Get to know our current fellows and fellowship leaders:
Second-year fellows (2022-2024)
Residency: Mercy Health Javon Bea Hospital
Medical School: International American University College of Medicine, Saint Lucia
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.”
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.
Shelden Rodrigues, MBBS
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 Pastime in St. Louis: Visiting Forest Park and the Central West End
Favorite restaurant/bar: Turmeric
“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.
Abdullah Jalal, MD
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!
Juan Sanchez, MD
Residency: Cook County Health and Hospitals System Program, Chicago, IL.
Medical School: Universidad de Guayaquil Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Ecuador
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 playing sports, particularly tennis and soccer. He plays the saxophone, is into fitness, nutrition, video games and family!
Marco Thierry, MD
Residency: University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley-Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, McAllen, TX
Medical School: Windsor University School of Medicine, Saint Kitts and Nevis
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.”
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.
First-year fellows (2023-2025)
Alex Calderon, MD
Residency: SSM Health, St. Mary’s Hospital, St. Louis
Alex likes traveling and is a big soccer fan. He hopes to attend the next World Cup.
Audrey Netzel, MD
Residency: Ochsner Louisiana State, University Health Science Center
Audrey is a Wisconsin cheese lover! She grew up in southern Wisconsin and enjoys sharing the “best cheese” in this country with family and friends. Her favorite Wisconsin Cheese is Roth Cheese’s Grand Cru Surchoix, which has won multiple international awards and is made in her hometown.
Residency: Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield, MA
In her free time, Olga enjoys different outdoor activities, especially hiking. One of her dreams is to visit 10 major National Parks in the next few years. So far, she has been able to enjoy hiking in four out of 10 parks.
Transplant Fellows (2023-2024)
Farah S. Abuazzam, MD
Nephrology Fellowship: Loma Linda University Health
Loma Linda, CA
Samer Abdulkhalek, MD
Nephrology Fellowship: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Our Nephrology Fellowship leaders
Seth Goldberg, MD
Training Program Director, Nephrology Fellowship
Favorite Pastime in St. Louis: Sports scene, site of the 1904 Olympics, St Louis Cardinals, St Louis Blues, bar trivia, classic car shows.
Favorite restaurant/bar: Blackthorn Pub and Pizza