3 Questions for the 2022 Barrow Graduating Class

(Illustration by Peter M. Lawrence, Dani VanBrabant, Kristen Larson Keil, and Aaron Cole; Neuroscience Publications; Barrow Neurological Institute)

As the academic year comes to an end at Barrow Neurological Institute, we’re celebrating the latest graduates of our residency, fellowship, and PhD programs in neurosurgery, neurology, neuroradiology, and neuroscience.

“I congratulate each of the graduating residents and fellows for their great achievement. We are proud of their professionalism and resiliency and of the excellent physicians they have become. I hope that each graduate take with him or her what will become lifetime friendships and fond memories from their experience here at Barrow. We wish all the best to our graduates in the next steps in their careers and lives.”

Terry Fife, MD, Designated Institutional Official, Graduate Medical Education, Barrow Neurological Institute

We asked our 2022 graduates to share their most memorable moments at Barrow, the advice they would give to their younger selves on their first day of training at the Institute, and which people at Barrow served as their biggest influences. We’ve compiled their responses below.

Neurosurgery Residents

Jacob Baranoski, MD

New role: Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology Fellow, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

Jacob Baranoski, MD
  1. While there were certainly many memorable clinical moments during my time at Barrow—clipping my first aneurysm, etc.—my most memorable experiences have been the team building and camaraderie events, including hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim and winning the softball tournament.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to enjoy every minute of it—the seven years will go by quick. It won’t always be easy, but extract everything you can out of each moment.
  3. The entire Barrow family was influential, including the attendings, co-residents, RNs, office staff, and others. Each and every person contributed to a wonderful experience.  

Tyler Cole, MD

New role: Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology Fellow, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

barrow neurosurgery resident tyler cole
  1. My most memorable moments at Barrow were the group residency activities like the Hike from Hell, Grand Canyon trips, the annual charity softball tournaments, and all the other activities we have that get people together.
  2. The advice I would give, and try to follow, is to constantly compete with yourself, make at least a small improvement every day, and don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to others.
  3. I’ve been most influenced by the younger residents. As we move up to senior resident, and then chief resident, there’s more responsibility and management duties that we take on. Trying to grow into a position where people respect you for your ability to help them improve is more challenging than leaning on rank or authority to receive that respect; attempting to pursue the former has pushed me to improve in ways I hadn’t even considered just a few years ago.

Colin Przybylowski, MD

New role: Neurosurgeon, Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic, Raleigh, North Carolina

colin przybylowski
  1. My most memorable moments at Barrow were winning three straight softball championships in New York City and participating in the Barrow Olympics and golf outings with residents and attendings.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to stay true to yourself.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were Dr. Nader Sanai, Dr. Kris Smith, Dr. Randall Porter, and Dr. Steve Chang.

Christina Sarris, MD

New role: Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowship, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Christina Sarris, MD
  1. My most memorable moment at Barrow was placing my first external ventricular drain independently, performing my first orbitozygomatic craniotomy, and attending and hosting Barrow social events.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be: Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone—you are so well-supported and encouraged by everyone at Barrow. These seven years are your chance to learn and grow as much as you can.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were Dr. Andrew Little for instilling in me a love of endoscopic skull base surgery and desire to improve patient care, Dr. Michael Lawton for challenging me technically, and Dr. Ruth Bristol and Dr. David Adelson for instilling in me a love of pediatric neurosurgery.

Neurosurgery Fellows

Christopher Graffeo, MD

New role: Assistant Professor in Skull Base and Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery, Co-Director of Adult Brain Tumor and Cerebrovascular Programs, Director of Medical Student Education; University of Oklahoma Department of Neurosurgery; Norman, Oklahoma

cerebrovascular fellow christopher graffeo
  1. Although the spiritual elevation of completing the Rim-to-Rim hike was a truly singular experience, I’m not sure anything will be more memorable than the first time I encountered—and, more importantly, successfully controlled—an intraoperative aneurysm rupture.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be: There’s a decent gym in the hospital basement, there’s a very dark call room with a respectable bed by the OR, and Taco Boy’s is open until 0100.
  3. It would be impossible to overstate the extraordinary influence my mentor, role model, and now friend Michael Lawton has had on me during my fellowship, and will continue to impart as I transition from trainee to junior faculty and beyond. You’ve made me a braver and more thoughtful surgeon, and I’m as grateful for the moments when you encouraged my weirdness as I am for the times you checked it—thank you. In tandem, many of the richest experiences I’ve had this year have been shared with my co-fellow Visish Srinivasan, with whom I’ve forged a lifelong bond as trail companion in exploring and expanding the cartographer’s maps.

Gennadiy Katsevman, MD

New role: Neurosurgeon, Neuroscience and Spine Associates, Naples, Florida

spinal neurosurgery fellow gene katsevman
  1. The entire year was filled with memorable activities, including the discussion of complex cases at spine rounds, learning new techniques in the operating room, and traveling to various meetings across the country.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to soak it all up, take advantage of all the incredible opportunities at Barrow, and learn from everyone.
  3. The person who influenced me the most at Barrow was my mentor and fellowship director, Dr. Juan Uribe, who continually pushes the boundaries in patient care and research as he strives for excellence and perfection. In addition to Dr. Uribe, my year would not have been possible without Dr. Uribe’s incredible practice coordinator, Briana Becker, who is the “backbone” of the fellowship year and who taught me about the nonsurgical aspects of running a busy, successful clinical practice. Lastly, I would like to thank my co-fellow Dr. Clinton Morgan, who helped make this year enjoyable and educational.

Visish Srinivasan, MD

New role: Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Visish M. Srinivasan, MD
  1. My most memorable moment at Barrow was rounding the next morning on a stroke patient who had a completely normal exam after I performed a thrombectomy independently.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be: Welcome to neurosurgical Disneyland. Soak it all up.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were all three endovascular faculty. Each has a unique style and thought process that has shaped me into a very different surgeon than when I started.

Ethan Winkler, MD

ethan winkler

New role: Cerebrovascular and Skull Base Fellow, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

  1. My most memorable moments at Barrow were establishing deep friendships and mentors over the course of the year.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to embrace the amazing culture and appreciate every minute of the opportunity.
  3. I have been most influenced by my fellowship directors: Dr. Felipe Albuquerque, Dr. Andrew Ducruet, and Dr. Ashutosh Jadhav. I look forward to continuing my journey with Dr. Michael Lawton this year.


Neurology Residents

“Residency can be a time of challenges in the best of circumstances, without adding in a global pandemic, periods of tremendous societal unrest, and instances of social injustice. I am proud not only of the neurologists you have become, but of your compassion and commitment to patients and the community. Congratulations, Neurology Class of 2022. I wish you all luck in the next phases of your careers.”

Courtney Schusse, MD, Neurology Residency Program Director, Barrow Neurological Institute

Zain Ashary, MD

New role: Vascular Neurology Fellow, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

Zain Ashary, MD
  1. There were so many great cases and experiences during my residency at Barrow. However, the most memorable moments came spending time with my fellow co-residents in the workroom, talking about interesting cases, sharing hilarious experiences, and discussing future plans.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to trust the process. It’s a long road, but you have supportive people around you who are invested in your future and success.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were Ann C. Johnson and the great attendings. Just to name a few: Dr. Courtney Schusse, Dr. Erik Ortega, Dr. Meredith Wicklund, Dr. David Wang, Dr. Michael Waters, Dr. Thandar Aung, Dr. Ram Narayan, Dr. Justin Hoskin, and Dr. Vladimir Shvarts.

Kelly Breaux, MD

New role: Epilepsy Fellow, University of Colorado—Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado

Kelly Breaux, MD
  1. There are so many memorable moments! It’s hard to choose between surviving my first solo call, figuring out a difficult case, or just hanging out with my amazing co-residents.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to breathe, soak it in, and hang on for a wild ride filled with many ups, downs, and awesome coworkers to help support you.​
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were the wonderful attendings and coordinators! I’d like to thank each of them for offering guidance and support. A huge thank you goes to Dr. Vladimir Shvarts for mentoring me!

Sami Kaldawi, DO

Sami Kaldawi, DO

New role: Neuromuscular Fellow, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

  1. My most memorable moment at Barrow was struggling on night float.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to hold on.
  3. The person who influenced me the most at Barrow was Dr. Shafeeq Ladha.

Huaiam Mubarak, MD

New role: Neuroimmunology Fellow, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

Huiam Mubarak, MD
  1. My memorable moments at Barrow were meeting all my co-residents and enjoying time with them in and out of work.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to take a deep breath, that the knowledge will come, and the calls will get easier faster than you think. Enjoy every moment, because it will go by fast.
  3. Dr. Courtney Schusse is really the person that gave me so much inspiration without even trying but by being who she is to the residents. She is an example of someone that I aspire to be like. The neuroimmunology department—Dr. Aimee Borazanci, Dr. Michael Robers, and Dr. Ram Narayan—gave me an opportunity to grow that I am forever grateful for. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be my mentors and guide me through the next stages.

Tejas Ranade, MD

New role: Chief of Neurology, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Tejas Ranade, MD
  1. My most memorable moment at Barrow was my last weekend call shift as a senior. Throughout that day, I reflected on how I grew from being a nervous new resident to someone who could handle a myriad of neurological questions and emergencies.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to never stop learning, even when it comes to diseases and concepts you think you know. There is always a deeper level to explore.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were all my attendings, and in particular Dr. Suraj Muley and Dr. Ram Narayan, whom I consider to be my role models.

Valerie Sharf, MD

New role: Vascular Neurology Fellow, The Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

Valerie Sharf, MD
  1. My most memorable moments at Barrow were my co-resident Huiam and I trying to jump my car outside in 110-degree heat in the parking lot the first few weeks of residency, my first night shift week with my co-resident Kelly during intern year, my first time giving tPA, and hanging out with my class at the American Academy of Neurology meeting this year!
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to remember that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. You might not be as proficient in one subspecialty area as someone else, but you might be better than others at another, and that’s OK. 
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were Dr. David Wang, Dr. Teddy Youn, Dr. Kerry Knievel, Dr. Jennifer Robblee, and Dr. Asim Haque. Thank you all for investing so much into my education and career development over the last three years. I have learned a tremendous amount from you all that could never have been learned from books alone—not just about medicine but about responsibility, problem solving when there is no clear answer, and, most importantly, to keep asking questions. 

Madeline Singer, MD

New role: Neuromuscular Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Madeline Singer, MD
  1. My most memorable moments at Barrow were those spent in the workroom with my co-residents and in the clinics with my medical assistants. We shared laughter and tears and everything in between. These moments and these relationships made the long hours and the tough days pass quickly.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to stay humble, be curious, and embrace the difficult times as they are often the most important.
  3. Dr. Justin Hoskin has been my greatest influence at Barrow in both his role as a chief resident and an attending. He is not only an exceptional teacher and physician but also a wonderful friend, mentor, and confidant. He was always there with his calm and easygoing demeanor to push me to be my best. Thank you, Dr. Hoskin.

Neurology Fellows

Daniel Gonzalez, MD

New role: Vascular Neurologist, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

  1. My most memorable moment at Barrow is tough to pin down as there have been so many! The transition from resident to fellow was a memorable experience. I enjoyed the responsibilities that came with being the Barrow stroke fellow and the countless people I had the chance to interact with because of it!
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to enjoy each day as much as possible. The days will be long, but the years will fly by!
  3. This year, the stroke faculty were the most influential in my training as a fellow! Dr. Michael Waters, Dr. David Wang, and Dr. Supreet Kaur taught me how to think as a stroke neurologist and treat patients accordingly. 

Neuroradiology Fellows

To the class of 2022, it was a pleasure to have you join us for your neuroradiology fellowship and to be a part of your journey in this field. We believe our fellows play a large part in making Barrow a unique place to practice neuroradiology. We hope that you found your time here educational, memorable, and enjoyable. You join a legacy of outstanding fellows, and we see a bright future ahead for each one of you.

Lea Alhilali, MD, Neuroradiology Fellowship Program Director, Barrow Neurological Institute

Timothy Ho, MD

New role: Neuroradiologist, Midwest Radiology, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Timothy Ho, MD
  1. My most memorable moment at Barrow was the Grand Canyon hike.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be: The end of your long journey is near, but remember to take time to pause, reflect, and stay in the moment. It’s going to be a great year. 
  3. The people at Barrow who influenced me the most were my attendings, who have been excellent teachers, mentors, and friends. Their dedication to the fellows has made this an unforgettable year.

James Lish, MD

New role: Neuroradiologist, Chandler Regional Medical Center and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, Arizona

James Lish, MD
  1. My most memorable moment at Barrow was the Grand Canyon hike.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to get to know the residents/fellows on the other services sooner. It makes your work more meaningful and enjoyable.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were my attendings and co-fellows.

Kenyon McAferty, DO

New role: Neuroradiologist, Phoenix VA Health Care System, Phoenix, Arizona

Kenyon McAferty, DO
  1. My most memorable moments at Barrow were getting woken up in the middle of the night to weigh in on a difficult case. Luckily it only happened a couple times!
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be: Don’t hold out hope for the doctors’ lounge to be open.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were Dr. Eric Prenger for his great view-box pearls, Dr. John Karis for his enthusiasm for MRI physics, and Dr. Alan Pitt for his counsel to be reasonable and constantly curious.

Kelly McCormick, MD

New role: Neuroradiologist, Advanced Medical Imaging Consultants, Fort Collins, Colorado

Kelly McCormick, MD
  1. Most memorable moment at Barrow was the Grand Canyon hike.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to gain as much experience as possible and ask more questions.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were all of the neuroradiology attendings in uniquely different ways.

James Murchison, MD

New role: Neuroradiologist, Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital, Temple, Texas

james murchison
  1. I don’t know if there is one memorable moment that I can speak to, but I will always remember the great people I have gotten the opportunity to work with, both in the neuroradiology/radiology department and the rest of the hospital. The collaborative spirit and enthusiasm they brought to work has made each day a joy to be here.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be that coming in as a fellow is a little different than starting as an intern, since you have some more experience to rely on starting out. However, I felt very fortunate that all the neuroradiology staff and current fellows who completed their radiology residency here were so willing to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
  3. The person who has had the most influence on me this year at Barrow was Dr. Roger Bird. I think that most of the neuroradiology fellows have probably felt that way over the years, but his passion for the program and care for the fellows has really helped me to grow not only as a radiologist but also as a person. I’m truly grateful that I had the opportunity to complete my fellowship here at Barrow and will cherish the time I spent with the amazing people who work here.

Michael Shroads, MD

New role: Neuroradiologist, Indiana University Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Division of Neuroradiology, Indianapolis, Indiana

michael shroads
  1. My most memorable moments at Barrow were the stories, insights, wisdom, and advice shared by the neuroradiology faculty.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to take moments to soak it all in, because it will fly by.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were all of the world-class neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, and neurologists.


ASU-Barrow Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience Students

Lena Mary Houlihan, MD

New role: Neurosurgery Specialist Registrar, Beaumont Hospital Dublin 9, National Neurosurgical Unit, Dublin, Ireland

Portrait of Dr. Lena Mary Houlihan
  1. My most memorable moment at Barrow was completing anatomical dissections with great colleagues and mentors, learning from each other while becoming increasingly passionate about our craft. I have made wonderful friends and lifelong role models.
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to relish every moment of this phenomenal institution and appreciate the incredible people and opportunity.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were Dr. Mark Preul, Dr. Michael Lawton, and Dr. Mohamed Labib.

Costanza Lo Cascio, MD

New role: Postdoctoral Fellow, Ivy Brain Tumor Center, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

Costanza Lo Cascio, BSc
  1. I can’t pinpoint a single most memorable moment, but I would highlight the moments where I discovered something new in the lab after years of hard work!
  2. The advice I would give to my younger self on my first day at Barrow would be to read as much as you can, don’t be afraid to ask questions, be patient, and believe in yourself.
  3. The people who influenced me the most at Barrow were my advisor, Dr. Shwetal Mehta, every single person I had the pleasure to work with in my lab, and Dr. Nader Sanai. They all inspired me to believe in myself and keep my mind set on the big picture when studying a complex and devastating disease like glioblastoma. 

Please note: This list does not include all 2022 Barrow graduates. While every graduate was invited to participate, only those who responded were included in this article. Their responses have been edited for style and clarity.