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Meet Some of Our Alumni

Angela Branche, MD

Angela Branche, MD

Residency
Internal Medicine at Lutheran Medical Center

Current Organization
University of Rochester Medical Center

Current Position
Assistant Professor
Clinical Director, NIH Center for Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) and New York Influenza Center of Excellence (NYICE)
Co-Principle Investigator, UR Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit (UR VTEU)

“I knew half way through my interview day that I wanted to match and train in infectious disease at the University of Rochester based on the impression that I would be learning from brilliant minds who were very accomplished in their fields but also very accessible and down to earth.

“I met a fellow during my interview day who was developing a PCR for human rhinovirus who had no prior experience working in a lab. That really inspired me and I thought I would want to have the opportunity to do something like that during my training since I never planned to pursue a career in research afterwards.

“As it turned out, every aspect of my training was exceptional—from learning HIV from the best preceptor Peter Mariuz, being encouraged to explore the mysteries of medicine from a silent genius Margie Urban, to being inventive by vaccinologist John Treanor. But the most important thing I did was pick a good mentor for my second year of fellowship which led to a third year of fellowship and finally a career as a clinician-scientist. Ann Falsey taught me that I was capable of more than just the practice of medicine—that I could ask and answer the questions that led to evidence-based practice.

“This is a place where if you work hard and take some initiative you can merge the best clinical experience with the ability to explore new paths that could lead to a rewarding career.”

Neil Mendoza, MD

Neil Mendoza, MD

Current Organization
Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE

Current Position
Assistant Professor
Transplant Infectious Diseases

“I had an excellent fellowship experience at the University of Rochester. The faculty are highly engaged and committed to teaching. I developed a special interest in immunosuppressed patients, and I was given the opportunity to spend an additional year of fellowship focusing on transplant infectious diseases. I have maintained contact with my mentors both socially and professionally. They are always available to discuss challenging cases that I encounter in practice. I left the fellowship very well prepared for my first job and my current faculty position. I recommend that you strongly consider this program.”

M. Azhar Gangat, MD

M. Azhar Gangat, MD

Current Organization
Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, ME

Current Position
ID attending

“I was looking for a fellowship training that offered varied pathology, learning opportunities in different settings of ID practice and a collegial environment. From the well run and directed HIV clinic and OPAT program to a well-supported outpatient clinic and robust STD clinic, the program facilitated learning in the best ways possible. The inpatient consult service was busy enough to allow exposure to common as well as uncommon ID pathologies. However, the fellows were never given more work than they could handle.

“There were ample opportunities to see patients with immunocompromised conditions, such as transplants and ECMO as well. I enjoyed learning from the experts in their respective fields. They were all very approachable and allowed for autonomy while providing guidance, direction and mentorship. In fact, I still contact the faculty periodically to run by cases.

“Overall, I am glad that I chose the U of R program as it offered everything I was looking for, and prepared me well for independent ID practice.”

Brenda Tesini, MD

Brenda Tessini, MD

Residency
Residency in Internal Medicine / Pediatrics at University of Rochester Medical Center

Current Organization
University of Rochester Medical Center

Current Position
Assistant Professor
Associate Hospital Epidemiologist

“URMC offered access to world-renowned researchers and clinical experts in a range of ID subspecialties of interest to me, such as public health and vaccinology. What stood out to me the most was the welcoming community atmosphere while providing these top-notch academic experiences at a single institution.”

Catherine Zanoria, MD

Catherine Zanoria, MD

Residency
Residency in Internal Medicine at University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Current Organization
University of Rochester Medical Center

Current Position
Assistant Professor
Transplant Infectious Diseases

“I decided to pursue my Infectious Diseases fellowship at the University of Rochester for several reasons: Robust clinical experience, collegial learning environment, diverse career opportunities and supportive faculty and staff. The flexibility of the second year curriculum to best serve my clinical interests was an added bonus.

“During my two years in the general ID program, my interest in Transplant ID was cultivated, leading to an additional year of dedicated training in the field of infections in the immunocompromised host. Working side-by-side with my mentors as I transitioned to the role of junior faculty in this institution, I realized I made the right choice by coming here for my formative years.”