University of Colorado School of Medicine
What impact did the Sarnoff Fellowship year have on your career?
As a high school teacher turned medical student, I had no prior exposure to medical research. I developed, however, a curiosity for basic research during the first 2 years of sitting through lectures. I decided to pursue a Sarnoff Fellowship to settle this interest. Needless to say, the year turned out to be a transformative one, and it firmly planted me in a path to become an academic cardiologist. During my year in a molecular cardiology lab, I developed a true appreciation of the beauty in what nature has already laid out in biology. Carrying out experiments that I helped to design made research real and fun. And being an active participant in research made what can often seem esoteric become pertinent and tangible. My fellowship year opened for me an entire world of the medical world that I plan to be in for the long haul.
Why should medical students consider the Sarnoff Fellowship apart from other programs?
The support and the mentorship that the Sarnoff Fellowship provides cannot be matched. Being successful in research goes far beyond learning a technique or knowing a pathway. Having the right mentors to guide you through the years of training may be even more important than the know-how of research. In this regard, the Sarnoff Fellowship stands far apart from other organizations in that the life-long commitment that the Sarnoff provides is truly unique.
What are your professional aspirations?
Continue my training as a single myocyte physiologist.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
Getting my F32 NRSA funded. This grant was written as the continuation of my work done during my Sarnoff Fellowship. Beyond the satisfaction of being an "independently" funded researcher, getting this grant provided me with great validation for what I thought was an interesting question.
What is your most memorable Sarnoff moment?
Two come to mind. Seeing a row of Sarnoff Fellows from my class when I gave my oral presentation at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. During the same meeting, lasting two rounds on a mechanical bull (not an official AHA sanctioned event). I was thrown over on the second ride, summarily landing on my head. As I staggered back to the table, Sahil Parikh was first to offer a neurologic exam.
What are your hobbies?
Stalking wary 8 inch rainbow trout in gin-clear headwaters of the Colorado River on a 2 weight fly rod and #20 march brown with my baby daughter strapped to my chest. Not to worry, I have yet to impale her (or me) with a fly.