Meet the fellows currently in our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship program.
First Year Fellows
Sarah Berkson, MD
Dr. Berkson is a familiar face as she completes her residency at Mt Sinai St Luke’s, actively working with Beatrice Beebe PhD at the New York State Psychiatric Institute coding mother-infant interactions. Prior to residency, Dr. Berkson completed her BA in Psychology and Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University where she received the Chester Wickshire Diversity Award for promoting multicultural harmony on campus. In medical school, she worked as a research fellow in the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma. This work was presented at the APA and International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and published in TORTURE Journal. We are pleased to have her continue her training with us!
Alana Bunnag, MD
Dr. Bunnag, a Thai native who has lived all over the world, is currently collaborating with Dr. Grace Chang to implement an interdisciplinary détox e-protocol at the VA Boston Healthcare System, work which is being presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Pyschosomatic Medicine in Austin TX. She attended the University of Chicago for her undergraduate and graduate education where she was on the dean’s list. Following graduation she spent four years working in clinical research, leading to three peer reveiwed publications, seven poster presentations, and three oral presentations at national conferences. In medical school she was an honors student and served as Vice President of the AMA Student Association. We are delighted that she has decided to come to New York and bring her talents to Mount Sinai!
Scott Chanatry, MD
Dr. Chanatry, who speaks both Chinese and English, got his BA in Human Biology and Economics and MA in Sociology from Stanford University, where he was confered the highest award in recognition of scholastic achievement. While at NYU medical school, Dr. Chanatry worked on mental health systems innovation and policy under the mentorship of Professor Authur Caplan, a leading expert in bioethics.Their work has lead to a manuscript titled “Restorative Care for Schizophrenia”, which is under review by the American Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Chanatry has written a chapter titled “Persistence of Early-Life Stresson the epigenome: Non human Primate Observations” in the book of Neuroscience and Biobehaviroal Psychology. We are very excited to welcome him to our program!
Kevin Chou, MD
Dr. Chou completed The College of New Jersey’s 7-year Medical Program where he received his BA in Biomedical Engineering cum laude and his MD from Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School. He is an outstanding educator, winning the prestigious Resident Teacher of the Year Award. His creativity was on display in using his knowledge of superheroes to help others explore their strengths and vulnerabilities. Dr. Chou has particular interests in autism and consultation-liaison transplant cases. He has an infectious energy to him that his colleagues admire. After 10 years in New Jersey we are thrilled Dr. Chou will be crossing the Hudson!
Abigail Cohen, MD
Dr. Cohen is a New Yorker by birth and already a member of the Mount Sinai Health System family where she is working under the guidance of Yasmin Hurd. During her undergraduate and graduate education years she hosted the Saturday Morning Kid’s show on KTRU 91.7FM. In medical school as president of Psychiatry Interest Group she was able to bring together her interests in the arts and the human mind together by organizing events through the medical humanities. Since her arrival at the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Residency, Dr. Cohen has actively sought out child and adolescent psychiatry experiences through her electives on the inpatient units at Mount Sinai St Luke’s and Bellevue Hospital. We are delighted that Abigail has chosen to continue her training at Mount Sinai!
Natasha Juneja, MD
Dr. Juneja was born in Camden, NJ but soon after moved to South Carolina. The daughter of a psychiatrist, Dr. Juneja would follow her father’s lead but carve out her own path by specializing in working with children and adolescents. Long interested in the brain, Dr. Juneja studied Biology in college with particular research and interest in epilepsy and neuroscience. Her research continued into medical school where she studied rTMS in veterans with PTSD, work which will soon be published. She has an extensive history of community volunteer work and significant research experience. She is particularly interested in the detective work that defines a gifted child psychiatrist and we are thrilled she will be leaving SEC country to bring her southern spirit back north!
Samantha Kennis, MD
Dr. Kennis graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University where she studied psychology and developed a rating scale to measure emotion. She too has extensive community outreach history, tutoring underprivileged children, working in a women’s homeless shelter, and providing health screens in an after-school program. Dr. Kennis enjoys the multifactorial approach needed to be a child psychiatrist, incorporating the family, school, and social services into her treatment plans. Dr. Kennis comes with high praise and we could not be more excited to keep her within the Mount Sinai Health System.
Danica Vargo, DO
Dr. Vargo comes to us from the historical Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. Previously she attended Syracuse University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BS in Biology and a minor in Psychology. Dr. Vargo has dedicated substantial time to the community volunteering in homeless shelters, fundraising for childhood cancer, and organizing food drives. She is an acclaimed teacher and we look forward to what she has to offer our medical students and residents. Dr. Vargo has always been interested in child and adolescent psychiatry and we are very excited she is now part of our team!
Second Year Fellows
Salmahn Alam, MD
A native New Yorker, Salmahn majored in Biological Sciences at SUNY Binghamton before entering medical school at the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine. While in medical school he researched, implemented and tested the role of buspirone in reducing development of L-dopa induced dyskinesia in rats. His interest in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was piqued when he worked as a tutor in Arabic writing when he found that families often spoke with him about their mental health concerns. This exposure to cultural differences in psychiatry extended to other ethnic communities and he hopes to work as an advocate to address stigma in child and adolescent psychiatry. He became a member of the Mount Sinai community at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center where he serves as chief resident and has been working with Dr. Michael Serby on a study of tumor necrosis factor and mania.
Humera Chaudhary, MD
Born in Baerum, Norway, Humera majored in Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she spent three years working with Alfred H. Merrill, PhD on arachnid sphingolipidology. She attended medical school and completed her residency in general psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina. There she was a member and had a leadership role in the Student Psychiatry Interest Group for three years. She has had extensive experience volunteering in a number of community organizations for children and their families. She is now pursuing her longstanding interest in child and adolescent psychiatry to continue to serve in a different capacity.
Stephanie Friedman, MD
Stephanie’s path to medicine was non-traditional, having majored in Drama during her undergraduate years at Stanford University. Combining this background with her interest in medicine, she worked on a number of theatrical productions which involved medical and mental health issues. Before beginning her residency training, Stephanie worked as a tutor with high school youth, and sought opportunities to observe CAP fellows working with this patient population during her pre-clinical years in medical school. During medical school at Albert Einstein, she spent four years working with Dr. Brad Foote looking at dissociation as a risk factor for self-harm. Stephanie has expressed a special interest in learning more about eating disorders during her child and adolescent psychiatry training.
Amy Glick, MD
Faculty members may already be familiar with Amy, as she is completing her general psychiatry residency training at Mount Sinai. Prior to starting her residency, Amy attended medical school in Philadelphia where she was active in a number of organizations such as the student-run free clinic where she served the role of Steering Committee Procedures Director. During her residency training, Amy pursued a number of experiences, completing the Global Health Residency Track and the NY Psychoanalytic Fellowship. Her interest in working with children and adolescents is longstanding, from serving as a camp counselor as a teenager to running a weekly recreational group for youth in West Harlem during college. In addition, Amy designed and completed an elective in Transgender Mental Health under the supervision of Drs. Celia Blumenthal and Tolulope Olupona.
Navjot (Nancy) Khinda, MD
Another familiar face to some may be Nancy Khinda who is a fourth year resident at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital. A native of Canada, Nancy moved to the United States after medical school. She has worked on research projects in a number of areas, including bariatric surgery and addiction. Most recently, she worked with Dr. Richard Rosenthal on two studies involving a buprenorphine implant and gabapentin enacarbil extended release for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. When she is not working, she is an avid dancer and was the recipient of the Pamela Rebello dance scholarship. Her interest in child and adolescent psychiatry, and especially autism, has solidified her desire for a CAP fellowship, and to advocate for children’s mental health issues. She hopes that she can continue this role throughout her education and subsequent practice.
Cecilia Lipira, MD
Cecilia spent her early years between New York city, Connecticut and Florence, Italy. While attending Columbia University, she worked with Dr. Tarique Perera investigating the role of hippocampal neurogenesis in the mechanism of action of antidepressants and ECT. As an undergraduate, Cecilia also volunteered her time as a counselor for survivors of sexual violence and abuse. Cecilia had the opportunity to attend medical school in Bologna, near her Italian hometown, graduating magna cum laude. During medical school, she co-founded and developed a volunteer organization that provided health education to urban public high schools; in addition she spent time assisting physicians who volunteered care for those who could not access the national health care system in Italy. Cecilia is no stranger to the Mount Sinai Health System, having spent time at the Mount Sinai St. Luke’s CARES program prior to starting residency training.
Lan Chi (Krysti) Vo, MD
Krysti comes to us from her general psychiatry training at Emory University School of Medicine. After earning a place on the Dean’s List at the University of Texas, Austin, she attended the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. There she earned her medical degree with distinction in research. She was the recipient of a number of academic scholarships and awards, including an AACAP Life Member Mentorship Grant and the Preclinical International Service Learning Scholarship in 2010 and again in 2013. Her varied research interests have ranged from fMRI studies in patients with cocaine use disorders to constructing and testing a local macular electroretinogram. She developed an outreach project to provide free Hepatitis B screening and vaccinations at several Asian American centers, and directed patients to continued care. She was also a member of the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders Affairs, and advocated with other nationally recognized organizations including NAMI.
Thomas Yang, MD
Although born in Toronto, Canada, Thomas spent the majority of his early education in Taiwan, only moving to the United States after his junior year in high school. While at Ohio State University, Thomas majored in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, graduating magna cum laude. During medical school at Wright State, Thomas was the recipient of the Boonshoft Medical Scholarship and the Onady Medical Artist Scholarship. He has worked on a number of projects in a variety of areas, including pediatric obesity, neuropsychiatric testing for children with learning disorders or ADHD, and oncology. In his free time, Thomas taught himself to play acoustic guitar and has been a contributing writer to an NBA sports blog, among many other interests.
Jesse Costales, MD
Jesse Costales attended the Mount Sinai General Psychology Residency Training Program and is staying on to complete his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training here. Dr. Costales graduated from Pomona College then attended the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. He spent a year doing research in cardiothoracic surgery. He has published one paper and is completing two others.
Nicholas Figueroa, MD
Nicholas Figueroa came from the Maricopa Integrated Health System general psychiatry program in Phoenix. He received his medical degree from the Ross University School of Medicine and his bachelor’s from the University of California, Riverside. Originally from Lima, Peru, Dr. Figueroa has worked with children as doctor, tutor, and teacher.
Stephen Gamss, DO
Stephen Gamss completed his general psychiatry training at Nassau University Medical Center, where he was administrative chief fellow. He obtained his medical degree at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and his bachelor’s degree at CUNY Brooklyn College. Dr. Gamss received a Resident of the Year award as well as the Fellow Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievements
Erica Lo Re, DO
Erica Lo Re joins us from Stony Brook University Hospital. She did her medical training at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine and received her undergraduate degree in biopsychology from Wagner College. While in medical school, Dr. Lo Re served as vice president of the Psychiatry Interest Group and organized fundraisers for Special Olympics.
Nanda Muthusawmy, MD
Nanda Muthusawmy completed her general psychiatry training at Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson. She obtained her medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University. Dr. Muthusawmy has worked as a lab research assistant and volunteered in hospitals in New Jersey.
Laura Powers, MD
Laura Powers completed her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and attended medical school and her psychiatry residency here. She has worked in community service, focusing on children and adolescents and served as director at several community-based programs. In medical school, Dr. Powers helped develop a Medical Student Experience. She received an award for Outstanding Graduating Student in Psychiatry.
Jeffrey Takos, MD
Jeffrey Takos joins us from a general psychiatry residency at the University of Connecticut. He completed his medical school training at the Ross University School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree at SUNY Fredonia.
Maria Alikakos, DO
Maria Alikakos comes from Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s general psychiatry program. She received her medical degree from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine and her bachelor’s from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Alikakos is co-founder/CEO of Global Physicians Corps, a network of students and health care professionals working toward sustainable solutions to global health issues. She has volunteered in Tanzania.
Benjamin Angarita, MD
Benjamin Angarita earned his MD at Weill Cornell Medical College and his BA from Williams College He has taught kindergarten and high school chemistry and has been chief operating officer of a startup company. Dr. Angarita completed his general psychiatric residency training at The Mount Sinai Hospital, serving as Chief Fellow of the Physician-Scientist Track. He received a National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Award, was recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as an APA/SAMHSA Minority Fellow, and was honored by the American College of Psychiatry as a Laughlin Fellow.
Alan Arauz, MD
Alan Arauz trained at the Metrohealth Medical Center’s general psychiatry program. He received his medical degree from Universidad American in Nicaragua. Dr. Arauz has worked in public health outreach in the United States and the Honduran mountains. He has worked with the Nicaraguan national psychiatric hospital to improve detection of mental health illness in patients at primary clinics.
Sanaa Bhatty, MD
Sanaa Bhatty joined the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship after completing the George Washington University General Psychiatry Residency Training Program. She graduated from the University of Miami, where she volunteered at the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Dr. Bhatty attended medical school at Florida State University and received the James A. Alford, MD, Endowed Foundation Scholarship. She has participated as a member of the Allied Cohort for Early Schizophrenia and was involved in first-break psychosis and mental health stigma research, which resulted in three publications.
Tina Gurnani, MD
Tina Gurnani hails from the University of Florida, Gainesville General Psychiatry Program. She completed medical training at Albany Medical College and undergraduate work at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Gurnani has helped restructure curricula and has helped organize the first National Eating Disorder Association walk in Gainesville, Florida. She also volunteered at a mission offering medical and obstetric care in Port au Prince, Haiti. She served as a sub-investigator on an ADHD study.
Robert Jaffe, MD
Robert Jaffe joined the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship after completing the Mount Sinai General Psychiatry Residency Training Program. He graduated from the University of Michigan and attended medical school at Georgetown University where he worked to decrease the incidence of sexual assault on campus. He is a graduate of the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute’s Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program and has clinical experience at Columbia University’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center.
Hari Nair, MD
Hari Nair came from the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital training program. He completed his medical training at Jefferson Medical College, and his undergraduate degree at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Nair spent six months at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Conchin, India. He has also organized blood drives, mentored underprivileged kids, coordinated fundraising events for addiction programs, and was the psychiatry coordinator for a student-run, not-for-profit healthcare organization.
Lynn Nguyen, MD
Lynn Nguyen comes from residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. She completed her medical school training at the University of Texas School of Medicine, San Antonio and her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas, Austin. Dr. Nguyenhas worked with a children’s bereavement center and a juvenile justice center, has worked with survivors of child abuse, and wrote health stories for ABC News’ Medical Unit.
Timothy Rice, MD
Tim Rice completed his undergraduate education at Yale University, medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and psychiatry residency at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Rice was selected as co-Chair of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry’s Task Force on Men’s Mental Health, and as a fellow of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He also received the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Pilot Award for Research in manualized psychotherapy process. Dr. Rice works as an attending on our child and adolescent inpatient unit.
Lesha Shah, MD
Lesha Shah came to Mount Sinai from the Tufts University/Baystate Medical Center Psychiatry Residency Program. Dr. Shah graduated from Barnard College and earned her MD from Ross University School of Medicine. She has been involved with the AACAP Infancy and Early Childhood Committee and received APA Public Psychiatry Fellowship.