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Training to Provide the Knowledge, Skills and Culture to the Next Generation of Cardiovascular Scientists

Dr. Jill Rafael-Fortney, Director and Dr. Brandon Biesiadecki, Co-director


This NIH T32 Training Grant will support the training of pre-doctoral students performing cardiovascular research in the laboratories of 18 mentors and 5 participating faculty from 5 OSU Colleges and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Up to 24 post-candidacy Ph.D. students will be supported over a 5-year period starting in the 2017-2018 academic year.  This novel training program has 2 goals to address fundamental challenges in cardiovascular research today: 1) 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; and 2) 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% of these women become full professors and only <15% 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.



2017-2018 Trainees

Brian Hansen (mentor Dr. Vadim Fedorov)


T32 Mentors

Jill Rafael-Fortney, Ph.D.

Brandon Biesiadecki, Ph.D.

Subha Raman, M.D.

Martha Belury, Ph.D.

Joy Lincoln, Ph.D.

Rebecca Jackson, M.D.

Cynthia Carnes, PharmD.

Willa Hsueh, M.D.

Brenda Lilly, Ph.D.

Peter Mohler, Ph.D.

K. Craig Kent, M.D.

Paul Janssen, Ph.D.

Vidu Garg, M.D.

Thomas Hund, Ph.D.

Loren Wold, Ph.D.

Sandor Gyorke, Ph.D.

Noah Weisleder, Ph.D.

Mark Ziolo, Ph.D.


Participating Faculty

Federica Accornero, Ph.D.

Maegen Ackermann, Ph.D.

Vadim Fedorov, Ph.D.

Kristin Stanford, Ph.D.

Sakima Smith, M.D


Clinical Mentors

Linda Cripe, M.D.

Tom Ryan, M.D.

May Mah, M.D.

William Abraham, M.D.

Kan Hor, M.D.

Ahmet Kilic, M.D.

Sakima Smith, M.D.


2019 Professional Development and Advancement of Women Workshops:






Past Professional Development and Advancement of Women Workshops:


2018 April               Cardiovascular Scientist Career Paths (Jil Tardiff, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and

                                Vice Chair of Research, University of Arizonia)

2018 April               Research Resources (Becky Jackson and CCTS staff)​

2018 Feburary        Negotiation (Book Discussion):  "Women Don't Ask" (Jill Rafael-Fortney, Brandon Biesiadecki)

2018 January          Effective Leadership:  Managing Energy Rather Than Time

2017 December       Improving the Culture for Women to Succeed:  Implicit Bias

2017 October          Developing Leadership and Gender Based Obstacles          

2017 September     Collaborating: Best Practices

2017 August           Fellowship Writing