Meet Our Residents

A collage of images containing people, outdoors, studying

Vicky Chen grew up in the ever-foggy Sunset District of San Francisco. Her childhood heroes included Jacques Torres (of Dessert Circus) and Cookie Monster. She completed her undergraduate studies at UC San Diego with a focus in neuroscience and psychology. Prior to starting medical school, she worked in multiple areas of research that spanned the intersections of electrophysiology and neuropsychology in patients with substance abuse and dependence at The Scripps Research Institute. She attended Tufts University for medical school, where she was involved in medical education at The Sharewood Project (a student-run free clinic) and in the anatomy lab as a Head and Neck prosector. Aside from medicine, Vicky is particularly fond of round and stumpy critters (including kakapo, bunnies, and well-fed kitties). Her favorite topic of food science is cultivating wild yeast starters. When she is not tinkering with her kitchen experiments she can be found hiking, running, or dragon boating. She is thrilled to be part of the OHSU family and exploring everything that Portland has to offer!

Michelle Cohen hails from Augusta, Georgia. Before receiving her M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia, she studied theater at Dartmouth College and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts with concentrations in stage management and artistic sound design. She has done research in the areas of microbiology, arachonology, and education. She has also volunteered her time with several organizations from hospice care to animal rescue. In her second year of medical school she founded The Equality Clinic of Augusta, an Interdisciplinary and Interprofessional student-run free clinic that continues to provide health care for the uninsured/underinsured LGBT community of Augusta, GA. Michelle enjoys travel, dance, music performance (piano, guitar), theater, and cooking. She and her two dogs, Napoleon and Howie, have enjoyed exploring the waterfalls of Oregon and all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Parker Miller was born and raised in the small Midwestern town of McPherson, Kansas where he played tennis and became involved in high school policy debate.  He attended Kansas State University, initially studying computer engineering, but switching to biology soon after.  Continuing the trend of moving to larger and larger towns, Parker attended the University of Kansas for medical school in Kansas City.  There, he contributed to a myasthenia gravis clinical trial and worked in an underserved community clinic.  Outside of the hospital, he likes being active with running and weight training.  Building computers, traveling, finding the next great television show, and generally failing at golf are also activities he enjoys. As a Midwesterner, Parker is excited to experience Portland and the Pacific Northwest.

Samantha Allen was born and raised on Long Island in New York, but moved cross country to attend undergraduate at Pomona College where she studied religious studies and studio art. After college, Samantha taught English as a Second Language first in New York and then at the University of Talca in Chile as part of a Fulbright grant. With the completion of her grant, Samantha then returned to the US to complete a year-long post-baccalaureate program in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania before moving back abroad. Samantha moved to Mexico this time to work with the Mexican Institute of Social Security on a cervical cancer screening project. Samantha continued to work with the Mexican Institute of Social Security throughout medical school at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. This 5-year program allowed Samantha to complete a master’s degree with her Mexican research group in conjunction with her medical degree at UCSF. Outside of school, Samantha likes to hike, rock climb, and explore. On the domestic side of things, she also loves to cook and garden.  Samantha is excited to make Portland her new home with her husband, Lucas.

Sabrena Ahmadi was born and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, where she was immersed in her parents' rich Afghan culture. She completed her bachelor's degree in neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles. During this time, she worked as an EMT on weekends and conducted research on aminergic signaling pathways in Drosophila malanogaster. Following her undergraduate studies, Sabrena spent a year working as a worker's compensation coordinator at a pain management clinic in Walnut Creek. She then went on to attend medical school at AT Still University in Arizona, completing the Oregon tract. Sabrena is thrilled to be staying here in Portland for residency, as she is a huge Portland Timbers fan.

Tae Yeon Kim was born in South Korea but was primarily raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she grew up loving music. Over the course of her childhood, she learned how to play five different instruments and was in symphony orchestra, concert band, and marching band. She attended Johns Hopkins University, where she studied biology and psychology. After graduating in 2012, she worked as an intern for the American Red Cross, connecting with community organizations to help immigrants and refugees. Tae Yeon was accepted to medical school at the University of Iowa in 2014, where she quickly developed a passion for teaching. She was honored to be involved in various aspects of curriculum development, tutoring, and community outreach. She was beyond thrilled to learn that she would be continuing her medical education at OHSU and is excited to have easy access to Portland's famous food scene. When not in the hospital, she enjoys eating ice cream, cooking, art, and spending time with friends. She has the companionship of her two very fluffy cats and will be in closer proximity to her sister, who works as a pharmacist in California.

Stacia Lam grew up in a small rural west coast community in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. Inspired by the physicians in the area and how cherished their services were to the underserved, she knew at an early age that she wanted to be a physician. At the age of 18, she bade her family goodbye and moved to the United States to pursue this calling. She completed her degree in biology (with a chemistry minor) at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and started medical school there soon after. While living in DC, she met and married her loving husband, Clayton. Life and unique circumstances, however, brought her to the west coast where she completed her medical education at Loma Linda University in southern California. Being an immigrant and military spouse has afforded Stacia the privilege of residing in almost every region of the U.S., including the South, the Northeast, the "Mountain West" (Colorado), the Northwest, and the Southwest. She has volunteered at local hospitals and free clinics in almost all of these locations. Most recently, she was an active member of the "SUPER stroke" group at Loma Linda, which serves to educate members of the surrounding communities about the signs and symptoms of stroke and how to respond. She enjoys being outdoors, playing the guitar, and spending quality time with her husband and cats, Twibby and Mikey. Stacia adores the Northwest and is happy for the opportunity to complete her medical training at OHSU!

Rachel Laursen was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from the University of Oregon Robert D. Clark Honors College with Departmental Honors in Biology. During her time at U of O, she worked for the UO Student Orientation Department and the UO Department of Neuroscience. Rachel was a member of the Janis C. Weeks Laboratory, which received grants from the NIH and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct highthroughput screening of pharmaceutical compounds using novel microfluidic and electrophysiological techniques. After graduation, Rachel returned to Portland where she spent several months building homes for Habitat for Humanity before starting medical school at OHSU. At OHSU, she was involved in ultrasound education, clinical research, and provided primary care services at the Southwest Community Health Center. In her free time, Rachel enjoys running, hiking/backpacking, rock climbing, downhill skiing, visiting National Parks, playing soccer, Latin ballroom dancing, and spending time with family and friends.

Mary Storm was born and raised in the snowiest area of the country: upstate NY. She has also lived in New York City, Tucson, California, Switzerland, and South Korea. Mary majored in biochemistry at SUNY Geneseo, where she also studied computer science and Asian studies and tutored students in those fields as well as math and German. Mary studied medicine at SUNY Upstate, where she enjoyed commuting on her bike even when it was below freezing out. Mary was the president of their Medical Students for Choice club and advocated in her state's capital for the passage of the Women's Equality Agenda. She also enjoyed being a leader of the South Asian Medical Student's Association, where she helped set up their first Holi celebration. When Mary isn't busy with medicine, she enjoys traveling, community activism, hosting couch surfers, eating great food, and playing board and card games. It has long been Mary's dream to live in the Pacific Northwest.

Lindsey Carvalho was born and raised in Mililani on O’ahu, Hawaii. She moved to the Pacific NW after high school and attended Seattle University.  She was the first biology major to be a part of the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, where she was the Director of Community Service. During her undergraduate years, she spent her summer vacations volunteering at care homes and playing bingo and blackjack with the care home residents. She was thrilled to return to Hawaii for medical school at the University of Hawaii, where she developed a passion for medical education.  She credits her passion for medicine to her amazing mentors in the fields of Neurology and Neurocritical Care. Outside of medicine, Lindsey loves reading, swimming, finding new restaurants to try, and snuggling with cats. She is excited to return to the Pacific NW and to call Portland her new home.

Stephan Castro was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. During his undergraduate career at Pitzer College, Stephan participated in the varsity basketball team for 2 years while also participating in research projects at Casa Colina Rehabilitation Center and Duke University. One project that garnered his interest in the medical field was working with patients undergoing treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury or stroke and experiencing the dramatically positive effect of patient education. Furthering those interests at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Stephan volunteered in working with children and local adults of the North Philadelphia area to educate patients about healthy habits. Outside of medicine, he enjoys playing basketball, hot yoga, biking, and cooking.

William Shimanek was born and raised in Enid, Oklahoma.  He completed his undergraduate studies in Biology at the University of Tulsa and his medical training at the University of Oklahoma.  While in medical school, Will enjoyed volunteering to serve those with limited access to the medical system and participating in Neurology research.  He is an avid birdwatcher, home chef, and amateur musician. While in Portland, Will plans to enjoy hiking among the wonderful scenery and wildlife, as well as exploring the robust food culture with his wife Sara, also a resident at OHSU.

Anh Vo was born in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam and immigrated to the United States at 14 years old. He grew up in Auburn, Washington then attended the University of Washington for undergrad where he studied Biochemistry. As an undergrad, he frequently went back to Vietnam to volunteer in medical clinics. After graduation, he worked in a biochemistry lab at the UW for one year to research the reductive carboxylation pathway in the retinal pigment epithelium. During his time in the PNW, he developed a love for the outdoors and hiking. He then left the PNW and went to Drexel University – Kaiser Campus in Philadelphia and Sacramento for medical school. In medical school, he enjoyed neuroanatomy and had a great time in his neurology clerkship. He realized that he wants a career in neurology and did research in sleep and epilepsy. He is very excited to come back to the PNW where he will spend his free time hiking, camping, and enjoying the mountains with his wife Alice.

Kyle Sharf, D.O.
Kyle Sharf was raised in Bellingham, WA. He had his first encounter with neurology while studying neuroscience at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC, and while volunteering with the Victoria Brain Injury Society (VBIS). Following his return to the USA, Kyle attended medical school at Kansas City University in KCMO where he fell in love with neurology and all of the mysteries it includes. Outside of the hospital, Kyle loves to mountain bike and snowboard. He is elated to be at OHSU, and return to the beautiful PNW. 

Matt Creech, D.O.
Matthew Creech is an Oregon native who grew up in a small town on the eastern side of the state where he enjoyed hiking, climbing and snowboarding, along with other outdoor activities. He attended a liberal arts college near Portland where he studied biology and worked in a marine ecology lab studying the microbome of sea sponges off the Oregon Coast. After graduating, he worked at OHSU in the department of biomedical engineering where he published his first article on using super-resolution microscopy to image breast cancer tissues. He traded rain for sun when he moved down to South Florida where his partner, Lindsay, was starting dental school. Before he started medical school, Matt was a founding member of new genetics lab at the University of Miami, studying hereditary thyroid disorders and dyshormonogenesis. Matt attended Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale Florida for medical school where he also completed his Master of Public Health degree. In his spare time, he enjoys sea kayaking, SCUBA diving, hiking, cooking and playing guitar. Both Matt and Lindsay are extremely excited to return home to the Pacific NW to continue their medical careers.

Ben Rardin, M.D.
Ben is a native of Asheville, a city located in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He completed his undergraduate studies in Mathematics at UNC Chapel Hill and spent two years conducting research in Autism Spectrum Disorders prior to attending medical school at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. During medical school, Ben was heavily involved in his school’s peer mentorship program and student-run health clinics. He also spent time on quality improvement projects relating to neuromuscular ultrasound and critical care recovery. Ben’s personal interests include hiking, cooking, home brewing, and cheering for his beloved Tar Heels. Both he and his wife Alex (along with their two dogs) are so excited to be joining the Portland community and exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Yuliya Pepelyayeva, D.O., Ph.D.
Yuliya Pepelyayeva was born and raised on the coast of the Black Sea in Yalta, Ukraine. She first came to the U.S. as an exchange student when she was fifteen years old through the Future Leaders Exchange scholarship program. She served as an ambassador of her home country while living with an American host family, who became her second family. Yuliya returned to the U.S. to pursue pre-medical undergraduate studies in Biology at the University of Delaware, where she discovered a passion for research. She conducted biochemical research for two years, where she studied the function of selenoproteins in order to understand their role in cellular homeostasis and tumorigenesis. Yuliya then moved to Michigan to pursue her goal of becoming a physician-scientist by enrolling in the combined D.O. - Ph.D. program at Michigan State University. Her lab research examined the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis and investigated the role of immune modulators as novel therapies. During clerkships, Yuliya discovered a passion for neurology and decided to pursue her career as a physician-scientist in neurology with plans to conduct research in immune-modulated neurologic diseases. Outside of medicine, Yuliya enjoys hiking, bicycling, figure skating, and cooking. During a trip to the Pacific Northwest several years ago Yuliya and her partner Luul fell in love with the PNW, and they are thrilled to be back in Portland with their cat Bella.

Department of Neurology residents posed in pyramid style, enjoying their retreat at the Oregon coast
Residents enjoying the Oregon Coast on a retreat