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Meet the Fellows

Current Fellows

Caitlin Cutler, MD

Caitlin Cutler, MD (2020-2023)

  • Program: Gastroenterology
  • Undergraduate: Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, MD
  • Medical School: Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ
  • Residency: Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Read Bio

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Why did you choose Lurie?

I considered many things during fellowship interviews including size of program/hospital and location.  I was looking for a program with a medium to large sized department.  Coming into fellowship, I did not know where my specific interests in the field lie.  At Lurie the faculty have diverse interests, so you’ll experience most everything GI and Liver have to offer!  I was also drawn to Chicago, a fun city I could enjoy in my free time.  

What has been the most rewarding experience so far?

Leaving residency was bitter sweet, I was excited to move on to my next chapter but becoming a fellow was daunting.   Moving to a new city, new hospital, new role as a fellow was quite an adjustment but everyone in the department was so welcoming and made the transition easier!   

What do you do for fun or to relax?

I enjoy cooking, baking, and running.   Lake shore trail is a great spot for running/walking/biking or picnicking!

What do you love most about Chicago?

Can’t lie, I’m nervous about the Chicago winters!  But I love living in a big city with endless restaurants and activities.   There is still so much of the city I need to explore.    Side note, I am OBSESSED with my dog Heidi.  Unfortunately, she lives in NJ with my parents, but for you dog owners Chicago is super dog friendly!

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Shaunte McKay, MD

Shaunte McKay, MD (2020-2023)

  • Program: Gastroenterology
  • Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • Medical School: University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA
  • Residency: Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC
Read Bio

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What drew you to the field?

Gastroenterology, Nutrition, and Hepatology is such a diverse field that allows you to think critically of the interplay between many organs while still being a subspecialist. I personally feel as though it is the best field because of the numerous procedures you can do without losing long term continuity of care with your patients.

Why did you choose Lurie?

I chose Lurie because I was particularly interested in an institution that would provide a wide array of clinical complexity, strong support for research endeavors, and significant diversity within their patient population. I needed an institution that would allow me to continue my interests in community advocacy and health disparities work for the underserved as well. Lurie Children’s GI/Hepatology provided all of these robust opportunities in addition to having supportive faculty members and a warm family feel! I am very happy with my choice.

What do you do for fun or to relax?

I love traveling! I have been to over 20 countries and have been to 5 out of the 7 continents. I love learning about new cultures and particularly enjoy lounging on the beach (Chicago also has a beach! Which is an extra plus for me since I can lounge on it in the summer time). I also love cooking Jamaican food since the aromas make me feel closer to home and my roots

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Jonathan Lebowitz, MD

Jonathan Lebowitz, MD (2021-2024)

  • Program: Gastroenterology
  • Undergraduate: New York University, New York, NY
  • Medical School: New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY
  • Residency: New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY
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What drew you to this field

I was drawn to pediatric GI for a variety of reasons. I was always interested in the physiology and pathophysiology involving the GI tract. There is so much variety and so many important connections to other important organ systems. Additionally, the day to day is always varied and I enjoy the procedural aspect of the specialty. 

What are your clinical interests? How did you become interested in this area?

I’m still figuring out what my clinical interests are! But I started fellowship with an interest in Celiac. 

What are your research interests

I’m not sure yet what my research interests are! But I have always enjoyed going medical education work and I would love to incorporate Med Ed research into my research work in the future. 

Why did you choose Lurie?

The faculty seemed amazing. The fellows seemed smart and hard working and fun! Also Chicago is a great city. I came here because I thought it would be a great environment and a great education.

What do you do for fun or to relax?

Reading. I love reading, fiction mostly. But I also recently moved to Chicago and have been exploring the city in my free time. There are so many great neighborhoods and restaurants to explore.

What do you love most about Chicago?

The summer! Chicago in the summer is great. There are so many awesome outdoor activities just steps away from wherever you live.  

Ariel Porto, MD

Ariel Porto, MD (2021-2024)

  • Program: Gastroenterology
  • Undergraduate: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
  • Residency: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO
Christine Brichta, MD

Christine Brichta, MD (2022-2025)

  • Program: Gastroenterology
  • Undergraduate: University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
  • Residency: University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Read Bio

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What drew you to this field?
I have always been interested in nutrition and how it can be used to help manage diseases. As I learned more about GI, I knew this field was perfect for me. I love how GI intertwines my interest in nutrition, and also has a nice balance of acuity and interesting pathophysiology allowing me to take care of patients across many other subspecialties.

What are your clinical interests? How did you become interested in this area?
My clinical interests are in nutrition, obesity, and hepatology. Prior to medical school, I became a registered dietitian, so nutrition has always been a passion of mine. However, throughout training, I discovered my interest in caring for acutely ill patients, especially patients undergoing liver transplants. I enjoyed being a part of their healing process and seeing them well in clinic later on.

What are your research interests?
I’m still undecided exactly what research area I want to focus on during fellowship, but my interests are in nutrition and liver disease.

Why did you choose Lurie?
I chose Lurie because I was interested in training at a large children’s hospital with a variety of clinical complexity, patient diversity, and great research opportunities. I was also very impressed by the camaraderie of the fellows I met on my interview day. They all seemed very happy and genuine, and spoke highly of all the attendings, which were all important qualities to me.

What do you do for fun or to relax?
Outside of work, I like to travel, spend time with my husband and our dog, and try new restaurants. When I have a long weekend off, we enjoy going to northern Wisconsin or Michigan to spend time with our families on the lakes.

What do you love most about Chicago?
So far, I’ve come to enjoy the unique personalities of all the neighborhoods in Chicago! I’m also really excited to spend time walking/running on Lake Shore trail and trying new restaurants. Looking forward to finding my new go-to restaurant in our neighborhood!

Andrew Ebanks, MD

Andrew Ebanks, MD (2022-2025)

  • Program: Gastroenterology
  • Undergraduate: Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
  • Medical School: Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, New York City, NY
  • Residency: USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Fellowship: Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Fellowship, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Read Bio

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What drew you to this field?

I love the pathophysiology of gastroenterology and the diversity of organ systems to learn from in one field! I used to TA for nutrition classes, and I liked how nutrition is something that I could counsel my patients whether they are sick or healthy. And of course, Pediatric Gastroenterologists are some of the most fun, cool people to work with!
What are your clinical interests? How did you become interested in this area?
One of my first GI mentors was in medical school. She is a IBD specialist, and she was one of the first people to get me excited about GI as a specialty, specifically through IBD. Since then I’ve done IBD research, but I’m interested in seeing what Hepatology has to offer.

What are your research interests?
I’m curious about Hepatology, but I’m going into fellowship with an open mind. I’m also interested in medical education, and I’m interested in seeing how I can incorporate that into my research.

Why did you choose Lurie?
The fellows and faculty were some of the nicest and welcoming people I met on my interview trail. It also helps that Lurie is a well-known institution on both coasts and that I couldn’t help but see Lurie faculty pop in children’s hospitals all over.

What do you do for fun or to relax?
I love keeping up with movies and television. Whenever possible I’m always on the lookout for new restaurants as well. I enjoy climbing and working out, for fun, stress relief, and to offset too much eating out at restaurants.

What do you love most about Chicago?
The food scene was what first drew me to Chicago, so much so I flew to Chicago for my medical school graduation dinner.

Past Fellows

First Position After Graduation

Swati Antala, MD (2021-2022): Attending Physician at Mt Sinai Hospital, Icahn School of Medicine, New York

Natalie Hoffmann, MD (2019-2022): Attending Physician, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Samantha Saul, MD (2019-2022): Attending Physician, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Bridget Whitehead, MD (2018-2021):  Transplant Hepatology Fellowship, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago/McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University

Victoria Shakhin (2017-2020): Pediatric Transplant Hepatology Fellow, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Amanda Wenzel (2017-2020): Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Attending Physician, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Anna Banc Husu (2016-2019): Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Attending Physician, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX

Marc Elias (2016-2019): Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Attending Physician, University of Chicago

Hillary Bashaw (2015-2018): Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Attending Physician, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA

Scott Bolton (2015-2018): Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Attending Physician, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, OH

Catherine Chapin (2014-2017): Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Attending Physician, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Sonal Patel (2014-2017): Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Attending Physician, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA

Chantal Lucia-Casadonte (2013-2016): Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, Austin, TX

Michael Malandra (2013-2016): Health Systems Clinician, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Sunpreet Kaur, MD (2012-2015): Assistant Clinical Professor, UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Sacramento, CA

Jacob Kurowski, MD (2012-2015): Attending Physician, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

 

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