Fellowship Training Program


July 2022 – June 2023

First Year Fellows

Suguni Loku Galappaththy, MD


2008 University of Colombo Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka, MD
2018 University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO, Residency


Suguni was born in Minsk, Belarus to Sri Lankan physician parents and was raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka. While in medical school in Colombo, she developed an interest in public health which led her to contribute to a case study on eliminating Malaria in her home country of Sri Lanka.

After completing her intern year in Sri Lanka, she moved to the US to start her residency at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. During residency, she developed an interest in the field of Rheumatology especially pertaining to patients with obesity. Suguni used this interest, along with her previous drive towards public health, to put together several research and QI projects. These projects encompassed vaccinations in rheumatologic patients as well as the impact of bariatric surgery on rheumatological conditions.

Suguni is greatly looking forward to train at UPMC and working with leading professionals in the field of rheumatology. Her interests include rheumatologic care of the obese, public health initiatives, quality improvement and empowering the roles of women in medicine. Outside of work, she enjoys watching soccer, listening to music, and travelling with her husband.

Shashank Suresh, MD


2012 Wake Forest University School of Medicine, MD
2017 Indiana University School of Medicine, Residency


Shashank spent many of his formative years in North Carolina. He completed his undergraduate studies at Davidson College before moving on to Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His interest in Rheumatology began late in residency when he happened to switch into a rotation in the specialty, and he instantly felt at home.

Since graduating from residency, Shashank has been working in private practice as a primary care internist, while working on research in scleroderma and myositis under the strong mentorship of UPMC Rheumatology faculty.

Outside of medicine, Shashank enjoys cooking, eating, and listening to the classical music of India. He encourages everyone to friend him on Peloton: his profile is ANA1240.

Mehreen Elahee, MD


2013- Fatima Memorial Hospital College of Medicine and Dentistry- MD
2019- Yale New Haven Health- Bridgeport Hospital – Residency


Mehreen grew up in Brooklyn, New York before moving to Pakistan, where she attended medical school at FMH College of Medicine and Dentistry. She returned to the US to complete her Internal Medicine residency at Yale New Haven Health-Bridgeport Hospital. Mehreen is motivated to help those with rheumatological diseases through understanding the immunological mechanisms that cause them.

To pursue this goal after residency, she completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital under the mentorship of Dr. Deepak Rao. Her research focused on identifying biomarkers of treatment response by using high-dimensional mass cytometry to define the changes in circulating immune cells in patients with systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. During her time as a post-doctoral fellow, she obtained a clinical research certificate through the Harvard Medical School Catalyst Program. As Mehreen pursued her academic activities, she continued to work as a hospitalist to gain more clinical experience.

She is excited to train at UPMC. Outside of work, Mehreen enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.

Magdalena Harasimowicz, MD


2018 – Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, MD
2021 – Loyola University Chicago Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency


Magdalena was born in Wroclaw, Poland and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. She completed her Bachelors in Biology and Masters in Medical Science at Loyola University Chicago. She continued on to her medical training at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine where she stayed for her Internal Medicine Residency, and became the Chief Resident of Research.

Although she will miss the Windy City she is excited to continue her search for the best pierogi in Steel City. When she’s not working she enjoys cooking, testing her cocktail recipes on friends and family, and traveling.

Second Year Fellows

Rachael Gordon, MD, PhD

Education and Bio

Rachael was raised in Bayside, Queens in New York City. After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Rachael worked in Dr. Lionel Ivashkiv’s lab at the Hospital for Special Surgery studying macrophage signaling in rheumatoid arthritis. There, she developed a passion for both immunology and rheumatology, prompting her to pursue an MD-PhD at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Shlomchik, where she studied the role of NADPH oxidase and neutrophil extracellular traps in SLE pathogenesis. Enticed by the camaraderie and collaborative environment at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, she stayed here for the ABIM Research Pathway Internal Medicine Residency Program where she also completed the Women’s Health Track.

During Rachael’s MD-PhD training, it became evident that women represented half of her medical school classmates, yet females were not comparably represented in the upper ranks of academic medical and physician-scientist role models around her. Identifying this as a national trend, she was driven to lead multiple trainee organizations advocating for female physician-scientists and to pursue research endeavors in this area.

Rachael’s work has been published in several high impact journals including JCI, JCI Insight, Immunity, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Outside of medicine, Rachael enjoys bread baking, mixology, local restaurants/breweries, and hiking

Peta-Gay Ricketts, DO

Education and Bio

I was born and raised in Jamaica, West Indies. I emigrated to Queens, New York in 1998. I completed undergraduate and graduate studies at Seton Hall University, where I majored in Biology. My interest in Rheumatology began while working as a research assistant at The Feinstein Institute in New York. In medical school I received a preceptorship award from the ACR’s Rheumatology Research Foundation to participate in research on autoimmunity by TNF signaling deficiency. The Rheumatology rotations during residency confirmed this was the right fit for me. I am delighted to train at UPMC. I hope to pursue a career in clinical research. Outside of work, I enjoy embroidery and spending time with family and friends.

Louis Saade, MD

2012 University of Kalamoon School of Medicine – MD
2016 MedStar Health Internal Medicine Residency
2017 Chief Resident – MedStar Health Internal Medicine
2018-2020 Assistant Professor – Georgetown University and MedStar Health

Louis was born in England, raised in Syria and lived shortly in France and now calls the US home. He completed his medical school in Syria and then moved to Maryland to complete his internal medicine residency training. Louis is a firm believer in giving back to the community by getting involved with research, education and leadership.

While serving as a chief medical resident, he was appointed to be the Co-Chair of Chief Resident Association of Baltimore in 2017, and was awarded the outstanding service award by Maryland ACP. He continued his work for the Maryland ACP by representing and lobbying for its agenda by meeting with the local congress representatives.

After completing his chief resident year, he was granted a faculty appointment as an assistant professor at Georgetown University and a faculty physician at the MedStar Health Internal Medicine residency program, during which time, he completed two years of training in leadership Education and Development (LEAD) and obtained medical education research certificate (MERC).

Finally and before joining the fellowship program, he served as an associate program director for six months for the IM residency program of MedStar Health – Baltimore. Outside of work, Louis loves to travel, he’s been called a globetrotter by his peers and has been to 10 countries in 2019 alone.

Contact Us

Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Offices

S700 Biomedical Science Tower
3500 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-383-8000  |  Email Us

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