Executive Council

Early-Stage Anesthesiology Scholars (eSAS) is an nascent society led by trainees, for trainees. eSAS is governed by the Executive Council, made up of members, and the Advisory Council, a group of senior academic anesthesiologists who lend their advice and experience to help further the mission of eSAS. eSAS partners with a number of leading anesthesiology organizations to extend its reach and is supported by these foundations, and societies.

The executive council is made up of 16 voting members, initially appointed for 2 year terms and consisting of members at the junior faculty, fellow or resident levels of training.

TawfikDr. Vivianne Tawfik was raised in Montreal, Canada and then moved south of the border to complete her MD and PhD in Neuroscience at Dartmouth Medical School. She then joined the Stanford Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine as a resident in the Fellowship in Anesthesia Research and Medicine (FARM) program, of which she now serves as the Assistant Director. During residency and her one year research fellowship after graduation she continued her research into basic pain mechanisms. After completion of her subspecialty training in Pain Medicine, Dr. Tawfik joined the faculty at Stanford and continues to research the immune contribution to persistent pain while treating patients suffering from chronic pain. In her “spare time” she enjoys visiting Bay Area kids museums and eating sushi with her family.

WhitlockDr. Elizabeth Whitlock
is a clinical instructor and T32 postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care at the University of California, San Francisco. Broadly, she is interested in identifying risk factors for adverse perioperative outcomes using secondary data, and has recently developed a focus in perioperative geriatric cognitive and functional outcomes. In her spare time, she likes to paint, read, and explore San Francisco’s dynamic food scene.


Dr. Miles Berger obtained his PhD in neuroscience and endocrinology and completed his MD at the UCSF Medical Scientist Training Program. He then completed his internship, residency and neuroanesthesiology fellowship at Duke, and is currently an Assistant Professor of neuroanesthesiology at Duke. Dr. Berger’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of and developing biomarkers for postoperative delirium and cognitive dysfunction in human surgical patients, and determining the degree of pathophysiologic similarity between these disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. Outside of work, Dr. Berger enjoys spending time with his wife and two small children, and tending to his raspberry, blueberry, strawberry and blackberry plants in his backyard garden.

NorrisChair Events
Dr. Aaron Norris is developing a research program focused on the circuits and mechanisms that underlie sleep, anesthetic states and circadian rhythms. He completed medical school, a PhD in Neuroscience as well as residency at Washington University in St. Louis. In his spare time he loves to play with his two preschool aged children.



Co-Chair Partnerships
Dr. FreedJulie Freed recently completed her NIH T-32 appointment that spanned over a five-year residency in Anesthesiology from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Her research interests include vascular dysfunction in the coronary microcirculation, endothelial-derived microvesicles, and intraoperative blood pressure control. Dr. Freed will continue her research in the Cardiovascular Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin as she pursues a fellowship in Cardiac Anesthesia. In her spare time she enjoys running, boating, and of course, cheering on the Green Bay Packers.


HeifetsDr. Boris Heifets has had a lifelong interest in neuroscience and hope to apply basic neuroscience insights to the practice of anesthesiology. After receiving an undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Yale University and an M.D./Ph.D. degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, I came to Stanford for anesthesiology residency. I was fortunate to receive a FAER mentored research training grant for basic science, allowing me continue systems neuroscience research with Dr. Robert Malenka while completing a neuroanesthesia fellowship. I am currently an assistant clinical professor at Stanford.


Co-Chair Membership
LaluDr. Manoj Lalu
is a Clinical Scholar in the Department of Anesthesiology and is supported by a Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Fellowship. When he is not in the operating room he is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Prior to medical school he completed a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Alberta. His current research is largely preclinical and translational, focusing on stem cell therapy for systemic inflammation that is induced by perioperative/critical illness (e.g. myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury, sepsis,). He also has interests in reducing risk of bias in preclinical work and improving translation of preclinical work to the clinical domain.


SchenningDr. Katie Schenning completed her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison receiving a BS in Biology. She continued her studies in Madison earning her MPH and MD degrees from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. From 2010-2014, Katie completed her Anesthesiology residency and research fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University as part of OHSU’s innovative Oregon Scholars Program. Dr. Schenning began her faculty position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at OHSU. The position divides her time between clinical anesthesiology, research, and teaching activities. In addition, she is currently enrolled in OHSU’s Master of Clinical Research track of the Human Investigations Program. Her research interests include the interaction between surgery, anesthesia, genetic variables, sex, and dementia in older adults. Katie’s clinical interests include geriatric and neuroanesthesia.

Co-Chair Social Media
RuscicDr. Katarina Ruscic is an anesthesiology resident at MGH, Harvard Medical School, where she is also working on several research projects. She completed a B.Sc., phi beta kappa, and an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where she won numerous awards, including the Soros Fellowship for New Americans and the Goldwater scholarship. She has published research abstracts and papers, given international lectures, and holds multiple patents. In her spare time, she mentors young women in science, visits family in Croatia, and enjoys art and fashion.



VogtDr. Keith Vogt completed the MSTP at The Ohio State University in 2011 and recently finished residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 2015. He is now doing a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. Much of his research has focused on refining functional MRI techniques to explore how the brain processes pain. His current main project focuses on pain’s effect on memory, and this effect may change with exposure to anesthetics. His clinical practice is at UPMC Mercy, and clinical interests include obstetric and neurosurgical anesthesiology. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young girls.


Regional representative: Northeast
seun_MGHDr. Oluwaseun Johnson-Akeju is a practicing neuro-anesthesiologist and an Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and an MD degree from the New Jersey Medical School after spending a year at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar. He completed his residency in anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by post-doctoral research training at Harvard University. Dr. Johnson-Akeju also holds an MMSc degree in clinical investigation from Harvard Medical School. His research interests focus on using modern neuroscience techniques to study the neural circuit mechanisms of anesthesia. In his spare time he likes to play pickup soccer.

Regional representative: South
freundlich_robert_eDr. Robert E. Freundlich was born and raised in New Jersey. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University, followed by his MD at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed residency, critical care fellowship, and a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Michigan, where he focused on clinical informatics projects and implementation of the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group (MPOG). He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he divides his time between clinical anesthesiology, cardiovascular critical care, clinical informatics, and research. In his spare time he enjoys running and spending time with his wife, daughter, and poorly behaved (but lovable) puggle.


Regional representative: Mid-West
MathisAfter receiving his B.S. degree at Duke University in 2006, Dr. Michael Mathis has completed medical school, anesthesiology residency, and cardiothoracic anesthesia fellowship training at the University of Michigan. Since 2015 Dr. Mathis has continued on at the University of Michigan as a cardiothoracic anesthesia faculty and NIH T32 research fellow. Under the training of Dr. Sachin Kheterpal, he has aided in developing the multicenter perioperative outcomes group (MPOG), an outcomes research consortium synthesizing AIMS-derived data across institutions in the US and Europe. His research interests include perioperative management of patients in heart failure, and he is currently developing collaboratives within the cardiology and cardiac surgery departments at both the institutional level, as well as the international level through MPOG.


Regional representative: West
CChenDr. Catherine Chen is an Assistant Professor-in-residence in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is also affiliated with the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the UCSF Center for Healthcare Value. Dr. Chen received a BA in English from Rice University in 2001. After a brief stint in investment banking, Dr. Chen obtained her MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2010, while simultaneously earning an MPH at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2009. Dr. Chen completed her internship and residency in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care at UCSF. Dr. Chen’s research interests include identifying and reducing healthcare over-utilization as well as streamlining healthcare delivery during the perioperative period. In her spare time, Dr. Chen enjoys playing Scrabble, reading the New York Times, and relaxing at home with her husband and two children.

Regional representative: International
AvramescuDr. Sinziana Avramescu is a clinician-scientist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at the University of Toronto and staff anesthesiologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She trained in Anesthesiology at the University of Toronto and holds a PhD in Neuroscience from Laval University in Quebec. Her academic interests include developing novel diagnostic and treatment strategies for patients with cognitive dysfunction after acquired brain injury and improving research education and curriculum for anesthesia residents. In her spare time she enjoys doing arts and crafts with her two kids, playing piano, hiking and skiing.

Lost Password


Skip to toolbar