Research Team and Clinical Trials
Suhas Dasari is a research fellow for Dr. Jorge Chahla and Dr. Nikhil Verma at Midwestern Orthopaedics at Rush within the division of sports medicine. Suhas is originally from Boston, MA. He attended the University of California Los Angeles for his undergraduate education, where he graduated magna cum laude with a major in physiological science. He then spent a year working as an emergency medical technician in Los Angeles, CA before returning to Boston to work with Dr. Raj Goyal and Dr. Maryrose Sullivan in the departments of gastroenterology and urology at the Harvard Medical School and Veterans Affairs West Roxbury. He is a current medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin and has continued to pursue his passion for orthopaedic surgery and academic medicine through dedication to numerous research projects. Suhas is particularly interested in projects that apply orthobiologic interventions to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes as well as projects that incorporate emerging technologies, such as 3D printing, into the design of patient specific constructs. In his free time, Suhas enjoys basketball, football, movies, and exercise. Suhas hopes to pursue his passion for orthopaedic surgery, his desire to provide high quality patient care, and his fascination to advance medicine through research as an eventual orthopaedic surgeon in the field of sports medicine.
Luc Fortier is a research fellow for Dr. Jorge Chahla and Dr. Nikhil Verma at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush within the sports medicine division. Luc earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with high distinction. Following graduation, he spent a year as a clinical orthopaedic researcher at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, working under the mentorship of Dr. Hyun Bae. He is currently a medical student at Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and continues to pursue his passion for orthopaedic research by designing and executing numerous publications. While in the nation’s capital, Luc continued his interest in global health by being selected as a Global Health Initiative Fellow, meeting with congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, and helping to organize multiple medical missions. In his free time, Luc enjoys scuba diving, snowboarding, pick-up soccer, and attempting to golf. As a lifelong athlete and sports enthusiast, he is passionate about improving the treatment of sports medicine-related injuries and hopes to continue his research interests through a future career in orthopaedic surgery.
Benjamin Kerzner is a clinical research fellow for Dr. Jorge Chahla MD PhD and Dr. Nikhil Verma MD at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush in the sports medicine division. He is currently between his third and fourth years of medical school at Rush Medical College and is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he holds a degree in microbiology with honors in the liberal arts. His previous research includes implementing a reliable and reproducible critical sized segmental femoral defect model in rats to study bone healing and application of biomaterials in nonunion on the orthopaedic trauma service at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at Rush, he has been involved in research ranging from surgical reimbursement to implant outcomes and survivorship to epidemiological studies for hip and knee replacement under the mentorship of Dr. Brett Levine MD MS. Ben’s research interests include clinical outcomes following ACL reconstruction, epidemiology, social media in orthopaedics, and operative techniques. Prior to beginning medical school, Ben coached and was involved in running a special olympics organization for over a decade in Chicago and Madison. In his free time, Ben enjoys volunteering with special olympics, running, cycling, spending time with friends/family, and rooting on the Badgers.
Zeeshan Khan is a clinical research fellow for Dr. Jorge Chahla and Dr. Nikhil Verma at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush within the sports medicine division. He graduated from The University of Chicago in 2021, where he obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts in Neuroscience with Magna Cum Laude honors. During his undergraduate career, Zeeshan was a research assistant within UChicago’s Operative Performance Research Institute within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine. His research interests include clinical outcomes, orthobiologics, and healthcare delivery science. Zeeshan hopes to pursue a career in medicine in the future by building on this experience. In his free time, Zeeshan enjoys playing basketball and rooting for his Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Browns.
Allison Perry is a clinical research coordinator for Drs. Jorge Chahla and Nikhil Verma at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. She is currently between her third and fourth years of medical school at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and is an alumna of Heidelberg University where she graduated summa cum laude with degrees in biochemistry and biology. Her previous experience includes wrist, shoulder, and women’s health research with the Orthopaedics and OB/GYN Departments at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and water quality research at Heidelberg University. Allison’s research interests include anatomy, biomechanics, clinical outcomes, and rehabilitation protocols. As a small-town native, she is excited to explore Chicago. In her free time, Allison enjoys boxing, hot yoga, and sipping coffee during autumn nature walks.
Harsh Singh is a research coordinator for Dr. Jorge Chahla and Dr. Nikhil Verma at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush within the division of sports medicine. He is currently between the fifth and sixth years of medical school in an accelerated B.A./M.D. program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His previous work includes research about common neuromuscular disorders at the University of Missouri-Columbia. It was during this time he fell in love with research and hopes to translate his experience into orthopaedic surgery. His research interests include patient-reported outcomes following common orthopaedic procedures and role of biologics for treatment of degenerative diseases. Being a life-long sports enthusiast and athlete, Harsh understands the impact injuries can have on people of any age. He hopes to continue to pursue his research interests through a future career in orthopaedic surgery. In his free time, Harsh loves to play tennis and workout.
Amar Vadhera is a research coordinator for Dr. Jorge Chahla and Dr. Nikhil Verma at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and has been working with our team since June 2019. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics & Statistics and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health Studies from the Johns Hopkins University. As an undergraduate, Amar was an assistant athletic trainer for several Hopkins sports teams. Building on this experience, he spent a summer researching gait biomechanics and concussion outcomes at the University of Kentucky Sports Medicine Research Institute where he worked alongside the division I men’s basketball team and aspiring professional NBA players. Amar was also awarded the Johns Hopkins Mathematical Modeling Prize for his research in the department of orthopedic surgery where he worked under attendings of multiple subspecialties. Amar is currently taking a gap year to work with our team while applying to medical school. He is passionate about transforming health outcomes within the sports community through research and hopes to make affordable healthcare more accessible for underserved athletic patient populations.
Daniel Farivar is currently a second-year medical student at Rush Medical College and has been part of the Dr. Chahla research team since December 2019. He grew up in Los Angeles before attending the University of California, Davis where he earned a bachelor’s with Highest Honors in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. Daniel’s research experience includes biochemistry research within orthopedics, namely studying the molecular mechanisms behind various tendinopathies using engineered human ligaments. During his time at UC Davis, he also spent three years as a student trainer, closely working with the sports medicine team to provide care to the school’s intercollegiate athletes. Daniel has special research interests in the use of technology during orthopedic surgery, biologic-based interventions, and meniscal pathology. Outside of academics, Daniel is a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan, and in his free time enjoys producing music, going to the gym, and exploring Chicago with friends.
Eric Azua is currently a second-year medical student at Rush Medical College and a Research Assistant for Dr. Jorge Chahla. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with distinction from University of Colorado – Boulder where he worked as Student Athletic Trainer for the Men’s Basketball team as well as a Research Assistant in a biomechanics lab examining gait asymmetries. While working with D1 athletes he was exposed to the art of Orthopedic Surgery and has been fascinated by its complexities ever since. His current research interests include joint instability and meniscal pathology. Outside of school and research his hobbies include lifting weights, hiking, and watching anime.
2019 – 2020
Brady Williams, MD
Brady Williams is a research fellow at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush within the division of sports medicine, working with Dr. Jorge Chahla and Dr. Nikhil Verma. Dr. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science degree in genetics, cell biology, and development from the University of Minnesota, College of Biological Science and graduated Summa Cum Laude with high distinction. During his time as an undergraduate, he played on the university club baseball team, was an active member of the Delta Chi Fraternity, and completed a semester of studies abroad at the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. Following graduation, he spent 2-years as a researcher at the Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado, working in the department of biomedical engineering under the mentorship of Dr. Robert F. LaPrade and Dr. Thomas O. Clanton. It was here, where he first crossed paths with Dr. Chahla. He then attended the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where he earned his medical degree, while continuing to pursue his orthopaedic interests and passion for research, graduating with honors in research and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. Dr. Williams has since joined the research fellowship program in Chicago with Dr. Chahla and Dr. Verma, bringing both experience and enthusiasm to clinical and biomechanical questions aimed at improving the treatment of sports medicine injuries. He hopes to continue to pursue his research interests through a future career in orthopaedic surgery.
Bhargavi Maheshwer is a research coordinator for Dr. Jorge Chahla and Dr. Nikhil Verma at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. Her previous research experiences include pediatric orthopedic research at The Hospital for Special Surgery and pulmonology research at the University of Michigan. Bhargavi’s research interests include postoperative clinical outcomes and health disparities. Bhargavi is currently in between her third and fourth years of medical school at The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. As a midwestern native, she is incredibly excited to be in Chicago. Bhargavi enjoys baking, workout classes, and traveling abroad.
Evan Polce is a research coordinator for Dr. Jorge Chahla and Dr. Nikhil Verma who joined the Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush team in June 2019. His previous research experience in voice pathology and respiratory neuroplasticity affords him the skills to creatively approach complex research issues pertaining to the musculoskeletal system. Evan has a passion for the growing role of stem cell therapy as a surgical adjunct for improving healing and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries.
Evan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin with Distinctive Scholastic Achievement. He is currently applying to medical school and is interested in continuing research and training in sports medicine and orthopaedic surgery. Outside of academics, Evan is a life-long sports enthusiast and recently completed his fourth year as an intercollegiate athlete on the University of Wisconsin Club Baseball Team.
Kyle N. Kunze is an Orthopedic surgery resident at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and has been part of Dr. Chahla research team while at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Kunze received a bachelor of science with honors from the University of Chicago while playing varsity football and then remained in Chicago to obtain his MD at Rush Medical College.
At Rush, he was awarded several awards for his research pertaining to clinical outcomes with hip arthroscopy and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism medical honor societies. In his four years as a medical student at Rush, Dr. Kunze authored over 100 peer reviewed publications and abstracts and was invited to present his work at several national conferences. During this time, he was also invited to serve on the Editorial board of Arthroscopy journal. It was at Rush where he first met and started his research collaboration with Dr. Chahla. Dr. Kunze’s clinical and research interests are focused on the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict and improve patient outcomes as well as biologic and surgical approaches to joint preservation.