Trainee group shot features mentors, undergraduate research trainees, medical and high school students. Training

Trainees in various stages of their education have advanced their careers in Dr. Bydon's Neuro-Informatics Laboratory.


2022 Alumni

Chibueze S. Ezeudu, Research Trainee

Chibueze (Simon) is a medical student with Texas A&M University School of Medicine. Born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria, he moved to the U.S. for college. He graduated with a doctorate in pharmacy from Texas Southern University, where he researched maternal child and health outcomes. Now, Simon is pursuing his childhood dream of becoming a neurosurgeon. To strengthen his research skills, he joined the Neuro-Informatics Lab. Simon is interested in spine surgery and neuro-oncology and hopes to serve as an advocate for minority students.

Sally El Sammak, M.D., Research Fellow

Dr. El Sammak was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and is a graduate of the American University of Beirut. She obtained her medical degree in 2020 and became a research fellow at the Nehme & Therese Tohme Multiple Sclerosis Center at the American University of Beirut Medical Center.

Dr. El Sammak became familiar with the Neuro-Informatics Lab through its pioneering achievements in spinal cord injury and became eager to expand her research career under the mentoring of Dr. Bydon. She joined the lab as a research fellow in 2021. As a research fellow, her primary clinical research interest focused on improving patient care, establishing new treatments, and working as a catalyst between neurosurgery and neurology to improve patient outcomes.

After the successful completion of several impactful projects, Dr. El Sammak graduated from the Neuro-Informatics Lab in May 2022. She is currently a neurology resident at Emory University in Atlanta.

William J. Mualem, B.S., Research Trainee

William joined the Neuro-Informatics Lab in summer 2021 after completing his third year of medical school at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. He joined the lab with years of experience in basic science and clinical research both as an undergraduate student at Georgetown University, researching within the Lab for Brain Injury and Dementia with Mark P. Burns, Ph.D., and Sonia Villapol, Ph.D., and as a medical student working with the neurosurgery department at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

William was drawn to the Neuro-Informatics Lab particularly for its focus on improving surgical outcomes for patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures. Following completion of his year as a research trainee, William plans to submit his application to neurosurgical residency programs.

Brandon C. Trammell, B.S., Program Coordinator — Research

Brandon is a graduate of Creighton University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in biology. Since graduating in 2016, he has been heavily involved in all aspects of clinical trials and patient care. Brandon brings knowledge of proper study conduct of complex, phase 1 clinical trials. Brandon is currently working on his Master of Public Health from George Washington University.

2021 Alumni

Allie J. Canoy Illies, M.P.H., Laboratory Manager

Allie completed her Master of Public Health with an emphasis on population health analytics at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Since graduating, she has been focused on population health outcomes research, including topics such as substance use and addiction and the neurobiology of trauma.

Allie joined the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory at Mayo Clinic as its laboratory manager in early 2020. Her research interests lie in registry science and predictive analytics of health outcomes.

Mohammed Ali Alvi, M.B.B.S., Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Alvi came to Mayo Clinic in March 2016 as a visiting medical student in the Mayo Clinic Department of Neurosurgery and met Dr. Bydon and Panagiotis Kerezoudis, M.D., M.S., a neurologic surgery resident and a member of Dr. Bydon's lab. Dr. Bydon invited Dr. Alvi to one of the laboratory meetings, and he was immediately interested in Dr. Bydon's work. He joined the laboratory as a research trainee in August 2016.

Dr. Alvi's primary research interests are in using machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve outcomes of patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures, and neuroregeneration. He finished his master's degree from Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science's Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program.

After he completes his research fellowship in the lab, Dr. Alvi intends to pursue a training program in neurologic surgery. He plans to employ the research experience gained during his tenure with the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory to contribute to academic and health care policy-driven research as well as regenerative neuroscience.

Anshit (Ansh) Goyal, M.B.B.S., M.S., Research Fellow

Dr. Goyal grew up in India and went to medical school at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi — the highest rated medical school in the region. Dr. Goyal placed first in his entrance exam, over more than 80,000 other medical school applicants.

Dr. Goyal was a visiting medical student at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Washington University in St. Louis, the National Institutes of Health and University of Pennsylvania.

He came to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in 2016 to complete a clinical elective rotation in neurologic surgery. He joined the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory in July 2017.

Dr. Goyal's primary research interests have been surgical outcomes especially neuro-oncology, patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and opioid use in neurosurgery. He helped develop a neurosurgical registry at Mayo Clinic and a practice analytics dashboard. He also completed a master's degree in clinical and translational science from the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) with a focus on opioid prescription practices in spine surgery.

Following completion of his research fellowship, Dr. Goyal matched in the neurosurgery department at the Mayo Clinic's Florida campus for his residency.

Yagiz U. Yolcu, M.D., M.S., Research Fellow

Dr. Yolcu graduated from Acibadem University School of Medicine in Istanbul. He aspires to become a neurosurgeon and has a strong interest in neuro-oncology. After visiting various hospitals and clinics in Europe and the United States, he decided to continue his career in the U.S.

Dr. Yolcu was attracted to Mayo Clinic for its excellence in patient care, education and research. He was keen to work for the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory because of its focus on researching surgical outcomes, patient care improvements and cutting-edge techniques. Following completion of his research fellowship, Dr. Yolcu matched in the general surgery department at Mayo Clinic's Minnesota campus for his residency.

Chiduziem E. Onyedimma, Research Trainee

Chiduziem first came to Mayo Clinic on a spring break shadowing experience in 2017, during his first years as a medical student; he was introduced to Dr. Bydon who invited him to attend that week's laboratory meeting. He was fortunate to work with members of the Neuro-Informatics Lab on his summer research project between his first and second years as a medical student attending Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.

In April 2020, Chiduziem was inducted as a Vanderbilt Medical Scholar (VMS). The VMS program allows for a one-year funded research experience in the basic or translational sciences and is open to both Meharry and Vanderbilt students. His growing interests in the work that was ongoing at Mayo motivated him to seek a position as a research trainee in the Neuro-Informatics Lab.

Chiduziem's research relates to spinal neurosurgical outcomes. He is also an active proponent of global neurosurgery and seeks to have a positive impact in his home country of Nigeria. Currently he is a fourth-year medical student engaged in research related to spinal cord injury in the rat model. After his year of research, he plans to complete his final year of medical education at Meharry while preparing his residency application. His goal is to match in neurosurgery.

Alex (Yohan) Y. Alexander, B.A., Intern

Yohan Alexander was born in India and has lived in Boston; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Rochester, Minnesota. Yohan joined the lab after meeting Dr. Bydon during an interview for undergraduate admissions. Yohan is currently a medical student at the University of Minnesota, where he also graduated with a bachelor's degree in physiology and taught neuroanatomy.

Yohan's interests are focused on clinical outcomes, quality-of-life studies and surgical anatomy. He is a current fellow in the Rhoton Neurosurgery and Otolaryngology Surgical Anatomy Program at Mayo Clinic under the guidance of Maria Peris Celda, M.D., Ph.D. Here he studies approaches to the brain, skull base, and head and neck. He aspires to be an academic skull base and cerebrovascular neurosurgeon.

2020 Alumni

Sandy Goncalves, M.S., Laboratory Manager

Sandy Goncalves completed her master's degree in biomedical physics at the University of Western Ontario in Canada (now called Western University). Her thesis focused on the effects of spinal cord compression on the brain using specialized MRI sequences. Upon successfully defending her thesis in 2014, she went on to be a research manager and scientific writer for the neurosurgery department of the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario.

Sandy joined the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory at Mayo Clinic as its laboratory manager in early 2017 to manage Dr. Bydon's rapidly growing team. Her research interests lie in regenerative stem cell treatment for people with degenerative spinal cord injury as well as overall surgical outcomes data management. Sandy's goals include facilitating both national and international collaborations to create the largest spinal cord injury stem cell trial in the world.

Waseem Wahood, Research Assistant

Waseem Wahood earned his bachelor's degree in economics, with honors, at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016; his senior capstone focused on health policy and economics. In 2017 he completed his master's degree in biomedical science at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

Waseem's extensive background in health economics, statistics and medical sciences, along with his drive to become a physician-scientist, earned him a position as a research assistant in the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory soon after graduation. After gaining research experience in Dr. Bydon's lab, Waseem will begin medical school in fall 2019.

Jad Zreik, Research Trainee

Jad grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated with degrees in informatics and biology. After working in the university's Department of Learning Health Sciences with a focus on precision medicine, he developed a keen interest in using technology to find ways to improve patient outcomes.

Jad was drawn to Dr. Bydon's Neuro-Informatics Lab at Mayo Clinic for its emphasis on using analytical techniques to research surgical outcomes and patient care improvements. He plans to apply to medical school after gaining sufficient experience in research and the informatics field.

2019 Alumni

Mohamed Elminawy, M.B., B.Ch., Research Fellow

Dr. Elminawy studied medicine at Ain Shams University, one of the top-ranked schools in Egypt. He spent his final year in one of the busiest hospitals in Egypt, Ain Shams University Hospital. He completed clerkship rotations at Saint Louis University Hospital, Wayne State University and Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Elminawy's research areas of interest include neurologic surgery outcomes, medical statistics and deep brain stimulation. He was a research fellow in Dr. Bydon's Neuro-Informatics Laboratory as part of his preparation to become a neurosurgeon.

Panagiotis Kerezoudis, M.D., M.S., Research Fellow

Dr. Kerezoudis graduated from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece in 2015. Shortly after, he joined the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory at Mayo Clinic, while simultaneously being accepted into Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science's Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program and completing the Neurologic Surgery Residency at Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education.

The focus of Dr. Kerezoudis' work in Dr. Bydon's lab was on comparative effectiveness and patient-reported outcomes research in spine surgery. He also served as a co-investigator on regenerative medicine stem cell trials involving people with degenerative spine disease and traumatic spinal cord injury.

Dr. Kerezoudis' long-term goals are to become a neurosurgeon and continue his career in the U.S. He would like to practice in an academic program where he can teach the next generation of neurosurgeons and lead a research team on neurosurgical outcomes research.

Benjamin F. Mundell, Ph.D., Medical Student

Dr. Mundell is from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Rochester, Minnesota. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in engineering mechanics. He subsequently completed a Ph.D. in policy analysis with a focus on health economics at the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California.

Before joining Dr. Bydon's lab, Dr. Mundell's previous research looked at health care workforce management in the military and civilian sectors, reducing health care delivery costs, and improving health care infrastructure in austere or resource-limited settings.

His research in the Neuro-Informatics Lab was focused on how patients, providers and payers make decisions around the provision of health care using Bayesian analysis and machine-learning techniques. He is a member of the spring 2019 graduating class of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine.

Ryan M. Naylor, M.D., Ph.D., Neurologic Surgery Resident

Dr. Naylor grew up in San Diego. He attended the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he majored in biological sciences and chemistry. He completed his undergraduate thesis work in the organic and synthetic chemistry lab of Elizabeth R. Jarvo, Ph.D., and was part of UCI's nationally ranked men's water polo team.

After graduating, Dr. Naylor spent two years at the University of California, San Francisco, in the lab of Donald M. McDonald, M.D., Ph.D., studying the consequences of disrupting angiogenesis in solid tumors.

In 2010, Dr. Naylor began Mayo Clinic's Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed his doctoral training in the lab of Jan van Deursen, Ph.D., where he studied the role of chromosomal instability in tumorigenesis.

Dr. Naylor is completing his residency training in neurologic surgery. His goals are to care for patients with brain and spinal cord tumors and to lead a basic science laboratory that investigates novel therapeutic strategies for patients with primary malignant central nervous system tumors.

2018 Alumni

Redab Alkhataybeh, M.B.B.S., Research Trainee

Dr. Alkhataybeh graduated from the Jordan University of Science and Technology Medical School and completed an internship year at Jordan University. She is in the Neurosurgical Residency academic program at King Abdullah University Hospital in Jordan.

Dr. Alkhataybeh is the first female neurosurgical resident in Jordan and will be the first female neurosurgeon in the history of the country. She accepted a six-month position in the Mayo Clinic Neuro-Informatics Laboratory to gain experience on both clinical and basic science approaches to neurosurgical treatments and treatment improvements.

Mohammed Adeeb Sebai, M.B.B.S., Research Collaborator

Dr. Sebai came to the Mayo Clinic Neuro-Informatics Laboratory from Damascus, Syria. He was granted a scholarship to enter Alfaisal University College of Medicine in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and graduated summa cum laude in July 2017. After completing the National Saudi Progress test in 2013, he was ranked second among his medical student peers across the Saudi nation and ranked first in his medical school.

Dr. Sebai has had numerous research and travel grants and is the founding president for his school's assembly, fostering students' interest in surgical fields. His main interests are in the advancement of surgical fields, brain computer interfaces, neural engineering, 3D printing, nanotechnology, and minimally invasive and robotic surgery. He is currently part of a team establishing a surgical relief mission to help displaced Syrians.

In his leisure time, Dr. Sebai enjoys producing and editing movies. One of his produced movies was featured on the online homepage of King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, the leading hospital in the Middle East region.

2017 Alumni

Amika Kamath, Undergraduate Research Trainee, 2017

During the time she spent in the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory, Amika was an undergraduate at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, with a major in psychology and minor in biology. While growing up in Rochester, Minnesota, Amika developed an interest in medicine and hopes to pursue a career in that field.

Amika joined Dr. Bydon's Neuro-Informatics Laboratory at Mayo Clinic during the summer of 2017 and focused her efforts on researching racial disparities among patients with lower back pain. Some of her aspirations include attending medical school and building upon her research interests in an academic setting.

Pre-2017 Alumni

  • Siham (Susu) Almousa, Undergraduate Research Trainee
  • Joseph (Joe) Cesare, Undergraduate Research Trainee
  • Marcus J. Gates, M.D., Resident
  • Hannah E. Gilder, B.S., Medical Student
  • Jennifer Grauberger, B.S., Medical Student
  • Jeffrey S. Hakim, M.D., Ph.D., Resident (University of Virginia)
  • Alice E. Huang, B.S., Medical Student
  • David V. Ivanov, B.S., Medical Student
  • Joseph R. Kapurch II, M.D., Resident
  • Dennis Kurian, B.S., Medical Student
  • Jenna Meyer, M.S., Medical Student
  • Meghan E. Murphy, M.D., Resident
  • Jeremie D. Oliver, B.S., B.A., Medical Student
  • Amanda L. Porter, B.S., Medical Student
  • Kenan Rajjoub, B.A., Medical Student
  • Daniel L. Shepherd, M.D., Resident
  • Jessica Zacher, High School Research Intern