The 2018 National Residency Match is complete and we are 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. We are proud to have the opportunity to train these two outstanding physicians.
Maricruz Rivera was born in Los Angeles and is completing M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Her Ph.D. work focuses on understanding mechanisms by which glioblastoma develops resistance to radiation therapy; in particular, she explores 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 biochemistry undergraduate degree from the University of California, Riverside, where she also worked with developmentally disabled adults at a state-licensed care home that she founded while in high school. She is 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, completing his M.D. degree at Weill Cornell Medical College after receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the Rutgers University Honors College, majoring in cellular biology, neuroscience and French. Kocharian 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 populations 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 president of the Weill Cornell Medical College medical student chapter of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and is an avid musician and athlete and fluent in multiple languages.