Current Orthodontic Residents
First year orthodontic residents (Class of 2023)
Pheba Abraham hails from Yukon, Oklahoma. Like most Oklahomans she is a die-hard Sooner fan. She graduated with honors from Mahatma Gandhi University with her Bachelors in Dental Surgery in 2014, and then worked for a year as an Oral Maxillofacial Surgery intern at Emory University, College of Medicine. She continued her education and went on to attend Dental College of Georgia, where she graduated Magna Cum Lade with Masters of Oral Biology in 2017 and UIC Dentistry with her DMD in 2020.
While in dental school, she served at various roles in organized dentistry, ranging from the Class President of her graduating cohort to Secretary for Dental Student council. Dr Abraham received the Dr James R Havera Scholarship for academic excellence and the Dr Joseph Kolodziejck Award for exceptional commitment to student government in 2020. Dr Abraham’s dedication towards dentistry and leadership led her to be inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, National Dental Honor society.
In her spare time, Dr Abraham enjoys exploring new places, taking long walks, trying exotic food and cooking. Upon graduation, she plans to become an ABO Certified Orthodontist, and enter private practice.
Dr. Jessica Begley
Jessica Begley grew up in Ortonville, Michigan. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 where she earned her B.S. in Biomolecular Science. Jessica then moved to New York to pursue the D.D.S. program from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. While in dental school, she was involved in dental advocacy and lobbied with the American Student Dental Association on Capitol Hill. Jessica also participated in global outreach programs in Tanzania and the Philippines, and conducted clinical research in the Department of Orthodontics.
In her free time, Jessica enjoys cooking, with chicken piccata being her favorite dish to make. She also loves spending time outdoors, attending University of Michigan sports games, and attending live music concerts.
Dr. Sara Kahng
Dr. Sara Kahng grew up in Tarzana, California. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology in 2015. She continued her education at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry and earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2020. During her time in dental school, Dr. Kahng was involved in community outreach dental programs and conducted cleft palate research. She received the Academy of Excellence in Dentistry Scholarship, the Dental Alumni Association Scholarship, and the Dr. Clifton Dummett Endowed Scholarship. She is also a member of the OKU Zeta Chapter Honor Society.
During her spare time, Dr. Kahng enjoys running, baking bread, picnics, and farmers markets. She is an avid dog lover and can’t wait to have one of her own. She loves traveling and is excited to explore Chicago! Upon graduation, Dr. Kahng plans to become ABO certified and enter private practice.
Dr. Sophie Ju Hyung Moon
Dr. Sophie Moon was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to Washington, DC in 2001. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with honors from the George Washington University in 2011. She continued on to work in mental health for several years before pursuing a career in dentistry. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2020. She is a recipient of the 2018 American Association for Dental Research (AADR) Student Research Fellowship Award and a member of the Chi Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Dental Honor Society.
During her free time, Dr. Moon enjoys swimming, skiing, traveling, and spending time with family, friends, and her corgi. Upon graduation, she plans to become ABO certified, enter private practice, and someday join a craniofacial team.
Dr. Alexandria Rozgony
Alexandria Rozgony (aka Dr. “Roz”) is an Illinois native who grew up in Naperville. She attended The University of Kentucky, graduating Summa Cum Lade and earning two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Human Health Sciences in 2016. After four years of horse country and die-hard UK basketball fans, she decided to return home to complete her DMD degree here at UIC, graduating in May of 2020. While in dental school, Alex was an active leader, including being President of the Delta Sigma Delta Fraternity, Secretary of Dental Student Council, UIC COD Representative of the Health Professionals Student Council and a teaching assistant. She has received several awards and scholarships, recognizing her exemplary leadership, public health research, and clinical/academic excellence. Her dedication to the profession led her to be inducted to Omicron Kappa Upsilson, National Dental Honor Society.
During her spare time, Dr. Roz enjoys traveling abroad, spending time with loved ones and learning about vino. She is an avid dog lover and hopes to get a mini Golden Doodle while in residency. Upon graduation, she plans to become board certified, enter private practice and have a family of her own.
Dr. Chandani Shukla
Dr. Chandani Shukla was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience from University of California at Los Angeles, and went on to earn her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree and Certificate in Public Health from Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. While in dental school, Dr. Shukla was heavily involved in community service, interprofessional collaboration, and public health initiatives. Her exemplary scholarship and leadership during her time in dental school led her to be inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the National Dental Honor society.
In her free time, Dr. Shukla enjoys being with her family and friends. She loves cooking, dancing, watching basketball and especially loves trying new (spicy) foods. Upon graduation, she plans to become ABO certified and continue working in public health.
Dr. Youngjae Sung
Dr. Youngjae Sung was born in Seoul, Korea, and moved to the United States at age 5. She grew up in Boston, MA, where she experienced firsthand the intensity of Boston sports fans. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry with high honors at New York University in 2016. She then moved across the country to attend UCLA School of Dentistry, where she was involved with the American Student Dental Association, the National Student Research Group, the alumni association at UCLA SOD, and local pediatric outreach. She was the recipient of the 2018 American Association of Dental Research (AADR) Bloc Travel Grant, and was able to present at the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) in London in April 2018. She graduated from UCLA School of Dentistry in June 2020.
In her free time, Dr. Sung enjoys exercising, crocheting, spending time with friends and family, and of course, supporting Boston sports teams (sorry Chicago fans!). She is excited to explore everything Chicago has to offer, and finally return to a place that has four seasons, especially snow.
Dr. Kayla Yip
Dr. Kayla Yip is from Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. She attended the University of Alberta, where she earned two degrees: Bachelor of Science in Physical Sciences with a minor in Business in 2011 & Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science in 2014. She graduated with her Doctor of Dental Medicine from Midwestern University – Illinois in 2020.
While in dental school, Dr. Yip was involved with the American Student Dental Association, the Orthodontics Club and Student Council. She received the Oral Health Foundation of the Pierre Fauchard Academy Student Scholarship in 2019, the Student Leadership Award from the International College of Dentists USA Section in 2020 and was inducted into the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Dental Honor Society.
Dr. Yip is an avid Edmonton Oilers hockey fan and loves playing intramural soccer. When she isn’t in clinic, you’ll find her buying new plants, enjoying sushi with friends or adventuring in a country on her bucket list.
Second year orthodontic residents (Class of 2022)
Dr. Raj Desai grew up in Edison, New Jersey, the birthplace of the light bulb. He traveled across the Hudson River to New York City where he graduated with honors from New York University with a B.A. in Biology and earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Columbia University. Raj then headed to the west coast, completing a general practice residency at the San Diego VA Hospital.
Apart from school, Dr. Desai enjoys spending time with family and friends, visiting museums, watching films, playing basketball and tennis, and exploring the latest and greatest attractions in the city of Chicago. His post graduation plans include entering private practice and helping advance the profession through teaching.
Dr. Peter Durbin
Dr. Peter Durbin grew up in Prospect Heights, Illinois. He earned his BS in Science-Business from the University of Notre Dame in 2015. Dr. Durbin then attended the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, graduating in 2019. While at the University of Michigan, Peter served on the executive board of the American Student Dental Association chapter and participated in lab research.
During his free time, Dr. Durbin enjoys cooking, traveling, golfing, spending time with friends and family, and attending as many Notre Dame football games and Cubs games as possible. Upon graduation, Dr. Durbin plans to become board certified by the ABO, enter private practice with his father, and participate in advocacy efforts for his profession.
Dr. Matan Farhi
Dr. Matan Farhi grew up in Riverwoods, Illinois and earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2015 from the University of Minnesota. He then continued his education at the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Dentistry, receiving his DMD in 2019.
In his spare time, Dr. Farhi enjoys staying active, playing music and enjoying good food with family and friends. In the summers, he enjoys spending time at the lake or pool. Upon graduation, he plans on becoming ABO certified and entering practice in the Chicagoland area.
Dr. Jessica Hedger
Dr. Jessica Hedger grew up in Steger, Illinois. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology and minor in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013. Dr. Hedger then attended the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, graduating in 2019 with a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree with honors and received the American Institute of Orthodontics Award.
During her free time, Dr. Hedger enjoys traveling, exploring Chicago and spending time with her dog and two cats. Upon graduation, Dr. Hedger plans to become ABO certified and enter private practice.
Dr. Karen Homsi
Dr. Karen Homsi is an Illinois native and proud Chicagoan. Her love of education and life-long learning led her to earn two different bachelor’s degrees from two different universities: a BA from Loyola University Chicago and a BS from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In 2019, she earned a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree (DMD) from the UIC College of Dentistry, graduated with honors and received the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Dental Student Award.
Dr. Homsi has a special interest in dental education, AI technology, patients with special needs and craniofacial anomalies.
In her free time, Dr. Homsi enjoys exploring the Chicago food scene with her husband, and spending time with their family, friends and dog Bijou.
Dr. Ruidan Ma
Dr. Ruidan Ma is originally from Guangzhou, China, but her desire to explore the world led her to live in 7 different cities in 3 different countries since the age of 11. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University majoring in Spanish and Chemistry. She then completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (DDS) from University of the Pacific in California, during which she received the American Student Dental Association Award of Excellence and OKU Award in Complex Restorative.
During her free time, Ruidan enjoys performing arts (she got on stage to talk about life of orthodontic residency during her first Second City audience experience), running, cooking and reading. Upon graduation, she plans to enter private practice and serve in a global context through patient care, education or research.
Dr. Vivian Snider
Dr. Vivian Snider was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in Colorado Springs, CO. She attended Dartmouth College where she played Division 1 volleyball and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology. Dr. Snider then moved to New York City to attend Columbia University College of Dentistry and received her DDS degree in 2019.
In her free time, Dr. Snider loves being outdoors and can often be found playing basketball and volleyball with friends, rollerblading, and hanging out by the pool.
Dr. Samim Taraji
Dr. Samim Taraji hails from Skokie, Illinois. He earned his bachelor’s degree with honors at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He then attended dental school at UIC and completed his DMD degree with Summa Cum Laude honors in 2018. Dr. Taraji received the ADA Award for Academic Excellence and Leadership, the Chancellor Service Award, Frances Best Watkins Award, and the DMD Orthodontics Interest Award. After practicing general dentistry for one year and completing additional courses in cosmetic dentistry and smile design, he returned to UIC College of Dentistry to pursue his Orthodontics training.
Dr. Taraji loves traveling and architecture. He is a self-proclaimed food and film critic. Strangely, he fears dolphins.
Dr. Michael Yang
Dr. Michael Yang
Dr. Michael Yang grew up in Vancouver, Canada. After eight years at the University of British Columbia, initially in for the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Dr. Yang graduated with the Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. He is excited to join the Orthodontic program at UIC and experience what Chicago has to offer.
In his spare time, Dr. Yang enjoys working out, basketball, and traveling with his girlfriend.
Third Year Orthodontic Residents (Class of 2021)
Dr. Galina Bulatova
Dr. Galina Bulatova graduated with honors from Dental Faculty of Moscow Medical Academy in 2008. She completed 2 years of postgraduate training at Federal Institute of Postgraduate Education, Moscow and then practiced for 6 years. Dr. Bulatova has a special interest in CBCT, pre-prosthetic and customized Orthodontic Treatment and strives to provide excellent care for her patients. In her free time, she likes playing piano, cooking and reading about art.
Dr. Katerine Cardona Salazar
Dr. Katerine Cardona obtained her DMD degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to that she had earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Universidad del Valle, Cali-Colombia and a Master of Science in Biology from Texas A&M University where she graduated summa cum laude.
Dr. Cardona’s dedication to her profession has led her to be inducted to Omicron Kappa Upsilon, National Dental Honor Society. She was also the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Academy of Operative Dentistry.
During her free time, Dr. Cardona enjoys spending time with friends and family, running along the Chicago lakefront, swimming and dancing.
Dr. Leslie Cohen
Dr. Leslie Cohen comes from Buffalo Grove, Illinois and earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. Leslie graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2014. While in dental school Leslie was an active member in the American Student Dental Association and Orthodontic Club. She also participated in both community and international outreach programs.
In her spare time Dr. Cohen enjoys spending time with friends and family, working out and traveling. Upon graduation Dr. Cohen plans to become board certified by the ABO, enter private practice and would also like to teach.
Dr. Stephen Degenhardt
Dr. Degenhardt is a Michigan native who grew up in metro-Detroit. Stephen studied Human Biology while playing lacrosse at Michigan State University. Dr. Degenhardt then received his D.D.S. from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2018. He was recognized as a Dean’s Scholar, signifying academic achievement in the top 10% of his class.
Stephen enjoys staying fit, watching Michigan State sports, traveling with his fiance, and spending time with family and friends. Dr. Degenhardt plans to enter private practice upon graduation and hopes to join academia early in his career.
Dr. Juliana Lee
Dr. Juliana Lee grew up in Lincolnwood, Illinois where she played golf in high school and qualified for the Girls’ State Sectionals. She graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Chicago in 2011 with a Biological Sciences major as well as a Spanish minor and attended UIC College of Dentistry, receiving her DMD in 2015. She is a member of the American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society, Chicago Dental Society, and the American Association of Orthodontics.
Following her values in giving back to the community and lifelong learning, Dr. Lee has provided dental care for Special Olympics athletes and has participated in local outreach through the Christian Medical and Dental Society. She is passionate about teaching and served as an adjunct clinical faculty at UIC College of Dentistry. Dr. Lee is committed to providing the best care possible for her patients and staying current with the latest procedures.
Dr. Lee loves spending time with her family, friends, and church community. During her free time, you’ll catch her traveling, swimming, playing golf, and hiking.
Dr. Tyler Ramir
Dr. Tyler Ramir grew up in Addison, Illinois. He earned his Bachelors in Integrative Biology and minors in Chemistry and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 2014. Dr. Ramir then attended the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry where he graduated in 2018. While at the UIC College of Dentistry he completed an externship at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, as well as an externship at Salud Family Health Center in Frederick, Colorado.
During his free time Dr. Ramir enjoys working out, traveling, hunting, fishing, and golfing. He also enjoys spending time with his family and friends. Upon graduation, Dr. Ramir plans to become board certified by the ABO, enter private practice, and start a family.
Dr. Laurie Susarchick
Dr. Laurie Susarchick is a New York City native. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Rowan University. After volunteering abroad with the Israel Service Corps, she went on to complete her Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Pre-Medical Sciences at Columbia University. She then continued on to earn her D.D.S degree from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2018.
In her spare time, Laurie enjoys relaxing with friends and family, camping, hula hooping, fostering adorable dogs, and parallel parking.
Dr. Insia Virji
Dr. Insia Virji is from Toronto, Canada. Like all Canadians it’s the daily does of maple syrup in her coffee that makes her so sweet and apologetic. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from The University of Western Ontario. She then continued on to earn her DMD degree from Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine in Illinois in 2017. From there she worked in private practice for 1 year in Toronto before returning to Chicago.
In her spare time, Insia enjoys relaxing with friends and family, traveling, doing yoga, and watching movies.