Education : Current Residents

Current Residents

John Serak, M.D.

PGY-7

Started in 07/2010
Graduate in 06/2017

Dr. Serak attended Indiana University School of Medicine, and began residency training in 2010. His interests include minimally invasive spine surgery, spinal oncology and spinal deformity. He completed an in-folded spine fellowship at UM/Jackson during his 5th year of residency. In the future, he plans to practice general neurosurgery with a focus on the treatment of spinal pathology.

Giancarlo Perez, M.D.

PGY-7

Started in 07/2010
Graduate in 06/2017

Dr. Giancarlo Perez is currently a chief resident at the department of neurological surgery. Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Perez attended University of Michigan in Ann arbor for his undergraduate education and the Ponce School of Medicine for his medical education where he graduated with honors.
His interest is endovascular neurosurgery and he completed a junior enfolded fellowship at UM/JMH during his 5th year of residency. After graduating, he will finish his endovascular training at Harvard University Bringhams Hospital under the tutelage of University of Miami alumni, Dr. Ali Sultan.

Andrew L. Middleton, M.D.

PGY-7

Started in 07/2010
Graduate in 06/2017

Dr. Andrew L. Middleton is a fifth-year resident in the Department of Neurological Surgery.  Originally from Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Middleton attended Colgate University for his undergraduate education and the University of Hawaii at Manoa for his medical education.  While in medical school, Dr. Middleton published and gave national presentations in trauma surgery, undergraduate medical education, and neurosurgery.  Dr. Middleton graduated from medical school in 2010.  He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society.
 
Dr. Middleton has an interest in neuro-oncology and is currently working in the Division of Molecular Oncology on aberrant cell signaling mechanisms in glioblastoma and medulloblastoma.  He has published in the fields of operative and molecular neuro-oncology.

Nicholas Ferraro, M.D.

PGY-6

Started in 07/2011
Graduate in 06/2018

Nicholas Ferraro graduated from the Honors College at Baylor University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then attended medical school at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha.

Brian Snelling, M.D.

PGY-6

Started in 07/2011
Graduate in 06/2018

Brian M. Snelling, MD completed his undergraduate training at Vanderbilt University in biomedical engineering and obtained his medical degree from West Virginia University, where he was elected to AOA and served as class president. Dr. Snelling completed two years as an enfolded endovascular fellow under the direction of Eric Peterson, MD at the University of Miami and plans to pursue a career in endovascular neurosurgery after residency.

Joanna Gernsback, M.D.

PGY-6

Started in 07/2011
Graduate in 06/2018

Joanna Gernsback is originally from Michigan and attended undergrad at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she completed a dual major in biology and Italian in three years. She went to Drexel University College of Medicine, and then completed an internship in General Surgery at the University of Vermont before moving to Miami. She has not decided what she wants to do when she grows up, as she enjoys all aspects of neurosurgery. She particularly likes pediatrics, trauma and neurooncology.  She is involved in research on inflammasomes in cerebral spinal fluid and subdural hematomas.  

Walter J. Jermakowicz, M.D., Ph.D.

PGY-5

Started in 07/2012
Graduate in 06/2019

Walter is originally from Warsaw, Poland but grew up in Indiana and graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with degrees in Biology, Chemistry and German. Following college he was a Fulbright Scholar and spent a year working at the Max-Planck-Institute for Neurobiologie in Munich Germany. Afterwards he attended the MD/PhD program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. His PhD was in Neuroscience, with a focus on neural coding in primate visual cortex. As a neurosurgical resident at the University of Miami Walter received a CAST-approved fellowship in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. His clinical research involves using cloud-based computing for the refinement of surgical targets used in movement disorders and epilepsy surgery. In the laboratory Walter studies the role of electrical stimulation of ascending brainstem projections in the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

Samir Sur, M.D.

PGY-5

Started in 07/2012
Graduate in 06/2019

Dr. Samir Sur is originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts and completed his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics at Yale University. He went on to study medicine at Boston University, where he was the 2012 recipient of the Wein Medical Student Research Award. During residency, Dr. Sur completed his junior endovascular fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Peterson and is currently engaged in research on endothelial differentiation and anti-inflammatory mesenchymal stem cells under the direction of Dr. Robert Starke and Dr. Peterson. In addition, he is pursuing fellowship training in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery under the mentorship of Dr. Jonathan Jagid.

Following residency, he plans to complete his endovascular training and pursue a career in academic cranial and endovascular neurosurgery.

Timur Urakov, M.D.

PGY-5

Started in 07/2012
Graduate in 06/2019

Timur M. Urakov, M.D., began his residency training in 2012 and is expected to graduate in 2019. Timur earned a Specialist Degree in Physiology from University of Toronto and was a recipient of Queen Elizabeth II Aiming for the Top Scholarship and an All-Canadian Honour Roll Award as a captain of the varsity wrestling team. He went on to receive his medical degree cum laude from St.George’s University in Grenada, West Indies on International Peace Scholarship where he also received an Award for Excellence as an Academic Facilitator for guidance of his fellow students. At this point Timur has interest in every field of Neurosurgery with emphasis on procedure optimization and new instruments development. In his spare time he enjoys carpentry, soccer, and grappling. Timur is grateful to his parents for their tireless support throughout his studies.

 

Simon Buttrick, M.D.

PGY-4

Started in 07/2013
Graduate in 06/2020

Simon Buttrick completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University where he majored in biophysics. He then went on to Mount Sinai School of Medicine, graduating as a member of AOA. His clinical interests include brain tumors and general neurosurgery, and he is currently completing an enfolded fellowship in surgical neuro-oncology. In his free time he enjoys cooking, basketball, and snowboarding.

Karthik Madhaven, M.D.

PGY-4

Started in 07/2013
Graduate in 06/2020

I grew up in Mysore, India. I completed my medical school at BM Patil Medical College before moving to New Jersey Medical School as a post doc in Spinal cord injury lab where I trained under Robert Heary MD and Michele Basso PhD on rodent spinal cord injury model. I am interested in pursuing Spine as my career.

Angela Richardson, M.D., Ph.D.

PGY-4

Started in 07/2013
Graduate in 06/2020

Dr. Richardson is a fourth year resident in the University of Miami/ Jackson program. She completed her undergraduate training at Columbia University with a major in biochemistry. After college, she took time off, teaching English in Japan for a year and working in a genetics research lab in Boston for another year. She then completed her M.D./Ph.D. at Drexel University College of Medicine. Her dissertation work focused on genetic modifiers of central nervous system immune responses to herpes simplex infection of the CNS. She is spending her fourth year in the laboratory of Dr. Noriyuki Kasahara developing and optimizing a replicating retroviral vector for the treatment of central nervous system metastases, specifically in breast cancer, but with application to other tumor types. Outside of neurosurgery, she is interested in marital arts and earned a second degree black belt in tae kwon do.

Stephen “Shelby” Burks, M.D.

PGY-3

Started in 07/2014
Graduate in 06/2021

Shelby Burks grew up in Orlando, Florida. He attended Rollins College graduating with magna cum laude distinction in Biology. After college he was offered a scholarship at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine where he subsequently graduated with AOA honors distinction. As a first year medical student he developed an early interest in Neurosurgery. His research interests include peripheral nerve repair, traumatic brain injury, minimally invasive and endoscopic spine surgery, spinal cord injury, and hypothermia, among others. He has two articles featured on the covers of JNS and JNS: Spine in April 2015 and March 2016, respectively. Shelby’s interests include basketball, running, Miami cultural events, and healthcare policy.

Iahn Cajigas, M.D., Ph.D.

PGY-3

Started in 07/2014
Graduate in 06/2021

Iahn Cajigas grew up in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. He received the BS and MEng degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in 2002 and 2003 respectively. He completed his PhD in Medical and Electrical Engineering from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology under the joint supervision of Emery N. Brown, MD, PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Paolo Bonato, PhD at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital at Harvard Medical School between 2007-2012. During his doctoral research he was awarded the MIT Presidential Fellowship along with an NIH F31 Predoctoral Fellowship for his research. He completed medical school training at Harvard Medical School in 2014 as part of the Harvard MD-PhD Program and the joint Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology. His current research interests include brain machine interfaces and rehabilitation robotics with particular emphasis on restoration of motor function and ambulation and the interface of these fields with neurosurgery.

Ashish Shah, M.D.

PGY-3

Started in 07/2014
Graduate in 06/2021

Ashish H. Shah, M.D. obtained his BS, summa cum laude in 2010 and his MD with AOA honors in 2014 from the University of Miami.

Over the last four years, Dr. Shah has taken a special interest in neuro-oncology research under the mentorship and guidance of Drs. Ricardo J. Komotar, MD,and Dr. Noriyuki Kasahara. Dr. Shah has been involved in research on the efficacy of retroviral vectors and gene therapy for high-grade gliomas. Over the last few years, Dr. Shah has published over 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers focusing on surgical Neuro-oncology

Dr. Shah is also actively involved in establishing the first neurosurgery residency program at Bernard Mevs Hospital/Project Medishare under the leadership of Barth A. Green, M.D. and John Ragheb, M.D.

Gregory Basil, M.D.

PGY-2

Started in 07/2015
Graduate in 06/2022

Gregory grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York and attended New York University’s Stern School of Business where he double-majored in finance and accounting. After completing his undergraduate degree, he worked for three and a half years at BlackRock Financial Management’s New York City office in the Portfolio Analytics and Financial Markets Advisory Groups. In this capacity, he helped to provide portfolio valuations, asset management strategies, and risk advisory services to government institutions as well as troubled financial companies, hedge funds, and private equity firms during the financial crisis. Gregory subsequently left finance to pursue a career in medicine, and attended the Tufts Undergraduate Postbaccalaureate Premedical program. Having completed his premedical coursework, he was accepted at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he graduated AOA and received the David L. Kasdon Award for excellence in neuroscience.

Stephanie Chen, M.D.

PGY-2

Started in 07/2015
Graduate in 06/2022

Stephanie H Chen, MD is from New Jersey. She graduated from New York University, summa cum laude in 2011 with a B.S. in neuroscience. In 2015, she received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. During medical school she was elected to AOA and was awarded the Theodore Kurze Senior Prize for Excellence in Neurological Surgery and Clinical Neurosciences. Stephanie’s clinical interests include vascular, skull base surgery, neuro-oncology, global health and many more.

Jason Liounakos, M.D.

PGY-2

Started in 07/2015
Graduate in 06/2022

Jason I. Liounakos, M.D. grew up in Tampa, FL. He received a B.S. degree in Physiology from the University of Florida, as well as a M.S. degree in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. He went on to obtain his medical degree from Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine where he graduated first in his class and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. In February 2015 he was awarded the Florida Board of Medicine Chairman’s Recognition Award for exemplifying the characteristics essential to the future leaders of the medical profession. Dr. Liounakos developed an early interest in neurosurgery during medical school and is scheduled to graduate in June 2022.

Daniel Eichberg, M.D.

PGY-1

Started in 07/2016
Graduate in 06/2023

Daniel Eichberg graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and concentration in Neurobiology. He began medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2011. In 2013 he was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Student Research Fellowship, which he completed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research in 2013 – 2014. Dr. Eichberg graduated magna cum laude from medical school in 2016 with Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society distinction; he was awarded the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, the Elijah Adams Award for Excellence in Biological Chemistry, and the William H. Mosberg, Jr., MD Award for Neurosurgery.

Evan Luther, M.D.

PGY-1

Started in 07/2016
Graduate in 06/2023

Evan Luther is from San Antonio, TX and graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. He went on to obtain his medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Luther’s current clinical interests include skull base surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, and complex spinal deformity correction. His research interests include the development of new medical imaging and treatment modalities with a particular emphasis in biophotonics. In his free time, he enjoys going to the beach and playing with his dogs.

Roberto Perez Roman, M.D.

PGY-1

Started in 07/2016
Graduate in 06/2023

Roberto Perez Roman grew up in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Puerto Rico with a BS degree in Molecular Cellular Biology in 2012. He attended the School of Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico and graduated in 2016, when he was awarded with the Academic Excellence Award, while graduating Summa Cum Laude. He also graduated with the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society distinction.