Trainee Testimonials

We are grateful to the many outstanding trainees from diverse backgrounds that have contributed to our team’s scientific work over the years. Here are examples of our past trainees.


johnson__mary_ann_md-1.jpgMary Ann Johnson, MD  – Board-certified Dermatologist at Mercy Medical Group

Dr. Armstrong is an exceptional mentor and role model. As a research fellow, she helped me to develop my own scientific interests, execute clinical trials, and improve my writing skills.  I can honestly say that I would not be where I am in my career without Dr. Armstrong’s influence.”

audrey-wang-headshot_sep-2017.pngAudrey Wang, MD – Board-certified Staff Dermatologist, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, San Diego, California

With Dr. Armstrong’s careful guidance, I was able to develop a better understanding and appreciation of clinical trial design, execution, and analysis. I greatly benefited from her vast clinical research experience and have applied the skills I acquired under her mentorship to enhance my daily clinical practice and improve patient care.”

IMG_4830Randie Kim, MD PhD – Board-certified Dermatologist, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine

During medical school, I learned the importance of patient outcome research from Dr. Armstrong. Her work is the perfect example of how clinical research positively impacts patient care.”

baran-ho-headshot-sep-2017-e1530897470637.jpgBaran Ho, MD – Board-certified Dematologist, Associate Physician – Kaiser Permanente, Union City

Working with Dr. Armstrong taught me how best to integrate teledermatology into both urban and rural practice settings. I had the opportunity to utilize what I learned directly in the clinical setting in both Mozambique and Brazil, allowing me to better serve these communities in need.

sonial-lamel-headshot-sep-2017.jpgSonia Lamel, MD FAAD – Board-certified Dermatologist, Medical Director Berman Skin Institute, San Francisco

After working with Dr. Armstrong, you’ll have in depth knowledge and ability to take a research idea from conception through development, application, data coding and analysis, and creation of a relevant and impactful manuscript capable of publication in top dermatology journals. No other research fellowship will give you such a skill set.

elizabeth-brezinski-wallace-photo.jpgElizabeth Brezinski Wallace, MD – Assistant Professor of Dermatology, University of Colorado

Dr. Armstrong has been a dedicated mentor and unwavering advocate for my professional development as a dermatologist, spanning from medical school through residency. Collaborating with Dr. Armstrong has enabled me to pursue incredible research opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally. Her drive to advance knowledge in dermatology to better patient care is infectious and her commitment to mentoring trainees is something that I hope to emulate in my career.”

kkp-head-shot-aad-2016.jpgKory Parsi, DO  – Board-certified Staff Dermatologist, Kaiser Permanente, Volunteer Clinical Faculty, UC Davis School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology

April Armstrong has the invaluable ability as a mentor to identify a mentee’s strengths and weaknesses, improve on the areas that need improvement, and enhance their strengths to heights beyond what they likely thought they could achieve. Dr. Armstrong’s passion for clinical research is infectious, and anyone who works with her will learn about clinical research in a way that will enhance whatever career path they pursue in medicine and/or medical research.”

Aleksandra florek headshot sep 2017Aleksandra Florek, MD  Dermatology Resident, University of Colorado

Being able to work under the mentorship of such a phenomenal dermatologist and clinical researcher has completely changed my approach to dermatology and clinical research. Dr. Armstrong has been an exceptional mentor, and provided hands-on mentorship, including in-clinic teaching, public speaking, and one-on-one writing mentorship that I will always be able to utilize as a future dermatologist.

chelsea-ma-headshot-sep-2017.jpgChelsea Ma, MD – Dermatology Resident, University of California, Davis

My research experience with Dr. Armstrong taught me how to approach gaps in our field analytically and creatively. She has also been a huge source of support and helped me achieve my professional goals. I gained both a lifelong mentor and the skills needed to pursue an academic career.


Nazanin Ehsani-Chimeh, MD – Dermatology Resident, University of Colorado

Dr. Armstrong is a super-mentor, someone who takes a very keen interest in developing your future professional goals. She works tirelessly to guide you and encourages you to succeed in your chosen path with herself serving as a prime role model. From a research standpoint, she teaches you how to develop a solid scientific question and then to effectively communicate your findings with a broad audience. From an educator standpoint, she adapts her teaching style to your level of understanding, and is always available to answer questions, no matter how simple or complex. From a clinician standpoint, she encourages you to develop independent systematic thought processes and higher level organizational and management skills that are taught nowhere in medical school. I am so very lucky that I got the rare opportunity to work with her and learn so much from such an amazing leader in the field of dermatology!

IMG_0036Heather Kornmehl, MD – 2019 Dermatology Resident, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Dr. Armstrong wants nothing more than to help her mentees realize their potentials and achieve their professional dreams. Dr. Armstrong devoted countless hours to helping me improve my research strategies, composition skills, and public speaking. Her guidance fostered my development of invaluable skill sets, which have already been critical to my success.”

Sanminder Singh, MD IMG_9643– 2019 Dermatology Resident, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Working with Dr. Armstrong was one of the major highlights of my medical school experience. Her kindness, willingness to share her own experiences and wisdom while listening closely, are all qualities that I have learned from. Under her mentorship, I had the opportunity to learn valuable skill sets relating to patient-centered research methodology, time management, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Her mentorship has been invaluable in my personal and professional development, and I am very happy to have gained a wonderful advocate and ally.”

Nicole SalameNicole Salame, MD – 2020 Dermatology Resident, Emory University

“Dr. Armstrong remains among the best mentors I have had in my professional career. Her dedication to my personal and professional development is palpable, and her enthusiasm for patient care and advancing the field of dermatology is inspiring. Dr. Armstrong taught me how to seize ownership of my research, while providing me with the incredible guidance and mentorship to advance my projects from protocol development, to publication, to podium-presentation at national conferences. She taught me how to approach my research creatively, grow as a clinical researcher, collaborate with nationwide dermatologists, and confidently present my research to large audiences. Working with Dr. Armstrong was a career-changing opportunity. I feel blessed to have found a role model, powerful advocate, and life-long mentor in Dr. Armstrong.”

Jeena SandhuJeena Sandhu, MD – 2020 Dermatology Resident, Cook County Health and Hospitals

“Dr. Armstrong has played a pivotal role in my journey. She challenged me to reach my true potential, and gave me the tools I needed to be successful not only as a researcher, but as an aspiring dermatologist. During my time with Dr. Armstrong, I gained the skills to develop research protocols, lead multi-site collaborations, publish in notable journals, assist with clinical trials, and provide quality patient care in the clinic. Dr. Armstrong is an amazing mentor and educator, who truly wants the best for her mentees. She goes out of her way to tailor the research fellowship to fit each of her mentee’s goals. She is one of the most hardworking, accomplished, and humble people I have had the privilege to work with, and a true role model.”

Adam FordAdam Ford, MD – 2020 Dermatology Resident, University of California Davis

“Dr. Armstrong is truly an incredible mentor, and I feel very grateful to have been able to learn from her. She leads by example every step of the way, and she inspires her mentees to be the very best they can be. Dr. Armstrong taught me many invaluable lessons including scientific writing pointers, clinical pearls, tips for interacting with patients, guidance on how to succeed professionally, and advice on personal life. I am now confident in my ability to conduct medical research and to engage with the academic medical community. I feel incredibly lucky to know that I have Dr. Armstrong as a mentor and an advocate moving forward with my career in dermatology!”

Yim-Photo-JPGKaitlyn Yim, MD – 2019 Dermatology Resident, University of Southern California

“Dr. Armstrong is one of my most influential mentors in my personal and professional life. Her dedication to teaching me about clinical research and the field of dermatology, as well as her unwavering support in motivating me to be my best is unmatched and a rarity that I will forever be grateful for as I continue my training to become a dermatologist. Dr. Armstrong took the time to learn my personal aspirations within dermatology and trusted me with opportunities that helped me to grow immensely towards my goals. She truly embodies what it means to be a sincere educator, researcher, and physician. Working with Dr. Armstrong has been an extraordinary and career-changing experience, and I look forward to continue learning from her!”

Front Headshot copyKevin Wu, MD – 2021 Dermatology Resident, University of Southern California

“Working with Dr. Armstrong has been the most rewarding experience of my medical school career. Not only are you exposed to various new therapies in clinical trials as a research fellow, but you also gain invaluable experience seeing patients in dermatology clinics. Something that I found to be incredibly inspiring about Dr. Armstrong is her unwavering dedication towards mentoring her mentees; she will devote the necessary time and resources in order to help trainees become the best possible version of themselves. Dr. Armstrong provides specific, thoughtful, and methodical advice not just in research, but also in applying to dermatology residencies, interviewing, and life in general. Dr. Armstrong is the most influential mentor I have ever had, and I can’t wait to continue working with her and learning from her throughout residency.”

IMG_6321Andrea Borba, MD – 2021 Dermatology Resident, Geisinger Health System

“Working with Dr. Armstrong was a privilege and an extraordinary experience. Her knowledge about the field of dermatology is unparalleled and her passion for her work is infectious. She demonstrated a genuine interest in my career goals, and with her guidance and support helped me achieve those goals. Dr. Armstrong’s advice and lessons relevant to the research world and beyond are invaluable, and are skills I will use for the rest of my career. She also fostered a collaborative environment so that I left my time with her with lifelong friends and future colleagues. I feel truly fortunate to have had such an incredible mentor.”

YoungPaulina121Paulina Young, MD –  2021 Dermatology Resident, Baylor University Medical Center

“I met Dr. Armstrong as a first year medical student and she has been a steadfast mentor to me ever since. Through her, I gained my first exposure to clinical research, developed my interest in inflammatory skin conditions, and acquired valuable skills in scientific writing. In matters of research, in clinical settings, and throughout the residency application process, she has been there for me every step of the way. She has guided me and countless others in delineating our goals and then achieving them. I am so thankful to Dr. Armstrong for the opportunity to learn from her these past several years, and I know I will incorporate what she’s taught me into my future practice as a dermatologist.”

thumbnail_DengPiercePierce Deng, MD –  2021 Dermatology Resident, University of Minnesota

“Dedicating a year to work as a research fellow with Dr. Armstrong was the pivotal decision of my medical journey thus far. I remember my first time meeting Dr. Armstrong as a third year medical student with minimal research experience. We discussed the possibility of me joining her team and ever since that first moment, she has been a truly supportive mentor and advocate for me. Dr. Armstrong motivated me to step outside my comfort zone, to take on challenges, and to be the best I could be, both personally and professionally. The experiences, lessons, and skills I gained over the year, in both research and life, were beyond what I could have imagined thanks to her guidance. I will be forever grateful for her support and mentorship.”

Nguyen, Khoa HeadshotKevin Nguyen, MD –  2020 Dermatology Resident, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles

“Dr. Armstrong is the greatest mentor that any medical student could ask for. She filled my research year with meaningful clinical and epidemiology research experiences. She met with me regularly to ensure that my projects were progressing well. Her impact on me extends well beyond her role as a research mentor. Dr. Armstrong reached out to me on multiple occasions to provide career and life advice. I loved having Dr. Armstrong as my mentor because she will go through great lengths to help you reach your professional and personal goals. I cannot thank Dr. Armstrong enough for making this dream possible!”

thumbnail_image0Sandy Chat, MD – 2021 Dermatology Resident, University of Southern California

“Dr. Armstrong is the epitome of a mentor, leader, and role model. For anyone looking for a meaningful and fulfilling experience, I highly recommend working with her! From our regular check-ins to manuscript editing sessions, Dr. Armstrong provided thoughtful and individualized feedback that helped me grow immensely over our time together. I gained the experience to take my own research ideas from conception to publication. Dr. Armstrong introduced me to leaders in the field and provided opportunities to collaborate in multi-site studies. She actively supported and advocated for me throughout the research year and application process. I’m ecstatic to continue learning from Dr. Armstrong in residency. I can’t thank her enough for her guidance and can’t wait to pay it forward.”

ERAS photo (1)Tiffany Sierro, MD – Dermatology Resident, 2021 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

“I am incredibly lucky to have Dr. Armstrong as my mentor. Her passion for research and patient care are only two aspects of what make her an outstanding role-model. She is sincerely invested in helping her research fellows realize their full potential as both researchers and aspiring dermatologists. Over the course of my fellowship, Dr. Armstrong took interest in both my personal and professional goals by tailoring my research year to fit my specific interests in dermatology. Her guidance allowed me to formulate thoughtful research questions, publish manuscripts, and present my findings at national conferences. Needless to say, Dr. Armstrong’s mentorship has played a pivotal role in my professional development. I cannot thank Dr. Armstrong enough for all that she has taught me thus far, and I feel truly fortunate to have her as a lifelong mentor and role model.”

joshua-hekmatjah-1Joshua Hekmatjah, MD – Dermatology Resident, 2021 University of Arkansas College of Medicine, Little Rock

“I can sincerely say that I would not be where I am today without the mentorship and support of Dr. Armstrong. My research year with Dr. Armstrong was filled with incredible learning opportunities, ranging from clinical dermatology to clinical trials and manuscript writing. With Dr. Armstrong’s help and expertise, I overcame various challenges and grew both personally and professionally. I am absolutely confident that the skills I developed during my research year will benefit me throughout my residency and future practice. It is a privilege to have been able to work with Dr. Armstrong and to now call her my life-long mentor.”

ERAS photo_finalCatherine Wang, MD – Dermatology Resident, 2021 Stanford University

“I worked with Dr. Armstrong between the summer of my 1st and 2nd year of medical school and learned so many important skills applicable in both research and clinical settings, such as thinking critically, paying attention to detail, being proactive, and many others. She helped foster my interest in clinical research and is a big reason why I plan to continue conducting research moving forward in my career. After my summer research fellowship, she continued to be a dedicated mentor to me throughout medical school and enthusiastically supported my decision to pursue a research year at the NIH. During my residency application season, Dr. Armstrong was a pillar of support, offering helpful advice and feedback. I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful mentor who wholeheartedly advocates for my success.”

ERAS Photo_CharlotteRead (3)Charlotte Read, MD, PhD candidate – Dermatology Resident, 2021 University of Washington

“As a physician from Scotland with plans to conduct a PhD and pursue Dermatology residency in the U.S., it was critical that I had a mentor that could provide me with the necessary tools to succeed. I am incredibly fortunate to say that I found the mentor that I needed in Dr. Armstrong. Throughout my three years with Dr. Armstrong, I have been provided unparalleled opportunity and dedication to my future goals, unique exposure to clinical trials as well as focused teaching to elevate my clinical practice and scientific skillsets. Without a doubt my experiences with Dr. Armstrong allowed me to flourish to such an extent that I was able to reach my dream of matching into Dermatology; a feat rarely achieved for someone in my particular circumstances and one which many did not believe would be possible. To top it all off, through my time at the Armstrong laboratory, I have had the privilege of sharing my journey with some of the most wonderful people I have ever met who I can proudly say have become close friends of mine. The experience was unforgettable and I believe perfectly positions every mentee of Dr. Armstrong’s for continued success in the future.”

7bde6a34-ef2e-42f5-a1c9-2c871b305c84Yasmin Gutierrez, MD- Dermatology Resident, 2022 University of Southern California

“Dedicating a year to work with Dr. Armstrong has been one of the most meaningful experiences in my medical school career. Coming from a medical school with no home dermatology residency program, I struggled in finding research opportunities and mentors within the field. I was incredibly fortunate to gain that mentor in Dr. Armstrong. Immediately upon meeting her, Dr. Armstrong took a genuine interest in learning about my aspirations within dermatology and ensured I had opportunities to further develop my passions. She spent countless hours guiding me through research idea development, refining my writing and presentation skills, and supporting me throughout the residency application journey. What made the year that much more special was gaining lifelong friends and future colleagues from our incredible research team. I feel blessed to have Dr. Armstrong as a role model and mentor and I’m beyond thrilled to continue learning from her throughout residency!”

BCCB0F9A-8A19-4C2A-9F50-041285885198Madison Jones, MD– Dermatology Resident, 2022 University of Southern California

“I feel extremely grateful to have Dr. Armstrong as my mentor. Dr. Armstrong is truly multi-talented; she is an innovative researcher, a compassionate clinician, and a strategic advisor. Since our first meeting, Dr. Armstrong has remained committed to my success as a future dermatologist. She is the ultimate mentor—constantly seeking opportunities for my growth while empowering me to reach my goals, both personally and professionally. I am beyond thrilled to be entering the field of dermatology with her by my side.”

F3EDD769-B1CA-4447-B3FD-60EA14BF436E_4_5005_cAlison Kohn, MD– Dermatology Resident, 2022 University of South Florida

“Spending a year under the mentorship of Dr. Armstrong was the best decision and most formative experience I have ever had in my professional life. I grew exponentially in both my personal and professional life during my year with her. Learning from her example of excellent patient care in clinic, as well as developing my own research interests under her guidance were integral parts of my career development. Her relentless dedication and passion for helping her trainees succeed is apparent in the countless hours she spent mentoring me and my fellow teammates. I consider myself extremely lucky to work with such a phenomenal mentor and role model!”

Headshot photographySarah Pourali, MD– Dermatology Resident, 2022 Vanderbilt University

“Dr. Armstrong has played a pivotal role in my success and is truly the best mentor I could have asked for as a medical student student. She worked tirelessly with me to help develop my clinical research skills and hone my skills in completing my independent projects. During the research year I was able to learn skills that helped me grow and that I will carry with me in my career. I feel lucky to have found a lifelong mentor in Dr. Armstrong!”

72F37FD2-079F-4E84-B3C2-489D3C3F2612Jeff Rajkumar, MD– Dermatology Resident, 2022 University of California Davis

“I was incredibly fortunate to complete a year-long research fellowship with Dr. Armstrong between my 3rd and 4th years of medical school. The mix of clinical trials, research projects, and frequent interaction with Dr. Armstrong resulted in an extremely rewarding year full of personal and professional growth. Dr. Armstrong exceeded everything I could have hoped for in a mentor – she helped develop and hone my individual research skills and consistently kept my professional and long-term goals in mind. Even during a particularly challenging pandemic year, I was able to learn a significant amount about clinical trials, publish several manuscripts, and present my research at national conferences. I will undoubtedly continue to turn to Dr. Armstrong for advice throughout residency and beyond, and I can’t thank her enough for the help she’s given me thus far!”

For those interested becoming a trainee in Dr. Armstrong’s lab, please see our trainee opportunities page.