First Year Fellows

Veena Katikineni, MD

Education and Bio

2012- University of Maryland, College Park- BS Biology
2017- University of Maryland School of Medicine- MD
2020- INOVA Fairfax Hospital Internal Medicine Residency

Veena was born and raised in the DC Metropolitan area and has stayed local for her education until now. In college, she took part in multidisciplinary research on global health systems (vaccine supply chain, cardiovascular/mental health surveillance), and developed an interest in health care delivery for vulnerable populations. While in Baltimore, she discovered the power of yoga for healing, culminating in a yoga instructor certification by the end of medical school.

In residency, she was intrigued by the varying presentations of autoimmune disease, and quickly developed an interest in the field of Rheumatology. She was fortunate to participate in research on atypical presentations of ANCA Vasculitis with her mentors at Johns Hopkins.

Veena is thrilled to train at UPMC and to embrace all things Pittsburgh. Her professional interests include delivery of rheumatology care to vulnerable populations, patient advocacy, and integration of mindfulness into clinical practice. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, writing, live music, and spending time outdoors with her family.

Orysia Kozicky, MD

Education and Bio

2010 – Boston University, Boston, MA – BS
2016 – New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY – MD
2020 – Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York, NY – Residency

Orysia grew up right outside New York City in Westchester County. She spent her undergraduate years at Boston University, where she graduated with a double major in Biology and Art History (given her love for learning about global cultures and travel). Her medical foothold began as an Emergency Medical Technician operating in Westchester and the Bronx where she entrenched herself in the challenges and hazards of serving as a first responder. Orysia then attended New York Medical College where she excelled and gained recognition as a junior AOA member in 2015. Her medical career proceeded to an internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel during which her leadership and clinical prowess led to her nomination as a chief medicine resident for additional year. Orysia served as chief resident during the height of the COVID crisis in New York City and rose to the challenges of restructuring an entire residency program to meet the demands of an ailing population as well as integrating medical providers across various disciplines to collaborate in COVID care delivery.

Her academic interests include quality improvement and medical education.

Outside of work, Orysia enjoys participating in Ukrainian cultural events, traveling, and running.

Jennifer Peugh, MD

Education and Bio

2012 Case Western Reserve University – BA in Chemistry and Music
2016 Indiana University School of Medicine – MD
2019 University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics – Internal Medicine Residency
2020 William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital – Primary Care Chief

Born and raised in Indiana, Jennifer has always had interest in everything science and medicine based. After working as an EMT throughout her undergraduate career at Case Western Reserve University, going to medical school was the most logical next step. It was in medical school that she found a home with her people in the realm of rheumatology. She structured her internal medicine residency around the world of rheumatology completing a subspecialty continuity clinic in the field for 2 years as well as doing presentations and research about various metabolic bone diseases and treatment. Her role as the Primary Care Chief at her VA supplemented her passion for teaching. She hopes to pursue a career as a clinician educator with interests in medical education, helping to make the field of rheumatology more approachable for both students and practicing non-rheumatologists, and career development particularly for women in medicine.

Outside of work, she enjoys exploring her new city through running and biking, spending time with her family and young child, and enjoying chocolate in all its forms.

Second Year Fellows

Silvia Martinez Laverde, MD

Education and Bio
2007 – Universidad de los Andes, Bogota Colombia – MD
2013 – University of Pittsburgh, department of surgery – Research Scholar
2015 – University of Pittsburgh, Mercy Hospital – Residency
2018 – UPMC St Margaret’s Attending Hospitalist

I am originally from Colombia, and did medical school there. I came to the US in 2013 to continue my medical career. Initially did research in the surgery department in basic science, studying mitochondria damage in a trauma model in mice. In 2015 started my internal medicine residency. During this time I also started my research in rheumatology focused on myositis associated interstitial lung disease. Now I will be joining UPMC Rheumatology fellowship program.
My interests are myositis, scleroderma and lung involvement in these diseases. As well as medical education.
In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors for hiking, biking or having picnics with my family, I also like to play the piano and watching soccer.

Cristina Padilla, MD

Education and Bio

2008- Baylor University, Waco, TX- BS
2010- Boston University, Boston, MA- MS
2016- University of Texas Southwestern Medical School- MD
2019- University of Rochester-Strong Memorial Hospital- Residency

I am a native Texan from the Houston area. I moved to Boston after college for graduate school in Forensic Science. However, during my time there, I became very interested in Rheumatology while working as a scleroderma and SLE research coordinator. As a result of my experience with the BU Rheumatology Division, I decided to become a Rheumatologist. I also plan to pursue a research career with prior experience in translational and clinical research.
My hobbies include running, yoga, cooking, travel, spending time with family and friends, and attending music events and shows.

Steven Taylor, MD

Education and Bio

2012 University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona – BS
2016 University of Arizona, College of Medicine Tucson – MD
2019 University of Colorado Denver – Residency

I completed my medical education under the “dry-heat” of the Arizona desert before moving to the sunny, but temperate, climate of Denver, Colorado for residency training. After determining Rheumatology was the perfect fit for me, I was fortunate to be selected to complete this training at UPMC. My academic interests include studying care for populations, medical diagnostics, rheumatoid arthritis, and the spondyloarthropathies. Outside of work I enjoy cooking gadgets, brewing coffee and the great outdoors with my wife and doggo.

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3500 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
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