This multidisciplinary, 35-year training program is designed to develop independent scientists competent to critically utilize the principles of basic and clinical cardiovascular research to develop improved and novel therapeutic strategies designed to alleviate and prevent cardiovascular disease. Its centerpiece is the intense and sustained training in cardiovascular research of each trainee for a 2-year minimum in a research project supervised by a faculty preceptor. A hallmark of the program is recognition that true mentoring and skills development need to be individualized. During the current grant interval the Division: 1) expanded its Center for Cardiovascular Research;2) was awarded a SCCOR in Cardiac Dysfunction and Disease that includes a Clinical Research Skills Development Core;3) established collaborative research efforts with the Mid-America Heart Institute outcomes-oriented clinical research program and the Cardiovascular Research Outcomes Consortium;4) was awarded, in response to the NIH Roadmap Exploratory Centers for Interdisciplinary Research initiative, a planning center grant entitled, "Planning Interdisciplinary Studies of the Diabetic Heart". During this same period Washington University acquired a new K30 Clinical Research Curriculum Award and launched BioMed 21, a strategic initiative to enhance biomedical research through increased cross-fertilization of ideas across disciplines between the Medical School and Hilltop campus. These changes have led to expansion of our basic and clinical research facilities, successful recruitment of additional research faculty, increased scientific collaborations among program faculty, and a paradigm shift in basic and clinical research training. The 22 preceptors from 14 departments or divisions are experienced in conveying principles underlying effective basic and clinical research as well as techniques needed to trainees in their laboratories. They have expertise in biochemistry;biostatistics;bioengineering;epidemiology;cardiovascular medicine;cell, molecular, and vascular biology;computer sciences;pathology;pharmacology;physics;physiology;and radiology. They share interests and link basic and clinical research in themes that focus on cardiac electrophysiology;atherosclerosis, vascular biology, and coagulation;molecular basis and genetics of human cardiac disease;myocardial metabolism, perfusion, and function;imaging;and epidemiology and outcomes assessment. Each trainee participates in a core curriculum on biostatistics, ethical issues in research, scientific integrity, manuscript and grant preparation, and laboratory safety;workshops that provide in-depth training in the major investigative areas;research seminars;and elective course work keyed to each trainee's research area. This program has been consistently oversubscribed with highly qualified candidates. Candidates for the 6 positions requested each year are selected based on past achievements and the likelihood that they will pursue an academic research career

Public Health Relevance

Heart and vascular disease is responsible for a great deal suffering and death in the United States. The key objective of this research-training program is to develop independent scientists competent to improve the care of patients. The program was initially funded 35 years ago and has had a strong record of training individuals committed to careers in heart and vascular research. Because of the continued national decline in physician researchers skilled in research, this training program will continue to focus on training physician scientists. Each trainee works in close association with an established investigator that is actively involved in high-impact cutting edge research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
NHLBI Institutional Training Mechanism Review Committee (NITM)
Program Officer
Carlson, Drew E
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Washington University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Saint Louis
United States
Zip Code
Topkara, Veli K; O'Neill, James K; Carlisle, Adam et al. (2014) HeartWare and HeartMate II left ventricular assist devices as bridge to transplantation: a comparative analysis. Ann Thorac Surg 97:506-12
Tzeng, Huei-Ping; Evans, Sarah; Gao, Feng et al. (2014) Dysferlin mediates the cytoprotective effects of TRAF2 following myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury. J Am Heart Assoc 3:e000662
Epelman, Slava; Lavine, Kory J; Beaudin, Anna E et al. (2014) Embryonic and adult-derived resident cardiac macrophages are maintained through distinct mechanisms at steady state and during inflammation. Immunity 40:91-104
Lin, C Huie; Hegde, Sanjeet; Marshall, Audrey C et al. (2014) Incidence and management of life-threatening adverse events during cardiac catheterization for congenital heart disease. Pediatr Cardiol 35:140-8
Janardhan, Ajit H; Gutbrod, Sarah R; Li, Wenwen et al. (2014) Multistage electrotherapy delivered through chronically-implanted leads terminates atrial fibrillation with lower energy than a single biphasic shock. J Am Coll Cardiol 63:40-8
Lavine, Kory J; Kovacs, Attila; Weinheimer, Carla et al. (2013) Repetitive myocardial ischemia promotes coronary growth in the adult mammalian heart. J Am Heart Assoc 2:e000343
Lavine, Kory J; Sintek, Marc; Novak, Eric et al. (2013) Coronary collaterals predict improved survival and allograft function in patients with coronary allograft vasculopathy. Circ Heart Fail 6:773-84
Divakaran, Vijay G; Evans, Sarah; Topkara, Veli K et al. (2013) Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 2 signaling provokes adverse cardiac remodeling in the adult mammalian heart. Circ Heart Fail 6:535-43
Topkara, Veli K; Evans, Sarah; Zhang, Weili et al. (2011) Therapeutic targeting of innate immunity in the failing heart. J Mol Cell Cardiol 51:594-9
Holley, Christopher L; Topkara, Veli K (2011) An introduction to small non-coding RNAs: miRNA and snoRNA. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 25:151-9

Showing the most recent 10 out of 42 publications