Dr Hayek's medical education began at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He completed his training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Hayek moved to Ann Arbor in 2018 to join U of M's Frankel Cardiovascular Center, and is working to expand the Cardio-Oncology clinic. He continues to pursue state of the art research in risk prediction, ever expanding his knowledge base and research interests.
In his free time, Dr. Hayek is a tech geek who enjoys the company of his wife and two children.
Penney earned her bachelor's degree from the University of California San Diego in Biochemistry and Chemistry. She has spent her career in translational research, from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, to State University of New York at StonyBrook, to the University of Michigan, where she has spent over 15 years managing translational research labs. Her passion lies in finding treatments and preventative medications for chronic illnesses.
In her free time, she plays soccer, loves reading, crafting, and exploring, and volunteers for all of her three children's many activities.
Research Team Members
Libby received her Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Cornell College in 2018. After graduation, she moved to Ann Arbor, where she earned her Masters Degree in Public Health in Epidemiology in 2020 from the University of Michigan. She is currently applying to medical school where she plans to pursue a career in academic infectious disease medicine.
Outside of school and work, Libby enjoys going on hikes with her rescue dogs Dexter and Arbor, cooking, and photography.
Kingsley was born and raised in Michigan and has also spent a lot of time in his native country Nigeria. He earned his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Laboratory Science at Michigan State University. He enjoys learning about many different things related to microbiology and human biology, and their applications to human health. Kingsley also finds research in the field of astrobiology very interesting and important for the future. He plans to attend graduate school after determining the research that interests him most.
In his free time, Kingsley enjoys going to the gym, playing video games, watching the Detroit Lions, and spending time with his pet bearded dragon.
Brayden is a graduate of the University of Michigan Class of 2021 with a B.S. in Biomolecular Science. Brayden is a Research Associate for the Hayek Lab, and he works as a medical assistant at the Frankel CVC. Currently, Brayden is working on the L3 At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit study and the COVID-19 Inflammatory Biomarkers study. He is also in the process of applying to medical schools. In his free time, Brayden enjoys playing basketball and sand volleyball, spending time with family, and going on road trips with his friends.
Tonimarie Catalan is a graduate of the University of Michigan Class of 2020 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Spanish. Suffering from many ailments herself as a child, she was quickly exposed to the world of medicine and felt a fascination for the field. Before attending medical school to pursue an MD-PhD, she hopes to continue her clinical and laboratory research so that she can continue fostering her love for science.
She has spent 2 years with the Department of Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan Medical School as a laboratory assistant under Dr. Ryan Baldridge, PhD. Her work focused on ER-associated degradation (ERAD) and protein quality control in the Tul1 protein complex.
In addition to working in the Hayek Lab, she does clinical research for Dr. Scott Hummel, MD at Michigan Medicine Department of Cardiology focusing on treatment of patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). In her free time, she enjoys reading, knitting, embroidering, and running.
Jiazi is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan’s School of Literature, Science and the Arts exploring the pre-medical or pre-pharmacy track. She hopes to major in either neuroscience or biochemistry. Jiazi joined the Hayek Lab through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), where she jumped into research working with mouse models on potential therapeutics for atherosclerosis.
Jiazi was born in Florida, and grew up in China, Ohio, and New York City! In her free time, Jiazi enjoys hand-making stickers, reading, and playing Tetris.
Grace is a University of Michigan student in the School of Literature, Science and the Arts, with intent to major in either chemistry or biology on the pre-med track in hopes of becoming a physician. Grace began with the Hayek lab as a first-year undergraduate student through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), and enjoyed research so much she stayed on as a Research Assistant, increasing her knowledge and skillset.
Grace was born and raised in Michigan. In addition to her academics, Grace has played the violin for her entire life and is involved with the Campus Symphony Orchestra at UM. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, spending time with her friends or her cat, and watching Michigan football. She loves to travel and would love to visit Greece or Italy soon.
Ian Pizzo was born and raised in Michigan, where he graduated from Central Michigan University in 2022 with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Biology, following the pre-medicine pathway. Ian is currently a Study Coordinator in the Hayek Lab, responsible for coordinating the COVID and Cardio-Oncology research studies.
Ian is hoping to gain research experience and exposure before applying to medical school to ultimately pursue his goal of becoming a physician.
In his free time, Ian enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and traveling to experience different cultures around the world.
Feriel Presswalla was born and raised in Mumbai, India, and she received her bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 2015. She previously worked at the Miller Lab at the Kellogg Eye Center as a Research Lab Specialist and is taking on the same position at the Hayek Lab. Feriel is interested in going to medical school to pursue cardiopulmonary surgery. Her research with the Hayek Lab focuses on the role of suPAR in cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.
Outside of work, she is the Secretary and Scholarship Chair of the Board of Governors of the Henderson House co-op on campus, as well as Recording Secretary and Archivist for the UMAC (University of Michigan Alumnae Council). In her free time, Feriel is an avid TV and film enthusiast and plant mom, and she loves pub trivia, scavenger hunts, fiber arts, and reading!
Noor Sulaiman was born and raised in Michigan, and she graduated from Wayne State University in 2021 with a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology and a minor in Biology. During that time, she volunteered at the Karmanos Cancer Institute as part of a research project studying the effects of a novel anti-cancer drug for about two years. Noor is a research assistant in the Hayek Lab where she is responsible for coordinating the COVID-19 research studies.
She is currently in the process of applying to medical school in hopes to continue pursuing her love for science. In her free time, Noor loves being outside, spending time with her friends, traveling, and learning about new cultures and languages.
Annika began as a student researching in Dr. Hayek's lab with the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and has continued on as a Laboratory Assistant. Annika was born and raised in Michigan. She is currently a student at the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. During her undergraduate education at Michigan, she is studying Biology and Spanish on the pre-medical track.
In her free time, Annika loves cooking, baking, playing tennis, and spending time with friends and family.
Caroline is a junior undergraduate student at the University of Michigan's School of Kinesiology. She is studying movement science on a pre-PA track, and she is a research assistant for the Hayek Lab. Caroline was born and raised in Michigan.
In her free time, Caroline is part of the Impact Dance club on campus, and she also enjoys spending time with friends and family and working out.
Medha joined the Hayek lab as first-year undergraduate student at the University of Michigan’s School of Literature, Science and the Arts hoping to pursue a degree in Public Health. She joined the lab through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Following her UROP project researching suPAR's association with Aortic Aneurysms, Medha returned to the lab as a Research Assistant to expand her research capabilities.
Previously, Medha has worked as a patient attendant at Michigan Medicine and volunteered at the American Red Cross. In addition to her experience in pre-health, she is interested in political science.
In her free time, Medha likes to cook, play chess, work out, and spend time with her family and friends.
Alexi received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2015. Towards the end of her undergraduate career, she pursued an accelerated BSN program at Michigan State University and, soon after, began her PhD in Nursing Science at the University of Washington with a graduate certificate in Public Health Genetics.
Alongside her studies there, she worked on many projects related to cancer survivorship, cardio-oncology, and symptom science. She has also been supported by numerous NIH funded fellowships and grants from the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, as well as received funding from the American Cancer Society, American Nurses Foundation, and the Oncology Nursing Foundation.
Within the Hayek lab, she will continue her focus on cardio-oncology projects. Leveraging her strong interest in epidemiological methods, Alexi strives to improve the quality of life in cancer survivors by enhancing early prediction methods and developing evidence-based treatment guidelines through her research.
In her free time, Alexi enjoys cuddling with her cats, doing high intensity workouts, and reading. She loves to travel internationally and hopes to visit Amsterdam, UK, and Scotland very soon.
Namratha grew up in North Muskegon, Michigan. She is a sophomore at the University of Michigan pursuing a B.A. degree in both Molecular and Cellular Developmental Biology and American Culture on the pre-med track. She joined the Hayek lab as a research assistant, and She is currently working towards completing a senior thesis on the Disruption of the RAGE pathway in mouse models of atherosclerosis.
. After college, she hopes to matriculate into an MD/PHD program. Namratha is an EMT in-training, bioinformatics programmer, Undergraduate Department of Biology laboratory assistant, volunteer for the Michigan Medicine ECMO laboratory, and hospice caretaker. In her free time, Namratha enjoys coding apps, eating, and hiking.
Clinical Residents and Fellows
Pat grew up in South Bend, Indiana, and attended the University of Notre Dame, receiving his bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences, along with a minor in Philosphy, in 2013.
Pat earned a Master's degree in cellular and molecular biology from University of Michigan in 2017, while attending medical school. He received his medical degree from UM Medical School in 2019, and began his residency in Internal Medicine shortly thereafter. After his year as Chief Resident, Pat plans on pursuing a Cardiology fellowship and career in academic medicine.
Outside of medicine, Pat loves spending time with his wife, family, and friends, drinking coffee, playing board games, running, cooking, and watching sports.
Danny has received not only his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, but also earned his medical degree, completed his Internal Medicine Residency, and is currently a Cardiology Fellow all at the University of Michigan!
Danny enjoys playing and watching sports (especially U of M!), golfing, travelling, and spending time with his wife, Jessica.