2021 Recognize a Mentor Submissions

Raif Geha

It's a great honor to be part of Children’s Hospital of Boston’s research team under Dr. Raif Geha's leadership. I have so many great memories from when I was Raif’s research fellow: His lab meetings were always intriguing with great ideas and intelligent minds. He reviewed our data, provided feedback, criticism, and raised new questions that would excite us think deeper and further. He is a great scientist and leader, making numerous and momentous contributions to the allergy and immunology field. Along my career, he always gives me the best of his advice. I cannot thank him enough for his life-long mentorship, wisdom, support and everything he has taught me to become a physician scientist. I will continue to embrace these skills in my career. I wish Raif the very best with great health!


- Haoli Jin

Charlotte Cunningham-Rundles

With her passion of science and exquisite care of patients, who have been misdiagnosed or misunderstood for years before coming to her practice, Dr. Cunningham Rundles inspired those, under her tutelage, to remember that the Practice [of medicine] is science touched with emotion - In Confessio Medici, Dr. Stephen Paget, 1909. Thank you, Dr. Cunningham Rundles - your efforts inspire me to care for the patients, as we work to establish a better truth and understanding of immune systems gone awry.


Respectfully submitted

Anne Maitland, MD, PhD

Troy Torgerson

Everyone needs a mentor. Troy was that mentor for many of us including David and myself. The truly great mentors lead by example and facilitate accomplishments in those around them. Troy did this with a humble and selfless approach, often minimizing his role to elevate those he trained. Thank you.


- Eric Allenspach & David Hagin

Kate Sullivan

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or to be the mirror that reflects it. -Edith Wharton To Kate, Your incredible generosity in giving of your time, your experience, and yourself has left an indelible impression on all with whom you have come in contact. Your calm wisdom punctuated by your infectious academic joy is truly an amazing characteristic to which we all aspire. In your life, you have been both the candle and the mirror- finding great achievement for yourself while encouraging others to develop their natural skills to do the same. Your hard work serves as an example as you continue to achieve, yet your footpath tells a parallel story, endlessly blooming with all of the seeds you have nurtured to grow. Without accolades or awards, you continue to lift up those around you and show them the true meaning of “mentorship.”


From all of us who have benefitted from your counsel and tutelage, we thank you.

Charlotte Cunningham-Rundles

I have been working with Charlotte for almost two years now. Still, it feels like I have known her for a very long time. She is always pleasant and approachable, with an amazing ability to heal and lift heavy burdens. Her patients, fellows and staff all love her as she is so considerate, even knowing the details of her patients and their families like the back of her hand. Her knowledge is so broad and deep, yet she manages to translate complicated scenarios into understandable language when explaining to patients. I admire her courage greatly; she has never given up during the pandemic and has continued to see her patients.

In the clinic and her lab where I have graciously been given the opportunity to work with her, I’ve noticed her passion for science. Her research has improved our understanding of immunodeficiency and immune dysregulation, and impacted many of patients’ lives. Through my time with her, I have learned a great deal of wisdom and will carry it on with me for the rest of my medical career. I wish Charlotte and her lovely family the very best!

Troy Torgerson

The Bridge Builder
Adapted from the original by Will Allen Dromgoole


An educated man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The wise man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.


“Wise man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”


The builder lifted his sage head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
The youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To those fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
They, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for them.”


To a builder of so much more than houses and bridges; thank you for your commitment to greater connectivity and knowledge for all of us.

Jordan Orange

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Orange for all his support and help throughout my career. He has taught me the true meaning of perseverance, and hard work. His passion for science and medicine is contagious and so is his love for NK cells.


-Aba Al-Kaabi

Megan Cooper

Thank you very much for helping us navigate this complex world of primary immune deficiencies and teaching us in Immunology Clinic!


- Elizaveta Kaladina

Joud Hajjar, MD, MS

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Hajjar for her constant support and advice. She is a great role model, scientist, physician, and an awesome mom. She is always motivated to go above and beyond when it comes to helping the fellows in training.


- Aba Al-Kaabi

Maleewan Kitcharoensakkul

Thank you very much for your commitment to our education and your endless support of fellows!


-Elizaveta Kalaidina

Peter J. Mustillo, MD

Dr. Mustillo is the attending from whom I learned the most about primary immunodeficiency in fellowship. He taught me about cost-conscientious diagnosis, clinical care, and the importance of thorough documentation. He continues to help me with questions on difficult cases, and I sincerely appreciate his mentorship, dedication, and friendship.


- Meagan Shepherd

Kelly Walkovich

Thank you Kelly for being an incredible immuno-hematology mentor! I have greatly appreciated your devotion to my learning since I was a medical student and feel extremely thankful for your guidance over all these years! 


-Tom Michniacki

Dr. Shorooq Banjar

Shorooq has given so very generously her time, knowledge, and patience. As a result of her guidance, I have learned a great deal. My gratitude for her contribution to my future success is immeasurable. Thank you for your commitment and assistance Shorooq. 


- Fatemah AIYaqout

Koneti Rao

Thank you my fellow hematologist for so willingly being my guide in navigating the field of immunology, so generously sharing your expertise and graciously encouraging me on new adventures. Your mentorship and friendship are much appreciated.


-Kelly Walkovich

Laurence A. Boxer

Thank you for inspiring my love of blood cells and selflessly sharing your time to teach and mentor me. Your expertise and joy of medicine lives on in all your trainees as we strive to achieve your high standard of academic pursuit, mirror your compassionate patient care and encourage others to embrace your formula for success.


S = (I x Mk)/D


(S = success; I = intelligence; M = motivation; k = luck; D = distractions)


-Kelly Walkovich

Dr. Don Kohn

Dr. Kohn is one of the world’s leading experts in ADA-deficient SCID.  He is a caring physician scientist, who freely shares his time and knowledge with the ADA community, while performing ground-breaking clinical trials (which is how I have come to know him) since 2001.  He has built a clinical team that is as caring for the patients as he, and members of his lab are reliable and cooperative.  He continues to this day to provide consultation and monitoring of ADA patients seen at the NIH through our collaboration.  I admire and respect Dr. Kohn for his dedication to the field, his patients, and his collaborators.


- Elizabeth Garabedian, RN, MSLS

Dr. Sergio Rosenzweig

Dr. Rosenzweig is a leading expert on BCG and its complications, especially in the PID population.  He has a generous nature and will happily help anyone with questions about the miniscule facts of flow cytometry and lymphocyte immunophenotyping.  He is gregarious and cheerful and makes CIS not only highly educational for everyone attending, he makes it fun too.   I have benefitted from his always open door policy and his unstinting support and beneficence for patients, especially, for patients of mine from S. America. 


-Elizabeth Garabedian, RN, MSLS