Hosted by LearnSkin

2021 Integrative Dermatology Symposium

Meet Our Ambassadors

Alicia Cardenas Azevedo

Alicia Cardenas Azevedo is a fourth-year naturopathic medical student at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Her interest in integrative and holistic medicine is what led her to study naturopathic medicine. Alicia’s goal is to work with patients individually to create patient-focused plans that can be easily integrated into daily routines. She hopes to focus on integrative dermatology, with a concentration in women’s health and pediatric populations. She is also very interested in integrative medicine and nutrition research and enjoys reading and educating herself on this topic.

Brennan Dedecker

Born and raised in Wallaceburg, Ontario, Brennan has always had a passion for health and well-being. This passion brought him to Western University where he earned his BHSc with an Honors Specialization in Health Promotion. During this time, Brennan served as an Executive member on the Learning It Together Program and the Faculty of Health Sciences Students’ Council. In these roles he actively collaborated with his peers and fellow Executive team members, organized and executed a number of faculty-wide events, developed promotional materials and merchandise, coordinated and mobilized program volunteers, and managed the associated social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter. Upon graduating, Brennan worked as the Local Project Manager for the Healthy Kids Community Challenge in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent for one year. However, after realizing that his passion for prevention was best met when combined with his desire to serve and help others one-on-one, Brennan decided to pursue a career in Naturopathic Medicine.
Around the same time, Brennan also began working for Lululemon and Cyto-Matrix, where he found a love for product and innovation. In both roles he’s had the chance to share his passion for the respective brands, and teach people about what they have to offer. For Cyto-Matrix specifically, this role allowed him to create invaluable relationships with students and faculty at CCNM, and has allowed him connect meaningfully with the larger Naturopathic community in a way he couldn’t have otherwise. From organizing events to hosting information sessions about a wide array of topics, Brennan has positioned himself as the point of contact for students and has become a familiar face on campus. As an active LearnSkin member, and having attended IDS 2020 along with other continuing education courses in dermatology, he has enjoyed supporting the Integrative Dermatology Club at CCNM this year and is excited to take over the club with another student in May. Now in his fourth year of study at CCNM, Brennan is eager to bring his enthusiasm for student engagement and his passion for integrative dermatology and health promotion to the IDS Team and to the CCNM community as a whole.

Emma Furze

Emma is a third year student at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, with a background in cell and molecular biology. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec while playing varsity soccer. Emma has a special interest in naturopathic dermatology, and treating chronic skin conditions with clean products, herbal medicine and nutritional intervention.

Outside of school, she enjoys hiking the BC mountains, skiing, reading on the beach or visiting local breweries. Emma is looking forward to meeting you all at this year’s symposium!

Ghazal Ghafari

Ghazal Ghafari is a medical student at LMU-DCOM, a visiting research fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and an active hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) awareness advocate. As part of her advocacy work, she is a team member with HS Connect, a passionate group working to improve access to reliable information, research, resources, and awareness for the HS community. With over a decade of experience with HS, Ghazal has a firm belief in the importance of compassionate and integrative care delivery. She is interested in the intersection of mental health, nutrition, and environment on chronic dermatological disease with a particular focus on pediatric populations. In the future, she plans to continue to deepen her understanding of complementary and alternative medicine treatments to help design impactful early interventions for debilitating conditions such as HS.

Zakiya Cush

Zakiya Cush is a future holistic dermatologist, who is happy to pursue her studies in Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine at the Pacific College of Health & Sciences. She looks forward to giving back to the community and going into private practice upon graduation. Zakiya has an extensive biomedical dermatology background and aims to combine both eastern and western medicine in her holistic dermatology practice. She is passionate about public health disparities, especially in medicine and in the field of dermatology. And her study on “The Upper East Side vs Central Harlem: What is responsible for the Dermatology Disparities that shaped these Communities?” was recently published by her school New York Medical College, where she is also obtaining her MPH degree.

Jessica Maloh

Jessica completed her BSc at York University in Toronto, ON, and a Doctor of Naturopathy degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She believes that integrative medicine with an evidence-based approach can allow practitioners to better support patients and optimize patient care. Jessica is passionate about bridging naturopathic and conventional medicine in clinical dermatology.

Kinsley McKnight

Kinsley McKnight is a third year student at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ. Kinsley’s passion for dermatology and aesthetics led her to gain extensive training in the fields through working for various doctors and through her research at ASU’s Biodesign Center. After graduating, Kinsley plans to continue in dermatology and aesthetics.
Maria Mas, ND

Maria Mas

Maria is currently a naturopathic medical student in her third year studying at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She has a strong interest in integrative dermatology and mental health. Environmental medicine and epigenetics are also topics of high interest to her. Maria’s goal is to work in an integrative setting after she graduates. In the future she aims to help others reach their own health goals by providing individualized treatment plans that get to the root causes of illness.

Marjon Homeyra Samimi

Marjon Samimi is a first-year PA-C student at UC Davis. She has a keen interest in dermatology and plans to specialize when she graduates. After graduating, Marjon plans to make Dermatology more accessible to those with Medicaid and promote diversity in skin conditions, specifically in darker skin tones. She enjoys going hiking, baking, and keeping up with the current skincare trends in her free time.

Morgan Woods

Morgan Woods is a fourth-year student of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University California and a first-year acupuncture student at Pacific College of Health and Sciences for Acupuncture who is striving to become a naturopathic and Chinese medicine practitioner. With her passion for holistic health, and obsession with dermatology, she plans to run her own medical practice one day where she can put her skills to use as an engaging physician for patients who want to approach their health from a more holistic and personable perspective.
Morgan spent her undergraduate career at Winston-Salem State University where she studied chemistry and fine arts and developed her love for studying abroad and volunteer work. During her undergraduate career, she had the amazing experience of participating in Semester at Sea and studied global public health in various countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Morgan studied film and fine arts in the heart of Istanbul attending Bahcesehir University. Lastly, she conducted socioeconomic and political public health research in South Africa with Duke University and Organization of Tropical Studies. Outside of her academic career, she loves spending her time creating art, cooking, listening to music, shopping, and participating in local events held around her community.

Narrainshree Sathiyarajeswaran

Narrainshree Sathiyarajeswaran is participating in the undergraduate program in SIDDHA medicine in Santhigiri Siddha Medical College affiliated by Kerala University of Health Sciences. He is interested in working in the research field, especially in clinical research. He is passionate about integrative medicine and establishing the siddha system of medicine worldwide.

Narrainshree presented research at the Integrative Dermatology Symposium in 2019 about Integrative Approach in Fungal Diseases as well as 2020 about the Development of Integrative Clinical Trial Protocol for Psoriasis Management.

Swetha Atluri

Swetha Atluri is a second year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and minored in Mathematics and Biochemistry. Swetha is passionate about finding ways to reduce healthcare disparities and address the quality of life concerns among patients suffering from debilitating diseases. She is a volunteer at the UA Women’s Clinic to help low income and uninsured women in the Tucson community. She is also doing research on Hidradenitis Suppurativa and the pharmacoeconomics of immunomodulators. Swetha is interested in dermatology as a career and would like to help empower patients through integrative approaches.

Nina Komarov

Nina is a third-year medical student at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. Nina’s passion for dermatology stems from witnessing the untimely death of her father and his fight with melanoma. She recognized the connection that skin health has with the body as a whole, as well as the important role of nutrition. Nina’s interest is in research and understanding the relationship the gut microbiome has with skin conditions. She strongly believes it is important to treat the body as a whole and not just the symptoms, which typically appear on the skin. She strives to utilize naturopathic modalities and natural alternative therapies when recommending treatments and preventive care for future patients. Nina is excited to educate and provide resources to patients so they can feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful in their own skin.

Pooja Shah

Pooja Shah is a fourth year medical student at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, she completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology and a 200-hour Yoga and Meditation Teacher certification. The combination of her scientific and medical education and her passion for sharing practices in mindfulness have driven her interest in Integrative Dermatology. Her research and career interests include burnout in medicine and dermatology, healthcare disparities, women’s health, and global health. Pooja has spent time in Peru and India conducting studies on healthcare access and complementary and alternative medical therapies. She hopes to continue these international and integrative medicine pursuits with a focus on dermatologic health.

Harpinder Dhinsa

Harpinder is a third year medical student at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine interested in integrative dermatology. She is currently doing research in examining diet in psoriasis patients and how nutritional changes can impact severity of the disease.

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