This NIH T32 training grant in the Ohio State's Department of Physiology and Cell Biology will support the training of pre-doctoral students performing cardiovascular research in the laboratories of 18 mentors and five participating faculty from five OSU Colleges and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Up to 24 post-candidacy PhD students will be supported over a five-year period starting in the 2017–2018 academic year. This novel training program has two goals to address fundamental challenges in cardiovascular research today:

  • To provide multi-faceted cardiovascular research training to work in collaborative, multidisciplinary teams that will facilitate efficient translation of scientific findings to improve human health.
  • To enhance the number of outstanding researchers and leaders by providing training for the advancement of women to all trainees, improving the culture for women to succeed and promoting the retention of women in independent scientific careers in cardiovascular research. This training program has developed novel training mechanisms to encourage clinical interactions, multi-disciplinary teamwork and professional development.

Central to the training plan is a unique program to address the loss of senior women scientists in cardiovascular research by creating a culture in research to promote the success of all scientists. Although the number of women receiving PhDs and MDs has been equal to that of males for several decades, only about 20 percent of these women become full professors and less than 15 percent become involved in leadership. The loss of these senior women accounts for a tremendous loss of expertise that hinders the ability of the research community to develop new therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. This program provides both men and women the skills to foster scientific and professional development in addition to the information to shift their perspective at an early enough career stage to ultimately retain the best and brightest cardiovascular scientists.

Director: Dr. Jill Rafael-Fortney Co-director: Dr. Brandon Biesiadecki


2021–2022 Trainees

Randa Breikaa (mentor Dr. Brenda Lilly)

Chetan Gomatam (mentor Dr. Jill Rafael-Fortney)

Miguel Lopez (mentor Dr. Noah Weisleder)

Somayya Mohammad (mentor Dr. Sakima Smith)

Lorien Salyer (mentor Dr. Brandon Biesiadecki)

Sarah Sturgill (mentor Dr. Mark Ziolo)


2020–2021 Trainees

Randa Breikaa (mentor Dr. Brenda Lilly)

Zachary Howard (mentor Dr. Jill Rafael-Fortney)

Miguel Lopez (mentor Dr. Noah Weisleder)

Adrianna Matos-Nieves (mentor Dr. Vidu Garg)

Somayya Mohammad (mentor Dr. Sakima Smith)

Kelsey Pinckard (mentor Dr. Kristin Stanford)

2019–2020 Trainees

Amanda Huang (mentor Dr. Paul Janssen)

Kelsey Pinckard (mentor Dr. Kristin Stanford)

Miguel Lopez (mentor Dr. Noah Weisleder)

Adrianna Matos-Nieves (mentor Dr. Vidu Garg)

Zachary Howard (mentor Dr. Jill Rafael-Fortney)

Nehal Patel (mentor Dr. Tom Hund)

2018–2019 Trainees

Lisa Dorn (mentor Dr. Federica Accornero)
Zachary Howard (mentor Dr. Jill Rafael-Fortney)
Emily Nordquist (mentor Dr. Joy Lincoln)
Nehal Patel (mentor Dr. Tom Hund)

2017–2018 Trainees

Vidhya Kumar (mentor Dr. Subha Raman)

Brian Hansen (mentor Dr. Vadim Fedorov)

T32 Mentors

Jill Rafael-Fortney, PhD
Brandon Biesiadecki, PhD
Subha Raman, MD (relocated)
Martha Belury, PhD
Joy Lincoln, PhD (relocated)
Rebecca Jackson, MD
Cynthia Carnes, PharmD
Willa Hsueh, MD
Brenda Lilly, PhD
Peter Mohler, PhD
Paul Janssen, PhD
Vidu Garg, MD
Thomas Hund, PhD
Loren Wold, PhD
Sandor Gyorke, PhD
Noah Weisleder, PhD
Mark Ziolo, PhD

Participating Faculty

Federica Accornero, PhD
Vadim Fedorov, PhD
Kristin Stanford, PhD
Sakima Smith, MD

Clinical Mentors

Linda Cripe, MD
Tom Ryan, MD
May Mah, MD
William Abraham, MD
Kan Hor, MD
Sakima Smith, MD


Spring 2022 Cardiac Predoc T32 Professional Development Workshops

 Professional Development workshops are MONDAYS from 4:00 to 6:00 in DHLRI 165


February 7, 2022 Social Media for Research and Networking (Joey Dillon and Adrianna Matos)

March 7, 2022 Negotiation Book DiscussionWomen Don’t Ask” by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever (Jill Rafael-Fortney

and Brandon Biesiadecki)

April 11, 2022 Managing Energy Rather than Time (Paula Butterfield, PhD, PCC)


Previous Workshops:

Interviewing / Hiring practices (Ira Isaacson, MD, MBA, SVP/Partner Philips, DiPisa & Associates); The states of consciousness as a leadership tool (Paula Butterfield, PhD, PCC); Work life balance and time-management peer discussion; Fellowship Writing: The Biosketch, Research Plan, Applicant Background, Training Goals and The Individualized Development Plan (Drs. Jill Rafael-Fortney and Brandon Biesiadecki); Interviewing Skills, Ira Isaacson, MD, MBA, SVP/Partner Philips, DiPisa & Associates (postponed until Autumn 2020 due to COVID-19); Cardiovascular Scientist Career Paths: R. John Solaro, PhD, Distinguished University Professor, The University of Illinois at Chicago; Book Discussion on “Ask For It” by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever; Advanced Strategies for Increasing Energy Levels, Paula Butterfield, PhD, PCC; Collaborating: Best Practices; Developing Leadership and Gender Based Obstacles; Implicit Bias; Managing Energy Rather Than Time; Leading and the Power of 'And'; Work Life Balance; Managing Assumptions;  Manuscript Review; Book Discussions of Women Don’t Ask and The Confidence Code; Career Path Discussions by Prominent Women Scientists: Jil Tardiff, Story Landis, Joanna Groden;  Team Toxins and What You Can Do About Them, Paula Butterfield, PhD, PCC; Careers in Industry: Aaron Hinken, Ph.D., Head, Muscle Metabolism, GSK; and Research Integrity, Julia Behnfeldt, Ph.D. Associate Director & Research Integrity Officer, Office of Research Compliance; Preparing and Managing Budgets; Implicit Bias; Enneagram Personality Traits; Careers in Industry (Kate Cygnar, Ph.D., Director at Regeneron Pharma)



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