Meet the graduates of 2015

Meet a handful of our 461 exemplary graduates. They're leaders and doers, healers and scientists. They may have come from all over the world, but in coming to OHSU, they have one important thing in common: Together, they're going to lead the health care revolution and change the lives of people in Oregon and beyond.

Congratulations on your accomplishments, Class of 2015! We can't wait to see what your future holds.

Josh Kaplan, Ph.D., and Kaeley Kaplan, M.D.

Josh and Kaeley

Portland, Ore. native Kaeley Kaplan met Illinois native Josh Kaplan while undergraduate students at the Colorado College. Although they came from opposite ends of the country, they found each other and the start of rewarding careers as young researchers in the neuroscience program there. Returning to Kaeley’s first love, Portland, the two were drawn to OHSU for its dual strengths in medicine and graduate studies. Josh’s fascination with movement and behavior led him to the Behavioral Neuroscience Program and the lab of David Rossi, Ph.D.*, where he investigated cerebellar contributions to alcohol intake. Kaeley pursued a different path by attending medical school, but kept a foot in research, too, spending a summer with Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute in the endocrinology lab of Dan Marks, M.D., Ph.D.* and completing a pathology fellowship that allowed her to work in the lab of Megan Troxell, M.D., Ph.D.*

Besides their complementary career paths, Kaeley and Josh share a love of running and an active role in student life at OHSU. Josh has participated in the recent 3MT competition as part of Research Week (winning the People’s Choice Award), helped with neuroscience outreach through the Brain-in-the-Box program and blogged for StudentSpeak. Kaeley participated in both the Family Medicine Interest Group and served as the co-leader of the Pathology Interest Group for a year. Among other things, she helped plan National Primary Care Week, the Hills for Humanity Run and was involved in Tar Wars, the anti-smoking campaign in elementary schools.

These two are excited about the next challenge as they head north to Seattle, where Kaeley will complete a family medicine residency with Swedish Medical Center, and Josh has accepted a post-doc position at the University of Washington to continue investigating the workings of the cerebellum, this time with a new research focus on autism. On Friday, June 5, Kaeley will receive her M.D. and Josh his Ph.D., another mile in their shared journey.

Susan Lou, M.D.

Susan LouSusan Lou experienced the power of community first-hand as a medical student in the OHSU School of Medicine. She recalls, “My most memorable experience at OHSU was when one of our classmates was struggling with a cancer recurrence. In the spirit of the Japanese legend, our class coordinated the folding of 1,000 origami paper cranes as symbolic representation of our support during this difficult time. I was so moved and felt that it truly demonstrated the unity and camaraderie of our class.”

This Lake Oswego native holds a degree in Human Biology and a concentration in Community Health from Stanford University. Her focus on service has remained evident throughout her academic career, whether she’s leading the internal medicine interest group, participating in the OHSU Diversity Task Force or completing a rotation at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland in the department of Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Susan will complete a residency in internal medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. She also has her eye set on continuing her ethic of service throughout her career. “At the heart of it, I am drawn to internal medicine by a resolve to help others reach their full potential.” She continues, “My dream is to serve as a clinician educator and researcher at an academic institution where I can foster intellectual curiosity and enable students to pursue their passions.”

Jane Riebold, M.S.

Jane Riebold

Clinical nutrition student Jane Riebold grew up in Corvallis, Ore. As the daughter of a medical technician and a veterinary anesthesiologist, she watched her parents help others and was drawn to a career path that would allow her to do the same. 

Before coming to the Combined Dietetic Internship/Master of Science program at OHSU, Jane received an undergraduate degree in nutrition with an emphasis in dietetics from Oregon State University. At OHSU, Jane has pursued research in the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Ketogenic Diet Clinic focusing on children with intractable epilepsy who are treated with ketogenic diet therapy. In particular, her research examined carnitine, a molecule that is required to import fatty acids into the mitochondria for oxidation and ketogenesis. She said, “My favorite part of clinic is hearing from parents who experience very good seizure reduction for their children. Their joy at seeing their child thrive is infectious!”

Jane has also been involved in multiple professional organizations including the local and national chapters of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) as well as the AND Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group. As a trainee in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program, she received training on the importance of patient- and family-centered care and received additional clinical experience in the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center.

When not busy in school, Jane builds upon a lifelong love of animals – she grew up with “strays” from her father’s vet clinic including two llamas, a turkey, and a lamb – by volunteering at Sycamore Lane Therapeutic Riding Center, a facility that provides adaptive riding lessons for children, adults and veterans with disabilities, as well as horse-based speech language therapy sessions for children. 

After graduation, Jane will attend the prestigious Boston Children's Hospital Pediatric Nutrition Fellowship. She eventually hopes to work as a pediatric dietitian in both clinical and research settings.

Gregory Scott, M.D., Ph.D.

Gregory ScottGregory Scott caught on to what makes OHSU distinctive, and he ran with it. “Now I’m not just saying this—but there really is something special here, and I’ve heard it from others too. There’s this willingness to cross-pollinate, to work together, this openness that OHSU is known for,” he said. Raised in Portland, Greg received his undergraduate degree from the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon, where he pursued his dual passions of science and technology. When the time came for graduate school, Greg realized that he wanted to not only pursue medicine, but to also “keep his roots firmly in research.” OHSU was a natural fit.

As an M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Greg  completed his doctoral coursework in the Jacoby* Lab, studying issues related to pulmonary function and bioimaging. In his clinical program, Greg explored specialties ranging from thoracic surgery and bone marrow transplant to two rotations in pulmonary pathology at OHSU and the University of Colorado at Denver. In settling on a pathology specialty, Greg chose a career that “sits at the intersection between the clinic and research.” He said, “Pathology is also in an exciting phase of transformative adoption of powerful new technologies such as next genetic sequencing and digital pathology.”

Greg will complete a pathology residency at Stanford University. Together, with his wife and young son, this future physician-scientist is positioned to continue OHSU’s collaborative and pioneering spirit no matter where his path may lead.

Rakendu Shukla, M.D.

Rakendu ShuklaRakendu Shukla speaks three languages, has traveled to and volunteered in remote clinics in Gujarat, India and loves teaching and tutoring. While an undergraduate student studying neurobiology at the University of Washington, he also served as the President of the Indian Student Association, one of the largest student groups on campus.

Originally from Gaston, Ore., Rakendu has served on the Dean’s Advisors Committee helping advocate for and enhance the student experience and create camaraderie, as he did in 2012 organizing an interprofessional event that brought students from all disciplines together to discuss their futures in health care. He also helped create the now annually-held retreat for first-year medical students.

Looking back on his time at OHSU, Rakendu particularly enjoyed his clinical clerkships. “I had some truly unique opportunities as a student to really participate in the direct care of patients. I witnessed all stages of life – from helping deliver a beautiful baby, to performing CPR on an elderly patient in cardiac arrest. I am ever humbled by the resiliency of patients and the tireless compassion of physicians,” he said.  

This 2014 Swindells Scholar will complete his residency at the University of California, Davis' Radiation Oncology program. He says, “I chose radiation oncology because it has all the various elements that I was searching for in a specialty…. I discovered through my rotations that it is a field that requires one to seamlessly blend human compassion with academic and advanced technical knowledge, including anatomy, 3D treatment planning and physics, all of which I thoroughly enjoy.”

Patricia Yao, Ph.D.

Patricia Yao

Doctoral student and world traveler Patricia Yao grew up in Canada, Japan and the United States. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in Health Informatics from British Columbia’s University of Victoria, Patricia pursued a master’s degree in the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE) at OHSU.

Since continuing in the DMICE doctoral program, Patricia’s research has included collaboration with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board to investigate the effectiveness of text messages in promoting sexual health among American Indian and Alaska Native teens and young adults. She also recently returned from a ten-month stint in Buenos Aires thanks to a partnership between OHSU and Hospital Italiano. Supported by funds from the National Library of Medicine, Patricia spent the last year of her Ph.D. fellowship learning more about public health in the context of Latin American culture and participating in informatics at Hospital Italiano.

Looking forward to life after graduation, Patricia hopes to pursue either a post-doc position or a career split between academia and public service work. Having already lived in the Philippines, Japan, France and Argentina, she’s more than ready to tackle even the most far-flung adventure should an international opportunity arise. “There are just a lot of possibilities in public health informatics, and it is both exciting and gratifying to be involved in work that can make a difference,” she said.

David Rossi, Ph.D., affiliate assistant professor of behavioral neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine
Dan Marks, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics, OHSU School of Medicine
Megan Troxell, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology, OHSU School of Medicine

David B. Jacoby, M.D.; professor of medicine; head of pulmonary and critical care OHSU School of Medicine; vice chair for research in the department of medicine; and director of the M.D./Ph.D. training program