community service. She volunteered in mobile clinics in small communities in Lima, Peru, to provide medical care and screening to those with limited medical access. “I enjoy immersing myself and learning about local cultures, meeting new people and trying authentic cuisines,” she says of her travels.

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: “I like to visit Forest Park.”

Favorite restaurant/bar: Basso and Taco Buddha.

Basso, in the lower level of The Cheshire, is a local favorite.

Scott Christopher Stockholm, DO
Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Carolinas Campus
Residency: Cape Fear Valley Hospital, Fayetteville, NC

Artemis, Scott’s three-legged rescue cat.

Volunteering has been an important part of Scott’s education. During his medical studies, he volunteered for a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic, where he worked alongside doctors to help diagnose and treat approximately 100 patients a day.

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: Visiting is the Gateway Arch Park

Scott is an avowed coffee lover, enjoys socializing, playing video games, home improvement, gardening and rescuing animals (including his 3-legged cat, Artemis).

Favorite restaurant/bar: Soup Dumplings STL.

Ojaswi Singh Tomar, MD
Medical School: Saint Petersburg State Pediatric-Medical University, Russia
Residency: SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – St. Louis, MO
Twitter: @tomar_ojaswi

I strongly believe that the things one feels passionate about are not random, they are our true calling.” Ojaswi enjoys aspects of both the inpatient and outpatient experience and would like to build a future practice with a good mixture of both.

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: “I love the culture of this mid-paced city. The Arch and Forest Park are my favorite places!

The Arch is a National Historic Landmark in Downtown St. Louis. It in the tallest monument in the U.S. at 630 feet in height.

Ojaswi’s other interests include aerobics, Zumba, socializing with friends and colleagues, cooking and reading spiritual books.

Favorite restaurants/bar: Bar Louie, Ranoush, Turmeric

First-year fellows (2022-2024)

Taha Mohamed Djirdeh, MD
Medical School: International American University College of Medicine, Saint Lucia
Residency: Mercy Health Javon Bea Hospital

Living in six nations on three continents, Taha learned how to be flexible in dealing with various situations and working in new, unfamiliar areas. “I grew up in countries where access to healthcare was woefully less available than here. This, I believe, has afforded me a humility in appreciating the severe stress that those who live in underserved communities may experience.”

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: Visiting the Arch

Taha enjoys sports and is a big soccer fan. He likes to read, keep up with current events, and is interested in the humanities including history, philosophy, and political science. He has an interest in learning languages and has a basic fluency of French, Spanish and Arabic.

Favorite restaurants/bar: Polite Society Restaurant

Shelden Rodrigues, MBBS
Medical School: Government Medical College, Thrissur, India
Residency: Loyola Medicine MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, IL
Twitter: @SheldnRodrigues

After moving to the US for residency, Shelden experienced first-hand how “exciting and rewarding” a career in nephrology could be. His rotations at hemodialysis centers and access centers opened his eyes as to how difficult life could be for someone with kidney disease. “I realized how much of a difference I could make in their lives. These experiences reinforced in me the belief that nephrology is where I should be.

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: Visiting Forest Park and the Central West End

Shelden loves to travel in his off-hours. “Road trips are my favorite, and I hope to travel to all 50 states in the US; currently, I’m at 18/50!” He is an ardent soccer fan and takes effort to watch his favorite team play. “I want to travel to Milan one day to watch a game live at our legendary home stadium.” He and his wife enjoy cooking and experimenting with new recipes. “We discovered a new interest in gardening during the pandemic and are almost halfway towards filling our apartment with greenery!”

Favorite restaurants/bar: Turmeric 

Swathi Velagapudi, MD
Medical School: NRI Medical College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
Residency: The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY

While internal medicine is my passion, nephrology is where I truly belong. The complex physiology piqued my interest academically – it seems simple initially, but you soon learn how little you actually know.

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: Visiting Forest Park and the Arch

Swathi is an avid traveler. She would love to visit Japan and it is next on her list. Being physically active is also important. She has won multiple swimming competitions and has a particular interest in MMA and kickboxing. In medical school she has won medals for various sports competitions and was Captain of the throwball team.

Favorite restaurants/bar: Shaved Duck

Abdullah Jalal, MD
Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies
Residency: Overlook Medical Center, Summit, NJ

Abdullah was drawn to nephrology because of the strong emphasis on problem-solving and critical-thinking skills needed, as well as the opportunity to develop meaningful patient–physician relationships. “Given the complexity of patients with advanced kidney disease, nephrologists often become de facto primary care providers and their patients’ strongest advocates.”

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: Cheering on the Cardinals and Blues at their games and exploring Forest Park

He is an avid hiker and enjoys visiting national parks. While the COVID pandemic prevented Abdullah from traveling during residency, he often watched travel videos in anticipation of his next journey abroad!

Favorite restaurants/bar: Turmeric 

Juan Sanchez, MD
Medical School: Universidad de Guayaquil Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Ecuador
Residency: Cook County Health and Hospitals System Program, Chicago, IL.

A medical school nephrology professor is credited with inspiring Juan’s interest in the field of nephrology. “His ability to explain even the most complex acid base disturbances and electrolyte imbalances and their repercussions captivated me,” says Juan. “I was instantly hooked.

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: Visiting the Zoo and working out at Planet Fitness

Juan enjoys play sports, particularly tennis and soccer. He plays the saxophone, is into fitness, nutrition, video games and family!

Favorite restaurants/bar: Kingside Diner and Cocina Latina

Marco Thierry, MD
Medical School: Windsor University School of Medicine, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Residency: University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley-Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (UTRGV-DHR), McAllen, TX
Twitter: @MarcoThierry1

Marco compares the clinical management of complex kidney pathologies to solving the Rubik’s cube. “At the start of my residency, I struggled with the clinical management of common kidney pathologies. However, what started out as a confusing subject, soon became an obsession and a very entertaining challenge.”

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: “Favorite things about St. Louis? Provel cheese, all the breweries and the St. Louis Hornets Rugby Club!”

Marco’s off-hour activities and interests include powerlifting (he competed in the AAPF intro to Powerlifting in Lombard, IL) and Fantasy Football (he was league winner in 2016 and 2020). In Texas, he was the starting prop for the McAllen Knights Rugby Team.

Favorite restaurants/bar: Chris’s Pancakes and Nick’s Pub

Transplant Fellows (2022-2023)

Gaurav Rajashekar, MD
Fellowship: WashU Nephrology
Twitter: @Renoplant

Gaurav was busy during his nephrology fellowship at WashU. Continuing his long-held interest in research, he was first author on two posters presented at ASN Kidney Week 2021, completed the Washington University Teaching Physicians Pathway (WUTPP) certificate program, completed an additional glomerular disease fellowship called GLOMCON, took part in the 2021 Nephrology Business Leadership University (NBLU) program, and became an inaugural co-chief fellow of the WashU Fellowship Program.

However, he says his biggest achievement during his fellowship was getting married to his medical school sweetheart in India!

Favorite Pastimes in St. Louis: When he does have time off, Gaurav enjoys spending time with his two best friends (and colleagues) Drs. Zoey Levine and Jonathan Jakubowski eating ice cream at Ted Drewes and trying different cocktails.

Favorite restaurants/bar: Basso

Mahathi Kalipatnapu, MBBS, MD
Fellowship: Nephrology Fellowship Program at the University of Chicago
Twitter: @mahathitweet

Favorite Pastimes: Mahathi is a talented musician and writer: she plays South Indian Carnatic music on the violin; has given several performances in India, participated in the Chicago Tyagaraja Aradhana music festival, and performed at the Lemont Hindu Temple.  As a writer of poetry and fiction, she has a collection of about 50 poems and has attended poetry workshops by Poetry Foundation, Chicago

Mahathi also enjoys spending time with her family, especially her 6-month-old, whom she finds “absolutely adorable.”

Our Nephrology Fellowship leaders

Training Program Director, Nephrology Fellowship
Steven Cheng, MD
Phone: 314-362-7211

Favorite Pastime in STL:  The rich musical scene in Saint Louis: the outstanding St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and several other great local musical institutions ranging from classical music (Saint Louis Philharmonic), to musicals (The Muny, The Fabulous Fox Theater), to blues/jazz (Blueberry Hill, Jazz at the Bistro).” 

Saint Louis Philharmonic Orchestra. 
Cheng is a talented violinist who serves as co-concertmaster for the Saint Louis Philharmonic Orchestra (credit: STL Philharmonic Orchestra).
Head to Blueberry Hill for great food and live bands (credit: Blueberry Hill).

Favorite STL RestaurantsTai Ke and Dim Sum at the Mandarin House.

Tai Ke – St. Louis’ first 100% authentic Taiwanese restaruant (credit: STL Magazine).
Mandarin House is a a well-loved and respected Chinese restaurant that opened in St. Louis in 1979.

Dr. Seth Goldberg

Associate Program Director for Service and Assessment
Seth Goldberg, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Phone: 314-362-7211

Favorite Pastimes in STL:  Sports scene, site of the 1904 Olympics, St Louis Cardinals, St Louis Blues, bar trivia, classic car shows.

Classic cars at the Annual Car Show (credit:

Favorite STL Restaurant: Blackthorn Pub and Pizza

BlackThorn Pub and Pizza, an old-school South-side watering hole that also happens to serve some of the city’s best pizza.

Associate Program Director for Clinical Research & Career Development and Wellness
Tingting Li, MD, MSCI
Associate Professor of Medicine
Phone: 314-362-7211
Twitter: @Ting2li

Favorite Pastime in STL:  Sledding down Art Hill in Forest Park in the winter, The Fox Theatre.

Art Hill in Forest Park is perfect for sledding on a winter day (credit: bombpopsaregood-flicker)

Favorite STL Restaurant: Mai Lee

Mai Lee Restaurant in Brentwood, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine.

Dr. Frank O'Brien

Associate Program Director for Curriculum Development
Frank O’Brien, MBBCh, MRCPI
Phone: 314-362-7211
Twitter: @frankjobrien84

Favorite Pastimes in STL:  The unique individual neighborhoods of the city, The Missouri Botanical Garden.

Missouri Botanical Gardens at sunset (credit:Tripadvisor)

Favorite STL Restaurants: Sidney Street Café, Yellowbelly

Yellowbelly Restaurant, island and ocean inspired Seas and Spirits.