Fellow Spotlight: Beixin Julie He, MD

July 29, 2018

Beixin Julie He, MDDr. Beixin Julie He was born in China and grew up in Wisconsin. While earning her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she developed a fascination with the heart. “It beats spontaneously, and is a symbol of life,” she said. “It can take a lot of insult, and responds in a remarkable compensatory manner.”

Dr. He earned her medical degree and a PhD in molecular physiology and biophysics from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Her doctoral research focused on post-heart attack signaling mechanisms related to an enzyme called CaMKII that contribute to adverse changes in the heart, and possible pharmacologic and genetic interventions. She completed her internal medicine residency at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in Chicago and her general cardiology fellowship at Yale New Haven Health in New Haven, Conn., where she also began her cardiac electrophysiology fellowship before transferring to UCSF.

“The mechanisms behind arrhythmias are fascinating, and EP [electrophysiology] requires a very good understanding of physiology,” said Dr. He. With her basic science background, she is eager to help bridge the gap between rapid technological advances in the field and the need for deeper scientific understanding of how arrhythmias develop.

At UCSF, she appreciates that research is built into the fellowship curriculum. “It’s hard for that to happen in the EP subspecialty, and it’s very encouraging and refreshing,” said Dr. He. In addition, she values exposure to multiple approaches for doing cardiac electrophysiology cases. “When we’re out practicing on our own, we can look back and think about which approach is best suited to each case,” she said. “Training here provides a whole repertoire of techniques. Also, working with some of the best electrophysiologists who have shaped the field is really a privilege.”

Dr. He plans to pursue a career that integrates her clinical and research endeavors. She is particularly interested in conducting genomic data analysis of large-scale studies of cardiovascular disease. Aside from medicine and science, Dr. He enjoys spending time with family, cooking and traveling.