residents jump for joy

The UC Davis Department of Neurology is a national leader in both basic and clinical research and in clinical care of neurological disorders – particularly in epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, neuro-immunology, movement disorders, and cerebrovascular disease and stroke. Our faculty's expertise in all subspecialty areas of neurology, their standard of excellence in research and clinical care, and their enthusiastic commitment to teaching and mentorship, offer a wealth of resources to guide our residents and nurture their careers as practicing neurologists.

The primary goal of our training program is to prepare our trainees for the successful independent practice of clinical neurology. The program provides broad exposure to patient care across the spectrum of neurological disorders, serving a demographically diverse patient population in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Our graduates are well-prepared to enter clinical practice or to pursue further training in a clinical subspecialty or neuroscience fellowship.

We offer six new resident positions each year. These positions are categorical. Trainees enter at the PGY-1 level and complete a first-year internship with the Department of Internal Medicine. In PGY-2 they transition to the Neurology Department. For the next three years they actively participate in patient care, teaching, and research activities, with responsibilities graduated commensurate with their level of training.

The program includes eighteen months of clinical adult neurology, six months of outpatient neurology, three months of child neurology, and one month of psychiatry. The balance of the curriculum is elective, with electives in EEG and electromyography strongly encouraged. Residents are also encouraged to participate in one or more focused projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

This program structure provides flexibility for our residents to adapt the curriculum to their individual needs, enriching their training with clinical or basic science research, teaching, or focused training in a neurology subspecialty, depending on their particular interests.

The UC Davis Neurology department also offers an ACGME-approved Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship training program, an ACGME-approved Epilepsy Fellowship, non-ACGME Fellowships in Movement Disorders and Clinical Neuropsychology, and a UCNS-approved Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Fellowship in Neurodegeneration and Aging.

The UC Davis Medical Center is in Sacramento, a 30-­minute drive from the UC Davis campus. The medical center is the primary teaching facility for the UC Davis School of Medicine and postgraduate medical education. It offers complete inpatient services, diagnostic facilities, and 24-hour major emergency medical services with a level 1 Trauma Center. The hospital has 613 beds and 10 intensive care units.  A 472,000-square-foot Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion, which opened in September of 2010, includes a new emergency room, operating rooms, burn unit, surgical intensive-care unit, cardiology services, cafeteria, pathology laboratory support, and radiology services. The new building increases the hospital’s inventory of beds and operating rooms and integrates new state-of-the-art technology that helps UC Davis Health System physicians deliver the most advanced care.

Within the University and the School of Medicine reside highly-regarded centers in basic neuroscience, imaging, neurodevelopmental disorders, and the innovative Center for Mind and Brain.  Neurology faculty are affiliated with the UC Davis campus, the Center for Neuroscience, the UC Davis MIND Institute, the Center for Mind and Brain, and the Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine.  

Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center

The Neurology Department academic offices are located at the Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) Building.  The Neurology inpatient service is located in the main hospital, where a 17-bed neuroscience inpatient unit adjoins the neurosurgical intensive care unit. The Neuroradiology service includes eight diagnostic neuroradiologists and two neurointerventionalists with facilities that include two 3T and five 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, six computed tomography (CT) scanners, and an angiography suite equipped for interventional studies.

The UC Davis adult and pediatric neurology clinics are located in the new Midtown Ambulatory Care Center on Folsom Boulevard, about a mile from the main UC Davis Medical Center campus.


Chief Residents

David Bissig, M.D., Ph.D.

An Ohio native, Dr. Bissig earned his M.D. and Ph.D. at the Wayne State University of School of Medicine and his B.S. in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Michigan at Anne Arbor. He completed his Internal Medicine Internship at the University of Maryland Medical Center. In his spare time he enjoys biking and snowboarding, and he is also a fine artist whose prefers painting in oils.

He may be contacted at


Zuolu Liu, M.D.

Originally from Chongqing, China, Dr. Liu earned her M.D. at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and her B.A. in Biology and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her Internal Medicine Internship in Internal Medicine at UC Davis. She is fluent in Chinese as well as English and her interests include traveling, biking, kayaking, visiting historical places, and the formal Japanese tea ceremony known as the Way of Tea.

She may be contacted at


Post-Graduate Year 4

Cherisse Bent-Mwero, M.D.

Dr. Bent-Mwero grew up in a small town in Florida and took time off as an undergraduate to teach on a small island in Micronesia. She completed her B.S. in Psychology and Psychobiology at La Sierra University and earned her M.D. at Loma Linda University, where she also completed her Internal Medicine Internship. Dr. Bent-Mwero enjoys travel, recreating Jamaican and Tanzanian recipes, baking, gospel choir, and mentoring pre-professional students.

She may be contacted at


Peter Pan, M.D.

Originally from Taiwan, Dr. Pan earned his B.A. in Molecular Biology at UC Berkeley, where he began his research career under the mentorship of Nobel Laureate Donald A. Glaser. He earned his M.D. at SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine in Brooklyn, NY, and completed his Internal Medicine Internship at UC Davis. Dr. Pan is also a software developer and his hobbies include computer programming, running, and traveling in his spare time.

He may be contacted at


Arkady Yusupov, M.D., M.B.A.

Born in Uzbekistan, Dr. Yusupov grew up in Queens, NY. He earned his B.A. in Psychology at CUNY Queens College in Flushing, NY, his M.B.A. at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH, and his M.D. at the American University of Antigua College of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine Internship at the Westchester Medical Center of New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY. Dr. Yusupov enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities.

He may be contacted at


Post-Graduate Year 3

Doris Chen, M.D.

Originally from China, Dr. Chen became interested in the relationship between the brain and mind as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, where she earned her B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience. After earning her M.D. at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, she completed her Internal Medicine Internship at UC Davis. Her interests include quality of life issues for neurology patients and cognitive research, and in her spare time she enjoys literature and Taiko (Japanese drumming).

She may be contacted at


James Dompor, D.O.

A native Californian, Dr. Dompor earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences at UC Irvine, where neuroscience coursework and witnessing successful treatment of neurological disorders decided him on a medical career in Neurology. He earned his D.O. at A.T. Still University in Missouri and completed his internship with the Maricopa Integrated Health System in Arizona. His other interests include travel, singing and playing guitar, reading, and playing a variety of sports.

He may be reached at


Tyrell Simkins, D.O., Ph.D.

Dr. Simkins grew up in Utah, earned his B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Boise State University, followed by a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Environmental Toxicology and his D.O. at Michigan State University. He completed his internship at UC Davis, and is particularly interested in translational research to bring new treatments for neurological disorders from the lab to the clinic. A devoted father, Dr. Simkins also enjoys CrossFit training, music, and alpine sports.

He may be contacted at


Simrit Sodhi, M.D.

Originally from India, Dr. Sodhi earned her first B.S. in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation at the Sancheti Institute in Pune, India. She earned a second B.S. in Biology at the University of Iowa, where she went on to earn her M.D. at the Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Sodhi completed her internship at UC Davis, and in her spare time she enjoys cooking an expanding repertoire of international cuisine, as well as running, biking, reading, and traveling.

She may be contacted at


Sandeep Walia, M.D.

Dr. Walia grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned his B.S. in Physiological Sciences at UCLA. He earned his M.D. at Georgetown University, where his experience with Neurology patients reinforced an interest already kindled by a previous research internship at UCSF. He also completed his internship at Georgetown. Dr. Walia is also a musician who performs on the Dhol, a traditional drum of Northern India, as well as a Bhangra dancer and choreographer.

He may be contacted at


Post-Graduate Year2

Tiffany Green, M.D.

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She may be contacted at


Kristina Hart, D.O.

Born and raised in small town Colorado, Dr. Hart developed an interest in neurology at young age due to personal life exposures and further cultivated this as she obtain her B.S. in psychology with a neuropsychology focus at CU Denver. She then moved to small town Oregon where she obtained her D.O. degree at Western University of Health Sciences COMP-Northwest. She completed her intern year at UC Davis. She is interested in serving underserved areas as a general neurologist after completing residency. In her free time she enjoys local and international travel, hiking, visiting the coast, spending time with her husband, and playing with her 3 dogs.

She may be contacted at


Wentao Li, M.D.

Dr. Li grew up in Shanghai, where his interest in medicine was fostered by his grandfather, a retired army physician and pathologist.  He studied neuroscience at UC Berkeley and obtained his M.D. from University of Illinois, Chicago.  His current area of interest is cognitive and behavioral neurology; particularly executive dysfunction and cognitive deficits after traumatic brain injuries.  He is happily married, and his hobbies include painting, cooking, gardening, martial arts, and science fiction and historical novels.

He may be reached at


Kate Robertson, M.D.

Kate grew up in Auburn, AL but spent several years in Ohio and New York along the way. She began her undergrad career as a music major with a full scholarship at Columbus State University for trumpet performance. With time, she found that her career interest was in psychology and neuroscience and transferred to the University of Georgia for research opportunities in the field of psychology. It was there that she decided to pursue medicine. After graduating, she completed a one year Post-Bac Pre-Med program at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta Ga and then attended medical school at Mercer School of Medicine in Macon, GA. 

She and her husband, Tristan, wanted to move to northern California to be closer to his family so she was glad that she had a great interview experience resulting in the opportunity to come to UC Davis for Neurology residency. She continues to be passionate about music so she plans to find a way to incorporate music into her interest in epilepsy. She has a dog named Argos and enjoys traveling the coast and hiking with her husband. Her other interest include yoga, meditation, and rock climbing.

She may be contacted at


Victor Saunders, M.D.

Having lived in almost most parts of the U.S. , Dr. Saunders is thrilled to have now California home. He first came to California for his undergraduate at UC Berkeley, where he earned a B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology, with an emphasis on Human and Environmental Health. His interest in neurology started during his 3rd year at Northwestern Medical School and has research interest in optimization of medication utilization. He is part of the first class of categorical neurology at UC Davis and completed his intern year there. In his free time he likes to hike, try local restaurants/bakeries, and visit home to play with his dog.

He may be contacted at

UC Davis Neurology Residency Program Graduates - Fellowships & Post-Residency Positions

Graduates of the UC Davis Neurology Residency Program are trained as excellent clinical neurologists, well-prepared for practice as general neurologists or for further advanced study and specialization, typically in top-tier fellowships and practice settings. Several are now serving in academic positions.


Class of 2017

  • Epilepsy Fellowship, UC Davis
  • MS Fellowship, University of Southern California
  • Neurocritical Care Fellowship, Northwestern University
  • Movement Disorders Fellowship, UC San Diego

Class of 2016

  • Neuromuscular Fellowship, University of Washington Medical Center
  • Headache Fellowship, Stanford University; Pain Fellowship, University of Washington (2017)
  • Vascular Neurology Fellowship, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • Epilepsy Fellowship, Stanford University
  • Headache Fellowship, Stanford University
  • Movement Disorders Fellowship, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ

Class of 2015

  • Movement Disorder Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, UC Davis
  • Movement Disorder Fellowship, UC San Francisco
  • Sleep Fellowship, Stanford University; Neurology Faculty, UC Davis
  • Neurocritical Care Fellowship, University of Southern California

Class of 2014

  • Movement Disorder Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, UC Davis
  • Epilepsy Fellowship, Oregon Health and Science University; Neurology Faculty, OHSU
  • Neurology Faculty, VA Long Beach Healthcare; Private Practice, Long Beach

Class of 2013

  • Neurology Faculty - Dignity Healthcare
  • Clinical Epilepsy Fellowship, NIH (2 years); Advanced Clinical Epilepsy Fellowship, NIH
  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship, Cedars Sinai/UCLA; Private Practice, Maple Medical, Westchester County, NY
  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, UC Davis 
  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship, Stanford University (2 years); Neurology Faculty, Stanford University

Class of 2012

  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, Queen of the Valley Medical Center
  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, UC Davis
  • Neurocritical Care Fellowship, UCLA; Neurointensivist, Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, Las Vegas, NV
  • Private Practice, Pleasant Hill, CA
  • Brain Injury Fellowship, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; Neurology Faculty, Ochsner Baptist Medical Center, New Orleans

Class of 2011

  • Epilepsy Fellowship, University of Michigan; Neurology Faculty, Oregon Health and Science University
  • Neurology Faculty, UCSF Fresno
  • Movement Disorders Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania; Neurology Faculty, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Epilepsy Fellowship, UCSD; Neurology Faculty, Oklahoma University
  • Master’s Program, UC Davis

Class of 2010

  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, Sutter Medical Group, Sacramento
  • Neurology Faculty, Kaiser, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Pain Management Fellowship, UC Davis; Private Practice, San Jose, CA
  • Neurology Faculty, NorthBay Medical Center, Fairfield, CA

Class of 2009

  • Stroke Fellowship, UCLA; Neurointerventional Fellowship, USC; Neurology Faculty, Sutter Medical Group
  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, Kaiser
  • Clinical Neurophysiology, UC Davis; Sleep Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, Dignity Health Care
  • Movement Disorders Fellowship, UCSF; Director Movement Disorders Program, Swedish Hospital

Class of 2008

  • Vascular Fellowship, UCSD; Neurology Faculty -Sutter Medical Center
  • Neurology Faculty, Sutter Medical Center
  • Neurology Faculty, Kaiser
  • Volunteer Clinical Faculty, UC Davis

Class of 2007

  • Behavioral Neurology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, Kaiser
  • Behavioral Neurology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, Sutter Center for Neuroscience
  • Pain Management Fellowship, UC Davis; Pain Specialist, VA
  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, Sutter Medical Group
  • Education Specialist Alzheimer’s Resource Center

Class of 2006

  • Neuroimmunology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, Columbia University
  • Neurology Faculty, Kaiser
  • Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Private Practice - San Francisco

Class of 2005

  • Neuroimmunology Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, UC Davis
  • Pain Management Fellowship, UC Davis; Neurology Private Practice - Milwaukee, WI
  • Clinical Neurophysiology, UC Davis; Neurology Faculty, Kaiser
  • Neurology Private Practice - Hanford, CA

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