Meet the Fellows 2021-2022

Welcome to the Department of Neurology


Lionel Thomas - Epilepsy

Lionel grew up in a small town in Southern Minnesota called Albert Lea. He obtained his undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Brigham Young University where he met and married his wife. They then moved to Virginia where he attended medical school at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine and welcomed his first child. Coming back west once again, Lionel completed his residency in the HealthOne neurology program at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado where he served as chief resident. During the course of his residency, Lionel kept busy exploring a growing interest in epilepsy as well as welcoming two additional children into his family.  Lionel is grateful for the opportunity to stay in the Denver area while completing his training as an epilepsy fellow at the University of Colorado. Lionel is an avid rock climber and has a general love of having outdoor adventures with his wife and three daughters.


Ann Oh - Headache Medicine

Ann was born in Hawaii, and grew up in San Jose, California. She completed a B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology and Minor in Education from the University of California, Berkeley. She then graduated medical school at Saint Louis University. She spent the last 5 years exploring the Arizona desert while finishing a Child Neurology residency at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's Hospital. She is excited to embark on a new journey in Colorado with a goal to further her training in Headache Medicine. In her free time, Ann enjoys running, pilates, tennis, painting, cooking, traveling, and spending time with friends & family .

Baumgartner - Headshot

Alex Baumgartner, MD

Alex was born and raised just outside Denver in Lakewood, CO. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Biology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, then moved east to attend medical school at Brown University. He completed his medical internship and neurology residency in Boston at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he served as chief resident in his final year. Outside the hospital, he enjoys playing and watching basketball, crossword puzzles, and exploring all that beautiful Colorado has to offer.


Liz Matthews - Neuro ID


Liz grew up in a small town in Western Massachusetts. She attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics. She then returned to the northeast, graduating from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She stayed at Columbia for neurology residency, followed by a dedicated 5th year as Neurology Chief Resident, during which she led many educational and quality improvement initiatives and attended on both the inpatient and outpatient neurology services. She is excited to join the University of Colorado to pursue fellowship in Neuroinfectious Diseases and Autoimmune Neurology. Outside work, Liz, her husband, and their dog Riley love traveling, hiking and spending time outside – all things they are eager to do more of in Colorado.



Michlene Passeri - Neuroimmunology/MS

Michlene was born and raised in Houston, Texas and received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from University of Houston Clear Lake and received an additional bachelor’s degree in Molecular Genetics from University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. She went to medical school at Texas A&M University College of Medicine and completed Neurology residency training at the Barrow Neurologic Institute in Phoenix, Arizona where she served as Chief resident in her final year. She is very excited to join the Neuroimmunology team at the University of Colorado and learn from leaders in the field. Michlene is a former Division I NCAA Track and Cross-Country runner, now enjoys spending time with her husband and family trail-running, hiking, downhill and cross country skiing, and is an cinema aficionado.


Heather Heiser - Movement Disorders

Heather grew up in both California and Michigan and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Michigan. She went to medical school at Michigan State University at the Grand Rapids campus. She has spent the last four years living in Chicago while completing her Neurology residency at Rush University. She is excited to be moving west and start her Movement Disorders Fellowship at University of Colorado. In her free time, she enjoys board games, hiking, and traveling the country in an attempt to visit all US National Parks.




Michael Korsmo, MD

Michael hails from Minnesota and attended Medical School at Tulane in New Orleans followed by residency training at UPMC in Pittsburgh. His academic interests include medical education, expanding care to underserved communities and global health. In his free time, Michael enjoys music performance (guitar and keys), photography, brewing and hiking.


Tara Carlisle, MD

Tara was born and raised in Grand Junction, Colorado. As a pre-medical student at the University of Colorado Boulder, she worked with researcher and educator William B. Wood, Ph.D., in his C. elegans developmental biology lab. After completing her B.A. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, she joined the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She completed her Ph.D. in the Neuroscience Program studying activity dependent processes in the developing spinal cord of Danio rerio (zebrafish) with Angeles B. Ribera, Ph.D. Following medical school, she stayed with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus for an internal medicine internship, then moved across country to Boston to complete a neurology residency with the Partners Neurology Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital in association with Harvard Medical School. She is now excited to cultivate both clinical and research future in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry with the University of Colorado. Outside of work, she enjoys crafting (i.e., visual art, furniture refinishing/refurbishment, jewelry), outdoor activities (i.e., camping, hiking, skiing), playing board games, trying new foods, and spending time with her husband and son.


Antonia Pusso - Movement Disorders

Antonia was born and raised in Virginia. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at University of Virginia, VA. She then went to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD for two years prior to medical school. She then returned to Virginia where she completed medical school at University of Virginia.

She completed her medical internship and neurology residency in Boston at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where she served as chief resident in her final year.  In her free time she enjoys listening to podcasts, cross stitching, hiking, biking, and exploring outdoors.



Jarrett Leech - Neurohospitalist

Jarrett received his Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience from Brown University, where he played four years of division one college soccer as a goalkeeper. He graduated from Tufts School of Medicine prior to moving to Colorado for neurology residency. His hobbies include Brazilian jiu jitsu, skiing, the neurology book club, playing piano and cooking.



Monica Petluru - Neuromuscular

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Monica has completed her residency here at University of Colorado.   Monica originally chose Colorado because there are a wide variety of neurology sub-specialties represented at the University of Colorado, and the faculty and residents are incredibly supportive. Plus, it's wonderful to have quick access to the mountains on your days off.   Her hobbies include  hiking, reading, and raising carnivorous plants.




Tiffany Brown - Vascular Neurology

Originally from Texas and completed her neurology residency training at UT Health San Antonio. Outside of work, she love to crochet (anything from stuffed animals to blankets and clothing), bake, cook, and spend time with her dogs. Tiffany is looking forward to all of the outdoor adventures available in and around Denver




Igor Malenky - Vascular Neurology

Igor, is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and has just finished his residency with us at University of Colorado.   He attended Medical College of Georgia and did an away rotation and had this to say “The education seemed amazing and the support from all the staff made it seem like the perfect place to train. The location was also an amazing draw.”   His hobbies include, traveling Internationally, hiking in the mountains, exercising/running.