First 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

Education and Bio

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.

Second 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.

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