Residency Alumni

2023 Graduate


Mauricio Avila, MD, MHPE

Current Practice:  Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri
Fellowship:  Complex Spine, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington
Medical School:  Pontificia Universidad Javeeriana, Bogota, Columbia
Neurosurgery Interests:  Complex spine surgery, degenerative disc disease, neck and back pain, sciatica, scoliosis surgery, spinal cord tumors, spinal deformities, spinal disorders, spinal infections, spinal instrumentation, spinal procedures, spinal stenosis, spinal trauma, spine and back surgery, spondylolisthesis reduction surgery, vertebroplasty
Research Interests: Patient outcomes in spine surgery, anatomical studies, medical education
2022 Graduate


Leonardo Brasiliense, MD

Current Practice:  Saint Alphonsus Neurosurgery Mulvaney, Boise, Idaho
Fellowship:  Endovascular Neurosurgery, Swedish Neurosciences Institute, Seattle, Washington; Cerebrovascular and Skullbase Neurosurgery, Baptist Neurological Institute, Jacksonville, Florida
Medical School:  Marilia Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Neurosurgery Interests:  Cerebrovascular/Endovascular, Complex Skull Base Surgery, and Neuro-oncology including arterial dissection, arteriovenous malformation (AVM), carotid stenosis, chiari malformation, glioma, hemorrhagic stroke, ischemic stroke, Moyamoya Disease, spontaneous CSF leak, vascular abnormalities of the head and neck, aneurysm, arteriovenous fistula, brain tumor, cavernous malformation, glioblastoma, hemifacial spasm, intracranial stenosis, meningioma, spinal avm or fistula, trigeminal neuralgia, venous sinus disease
2021 Graduate


Wyatt L. Ramey, MD

Current Practice:  Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Department of Neurological Surgery, Houston, Texas
Fellowship:  Complex Spine, University of Arizona Department of Neurosurgery, Tucson, Arizona
Medical School:  Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska
Neurosurgery Interests:  Complex spine surgery, spine deformity surgery, spine revision surgery, scoliosis, spine trauma, spine oncology, neurotrauma
Research Interests:  Patient outcomes in spine surgery, spine trauma, central cord syndrome, anatomical studies, medical education

2020 Graduate


Robert W. Bina, MD

Current Practice:  Banner University Medical Center - Phoenix Campus, Phoenix, Arizona
Fellowship:  Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky; Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, Swedish Neurosciences Institute, Seattle, Washington
Medical School: University of Arizona - Phoenix
Neurosurgery Interests: General Neurosurgery - Brain and Spine, Epilepsy Surgery, Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, Movement Disorder Surgery, Deep Brain Stimulation, Surgical Therapies for Pain

2019 Graduate


Nikolay Martirosyan, MD
Current Practice:  Barrow Neurologic Institute, Phoenix, Arizona
Fellowship:  Complex Spine, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, Complex Spine and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona
Medical School:  First Moscow State University Medical University, Moscow, Russia
Neurosurgery Interests:  Herniated disc, herniated thoracic disc, lmbar spinal stenosis, lumbar spondylolisthesis, metastatic spine cancer, scoliosis and spinal deformities, spinal cord disorders, spinal trauma, spine tumors
2017 Graduate


Sheri Palejwala, MD
Current Practice: Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Coast Neurosurgical Associates, Long Beach, California
Professional Bio: Dr. Palejwala is a native of Southern California and completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA with degrees in neuroscience and biology. She obtained her medical degree at St. Louis University and then went on to complete her neurosurgical training in 2017 at the University of Arizona. Dr. Palejwala recently completed an endoscopic, minimally-invasive, surgical neuro-oncology fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute with Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, California. She will now be joining a private practice neurosurgical group in Long Beach, California. Dr. Palejwala has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has presented her findings at meetings worldwide. She is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the tumor section of the AANS/CNS, and the North American Skull Base Association.
Clinical Interests: Endoscopic, keyhole, and other minimally-invasive approaches to tumors and other pathologies of the skull base
Research Interests: Clinical outcomes research and anatomical studies
Fond Residency Memory: The personalized training and deep sense of cameraderie with faculty, staff, and colleagues afforded by a smaller residency program

Google Scholar

2015 Graduates


Vernard S. Fennell, MD 

Post residency cerebrovascular and complex skull base fellowship at BNI, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Phoenix.  Second Interventional Endovascular Fellowship training began July 2016 in Buffalo, NY.  Dr. Fennell is currently practicing in the areas of Brain & Spinal Tumor, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery, Interventional Neuroradiology, Skull Base at Oschsner Neuroscience Institute Oschner Clinic Assistant Professor Department of Neurosurgery Department of Radiology Tulane University School of Medicine University of Queensland / Ochsner Clinical School


Jesse M. Skoch, MD

Current Practice:  Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; Faculty Neurosurgeon, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Professional Bio: Dr. Skoch completed a pediatric neurosurgical fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s. Prior to residency training at the University of Arizona, he completed undergraduate study at Colgate University, where he also began basic neuroscience research at the National Institutes of Health. He graduated with a degree in cellular neuroscience and went on to complete additional research at Harvard/Mass General Hospital before obtaining his medical degree at the University of Colorado. Dr. Skoch’s clinical interests are the surgical treatment of pediatric epilepsy, brain tumors, craniofacial disorders, and spinal deformity. His research focuses on applying optical imaging techniques to help better define epileptic foci in the brain to make surgical treatment smaller, safer, and more effective. Dr. Skoch has published more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals, authored book chapters, and garnered several awards for his scientific research. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the pediatric section of the AANS/CNS.
Clinical Interests: Craniofacial, epilepsy, spine, hydrocephalus, neuroendoscopy
Research Interests: Epilepsy, optical imaging, biomedical engineering, hydrocephalus
Fond Residency Memory: Neurosurgical training can be grueling, but the beautiful weather and landscape were always ready for me, and I was surrounded by a dedicated and caring team that served to inspire. 
Google Scholar


2014 Graduate


David A. Stidd, MD 

Post residency entered Interventional Endovascular Neurosurgery at University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.  He now practices as an academic faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia and practices out of Atlanticare Neurosciences in Atlantic City, NJ.


2012 Graduate


Tracy L. Ansay, MD 

Post residency entered Surgical Neuro-Oncology fellowship at the Mayfield Clinic.  She went on to private practice with an academic affiliation at Brigham Women’s Hopsital in Boston.


2011 Graduate


Benjamin J. Serxner, MD 

Post residency entered spine fellowship in Colorado for one year.  He then went into private practice in Bakersfield, California, where he remains to date.


2010 Graduate


Sergio Rivero, MD 

Post residency went to private practice in Eureka, California for one year; relocated back to Tucson to work at UMC as academic faculty member for about three years before going to private practice, maintaining his faculty appointment, covering UMC call and still teaching residents.


2009 Graduate


Juan M. Valdivia Valdivia, MD 

Post residency, entered spine fellowship in Ann Arbor, Michigan, followed by several years as an academic faculty neurosurgeon with the University and the Ann Arbor VA.  He now practices in Tampa Bay, Florida, in private practice having an academic affiliation.