The 2018 National Residency Match is complete and the Department of Neurological Surgery is pleased to announce that Maricruz Rivera and Gary Kocharian will be joining our program in June. They have both already distinguished themselves in their young careers as future clinician-scientist leaders in our field and impressed us with their maturity, compassion, and drive. A summary of their backgrounds and accomplishments make clear why we are so excited to have the opportunity to train these two outstanding physicians:
Maricruz Rivera was born in Los Angeles and is completing both MD and PhD degrees at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Her PhD focused on understanding mechanisms by which glioblastoma develops resistance to radiation therapy; in particular she explored novel pathways activated in gliomas that repair damaged DNA and prevent DNA damage responses necessary for inducing tumor cell death following radiation. Maricruz received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Riverside, where she also continued to work with developmentally disabled adults at a state-licensed care home that she founded while in high school. She is also a role model for her twin sons, as we expect her to be for future generations of neurosurgeons.
Gary Kocharian is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Yerevan, Armenia. His is completing his MD at Weill Cornell Medical College after receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University Honors College with majors in Cell Biology, Neuroscience, and French. Gary completed an extra year of research during medical school in the Laboratory of Molecular Neurosurgery, where he helped develop a novel method for profiling changes in gene expression in specific population of brain cells following viral vector mediated gene therapy. He also has worked throughout medical school with Dr. Mark Souweidane on a variety of projects to advance the field of pediatric neurosurgery. He has served as the President of the Weill Cornell Medical College medical student chapter of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and is an avid musician and athlete who is fluent in multiple languages.