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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.

Faculty 

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, Ph.D. 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
Required Research Cluster Courses 
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
PHS 628* Mammalian Neurophysiology  2
PHS 629* Mammalian Physiology  6
PHS 667* Experimental Approaches to Physiology  4
PHS 666 Physiology of the Cell 3
BMS 665 CDRC Colloquium  1
Suggested Electives 
PHS 638 Advanced Cardiovascular Physiology  1-2
BIC 643 Signal Transduction  3
BMS 670 Molecular Cloning  2

*PHS 667 is an alternate to (PHS 628 and PHS 629), so we may need to add that statement.

Advisory - Laboratory Selection:

  • All students may rotate in 3 or more laboratories prior to the end of their first year in the PhD program.
  • Prior to the students second year, students are advised to pick their advisor and laboratory where the intent of completing their Ph.D. work. 
  • In addition to the PhD advisor, the student will pick four additional faculty as part of the PhD committee.

Qualifying Exam (Candidacy)

  • Students are required to complete the candidacy exam within a year of their choice of the advisor where the student intends on completing their Ph.D. work. 

Written and Oral Exam 

  • Course work 
  • After written exam, the student is required to write a grant in the style of an NIH or American Heart Association, Predoctoral grant proposal format on either the student’s research project or another topic. 
  • The grant must be submitted within two (2) months of completion of the written exam to the PhD committee. 
  • Oral examination is a defense of this grant application.

Dissertation: 

  • Details of the completion of the dissertation and oral defense ​of the dissertation are provided in the graduate catalog. 

Other CDRC Activities: 

  • The students are advised to conduct an annual committee meeting and required to submit the signed research progress forms to the graduate program
  • Students are required to present their work at the BMR research retreat and Marshall Medical School research day.
  • The students are strongly urged to attend one national scientific meeting and present the results of their research.


American Heart Association

Undergraduate Summer Internship Research Program

Program begins on May 26, 2020 - Ends on July 28, 2020

Application Deadline: February 21, 2020

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 nine 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.

The summer research program will be from May 26th - July 28th, 2020. 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.

  • Classified at the academic level as a junior or senior by August 2019.
  • 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.

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.

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 21, 2020. Transcripts and letters of recommendation are to be mailed or e-mailed to Dr. Elsa Mangiarua: mangiarua@marshall.edu

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

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