Meet the Mentors

Many of our members are interested in serving as mentors to medical students looking to learn more about urogynecology and help them find an elective placement overseas. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let us know if you would like to have a mentor!

Jenifer Byrnes

Jenifer Byrnes

New York, USA

Mentor
Jenifer Byrnes

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

I moved to Rochester, New York, USA in 2018 to join the faculty after graduating from Fellowship.

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

I joined the University of Rochester as an Assistant Professor in 2018, and I'm also currently the Assistant Program Director of our FPMRS Fellowship.

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

I first joined IUGA in 2017 during my FPMRS Fellowship at Mayo Clinic. I enjoy learning from a diverse, international community of pelvic floor experts to provide high quality, evidence based patient care.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

As a Fellow, I attended the 42nd Annual Meeting in Vancouver, and my co-fellows and I assisted John Gebhart, MD on a Vaginal Uterosacral Suspension during a Cadaveric Live Surgery Session.

What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

I have a 17 month old daughter, so it's been a while since I've seen a movie! My husband and I snuck away to see the Hamilton musical when it toured in Rochester, NY and we loved it!

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy running, hiking, and traveling.

What is one "fun fact" about you?

My husband and I are learning American Sign Language with our 17 month old daughter.

Ankita Gupta

Ankita Gupta

Illinois, USA

Mentor
Ankita Gupta

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

I am originally from Mumbai, India but currently live and work in Chicago, USA. After medical school in India, I moved to Boston for public health training and stayed through residency in Philadelphia, fellowship in Louisville and now my first FPMRS job.

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

I work at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, Chicago’s oldest teaching institution. I provide FPMRS and complex GYN care to a diverse community in Chicago and work with ObGyn residents on their research. Combining my background in public health and surgery, my interests lie in improving surgical access and health care disparities.

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

I decided to join IUGA after the AUGS-IUGA combined meeting in 2019. I was impressed by the scope and diversity of the organization and enjoyed meeting people from across the globe who share my interests.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

Since joining IUGA, I have been involved in several committees and have had the chance to know other IUGA members and learn from their experiences. The interactions have been the most valuable part of my IUGA experience!

Matthew Izett

Matthew Izett

London, UK

Mentor
Matthew Izett

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

I currently live in London, UK. I moved here to start my training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and have stayed to undertake further research in the field of Urogynaecology.

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

I am currently a clinical research fellow at University College London Hospital's Urogynaecology and Pelvic Floor Unit. I started this post after five years of general O+G training and I am registered as a doctoral student at University College London where I am completing an MD thesis looking at the safety and efficacy of laparoscopic mesh sacrohysteropexy.

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

I joined IUGA in 2015 when I was working for Professor Linda Cardozo at King's College Hospital. She hugely inspired me to take interest in the field and IUGA offered an opportunity to do this on an international level with exposure to the frontiers of pelvic floor medicine and surgery.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

Nice, France, IUGA meeting 2015. My first IUGA exposure, lucky enough to present some work and I met lots of wonderful people while enjoying some great food and socializing.

What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

The Universe in Your Hand by Christophe Galfard. An exceptionally humbling read.

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Travelling, cooking, and eating.

Kristine Janssen

Kristine Janssen

Utrecht, The Netherlands

Mentor
Kristine Janssen

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location?
I currently live in Utrecht, the Netherlands. I moved here to attend medical school and started my residency pogram here as well.
Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.
I am a sixth (final) year OBGYN resident and decided to dedicate this year to urogynecology. I mainly work in a specialized urogynecology department at the Bergman Clinics, which is a tertiary referral center for urogynecology. I have been interested in urogynecology since my rotations in medical school, which I finished in 2010. After medschool I started working as a resident and urogynecology research fellow in Utrecht and in Cleveland Ohio and started my OBGYN training program in 2015.
When and why did you decide to join IUGA?
I joined IUGA during residency. I was inspired by a few urogynecologists who have been a real role models for me and decided to persue my carreer in urogynecology.
What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?
IUGA 2010 in Toronto, which I joined as a medical student was definitely a highlight. It was my first international conference and I got to know many colleagues in the field. It was a warm welcome in the world of urogynecology. I attended many annual meetings after that.
What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?
The last movie I saw was ‘Knives Out’, a surprising plot and would for sure recommend it.
What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
After work I enjoy going to modern dance workouts and Pilates classes.
Besides, I love traveling, the outdoors, cooking and eating.

Priyanka H Krishnaswamy

Priyanka H Krishnaswamy

Glasgow, UK

Mentor
Priyanka H Krishnaswamy

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

Glasgow, United Kingdom

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

Dr Priyanka Krishnaswamy, MRCOG Subspecialty Registrar in Urogynaecology Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow & Honorary Clinical Lecturer, University of Glasgow

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

I decided to join IUGA in 2018 as I was doing my advanced training in Urogynaecology then and wished to access online learning, speak with people around the world in urogynaecology and be involved in IUGA Committees.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

The IUGA Academy has been most useful. Joining discussions and hearing from other members has been very interesting too.

What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

I find the books by Christopher Brookmyre quite interesting and fun. I would highly recommend it.

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy swimming, reading, indoor and outdoor climbing.

What is one "fun fact" about you?

I am quite adventurous and like to try new types of food and outdoor adventure sports.

Paul Muwanguzi

Paul Muwanguzi

Kampala, Uganda

MENTOR
Paul Muwanguzi

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

I live in Kampala, Uganda the city where I grew up, went to school, and work.

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

I am an Obstetrician and Gynecologist, and a Severe Birth Trauma Surgeon. I work at the AgaKhan University Hospital in Kampala, Uganda and i teach at King Cesar University part time. I spent the last few years doing humanitarian work around severe birth trauma reconstruction and rehabilitation for underprivileged women in Africa, and I am currently mobilising resources to open a rural severe birth trauma centre in my home village on Mountain Elgon, four hundred kilometres to the east of Kampala.

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

I joined IUGA a few years ago, and at the time, I wanted to be a part of a global network of academicians, researchers and mentors in the field of Urogynecology and pelvic reconstruction; I was looking for a home to belong, contribute and learn from colleagues who shared my passions. I found a home at IUGA.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

Being selected to this committee! I am on top of the world.

What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe. I recommend this book for the way it portrays the simplicity of being traditional African, and the accuracy and complexity with which it portrays change. I also recommend "the Matrix resurrections". I am a fan of these movies. they are fun and interesting to watch, adrenaline packed and quite confusing!

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I write stories, I play piano, I dance ballroom smooth dances, I paint, I swim, I enjoy fine wine and french cheese.

What is one "fun fact" about you?

I love the outside.

Michele O'Shea

Michele O'Shea

North Carolina, USA

Mentor
Michele O'Shea

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

I currently live in Durham, North Carolina. Fellowship training brought me this way!

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

I am currently a first-year Urogynecology fellow at Duke University. I have been here for just under a year. My research interests include global health as it pertains to improving research and access to care of pelvic floor disorders, as well as optimizing patient outcomes after prolapse surgery.

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

I joined in 2018 given the unique opportunity the organization presents to collaborate with individuals sharing the same passion on a global scale.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

Attending the combined AUGS/IUGA meeting in 2019. It was powerful to know that I'm part of a large international network of committed colleagues, all working together tirelessly to advocate for women and the care of pelvic floor disorders worldwide.

What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

I read the book "Know My Name" by Chanel Miller. It is a powerful testimony that reflects the unspoken experiences and strength of many women worldwide, including many of the patients that we serve.

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy traveling, running, trying new foods, and learning new languages.

What is one "fun fact" about you?

I have hiked down-and-up the Grand canyon in one day......twice.

James Ross

James Ross

Cleveland, Ohio

MENTOR
James Ross

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

I currently live and work in Cleveland, Ohio in the Unites States. I ended up in Cleveland as this is where I matched for my fellowship.

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

I am currently a FPMRS fellow at the Cleveland Clinic. I am in my second year of my three-year fellowship. My research interests are broad but include surgical technique videos, combined surgery for pelvic organ and rectal prolapse, and surgical and non-surgical outcomes for pelvic floor disorders.

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

As a trainee in urogynecology, I felt it was important to be involved in the international conversation about pelvic floor disorders and IUGA is a fantastic resource.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

Although my experience thus far has been limited, I really enjoyed the AUGS/IUGA meeting in Nashville!

What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

The last movie was Red Notice on Netflix.

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Cooking, running, and collecting shaving products

What is one "fun fact" about you?

I used to be an accomplished bassoonist.

Visha Tailor

Visha Tailor

London, UK

Mentor
Visha Tailor

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

Born and bred in London, UK

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

I am an obstetric and gynecology trainee in London with an interest in urogynaecology. Currently, I have been working as a urogynaecology clinical research fellow for the last year and a half focusing on a microbiome project at Imperial College London.

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

I joined 2 years ago as thought it would be a great way to meet like minded trainees, develop my knowledge of urogynaecology and be exposed to the most up to date research and training.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

The Fellows stream and social at IUGA 2018 Vienna really motivated me with my own research project. It was a great place to get practical advice that I was able to use straight away.

What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Yes, a wonderfully written series of books!

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love to dance, whether its prancing around my front room or attending classical Indian dance classes. I relax to music and every now and again need to lose myself to a good thriller of a book.

Annika Taithongchai

Annika Taithongchai

London, UK

Mentor
Annika Taithongchai

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

South London, England.

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

I am currently a trainee, having recently completed a clinical research fellowship with Miss. Thakar and Mr. Sultan. My areas of interest are endoanal and pelvic floor scanning.

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

Having attended my first IUGA conference in Nice, I realized what a wonderful family IUGA was. I have been provided with opportunities to meet fellow peers and a platform to discuss and learn all things necessary.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

Being part of the team hosting the first IUGA Allied Professionals Symposium earlier this year. It was a resounding success. It was exciting to hear topics discussed amongst such varied professionals, emphasizing one of the amazing things about urogynaecology being it's multidisciplinary nature.

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy anything outdoors from skiing and snowboarding, hiking or netball to playing in the park with my son.

What is one "fun fact" about you?

I have done audiobook narration for over 20 children's books.

Yu Hwee Tan

Yu Hwee Tan

Queensland, Australia

Mentor
Yu Hwee Tan

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

I live in the Gold Coast, Australia and moved here to complete my Urogynecology fellowship.

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

I am a 2nd year Urogynecology Fellow at Gold Coast Hospital and an obstetrician gynecologist. I am completing a 3 year Urogynecology subspecialty training program.

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

I joined IUGA about 3 years ago when I decided to subspecialize in Urogynecology as I felt it was a great platform to connect with specialists and peers with similar specialty interests and to be more involved in research and education.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

Being part of the IUGA Fellows and Trainees committee!

What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly - great detective novel; would definitely recommend it.

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Erika Wasenda

Erika Wasenda

New Jersey, USA

MENTOR
Erika Wasenda

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

New Jersey, USA I grew up in New Jersey, crossed the country to do my fellowship training in California, and returned home upon completion.

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

I am currently the Urogynecology Fellowship Director at Atlantic Health in Morristown, NJ. I have been here since I graduated fellowship in 2017.

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

I enjoy learning from others and can appreciate varied approaches to a problem.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

Seeing old friends!

What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

Embarrassing to admit -the Bridgerton series. If you're looking for a mindless escape, I highly recommend it!

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Traveling!

What is one "fun fact" about you?

I'm a first-generation American

Manisha Yadav

Manisha Yadav

Kathmandu, Nepal

Mentor
Manisha Yadav

Tell us about where you currently live (city/country) and how you ended up in this location.

Country of Himalays and Temples- Nepal

Tell us about your work - your job title, where you work, how long you've worked in the field, areas of focus or research, etc.

Urogynaecologist and Laparoscopic surgeon. My research focus on pelvic floor injury

When and why did you decide to join IUGA?

I joined IUGA in 2018. It's a great platform to expand networking, access educational material and promoting knowledge in the area of pelvic floor medicine.

What has been your most rewarding or memorable IUGA experience?

Receiving IUGA observership grant 2020, becoming the member of IUC committee...and lots more to come.

What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Cooking, Watching romantic and thriller series. I love to travel with my family.

What is one "fun fact" about you?

I always scream for ice cream ?