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Daniel Greif, MD

1995-96 Sarnoff Fellow

Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology)
Yale School of Medicine



What impact did the Sarnoff Fellowship year have on your career?

It gave me an opportunity to take a break from the normal trajectory of medical training and gain in-depth training in basic science early in my career. This experience ignited my interest in basic investigation that continues to this day. In addition, the Sarnoff Fellowship year was the foundation for obtaining further research experiences, training awards and contacts in cardiovascular biology.


Why should medical students consider the Sarnoff Fellowship apart from other programs?

The network of Sarnoff-affiliated scientists is a supportive group of physician-scientists. During many of the times during my career in which I was considering different training programs and laboratories (i.e. residency, Cardiology fellowship, faculty positions), I was able to ask many of the Sarnoff-affiliated scientists' advice. This group of colleagues and advisors is invaluable.


What are your professional aspirations?

I aim to follow in the footsteps of my mentors and conduct high quality scientific investigations that have medical relevance and impact. Yet, I feel that a key to career and, for that matter, personal satisfaction is not becoming overly focused on long-term aspirations and instead work on enjoying and doing your best in the present. I am currently enjoying the challenges of starting a laboratory including recruiting trainees, developing multiple scientific areas for the lab to investigate and learning about the financial realities of running a lab. Each step in the career of a physician-scientist has its specific challenges and rewards - I think becoming fully engaged in each of these steps and enjoying them is critical to a fulfilling career.


What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

This is a difficult question for me to answer. I could mention scientific accomplishments from my training in the laboratories of Drs. Bill Luscinskas, Thomas Michel or Mark Krasnow, and I am proud of many of these. Yet, I think that my greatest professional accomplishments have been developing relationships with ill patients and helping them manage their disease from a medical and, perhaps even more importantly, from an emotional standpoint. These are certainly the most rewarding achievements.


What is your most memorable Sarnoff moment?

During the Annual Scientific meeting in D.C. during my Sarnoff fellowship, my fellowship class had a wonderful time getting to know one another during the meeting and exploring D.C. together in the wee hours of the night. I specifically remember an escapade in which many of us fellows attempted to sit in Abe Lincoln's lap…


What are your hobbies?

Free individual time is limited these days with starting a laboratory, caring for patients, raising a family of three young children with my wonderful wife Serena Spudich, MD, a former Sarnoff fellow who is a successful full-time physician-scientist and continuing to develop my relationship with Serena. When I can escape, I enjoy biking, hiking, listening to music, shooting hoops and listening to or watching almost any baseball, basketball or football game.

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