Current Infectious Diseases Fellows


First Year

Portrait of Rachel LaNasa Rachel LaNasa, MD grew up in Minnesota and completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Minnesota. She spent several years doing behavioral pharmacology research as an undergraduate and medical student, and attended the University of Minnesota for medical school. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Rachel is interested in HIV primary care, antibiotic stewardship and general clinical infectious disease. In her spare time, she enjoys running around the lakes with her dog Margot.

Portrait of Muthu Narayan Muthu Narayan, DO, MPH is originally from Naperville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She completed her undergraduate studies in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduation, Muthu moved back to Chicago to complete a Master's in Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During this time period, she worked on diabetes prevention in the south and west sides of Chicago. During her last six months of her Master's program, Muthu did an internship at the NIH in Bethesda, MD focusing on health disparities in cancer diagnosis and treatment. She then returned to the Chicago area for medical school at Midwestern University. She completed her residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL. She participated in antimicrobial stewardship programs at the hospital and has a great interest in them. Muthu is also interested in HIV and STI epidemiology. Though she is not sure of her exact career path, she is certainly interested in clinical ID. Prior to starting fellowship, Muthu did a year of hospitalist work at North Memorial Hospital which exposed her to a diverse patient population.

Portrait of Matthew Pullen Matthew Pullen, MD is originally from Fairbanks, Alaska but spent most of the last 20 years around Nashville, Tennessee. His undergraduate degree in molecular biology was earned at the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga. He completed medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2009 and went on to complete his internal medicine residency there in 2016. During residency, he had the opportunity to work abroad in Maseno, Kenya, solidifying his interest in international medicine. He has worked in molecular genetics research at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia and Vanderbilt University, as well as working on the group A streptococcus vaccine project at the University of Tennessee HSC. Matthew began fellowship at the University of Minnesota in July 2016, with plans to again pursue international work and explore research interests in epidemiology and virology.

Portrait of Beth Thielen Beth Thielen, MD, PhD, a native of Minnesota, completed her undergraduate studies in microbiology at the University of Minnesota before moving westward to join the combined MD/PhD program at the University of Washington. Beth completed her dissertation studies with Dr. Jaisri Lingappa in the Department of Global Health, studying the function of APOBEC3 proteins in human cell types at risk for HIV infection. She returned to Minnesota to complete her combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency with a special focus on global health, participating in clinical care and research in Uganda and Tanzania and caring for immigrant and refugee patients at the Center for International Health. She is pursuing a combined adult and pediatric infectious disease fellowship with ongoing research interests in viral pathogenesis and immunology. In her time outside the hospital, Beth enjoys traveling with her husband John, ballroom dancing, gardening and knitting.

Second Year

Portrait of Jon Alpern

Jon Alpern, MD completed medical school training at Virginia Commonwealth University SOM in 2011. He moved to Minnesota where he completed residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota, followed by a Chief Resident year at Regions Hospital. His interests have primarily been in immigrant and refugee populations, as his continuity clinic during residency was at the Center for International Health, where he cared for new immigrant and refugee patients. He has had the opportunity to work with Dr. Bill Stauffer on various projects including studying bushmeat use and practices in Minnesota, strongyloides screening, and drug pricing.

Portrait of Shannon Andrews

Shannon Andrews, MD grew up in a small town near Rochester NY. She attended Oberlin College where she majored in Biology as well as Greek Language and Literature. During college, she performed molecular biology research with Dr. Taylor Allen on toadfish troponin. She attended medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where she participated in the Latino health pathway and performed qualitative research in Soweto, South Africa exploring community beliefs about HIV vaccine trials. She completed her internal medicine and pediatrics residency at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield MA. She will pursue combined infectious disease fellowship in medicine and pediatrics to further her continued interests in global health, social determinants of health, and opportunistic infections.

Sarah Lofgren

Sarah Lofgren, MD grew up in northwest Minnesota in Thief River Falls. She majored in Chemistry/Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota, Morris where she graduated with honors in 2006. During her undergraduate work she gained basic science research experience both at Morris and during two summer semesters at the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses. During her medical school training at Duke in Durham, NC she spent a year in Global Health in Moshi, Tanzania. Her research included a study analyzing the use of dried blood spots in early infant diagnosis and viral load monitoring and a study looking at patients with Histoplasmosis in Northern Tanzania. Her Internal Medicine Residency training at Emory in Atlanta, GA included a month in Ethiopia and a month exploring Social Medicine in Atlanta where she continued to pursue two strong interests--global health and health inequalities, both in the US and abroad. In residency she also completed two studies, one, an evaluation of cervical dysplasia in women with HIV and another investigating the integration of palliative care medicine as adjunctive supportive treatment in HIV treatment. After completing residency in 2013 she returned to Minnesota and worked as a hospitalist at Fairview Southdale for two years. She is excited to begin fellowship training and be involved in global health research and care. Her interests include HIV care and health disparities. When she is not at work, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, projects on her 1905 home, gardening and her cats.

Portrait of Arick Paul Sabin

Arick Paul Sabin, DO is originally from the great state of Iowa, where his family has lived for many generations. He completed his BA at Augustana College, where he met his wife Amy. After college, Arick completed his MPH, concentrating in Epidemiology. During graduate school, Arick became fascinated by the history, sociobiology, and pathophysiology of infection. Following a lifelong dream of being a doctor, they moved to Chicago for Arick to complete medical school at Midwestern University, and then residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he had the great fortune to work with amazing mentors in Microbiology and Infectious Disease. Arick began an ID Fellowship at UMN in 2015, wherein he will obtain additional Board certification in Medical Microbiology. Particular areas of professional interest include health literacy, microbiological ecology, mycology, and next-generation diagnostic technologies. When Arick isn't in the lab or on the wards, he can be found with his wife traveling, looking for rocks, or tending his garden.

Third Year

IDIM Current Fellow Abassi

Mahsa Abassi, DO completed her osteopathic medical school training in California. She moved to Minneapolis in 2010 for her Internal Medicine training, not because of the winters, but because of her strong interest in Global Health. During residency she actively participated in the Global Health pathway, an experience that helped to solidify her interest in Infectious Diseases. Upon graduating, Mahsa took a yearlong position as the Global Health Chief Resident. She joined the University of Minnesota Infectious Disease Fellowship in 2014, leaving immediately thereafter to Uganda where she has been working under the mentorship of Dr. David Boulware. Her interests lie mainly in HIV care, opportunistic infections, and community health.

Ketzela Jacobowitz Marsh

Ketzela Jacobowitz Marsh, MD, MS attended Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA and completed residency in combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at the University of Miami. She is the first fellow here at the University of Minnesota to train in a combined Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship. Ketzela developed an interest in global health and infectious diseases in medical school where she participated in a medical mission to Honduras, research on Chagas disease in Ecuador, and a project on pediatric malnutrition in Eritrea. During residency, she spent some time in Peru learning about multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, and she researched maternal and infant HIV microbial translocation, both in Miami and in the Dominican Republic. Her advocacy project was to help improve adherence to medications in adolescents living with HIV in Miami. In fellowship, Ketzela plans to research adolescent HIV both in Minnesota and in Uganda.

Nicholas Yared

Nicholas Yared, MD completed his Bachelor’s degree in both cell and molecular biology and sociology at Vanderbilt University. He then attended the University of Louisville School of Medicine where he initially developed his current interest in infectious diseases following a preceptorship in a local HIV clinic. He pursued a residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI where he spent time involved in research investigating the role of chemokines in HIV protein expression. He started his infectious disease fellowship at the University of Minnesota in 2014. His research interests are broad but lie primarily in the domain of public health. Specific interests include improving linkage to and retention in care for HIV patients and ways to implement interventions to curb transmission of HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections.

Fourth Year

Muhanad Mohamed

Muhanad Mohamed, MBBS is originally from Sudan. He went to medical school at University of Khartoum in Khartoum, Sudan. During medical school he became the National Public Health Officer managing medical students’ public health projects in Sudan, in collaboration with International Federation of Medical Student Association (IFMSA). He moved to United States for advanced medical training. He did his Internal Medicine residency at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in New York city, NY. His interest in Infectious Diseases was piqued in the homeland of Africa, while seeing patients stricken with a myriad of illnesses caused by viral, bacterial and parasitic pathogens. He encountered a multitude of cases of AIDS, malaria, ascariasis, infectious diarrhea and tuberculosis (TB) that has claimed so many lives in the continent of Africa.

He started his fellowship training in July 2013. Currently his interests include global health, infections in immunocompromised and antimicrobials resistance.