Training Program Overview

Since 1996, the Cardiovascular T32 (funded by NHLBI - T32HL007843) has been instrumental in training MD, PhD and MD/PhD fellows for careers in cardiovascular research.  Our training program incorporates the guiding principle that innovative biomedical research requires teams of investigators with diverse scientific backgrounds, areas of expertise, and perspectives.  Centered within the Penn Cardiovascular Institute and under the leadership of Drs. Thomas Cappola and Daniel P. Kelly, the program provides trainees with an environment focused on strong mentorship, rigorous scientific training, and exposure to cross-disciplinary interactions.  The core of our curriculum is a supervised research mentorship, which is supplemented with didactic classwork, lectures, seminars, skills classes, and Master’s level research training individualized to each trainee’s path.  The ultimate goal of the program is to prepare the trainee for a career that involves cardiovascular research.

Trainees follow one of three tracks:

  • Basic Research for trainees preparing for careers focused predominantly in basic cardiovascular science using laboratory approaches (Co-directors:  Rajan Jain and Mark Kahn)
  •  Clinical and Translational prepares for careers in research at the interface of laboratory science and clinical investigation (Co-directors:  Sharlene Day and Julio Chirinos)
  • Outcomes/ Health Services prepares trainees for research careers focus on healthcare policy and delivery in the population at large. (Co-directors:  Nimesh Desai and Peter Groeneveld)

Trainees may also pursue Master’s Degrees through the Biomedical Graduate Studies Program in Translational Research (MSTR), Health Policy (MSHP), and Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE).

evening image of two large connected buildings
Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine and Smilow Center for Translational Research 







Program Requirements and Objectives

  • 2 - 3 year mentored training period
  • Participation in an in-depth research project
  • Mandatory training in Rigor and Reproducibility, and Responsible Conduct of Research, and skills training in areas such as grantsmanship, manuscript writing, and seminar presentation
  • Research conference attendance (e.g. CVI Seminar and Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Grand Rounds)
  • Participation in CVI Trainee Research in Progress (CVI TRIPS) and other trainee-related talks
  • Monthly trainee and mentor lunches


A particular strength of our training program is the quality and diversity of faculty.  Mentors have primary academic appointments in an array of clinical and basic science departments including the Departments of Medicine; Surgery; Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics; Emergency Medicine; GeneticsCell and Developmental Biology; Systems Pharmacology and TherapeuticsPhysiology; and Engineering. Dual mentorship is also possible for cross-disciplinary training. 

Current Mentors:

Zoltan Arany, MD PhD Garret FitzGerald, MD Mitchell Lazar, MD PhD Benjamin Prosser, PhD
Pavan Atluri, MD Robert Gorman, MD Mingyao Li, PhD Daniel Rader, MD
Thomas Cappola, MD Peter Groeneveld, MD Kenneth Margulies, MD Marylyn Ritchie, PhD
Jinbo Chen, PhD Marie Guerraty, MD PhD Shana McCormack, MD MTR Marielle Scherrer-Crosbie, MD PhD
Julio Chirinos, MD PhD Rajan Jain, MD Raina Merchant, MD MSHP Nancy Speck, PhD
Scott Damrauer, MD Steven M. Kawut, MD, MS Edward Morrisey, MD Kevin Turner, PhD
Sharlene Day, MD Mark Kahn, MD Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH, ML Grace Wang, MD MSCE
Nimesh Desai, MD PhD

Daniel P. Kelly, MD

Saman Nazarian, MD PhD E. John Wherry, PhD
Jonathan Epstein, MD Bonnie Ky, MD MSCE Anjali Owens, MD Payman Zamani, MD MSTR



The training grant currently maintains seven postdoctoral training slots, which support a mix of MD, PhD, and MD/PhD trainees.  Greater than 95% of trainees complete the program, with many obtaining advanced degrees.  We encourage those who are underrepresented in medicine to apply to our program. 

Candidates must have earned a Ph.D. and/or M.D. at the time of application and must be a United States citizen or have resident alien status.  Please note that acceptance of a postdoctoral trainee slot implies agreement to all components of program and the NIH payback agreement.  These include periodic meetings with program leadership, submission of written progress reports, scientific discussions with other training grantees, training in the ethical conduct of research, and, depending on the background of the fellow, didactic coursework.  The NIH requires a minimum two-year commitment.  If the trainee does not complete two years, they will be required to payback the funding received to the NIH.  

We are currently accepting applications for a July 1, 2024 appointment date.  The application deadline is March 1, 2024.  For more information and instructions on applying to the program, please contact


Current Trainees

  • Deborah Eaton, PhD

    Deborah Eaton, PhD

    Clinical/ Translational
  • Photo Unavailable

    Edvard A. Gumbs, MD

    Outcomes/ Health Services
  • Sarah Sulon, PhD

    Sarah Sulon, PhD

    Basic Research
  • Benjamin Lee, MD PhD

    Benjamin Lee, MD PhD

    Basic Research
  • Amber Meservey, MD

    Amber Meservey, MD

    Clinical/ Translational
  • Jadry Gruen, MD

    Jadry Gruen, MD

    Health Services/ Outcomes
  • Nicholas Goel, MD

    Nicholas Goel, MD

    Health Services/ Outcomes


Emily Romick, T32 Administrative Coordinator