Welcome to WashU Nephrology

Welcome 2020 Nephrology Fellows

An event organizer enthusiast, an avid surfer, a gearhead, an official translator/interpreter, and a self-proclaimed workoutholic, WashU Nephrology welcomes our 2020-2022 fellows.  We are proud to introduce:

2020 Fellow Maryam Saleem

Maryam Saleem, MBBS, earned her medical degree from King Edward Medical University Pakistan and completed her residency at Yale-New Haven Medical Center Program, Waterbury, CT. 

While Maryam had an interest in nephrology early in her training, after spending six weeks on a nephrology service at Yale New Haven hospital, she “absolutely had no doubts” about her future career.  

“Working with a wonderful team of amazing fellows and attendings, I looked forward to each day, and envisioning life as a nephrology fellow brought great excitement.”

While a resident, Maryam headed a research project at Chase Outpatient Medical Center to improve the rate of pneumococcal vaccination in healthy and immunocompetent individuals. She is first author on several peer-reviewed publications in the medical journal Cureus, including: “A Rare Case of Acetaminophen Toxicity Leading to Severe Kidney Injury” (2019),  “Stones, Bones, Groans, and Psychic Moans: Primary Hyperparathyroidism Presenting as Surgical Emergency” (2019), and “Linear IgA Disease: A Rare Complication of Vancomycin” (2019).

Maryam enjoys event organization.  As a student in Pakistan, she was a volunteer in the Student Patient Welfare Society, one of the largest, student-run welfare organizations in Pakistan.  Being an active member, Maryam was involved in organizing various charity events such as the Bake Sale and Lights of Hope every year and played a role in the society’s efforts in promoting patient welfare.  She is fluent in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Wow!


2020 Fellow Jason Cummings

Jason Cummings, MD, earned his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada (Magna Cum Laude), and completed his residency at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Boca Raton; he was a PGY3 chief resident while at FAU.

Jason is passionate about providing healthcare to the undeserved.  As a volunteer for the Bicol Clinic in Boca Raton, Cummings, alongside a multidisciplinary team and amidst a political upheaval, traveled to a remote mountain area in Haiti to provide healthcare to a severely impoverished mountain village.  He treated patients of all ages and a variety of conditions including infections, burns and trauma. 

“This unequivocally rewarding adventure sparked a passion for global health, and I intend to make similar trips throughout the entirety of my career.”

An avid athlete and surfer, Jason was elected president of the University of Florida’s Surf Club in his senior year in college.  He oversaw every facet of the 50+ member club including finances, community service, and alumni relations while regularly participating in National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) competitions. Jason was ranked in the top 20 in the nation for Olympic weightlifting in his intern year at FAU.  

Jason Cumming with some of his beach buddies.

In addition to surfing, his other interests include, SCUBA, CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and traveling. 

Follow Jason on Twitter @JCummingsMD.


2020 Nephrology Fellow

Hassaan Iftikhar, MBBS, earned his medical degree from King Edward Medical University Pakistan, and completed his residency at Seton Hall University-Hackensack, Meridian School of Medicine (St. Francis) Program, Trenton, NJ. 

“I strongly believe that Nephrology is a unique science that involves multidisciplinary teamplay and in-depth knowledge of physiology.  It is driven by evidence-based medicine which makes it the most suitable specialty for me as it never ceases to excite me.”

During his residency, Hassaan was involved in several research projects and has multiple peer-reviewed publications in the medical journal Cureus, including: “Metformin-associated Severe Lactic Acidosis in the Setting of Acute Kidney Injury” (2019), “Pernicious Anemia Presenting as Non-ST-elevated Myocardial Infarction and Depression” (2019), “A Case Report of IgA Nephropathy Coexisting with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis” (2019), and “A Presentation of Twiddler’s Syndrome with Underlying Ratchet Mechanism” (2019).  

Hassaan was a member of the Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) prevention committee at St. Francis Medical Center, which monitored adequate DVT prophylaxis in patients according to their risk category.  He was also a member of the Ethics committee that held quarterly/semi-annual meetings to discussing different ethical dilemmas encountered during patient.  The discussions involved health care professionals and pastoral services at the hospital.  As a resident, he also performed community work and arranged events for vaccinating the underserved community. 

In his free time, Hassaan enjoys watching TV, particularly shows regarding “all things cars” such as Top Gear and the Grand Tour Nation, as well as movies like the Italian Job and Gone in 60 Seconds.  He also likes reading fiction and autobiographies.  He is fluent in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.  Again, wow! 

Follow Hassaan on Twitter @HassaanIftikhar.


2020 Nephrology Fellows

Bharat Neelam Raju, MD, earned his medical degree from People’s Friendship University of Russia, Faculty of Medicine, Russian Federation, and completed his residency at Good Samaritan TriHealth Cincinnati, OH.  Bharat’s childhood dream of becoming a doctor became real when he embarked on the journey to medical school in Moscow.

“The experience helped my individual growth and strengthened my interpersonal communication skills.  It also helped me learn that everyone speaks the universal language of caring.”

Bharat has research experience, having worked in the Peritoneal Surface Oncology Unit in the Department of Surgical Oncology, Saifee Hospital and Dr. Mehta’s Cancer clinic in Mumbai, India, studying the treatment of Pseudomyxoma Peritonei in adolescents and adults.  He has co-authored multiple case reports and peer reviewed-studies including, “Applying Circulating CD4CD25FOXP3 T Regulatory Cells and Interleukin 10 as a Measurable Clinical Predictor of Immune Status in Cancer Patients” which was presented at ASTRO-2019 and won a Resident Recognition award in Cancer Biology, “Cat bite induced Pasteurella Multocida Peritonitis” (2019) which was presented at ASN-2019, “Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filters- Removed but not Forgotten!” published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders (2018).

As a volunteer at S.A.I (Social Activist Integration) for the DIDI project, Bharat served as a medical assistant in various health camps in villages across Maharashtra, India.  S.A.I is a leading NGO established in 1991 to prevent and control HIV/AIDS in India and to provide comprehensive care & support to HIV/AIDS infected and affected poor people.

During his medical studies, Bharat worked part-time in the Consular Section of the Indian Embassy in Moscow as an official translator/interpreter.  Impressively fluent in English, Hindi, Russian and Telugu, Bharat enjoys travelling around the world with friends and family and exploring new cultures, traditions, and customs.  He also likes swimming, cooking, watching movies, and playing PlayStation. 

Follow Bharat on Twitter @bharatnrajuMD.


2020 Nephrology Fellows

Gaurav Rajashekar, MBBS, earned his medical degree from Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre, Bangalore, India, and completed his residency at Texas Tech University of Health Sciences at Permian Basin, Odessa, TX.  While fellowship is a bold new journey for some, Gaurav looks at it as a continuation of a journey that started many years ago. 

“I think if we do not challenge ourselves and ask why, we will be tethered by our own past and beliefs.  Every day is a new opportunity to learn and every scenario is a new opportunity to grow.”

With an interest in research, Gaurav was part of a project studying the effect of plant-based vs conventional tube feeding on patients with severe sepsis.  He is co-author of the peer-reviewed case report, “Segmental arterial mediolysis presenting as spontaneous bilateral renal artery dissection,” published in Radiology Case Reports in 2018.    Gaurav has recently developed an interest in the basic research of toll receptor signaling, mesangial cell activation and chemokine ligand/receptor responses in chronic inflammatory states.  His primary area of research going forward is to examine the effect of JAK1 inhibitors on glomerulopathies and investigate Toll receptor signaling in glomerulopathies.

Gaurav is passionate about teaching and mentoring students.  He was awarded the Best Teaching Resident Award in PGY1 and PGY3, as well as the Medical Student Mentors Award on behest of all the medical students.  In addition, Gaurav was named “Outstanding Resident” as voted by all the medical students of the class of 2020.  Because of his interest in teaching, he sees himself in an academic institution in the future.

Gaurav considers himself not only a workaholic, but also a workoutholic – he us a true gym lover! 

Follow Gaurav on Twitter @Renoplant