Current Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Residency Program Fellows

Tara Johnson

Birth place: Baltimore, MD
College: The Johns Hopkins University and The Peabody Conservatory of Music
Medical school: The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Residency: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
Reason for pursuing NDD: After doing research in Orthopaedic Biomechanics, I have seen the impact of orthopaedic intervention on patients with diseases or injuries to the musculoskeletal system. My fascination with the musculoskeletal and nervous systems continues, but as I progressed through medical school and pediatric residency training, I have seen great potential for alternative nonsurgical treatments for many patients. I perceive the specialty of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities to be an exciting and fertile field in which clinical talents and research potential are intimately and inseparably required to enable physically, emotionally, and intellectually challenged children to maximize their life-long potential to succeed.
Specific Clinical or Research Interests: As I worked with more physically challenged patients during clinical electives in medical school and pediatric residency, I realized that their quality of life could be improved more effectively if intervention began at an early age. Having witnessed the adaptive potential of the immature human brain, I am hopeful that I can use my engineering background to perform translational research, design, build, and test devices and strategies to enhance rehabilitation efforts and optimize their function. I also hope to work with industry partners to make such technology available to patients worldwide.

Meghan O'Neill, M.D.

Birth place: Des Moines, IA
College: University of Notre Dame
Medical school: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Residency: Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago (McGaw/Northwestern University)
Reason for pursuing NDD and Specific Interests: I have been interested in working with kids with disabilities since high school, when I first volunteered as a Special Olympics coach. During my college years, I had several experiences which strengthened my desire to work with this population, including living and working at a Chicago-based home for persons with disabilities for a summer and volunteering as an ABA therapist in the community for one semester, through a college psychology course. I was studying pre-medicine at the time and knew I wanted to go to medical school, but at the same time wanted to incorporate my desire work with persons with disabilities. I ultimately chose to go to medical school across the street at Johns Hopkins largely because of its affiliation with Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI), which I knew was a world-renowned medical facility for persons with disabilities. I enjoyed several rotations at KKI during medical school and ultimately decided to apply to the Neurodevelopmental program here following completion of my pediatrics residency. I know that as an NDD fellow at KKI, I will develop strong clinical and research skills, ultimately preparing me for a future career in academic medicine.

Eliza Gordon-Lipkin

Birth place: Baltimore, MD
College: Tufts University
Medical school: University of Maryland
Residency: Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics
Reason for pursuing NDD: I have had a strong interest in psychology and neuroscience since I first started playing with brainteasers as a child. In medicine, this interest has evolved to caring for children with neurological disability. NDD was the perfect fit to meld neurology, pediatrics, psychiatry and genetics, all through the lens of a child’s changing brain. Within NDD, I have a focus in understanding how neuroimmunological and neuroinflammatory disease impact the developing brain.

Fatima Ismail

Birth place:  Dubai, United Arab Emirates
College/Medical School:  College of Medicine and Gelato Sciences, UAE University
Residency:  Johns Hopkins Hopsital, The Harriet Lane Pediatrics Program
Reason for pursuing NDD: NDD training allows for unprecedented exposure to the best of the two worlds: pediatric neurology and developmental medicine.  For the new generation of pediatric neurologists, a well-founded knowledge in the basics of child development which is basically a reflection of brain maturation and function is important for offering comprehensive and integrated management for their patients. For someone who seeks a career in clinical research and academia, the program offers a year designated for research that is embedded in the curriculum and offers individualized mentorship for trainees. Finally, one of my career goals is to establish comprehensive neurology and neurodevelopmental services in the UAE and Kennedy Krieger faculty and staff are leaders in the field. 

Ryan E. Gill

Birth place:  Long Island, NY
College:  Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of the City University of New York
Medical school: Albany Medical College
Residency:  New York Medical College – Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics
Reason for pursuing NDD: Discovering the existence of NDD programs was a perfect fit for my interest in caring and advocating for children with developmental disabilities. There seemed no better way to care completely and understand fully the child with special needs than to train in a program that encompasses and values both neurology and development, not seeing the two as separate entities but crucial aspects of one another. 

Cathleen Marshall

Birth place: Baltimore, MD
College: Loyola College
Medical school: University of Maryland School of Medicine
Residency: University of Maryland Medical Center
Reason for pursuing NDD: I first became interested in NDD at the age of 17, when I began working as a support specialist for a little girl, Maggie who had spastic athetoid cerebral palsy.  Maggie soon became one of my closest friends and has taught me more about medicine than any other single experience, including medical school.
I am pursuing a career in academic medicine specializing in the treatment of pediatric neurodevelopmental disorder with a focus on neurodevelopment, neuroplasticity and neuroprotection. I hope to integrate my experiences working directly with children who have neurodevelopmental disabilities with my background in translational and clinical research to generate research questions specifically addressing changes at the cellular level observed after brain injury and hopes to find ways to mediate this reaction.

Amena Weston Smith

Birth place: Augusta, GA
College: Lee University, Cleveland, TN
Medical school: Medical University of South Carolina, Medical Scientist Training Program, Charleston, SC
Residency: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Categorical Pediatrics, Baltimore, MD
Reason for pursuing NDD: I pursued NDD because this field combines all of my academic interests including developmental pediatrics, neurology and behavioral psychology. I also love that I’ll have the flexibility during training to continue translational research in neuroscience and neurodevelopment.  I have always enjoyed working with children and families and collaborating with providers on a multi-disciplinary team to create holistic care plans for my patients. I chose NDD over pediatric neurology because overall I hope to serve in a primary care and advocacy role for children with disabilities rather than serve as an expert focusing only on the neurologic aspect of care. 

Eric Chin

Birth place: Los Angeles, CA
College: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Medical school: University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis, TN
Residency: Our Lady of the Lake Pediatrics Residence Program (PGY-1), Baton Rouge, LA; Hershey Medical Center Pediatrics Residency Program (PGY-1-2), Hershey, PA
Reason for pursuing NDD: My background in computational and neural systems has led me toward a basic science/systems perspective on the nervous system. As such, my research in neuroimaging has focused on rigorously quantifying core aspects of neurodevelopment (e.g. myelination). An academic career in NDD offers the opportunity to investigate these fundamental processes while directly applying new insights toward comprehensive care of a complex and often underserved population.

Previous Fellows


Jennifer Accardo, M.D.

  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Child Development, Virginia Commonwealth University


Joshua Ewen, M.D.

  • Neurologist and Director of Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory, Kennedy Krieger Institute 
  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 


Hilary E. Gwynn, M.D.

  • Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician and Faculty Member in the Department of Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Instructor in the Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


Deepa Menon, M.B.B.S.

  • Assistant Medical Director, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


Lisa Emrick, M.D.

  • Faculty Member, Department of Pediatric Neurology, Texas Children’s Hospital – Houston 


Sarah Risen, M.D.

  • Faculty Member, Department of Pediatric Neurology and the Meyer Center for Developmental Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Hospital – Houston 


Ryan Lee, M.D.

  • Pediatric Neurologist, Director of the Neurodevelopmental Clinic, Director of Medical Research, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu 


Mihee J. Bay, M.D.

  • Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician and Faculty Member in the Department of Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


Joan Jasien, M.D.

  • Developmental Pediatrician in the Department of Neurology, Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center 
  • Medical Instructor in the Department of Pediatrics, Duke University School of Medicine


Eboni Lance, M.D.

  • Neurologist and Co-Medical Director of the Sickle Cell Neurodevelopmental Clinic, Kennedy Krieger Institute 
  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 


Vera J. Burton, M.D.

  • Neurologist in the Department of Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


Mary Lee Gregory, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatric Neurology, Medical College of Georgia


Elaine Carrasco-Cornelio, M.D.

  • Physician at Centennial Medical Group, Roseburg, OR


Jacqueline Harris, M.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Division of Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Kennedy Krieger Institute


Siddharth Srivastava, M.D.

  • Genetics Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston Children's


Neurdevelopmental Disabilities Residency Program Application