Research and Mentorship

Research is an integral part of our cardiology fellowship program and a required element of the curriculum. We seek to foster a supportive and successful environment for cardiology fellow research and to provide the tools, mentoring, and resources necessary to ensure the success of each of our fellows in their individual areas of interest.

We appreciate that productive and meaningful research experiences depend on several critical factors which include: 1) identification of a research mentor and mentoring team; 2) choosing a research topic of interest and 3) formulation of a research plan. A key element of our program is to support and guide fellows in formulating a research plan which can be submitted to both intramural award programs and to extramural funding agencies. Our trainees have a long-standing record of success in competing for these awards. The process itself of thinking about research and talking to different colleagues and faculty is an important learning experience and serves as an outstanding source of motivation and a frame of reference around which both fellows and mentors can organize their efforts. This process can be individualized for each fellow depending on their level of training, prior research experience, and mentoring needs. Our fellows participate in a longitudinal curriculum that exposes them to the depth and breadth of scientific inquiry at UCSF allowing them to select their mentor by the end of the first year with the first half of the second year ideally focused on formulating a specific plan for their research endeavors.

The UCSF cardiology fellowship prides itself in training the next generation of cardiovascular investigators including basic, translational, and clinical researchers. The fellowship has a long history of leading a variety of research endeavors spanning from lab based studies, outcomes research, clinical trials, EHR, imaging, and digital studies that are multidisciplinary including investigators at UCSF Health, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI), the Gladstone Institutes, UCSF Department of Biochemistry/Biophysics, Epi/Biostats, Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub in addition to collaborations with other academic centers and industry.  We encourage the trainees in our program to choose an area of investigation that they are passionate about and to “think big” about the research questions they want to tackle and support training with investigators across the varied UCSF campuses as well as with investigators at UC Berkeley.

We encourage all our fellows to submit a grant application. All fellows are guaranteed at least one year of funding for the pursuit of their scholarly interests during the third year of general cardiology fellowship training. Our cardiology fellowship trainees have been widely successful in external funding mechanisms (e.g., ACC/Merck Research Fellowships in Cardiovascular Disease, American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowships, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Physician-Scientist Fellowship). In addition, various research fellowship opportunities are available internally. The UCSF's Cardiovascular Research Institute has a long-standing T32 with slots reserved for UCSF cardiology fellows. This offers extensive training opportunities in basic and translational science and its application to cardiovascular biology and disease. Training plans for individual fellows range from traditional postdoctoral fellowships to programs that include both formal graduate coursework and bench research for M.D.s who seek to broaden or deepen their background.

There are multiple other opportunities for research training including the Advanced Training in Clinical Research (ATCR) Certificate Program (1 year program) offered through the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics which includes the possibility of obtaining a Masters in Clinical Research (2 year program). This program has been especially popular with our trainees. Another new and exciting opportunity for research training is offered through the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Physician Scientist Fellowship Program. Numerous training opportunities and alternative funding sources are available for those individuals seeking longer postdoctoral fellowship training programs and are explored individually with fellows towards the ultimate goal of supporting the training necessary for them to achieve their individual career ambitions. As cardiology faculty helping to oversee research at UCSF, our goal is also to help guide trainees as they begin their job search on an individual level including navigating the challenging fellow to faculty transition and/or using our UCSF network to help support each fellow as needed.  

The research experience afforded by our training program allows graduating UCSF fellows to be amongst the most competitive applicants for clinical and research positions at top-tier academic medical centers across the nation as well as in the biopharmaceutical industry.

If you are invited to interview for our program and would like to meet with a specific potential mentor on your interview day, please contact Salina Gu at [email protected] or (415) 502-1115.

If you have questions about the research portion of the UCSF cardiology fellowship, please contact Dr. Sanket Dhruva ([email protected]), Dr. Javid Moslehi ([email protected]) or Dr. Priscilla Hsue ([email protected]), who serve as Associate Program Directors for Research for the cardiology fellowship.