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.
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.
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.
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 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!“
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 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.”
Scott Christopher Stockholm, DO
Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Carolinas Campus
Residency: Cape Fear Valley Hospital, Fayetteville, NC
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
“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.
Ojaswi’s other interests include aerobics, Zumba, socializing with friends and colleagues, cooking and reading spiritual books.
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
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.”
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.”
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 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.”
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.”
Juan enjoys play sports, particularly tennis and soccer. He plays the saxophone, is into fitness, nutrition, video games and family!
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
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.
Transplant Fellows (2022-2023)
Fellowship: WashU Nephrology
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
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
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).”
Favorite Pastimes in STL: Sports scene, site of the 1904 Olympics, St Louis Cardinals, St Louis Blues, bar trivia, classic car shows.
Favorite STL Restaurant: Blackthorn Pub and Pizza
Favorite Pastime in STL: Sledding down Art Hill in Forest Park in the winter, The Fox Theatre.
Favorite STL Restaurant: Mai Lee
Favorite Pastimes in STL: The unique individual neighborhoods of the city, The Missouri Botanical Garden.