Allergy and Immunology

Program Details
Division Chief Rauno Joks, MD
Telephone (718) 270-2929
Number of first year fellows 1 – PGY4 or PGY5 with board eligibility in Medicine
1 – PGY 4 or PGY 5 with board eligibility in Pediatrics
Number of faculty 5
Hospitals fellows rotate to Kings County Medical Center, University Hospital at Downstate
Sample schedule for first year fellow Allergy Clinic - Tuesdays and Fridays AM
Immunology Clinic - Friday PM
Research interests of the division

Asthma, Immunodeficiency, Mucosal immunity. Please see below for current research projects in the division.

Conference schedule Tuesday PM – Immunology Conference & Rounds
Friday PM – Allergy Conference
Description of the educational aspects and advantage of the program Fellows are sent to the annual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Conference and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Conference.
Application Information

We participate in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) and accept application through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS).

Applicants are encouraged to visit the ERAS website for further information and program requirements.

Contact Rauno Joks, MD
450 Clarkson Avenue
MSC 50
Brooklyn, NY 11203


Name: Nneoma Obiejemba, MD
Medical School: College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Abia State University, Abia, Nigeria
Residency: Pediatrics, BronxCare Health Systems

Name: Sairaman Nagarajan, MD, MPH
Medical School: SRM Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, India
Residency: Pediatrics, SUNY Health Center, Brooklyn
MPH: Epidemiology, Rutgers University School of Public Health

Name: Niloofar Anooshiravani, MD (Chief Fellow)
Medical School: Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland
Residency: Internal Medicine, St. Luke's Hospital Center, Mount Sinai West/Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Name: Lara Farhat, DO
Medical School: Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center
Fellowship: Pediatric Pulmonology, Montefiore Medical Center

Name: Shumaila Khan, MD, FACP
Medical School: Fatima Jinnah Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan
Residency/Chief Residency: Internal Medicine, Long Island College Hospital/SUNY Health Science Center

Affiliated Faculty

Rauno Joks, MD, FAAAI
Maria-Anna Vastardi, MD, FAAAI
Smita Kumar, MD, FAAAI
Rose Karanicolas, MD, FAAAI

Adjunct Faculty

Maja Nowakowski PhD, Department of Pathology
Helen G. Durkin PhD, Department of Pathology
Tamar Smith-Norowitz, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine


Downstate Allergy & Immunology graduates have obtained faculty positions at:
Columbia NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, NY
Massachusetts General Hospital, NY
Yale University, CT
National Jewish Hospital, CO
University of Virginia at Richmond, VA
Case Western University Hospital, OH
Mt Sinai Medical Center, CA
Hofstra – Northwell University Hospital, NY
SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, NY
Newark Beth-Israel Hospital, NY

Private Practice

Downstate graduates have also been successful in finding employment in private practice across the country. States they have practiced in include: California, Colorado, Washington, Florida, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, and New York.
Finally, graduates from our program have successfully patented and marketed their allergy-related innovations.

Division research projects (completed and ongoing)
  1. Association of prescription opiate use for chronic pain syndromes with asthma and allergy; Naik R, Goodrich G, Manian D, Goyal A, Rotella K, Joks R
  2. Prevalence of Asthma in Chronic Opioid Users Receiving Acute Care in an Inner City, Municipal New York Hospital Serving an Ethnic Minority Patient Population; Lee A, Naik R, Joks R
  3. Expression of iNOS by CD33+ monocytes in PBMC correlate with asthma severity and control scores in adults with allergy and asthma; Nowakowski M, Kwesiga E, El Sehamy A, Goodman B, McCormick S, Chice S, Durkin HG, Joks R.
  4. Association of global trends of national tobacco smoking rates with prevalence of pediatric asthma and allergy; Khan, S, Joks, R.
  5. Clinical Predictors of Obesity and Allergic Rhinitis Seasonality in an Inner-city Pediatric Cohort; Manian D; Nagarajan S, Vastardi M
  6. Factors influencing on Adiposity and Skin Prick Test Positivity in an Inner City Pediatric Cohort, 2013-2016, Manian D, Nagarajan S, Vastardi M
  7. Determining the occurrence of asthma with lowback pain in persons presenting to a tertiary institution in New York; Obijiemba N, Obijiemba D, Nagarajan S, Naik R, Joks R
  8. Relation of Family history of cancer to prevalence of asthma and allergy in pediatric patients (ongoing)
  9. The Association between Hay-Fever and Cancer Diagnoses in the National Health Interview Survey 2015; N Anooshiravani, S Nagarajan, H G Durkin, R Joks
  10. The Association between Asthma and Cancer Diagnoses in the National Health Interview Survey 2015; N Anooshiravani, S Nagarajan, M Vastardi, H G Durkin, R Joks
  11. The Protective Effects of Eosinophilia and High IgE on Cancer Diagnoses in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (2005-2016); Nagarajan S, Hoepner L, Joks R
  12. In-hospital Mortality of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation among Children with Non-malignancies: A nationwide study in the United States from 2000 to 2012 Takahashi T, Pereda MA, Bala N, Nagarajan S

All prospective applicants are required to have completed an accredited three-year residency program in Internal Medicine or Pediatrics. The Allergy/Immunology Fellowship Program at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) and accepts application through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS). Applicants are encouraged to visit the ERAS website for further information and program requirements.

Our program begins reviewing applications in early September. Most interviews are sent out after Labor Day, and interviews are scheduled in late September, October and November.
The following documents are required with the application:

  • Dean's letter
  • Minimum requirement: 3 letters of reference - one from Program Director
  • Medical School Diploma
  • Medical School Transcripts
  • USMLE transcripts
  • ECFMG certificate (if applicable)
  • ERAS Curriculum Vitae
  • Board certification (if available at the time of application)

Applicants scheduled to be interviewed will meet with the Program Director and be interviewed by faculty and meet with fellows in the division of Allergy and Immunology. Each applicant will be evaluated on his/her medical knowledge, training background, participation in research, personality, motivation and letters of recommendation. Our program offers J-1 visa sponsorship through the ECFMG.

For further information, you may contact:

Vaneisha Smith
Division Administrator and Program Coordinator
Division of Allergy & Immunology
Department of Medicine

Phone: (718) 270-2929
Fax: (718) 270-3289

Rotation Schedule


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
  9am-2:00pm 9am-12:30pm   9am
Consults KCH Adult Allergy Clinic
E Building, 5th Floor
(if you are assigned)


KCH Peds Allergy Clinic
Dr. Kumar
E Building 4th Floor
Adult Allergy & Asthma Clinic
Dr. Vastardi
Suite A
Consults KCH Peds Allergy Clinic
Dr. Kumar
E Building, 4th Floor 
        KCHC Adult Allergy Clinic, E Building, 5th Floor (if you are assigned)
  2pm-3pm 1pm-5pm 1pm-5pm 1:30pm-2:30 pm
Consults Immunology Journal Club
UHD Perrin Long Library
Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Clinic
UHD Faculty Practice
4th Floor
Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Clinic
UHD Faculty Practice
4th Floor
Allergy Journal Club
UHD Perrin Long Library
6th Floor