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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.



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, 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.


2018-2019 Leadership Skills and Advancement of Women Workshops



August 30, 2018        Fellowship Writing: The Biosketch, Research Plan, Applicant Background, Training Goals and The Individualized           Development Plan

September 13, 2018  Leading and the power of 'and' Paula Butterfield, Ph.D., PCC

October 25, 2018      Work life Balance (Panel Discussion - Drs. Stanford, Cripe, and Ziolo)      

December 6, 2018    Cardiovascular Scientists Career Paths:  Margaret Westfall, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Michigan

January 10, 2019      Managing Energy continued:  managing assumptions, Paula Butterfield, Ph.D., PCC

February 14, 2019     Manuscript submission and review, Loren Wold, Ph.D.

April 4, 2019              Book Discussion, "The Confidence Code"

April 25, 2019            Career Development Perspective from and NIH Institute Director, Story Landis, Ph.D.