Cardiovascular Disease Research Cluster (CDRC)

Cardiovascular Disease Research Cluster (CDRC) - Coordinator, Nalini Santanam, PhD, MPH, FAHA

Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in the U.S. and world over. Its rates are particularly higher in the Appalachian region, including WV. West Virginia ranks among the top three states in incidences of cardiometabolic diseases (cardiovascular disease, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes). The overall mission of the CDRC is to seek knowledge in understanding the causes and consequences of cardiovascular diseases (coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, heart failure and thrombosis), and identify potential preventive (lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise) and therapeutic strategies to lower incidence in the Appalachian region and the U.S. This cluster brings together scientists, clinicians, academicians and students interested in research, treatment, teaching and learning about these chronic diseases.


Basic Science Researcher             Research Interests

Zijian Xie, Ph.D                                      Hypertension, Renal diseases

Jiang Liu, Ph.D                                      Hypertension, Kidney related disease

Komal Sodhi, MD                                  Cardiotoxity in cancer

Wei Li, MD, PhD                                    Platelet function in thrombosis and atherosclerosis

Donald Primerano, Ph.D                       Genomics and transcriptomics

Richard D. Egleton, Ph.D                      Stroke, blood brain barrier dysfunction

Emine Koc, Ph.D                                   Mitochondrial dysfunction in heart disease

Nalini Santanam, Ph.D                          Women’s lifestyle on atherosclerosis/CAD

Sandrine Pierre, Ph.D                            Cardiac ischemia

Clinical Researcher                         Research Interests

Joseph Shapiro, MD                              Hypertension, Renal diseases

Ellen Thompson, MD                             Heart Failure, coronary artery disease

Todd Gress, MD, MPH                          Cardiometabolic diseases

Paulette Wehner, MD                            Heart Failure, Women’s health

David Chaffin, MD                                  Preeclampsia

American Heart Association

Undergraduate Summer Internship Research Program

Program begins on May 28, 2019 - Ends on July 30, 2019

Application Deadline: February 22, 2019

Program Summary

The purpose of the American Heart Association funded undergraduate research training program at Marshall University is to encourage promising undergraduate students from all disciplines, including women and members of minority groups underrepresented in the sciences, to consider research careers while supporting the highest quality scientific investigation broadly related to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Interns participating in the program will perform ten weeks of graduate-level research in the laboratory of Marshall University School of Medicine faculty. Participants will receive formal research training while expanding their learning experience through workshops, seminars on current topics, mentoring and use of state-of-the-art core facilities.

Research Placements – Mentors Directory 2019

Faculty mentors have provided projects that will introduce students to contemporary research broadly related to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

On the application, you will be asked to review the mentor’s directory, list your choice of mentors in order of preference (#1 being your top choice) and why their topics are of interest to you. Your choices will serve as a guide for a mentor assignment. The directory of mentors and their research projects can be accessed in the Mentors Directory.

General Guidelines and Eligibility

Applications from undergraduate students classified at the junior or senior academic level by August 2018 will be considered. The summer research program will be from May 28h - July 30th, 2019. Interns will present their research at the WV Summer Research Symposium on the last week of the program. A stipend of $4,000 will be provided to each intern for the ten-week experience.

Student Selection Criteria:

  • Academic record, particularly in science courses
  • Past or present research experience
  • Stated interest in cardiovascular research and career goals, and why would like to participate in the program
  • Recommendations of two faculty members at the applicant’s institution and others, if relevant

Application Checklist – Application & Instructions

To be considered complete, your application must contain the following:

  • Completed application form (no fee)
  • Transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors of scientific disciplines

Application Deadline

The online application and supporting documents are due on or before February 22, 2019. Transcripts and letters of recommendation are to be mailed or e-mailed to Dr. Elsa Mangiarua:

Mailing address:
Dr. Elsa Mangiarua
Department of Biomedical Sciences
1700 3rd Ave, BBSC 435
Huntington, WV-25755

For more information:
Please contact Dr. Nalini Santanam at (304)-696-7321,
or Dr. Elsa Mangiarua at (304)-696-6211,