COM-T New Faculty Spotlight

 
 

Ilknur Telkes, PHD
Assistant Professor, Tenure Eligible
Neurosurgery

 

 

 

 

 

Research Interests:

  • Pain
  • Neuromodulation (e.g., SCS, DBS)
  • Neural engineering
  • Biomarkers

Education Interests:

  • Student mentorship and advising
  • Curriculum development

Hobbies:

  • Hiking/camping
  • Bird watching
  • Swimming
  • Star-gazing
  • Paintings/portraits
  • Origami

A fun fact about you:

  • I collect postcards from every museum I visit and have over 150 in my collection.

 

 

 

 

Jerome Yatskowitz, MD
Associate Clinical Professor
Medicine

 

Clinical Interests:

  • Heart Health
  • Primary Prevention
  • Echo

Research Interests:

  • Clinical

Education Interests:

  • Teaching fellows, residents, students

Hobbies:

  • Cycling and Hiking
  • Exploring Arizona
  • Travel

A fun fact about you:

  • I was fortunate during my time in the Air Force to be assigned to Davis Monthan AFB and have my first introduction to the Southwest and Tucson. I fell in love with Tucson and have now realized one of my lifelong desires to return to work and live here.

 

 

 

 

 

Sarmed Al-Samerria, PHD
Assistant Research Professor
Pediatrics

Research Interests:

  • Dr. Al-Samerria's research endeavors are centered around advancing our understanding of neuroendocrine regulation and its implications for human health. His work involves utilizing bioinformatics to uncover genetic mutations associated with GHD, as well as exploring promising avenues in biomarker discovery using transgenic mouse models.

Education Interests:

  • As an educator, Dr. Al-Samerria is dedicated to fostering the next generation of scientists. He is committed to providing engaging and interactive learning experiences for his students, integrating cutting-edge research findings into his teaching curriculum to inspire curiosity and critical thinking.

Hobbies:

  • Outside of the lab, Dr. Al-Samerria enjoys immersing himself in outdoor activities such as hiking and exploring the scenic landscapes of Arizona. He also has a keen interest in photography, capturing the beauty of nature and wildlife through his lens.

A fun fact about you:

  • Dr. Al-Samerria leads a rich life outside of his role as an assistant professor at the university. Having relocated from Australia to the USA, he embraces the cultural diversity and new experiences this transition brings. Beyond his academic pursuits, he enjoys experimenting with culinary creations in the kitchen and is currently working on a book that delves into personal growth and life lessons. Music holds a special place in his heart, providing him with both relaxation and inspiration. He also seeks adventure in activities like skydiving and bungee jumping, relishing the thrill of pushing his boundaries. Dr. Al-Samerria's curiosity extends to exploring new destinations and immersing himself in different cultures, enriching his perspective both personally and professionally.

Prabhu S Arunachalam, PHD
Assistant Professor, Tenure Eligible
Immunobiology

 

 

Clinical Interests:

  • Infectious diseases

Research Interests:

  • Immunology

Education Interests:

  • Mentoring graduate students

Hobbies:

  • Tennis and badminton

A fun fact about you:

  • My full last name is 30 letters long.

Tarjani Thaker, PHD
Assistant Professor, Tenure Eligible
Chemistry & Biochemistry -Medicine

 

 

 

Clinical Interests:

  • Precision medicine
  • Gene mutations in cancer and kidney disease

Research Interests:

  • Structural biology/biophysics of membrane
    protein receptors and kinases (cryo-EM/x-ray crystallography/biochemistry)

Education Interests:

  • Computation biochemistry
  • Science literacy
  • Problem based learning

A fun fact about you:

  • In my nearly 20 years at the bench and in science,
    all of my mentors (undergrad, PhD, and PostDoc advisors)
    have been trail-blazing women.

 

 

 

Jennifer S De La Rosa, PHD
Assistant Professor, Research Scholar Track
Family and Community Medicine

 

Clinical Interests:

  • Therapeutic Alliance
  • Coordination of Care
  • Person Centered Outcomes

Research Interests:

  • Director of Strategy at the Comprehensive Pain and Addiction CSociologist
  • Data scientist specializing in treatment quality and utilization, workforce
    development, stigma, and health equity in the interrelated areas of chronic pain,
    substance use, and mental illness.
  • Director of Evaluation for ProjectFUTRE and PeerWORKS which are HRSA-funded
    collaborations between the Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center and the
    Department of Family and Community Medicine’s Workforce Development Program.
    These two programs train, certify, and place opioid-impacted individuals and family members in community provider roles, providing support to people with similar lived experiences.
    She also directs evaluation of AzCANN, an Arizona Department
    of Health Services contract providing interprofessional and
    general public education events on safer adult use of cannabis.

Education Interests:

  • Co-Director of Pain and Society FCM 430
  • Part of the Bachelors of Science in Medicine

Hobbies:

  • I like to read and be outdoors, sometimes at the same time!

A fun fact about you:

  • I love the experience of being new at activities. Go ahead and invite me to tap dance, quilting, or falconry lessons, I am usually open to try it.

 

Ralph Drosten, MD
Professor, Clinical Scholar Track
Medical Imaging

 

Clinical Interests:

  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Business
  • Wellness
  • Lung Cancer Screening

Research Interests:

  • Wellness
  • Appropriateness and Resources Utilization

Education Interests:

  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Business
  • Wellness
  • Lung Cancer Screening

Hobbies:

  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Squash

A fun fact about you:

  • Hold Radiology license in South Africa, England, Ireland and
    seven US States, and am a member of the ACR (American College
    of Radiology) Commission on International Relations.
  • Speak English, Afrikaans, German (so can stumble along with Flemish 
    and Dutch) and a little Zulu!
  • Was recent prior Chair of Radiology at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital
    and Medical Center in Phoenix and Vice Chief of Staff, and recent prior Chair
    of Radiology at Honor Health Osborn Hospital in Phoenix.

Jad M Abdelsattar, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Surgery

 

Clinical Interests:

  • Breast Surgical Oncology

Research Interests:

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Clinical outcomes research

Education Interests:

  • Surgical education and simulation

Hobbies:

  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Taking my dog Rocky on hikes

A fun fact about you:

  • I was born in Amman, Jordan and immigrated to USA when I was 23 years old!

 Daniel Laubitz, PHD
Assistant Research Professor
Pediatrics

 

 

 

Clinical Interests:

  • Next Generation Sequencing as clinical test for rare genetic diseases

Research Interests:

  • The role of gut microbiome in health and disease

Hobbies:

  • Horse back riding
  • Traveling
  • Hiking
  • Gardening
  • Cooking

A fun fact about you:

  • It's never too late for crazy things! I started horseback riding at the age of 30,
    and I can proudly say I've only had one accident, which resulted in two broken ribs. But I'm still in the saddle, ready for more adventures! Also I love dogs especially Golden Retrievers. All my dogs are rescue dogs.

 

 

 

Ibrahim Al-Saidi, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor
Anesthesiology
 

 

Clinical Interests:

  • Regional anesthesia and acute pain
  • Cancer pain and interventional pain management
  • Administration and leadership

Research Interests:

  • Regional anesthesia and acute pain
  • Cancer pain and interventional pain management

Education Interests:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Regional anesthesia and interventional pain

Hobbies:

  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Hopefully Jiu Jitsu soon?

A fun fact about you:

  • Moved from NYC.
  • Did dual fellowship training in interventional pain management and regional anesthesiology and acute pain management at Columbia University.
  • Did my anesthesiology training at Case Western University (MetroHealth) in Cleveland - Ohio.
  • Did my preliminary surgery training at UIC - Chicago, Illinois.
  • I am originally from Jordan. I moved to Tucson to enjoy the weather and the outdoor activities.

 


 Scott Chicotka, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor
Surgery

 

Clinical Interests:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart and lung transplant
  • ECMO and mechanical circulatory support
  • TAVR
  • Cardiac surgery

Research Interests:

  • Mechanical circulatory support/ECMO

Education Interests:

  • Clinical and didactic education of fellows, residents, and medical students

Hobbies:

  • Running
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Snowboarding
  • Surfing

 

Firas Kaddouh, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor
Neurology
 

Professional Interests:

  • Neurological Emergencies
  • Anoxic Brain Injury
  • Multimodality Monitoring in Acute Brain Injury
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Sports Neurology
  • Medical Education
  • Cross-Specialty Education

Hobbies:

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Reading
  • Fine Dining
  • Cooking mostly French and Mediterranean cuisines

A fun fact about you:

  • I used to cook regularly for up to 20 people in college and medical school.
  • I know some Syriac (Ancient Language).