CVRI T32 Molecular and Cellular Basis of Cardiovascular Disease

To apply, please send by email a cover letter including a brief statement of your research interests and accomlishments with your curriculum vitae directly to the Program Faculty Member/s of interest to you. Applications to the NIH T32 training grant will be made jointly with the faculty member.

Molecular and Cellular Basis of Cardiovascular Disease

Brian Black, Ph.D.
The heart of the training program is formulation and execution of a substantial research project under the guidance of a primary mentor (links to Program Faculty and program faculty research descriptions). The trainee and mentor will first identify areas and questions of mutual interest. The applicant will then read relevant literature with guidance from the mentor, and together they will settle on one or a few specific questions. They will jointly formulate a research plan including estimated timelines for pilot projects and decisions regarding the probable success or failure of individual lines of inquiry. Postdoctoral trainees are the primary driving forces for their projects and assume responsibility for their execution with the help and support of the mentor and other laboratory personnel. Iterations and changes in direction are expected. Open and extensive interactions within and among Program laboratories with exchange of ideas, reagents, and technology makes for a strong support network.

Prompted by the new NHLBI guidelines and by the success of local “experiments,” we will require that each trainee identify one or more secondary mentors. Secondary mentors may chosen from Program faculty or other UCSF faculty with the advice of the primary mentor and the Program Committee. Secondary mentors make novel perspectives and expertise available to the trainee and to his/her project and foster faculty interaction. They have proven quite useful for KO8 recipients.

Regular group teaching and scientific exchange occurs in monthly Signaling Club, Vascular Biology Club, Lipid Biology Club, and quarterly Training Program Dinner meetings. These are work-in-progress meetings at which two to three trainees in faculty labs present ongoing work and receive input from the community. Attendance at most meetings ranges from 30-60 and represents faculty and trainees from multiple labs in each thematic area.

Postdoctoral fellows are mentored in practical aspects of functioning as a PI. Examples include mentor and trainee separately interviewing technician and trainee candidates or reviewing manuscripts, then discussing their conclusions. Trainees are also encouraged to write competitive fellowship grants and are coached by the mentor and other faculty. A Practice of Science skills course is also offered.

In addition to a mentored research “apprenticeship”, secondary mentoring and research meetings, formal coursework is available. Trainees are strongly encouraged to take or responsibly audit graduate school courses relevant to their areas of interest as appropriate. Courses available to Program trainees include Principles of Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology, Bioregulatory Mechanisms, Structure of Macromolecules, Developmental Biology, and Biostatistics (Links to PIBSBMS and CVRI courses web sites). These provide M.D. trainees with the opportunity to acquire a broad basic science background, exercise critical thinking skills, and identify key questions. Permission from course directors should be sought before enrolling. Ph.D.s with robust backgrounds may take only the required Practice of Science and Ethics course and applicable skills and ethics courses for animal- or patient-based research.

Courses in Scientific Writing and the Art of Lecturing provide training in communication skills. The Practice of Science, a practical skills and career planning course developed with input from the Postdoctoral Scholars Association is taken by all trainees.
Lecture and hands on courses offered by the Laboratory Animal Resource Center (LARC; see provide instruction in the ethical treatment of animals and the basic practical skills and standard procedures used with each species; these are required for animal users.

Myriad seminars by outstanding outside speakers are available. The four main weekly series utilized by trainees in this Program are those sponsored by the two graduate programs (the Program in Biological Sciences and the Biomedical Sciences Program), the CVRI seminar series, and the Gladstone Vascular Biology Series.

Christopher Allen
Cellular Dynamics and Interactions in IgE Responses and Asthma
Kaveh Ashrafi
Genetic & neuronal networks that regulate fat content
Kamran Atabai
Role of Mfge8 in regulating collagen and apoptotic cell clearance
Brian Black
Transcriptional control of mammalian organogenesis
Benoit Bruneau
Transcriptional regulation of heart development
Ajay Chawla
Innate immune regulation of metabolism, regeneration and cancer
Pao-Tien Chuang
Hedgehog Signaling in Mammalian Embryogenesis & Postnatal Physiology
Shaun Coughlin
Signaling mechanisms in cardiovascular biology & disease.
William Degrado
Chemical Biology
Rahul Deo
Genomic approaches to understanding cardiometabolic disease
Rik Derynck
Cell proliferation & differentiation
Robert Farese
Lipid and energy metabolism
Edward Gerstenfeld
Mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias
Michael Grabe
Computational methods for understanding ion channel and transporter function
Daniel Hart
Transcriptional Regulation of Development and Differentiation
Akiko Hata
Role of the TGFβ-family of signaling pathway in vasculature
Matthias Hebrok
Molecular mechanisms of pancreas development, function and disease
Robert Hiatt
Breast Cancer and the Environment
Priscilla Hsue
HIV, Inflammation and Coronary Artery Disease
Guo Huang
Mechanisms of cardiac regeneration in zebrafish and neonatal mice
Holly Ingraham
Development of neural circuits in metabolism
Lily Jan
Molecular studies of potassium channels
David Julius
Molecular biology of neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels
Natalia Jura
Molecular Basis for Receptor Tyrosine Kinase signaling
John Kane
Detection of genetic determinants of cardiovascular disease
Tom Kornberg
Mechanisms of long distance signaling in wing and lung development
Pui-Yan Kwok
Analysis of complex genetic traits
Randall Lee
Cellular and molecular aspects of cardiac arrhythmias and vascular regeneration
Dengke Ma
Hypoxic tolerance, brain-heart-lung interaction, and novel pathways conserved in C. elegans and humans
Gregory Marcus
Investigating the Etiology of Atrial Fibrillation
Joseph McCune
Pathogenic mechanisms, treatment, and prevention of HIV disease
Donald McDonald
Cellular mechanisms of angiogenesis and vascular remodeling
Takashi Mikawa
Daniel Minor
Structural and mechanistic studies of ion channels and ion channel regulation
Keith Mostov
Epithelial polarity and morphogenesis
Jeffrey Olgin
Mechanisms of arrhythmias
Mark Pletcher
Clinical Decision-Making for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
Jeremy Reiter
Intercellular communication in vertebrate development and disease
Kevan Shokat
Chemical approaches to deciphering signal transduction pathways
Xiaokun Shu
Infrared fluorescent proteins for whole-animal imaging
Paul Simpson
Targeting alpha-1-adrenergic receptors to treat heart failure
Deepak Srivastava
Molecular and genetic dissection of cardiogenesis & its role in human disease
Zian Tseng
Epidemiology, Genetics, and Novel Risk for Sudden Cardiac Death
Biao Wang
Elucidating genetic determinants of diabetes
Lei Wang
Genetically encoding new amino acids to study signaling and develop biotherapeutics
Rong Wang
Notch signaling in angiogenesis: mechanism of AV specification
Orion Weiner
Spatial control of cell signaling during polarity
Ethan Weiss
Growth hormone signaling in lipid metabolism
James Wells
Drug Discovery,Biomarkers & Engineered Enzymes for Signaling Research
Zena Werb
The role of the cellular microenvironment in development and disease
Keith Yamamoto
Signal transduction and transcriptional control
Ann Zovein
Diversification of vascular lineages