New Fellows Welcome to WashU Nephrology

WashU Nephrology Welcomes our 2023-2025 Fellows

We are proud to welcome the following physicians to our WashU Nephrology Fellowship Program:

Atlee Baker, MD, MPH

Atlee earned his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine, Barbados (summa cum laude, distinguished scholar), and completed his internal medicine residency at Ochsner Louisiana State University Health Science Center (OLSUHSC).

While a resident, Atlee was chosen for the clinician educator track program, which focused on curriculum development, adult learning styles, and leadership in medicine.  His capstone project focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training for medical residents, culminating in a grant proposal for DEI education funding.

Atlee co-authored several scientific posters submitted to American Society of Nephrology kidney Week 2022 and was first author on two other posters presented at other scientific meetings.  Working with a team from the nephrology department at OLSUHSC, he contributed to a chapter titled “The History of Dialysis and Dialysis Access” for the text book Principles of Dialysis Access to be published by Springer in 2023.

A simple clinical skills exercise in his 2nd year of medical school helped set Atlee on his path to nephrology. 

Our professors brought one of the local patients on hemodialysis to speak to us. I had never known anyone who required dialysis. I was impressed by the patient’s resilience to maintain a dialysis schedule on a resource-limited island while supporting his family and was surprised by the patient’s descriptions of how the disease had impacted his life and his marriage. These were the patients I saw myself taking care of during my career.

Altee emphasizes that multidisciplinary care is needed for patients.  Nephrology, nutrition services, social work, and mitigation of social determinants that impact their lives are mandatory to give patients the best possible start to managing their kidney disease.  “Continuing to advocate for the needs of patients with renal disease will be an important part of my future practice.”

Academic medicine is of high importance to Atlee.  Early in his residency, he started working with medical students, interns, and, then as chief resident, worked with other residents on educational topics.  He enjoyed the hands-on participation in POCUS and interventional procedures.  “After completing the fellowship, I plan to continue in academic medicine with an interest in dialytic therapies and procedural techniques.”

During his down time, Atlee enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking, and exploring local events and festivals.  He also likes to cook favorites from where he grew up in Hagerstown, Maryland, but is always willing to try something new.  His latest hobby is home brewing; he’s looking forward to making his first batch of mead! 

Follow @atlee_baker on Twitter

Yasir Baloch, MBBS

Yasir earned his medical degree from Bolan Medical College Pakistan, and completed his internal medicine residency at Florida State University, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

During his medical training, Yasir was an avid volunteer for a variety of projects, many of which focused on helping underserved populations.  When the COVID pandemic started, Yasir and his friends started a social media campaign to raise funds to provide PPE to health care personnel and rations for the needy. What started as a volunteer drive grew exponentially into an organized charity group, and his team ended up receiving a shoutout from Bill Gates when he wrote about “7 unsung heroes of the pandemic.” A founding member of the now non-profit Balochistan Youth Action Committee (BYAC), Yasir still works on projects back home.  A recent project raised $20,000 for flood victims in Pakistan. Please read the excellent article “Start Where you Are, Do What You Can” by Mujtaba Javaid, who details the story behind BYAC.

Because of his passion for teaching, as a resident, Yasir volunteered for the Graduate Medical Education Committee and was selected as Wellness Coordinator for 2021-2022, being responsible for arranging one wellness event per month for other residents.

Using his artistic talents, he was the film maker for an internal medicine residency recruitment video.  Utilizing gimbal and drone shots, he filmed residents, faculty and staff across the hospital.   Because of the video, Yasir was acknowledged for outstanding service and contributions to the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital at Graduation 2021. He also worked with National Geographic photographer Matthieu Paley for an assignment documenting the annual Hindu pilgrimage at Nani Mandir Lasbela, Pakistan.   Travelling on foot for more than 75 miles over a period of four days, Yasir helped Paley with the logistics of the journey as well as the aerial photography using his drone. See the spectacular documentation of the Hindu pilgrimage here.

“Medical inspiration was around me from an early age,” says Yasir , who comes from of family of doctors.  While growing up, he always saw himself becoming a doctor, but it was a tragic event that caused him to focus on nephrology.  His physician mother was diagnosed with kidney disease.

Being alongside my mom as she transitioned from a healthy doctor to a renal patient ignited within me an immense interest in renal medicine. I started volunteering at dialysis centers, providing patient education, became preoccupied with studying renal pathology, and eventually moved to the United States for an internal medicine residency with a goal to pursue nephrology.

Yasir is now looking to the future.  “The tech-geek part inside me is excited about technology making home dialysis more accessible and consumer friendly.  I will use my voice to raise more awareness about kidney disease, identify challenges associated, and try to come up with solutions.”

in his free time, in addition to working on his photography and film work, Yasir enjoys road trips, exploring new places, trying new foods, hiking and cycling. 

Follow @Myasirbaloch on Twitter

Alex E. Calderon, MD

Alex earned his medical degree from the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Honduras and completed his internal medicine residency at SSM Health, St. Mary’s Hospital, St. Louis.

Throughout his years as a medical student, Alex was extensively involved with community services in both rural and urban areas of Honduras.   He took part in research projects dealing with the prevalence of malnutrition in pregnancy, participated in educational programs for patients with chronic non-transmissible diseases, and volunteered for numerous medical brigades in areas of extreme poverty in the nation.  Alex received a Recognition Award for his work as an interpreter for a United States ophthalmologic brigade (La Fundación Para Servicios Medicos Voluntarios V.O.S.H.-Honduras), where doctors attended to underserved people in a rural area of northern Honduras, performing surgeries for cataracts and glaucoma and providing free glasses for people with vision problems.

During his internal medicine clinical rotation in medical school, Alex’s experience with a patient with kidney failure cemented his interest in nephrology.  After learning that he would have to travel two hours, three times a week, to obtain hemodialysis, the patient refused treatment.  The money required for transportation alone would take food out of the mouths of his family.  Alex spoke with social services about the problem. The patient finally accepted renal replacement therapy after getting approved for transportation aid.

That moment marked me forever. Being able to serve as a simple medical student made me realize the wide socioeconomic differences in my country and how this affected each person’s health, especially for kidney disease patients, whom I’ve always thought are a misunderstood and underserved population.

After observing several kidney transplants, Alex was amazed at how patients were born again after receiving a new kidney.  His experiences convinced him that medicine was his true passion, but nephrology was his true love.

“My goal is to help patients with kidney disease, but my biggest achievement would be if I can prevent patients getting there.”

When not working, Alex enjoys traveling.  He is a big soccer fan and hopes to attend the next World Cup.  He is an animal lover, listens to rock and jazz, is passionate about spending quality time with family and friends, and likes to indulge in his guilty pleasures: cheese and coffee.

Felina Innaci Dass, MBBS

Felina earned her medical degree at Melaka-Manipal Medical College, and completed her internal medicine residency at St. Luke’s Hospital Chesterfield, MO, during which she also served as a Chief Resident.

With an interest in academics and clinical research, during her residency Felina took on the leadership role of an ongoing nephrology research project, “A Multifaceted Quality Improvement Project to Improve Outcomes of Hospital-Acquired Acute Kidney Injury in a Community Hospital.”  She was also an active contributor to a quality improvement project that encouraged the use of long-acting insulins for glycemic control in diabetic inpatients and was co-author and presenter of a clinical vignette entitled “It’s a Red Flag: Relative Energy Deficit in Sports (RED-S),” which won Best Clinical Vignette at the St. Luke’s poster competition in July 2021.

Felina is passionate about immersing herself in various cultures. “I have explored over 15 countries and still counting. Being born and raised in a multiracial country, Malaysia, I grew up celebrating Chinese New Year, Eid Mubarak, Diwali, and Christmas.”  She attributes her multicultural background to being able to thrive in challenging environments.

A major attraction to the field of nephrology was the observed long-term relationship between doctor and patient. 

It’s all about the patients – this is what I envisioned when I decided to be a physician.  Falling in love with nephrology and its patients was a no-brainer for me.

During an away elective in the Department of Nephrology at Saint Louis University, Felina was introduced to the field of interventional nephrology, which further sparked her interest as did her first experience with ASN Kidney Week

“I was very fortunate to be a 2021 ASN Kidney STARS award recipient.  Joining the first Kidney Week of my life was an eye-opener! Through this conference, I met a lot of nephrologists from all over the world, and getting to know their point of view about this field was a defining moment for me.  Kidney Week opened a whole new avenue.”  It was there she learned about the health disparities kidney patients have to deal with.  “At that moment, I knew I intended to be a kidney care advocate to my patients to empower them through education.”

In her down time, Felina enjoys traveling, trying new cuisine, and is a proud dog mom to her Goldendoodle, Leo.  She and Leo enjoy hiking and taking long walks in Forest Park.  Felina is also an accomplished pianist; she has been playing piano since the age of four and is board certified from the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music in the United Kingdom. 

Follow @FelinaDass on Twitter

Audrey Nicole Netzel, MD

Audrey earned her medical degree at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, NE, and completed her internal medicine residency at Ochsner Louisiana State University Health Science Center (OLSUHSC).

Highly committed to community service while in medical school, Audrey organized, fundraised and planned an inaugural trip to Guatemala for a new nonprofit organization, Mission Vision.  She was also involved in the student-run Magis Clinic, a free clinic that provided acute care and psychiatric care to the homeless and uninsured within the Omaha area, and Project CURA-India, a medical student-organized mission trip to India.  Audrey participated in several key School of Medicine committees including Admissions, Curriculum Review and LCME Self Study.  She was vice president of the local chapter of her American Medical Women’s Association, vice president of the Collaborative of the Internal Medicine Interest Group at Creighton (2019-2020), and development chair for the Maya Community Health Collaborative (2017-2018). 

As a resident at OLSUHSC, Audrey understood the importance of how a fulfilling work-life balance plays an essential role in resident satisfaction and wellbeing.  She became part of the LSU Health Internal Medicine Mentoring Program.  Initially a mentee in the program, she went on to become a mentor, providing support to PGY-1 and PGY-2 internal medicine residents to help them navigate through residency.  She was also chair of the internal medicine Resident Curriculum Committee and the Wellness Committee.

Audrey’s passion for nephrology grew during her residency.  She contributed to the nephrology interest group meetings at the LSU medical school, engaged in a year-long NephSIM Nephrons mentorship program, and was an active instructor in the hands-on skills training for residents (Procedure Simulation Training for Residents).

The discipline of nephrology quickly became the stimulus for maintaining her passion for medicine and for the patients she serves. 

As I have progressed through my medical education and been exposed to patients with kidney failure, the belief that “health” and “medicine” are not singular events, but rather life-long journeys on which people travel, has become even more deeply cemented in my mind.

Her missions and experiences – whether in the Dominican Republic, India, Omaha, or Louisiana – were priceless.  “I witnessed valuable traits in the people I served that inspired me to transform my approach to medicine. I saw an inner strength in each patient, and through my interactions with them, grew to recognize my own strengths.”

In her down time, Audrey enjoys traveling and spending time with her dear “pupper” Hazel.  She is also 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, Monroe, WI.

Olga Postovitenko, MD

Olga earned her medical degree at Vinnitsa National Pirogov Memorial Medical University in Ukraine, completed a residency and practiced as an internal medicine physician in Ukraine for five years before to coming to the United States.  Here, she added to her medical experience with externships and became a Clinical Documentation Specialist before entering the internal medicine residency at Berkshire Medical Center Internal Medicine in Massachusetts.

While in medical school, Olga was not only interested in clinical work but also in research, which led to a publication in the Ukrainian peer-reviewed scientific journals Ukrainian Medical News (2007). After graduation, she worked as an internal medicine physician at a physical rehabilitation hospital and was constantly searching for affordable methods of physical rehabilitation because there were very limited resources in Ukrainian hospitals at the time.  As a result, she published a literature review about intravertebral herniation and available methods in the Polish Annals of Medicine.

As a resident at Berkshire, Olga was first author/co-author of six case vignettes presented at their in-house yearly House Staff Research Showcase (Research Day at Berkshire Medical Center). She volunteered for the Graduate Medical Education and Program Evaluation committees, and was a valuable teacher and mentor to junior colleagues.

Olga comes from a long line of physicians going as far back as her great grandfather. The decision to enroll into medical school came naturally.  “For as long as I remember, I have always wanted to become a physician.  I believe there is no greater calling or privilege than to be able to relieve another’s suffering and restore their hope.”   It was during her residency at Berkshire that Olga discovered a new passion – nephrology and its puzzling complexity. 

I was born and spent most of my life in Ukraine during very unstable times that unfortunately continue to spiral up. This experience shaped me into the person I am right now.  I learned how to adjust, adapt, and work under stress while constantly thinking about my family. I do not give up and work hard towards my dreams and brighter future no matter what.

Olga acknowledges that she cannot change the history or circumstances around herself, but she can continue to care for her patients. “If my work makes them a bit happier and healthier, it gives me tremendous satisfaction and keeps me going.”

In her down time, Olga enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking. “One of my dreams is to visit ten major national parks in the next few years.  So far, I have been able to enjoy hiking in four out of ten.”  A hobby that she discovered during the COVID pandemic was indoor planting. During the harsh New England winters, she says her apartment looked like a mini jungle full of colors and life!