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