Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Research Opportunities

The Division of Pediatric Cardiology’s faculty and fellows are active in a variety of clinic and basic science research and collaborate widely with other researchers at Vanderbilt and many other institutions. Research mentorship for fellows is one of our top priorities, and we offer resources and support for all types of clinical, basic science, and translational research projects. We are committed to training the next generation of academic pediatric cardiologists.

MSCI and MPH Programs

Many of our fellows obtain a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation or Master of Public Health degree during their fellowship training through the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. These 2-year mentored programs are geared for fellows, residents, and junior faculty with a goal of continuing on to funded research awards.

T32 Training Grant

The Division of Pediatric Cardiology is home to an NIH T32 Institutional Training Grant entitled “Developmental Determinants of Cardiovascular Disease.” This is one of four T32 programs in the Department of Pediatrics and provides two years of protected research time for either clinical or basic science research. Pediatric cardiology fellows are eligible and encouraged to apply for this funding during their second and third years of fellowship training. This may be concurrent with the MSCI/MPH programs but can also be independent to fit the needs and interests of the trainees.

This two-year program provides formal training in research for subspecialty fellows with a focus on developmental determinants of cardiovascular disease, including:

  1. the molecular and genetic etiologies of congenital heart disease;
  2. the impact of pre- and postnatal development in defining the manifestations of pediatric cardiovascular disease after birth;
  3. and the recapitulation of normal developmental processes in the ontogeny of cardiovascular pathology presenting later in childhood or adulthood.

The program capitalizes on the strengths of the Vanderbilt Department of Pediatrics and School of Medicine in developmental biology, vascular biology, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, cardiovascular pharmacology and pharmacogenetics, and population and outcomes.

Trainees will select one of two tracks to prepare for a career as a physician scientist in either basic science investigation or clinical or translational research. Didactic teaching in scientific methods will supplement an intensive mentored research experience. Trainees pursuing a career in clinical or translational medicine will be encouraged to also apply for the Vanderbilt Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) program. Support for tuition and fees incurred when enrolled in the MSCI will be partially deferred by T32 grant support.

Because both the T32 and master’s programs require 80% protected research time for a period of two years, we require additional time to complete clinical training. This is generally incorporated into a fourth year of subspecialty training, e.g. in advanced cardiac imaging, electrophysiology, cardiac catheterization, heart failure and transplant, or other disciplines.