Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine/Cardiology

David Herrington, M.D.
Address, phone, e-mail


The Wake Forest University School of Medicine Clinical Cardiovascular Research Training Program began in July 2004. The goal of our combined Clinical Cardiovascular Research Training Program is to complement conventional clinical training in cardiology with intensive research training in cardiovascular epidemiology with an emphasis in the latest advances in genetic epidemiology and other applications of molecular medicine. Participants in the training program complete a Masters Degree in Clinical Epidemiology with a curriculum that is supplemented with training in molecular biology, genetics, genomics, proteomics and informatics, a hands-on basic laboratory practicum and joint mentorship with both clinical and basic science faculty. Trainees also participate in extramural seminars including the 10-day Cardiovascular Epidemiology Program in Lake Tahoe, Nevada and the Genetics of Complex Heart, Lung, And Blood Disorders in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Fellows may also select to participate in the stand-alone research training program that does not include clinical training in cardiology.

Areas of Special Emphasis

Formal didactic training will allow for the acquisition of state-of-the-art skills in the conduct of cardiovascular epidemiology with a focus on genetic and molecular epidemiology and formal credentials in the form of a Masters Degree to substantiate the acquisition of this skill set. The training program is also designed to provide essential skills in the areas of speaking, writing, and grant preparation. In addition to the grant preparation course that is a required course in the Masters Degree Program, the trainees participate in research conferences once a year in the Cardiology Research Conference Series, submit and present abstracts of their work at national meetings, make informal presentations of their work to visiting professors, and assist in the preparation of grants and manuscripts being prepared by their mentors. The trainees will have close interaction with basic science departments and scientists in each component of their training including the didactic course work, their thesis research and their supplemental research training and mentoring. Several of the courses to be completed as part of the Masters Degree will be taught by basic science faculty and attended by basic science graduate students. In many cases the trainees will be working in small groups or laboratories with students enrolled in the Masters Degree or PhD programs in Molecular Medicine or Molecular Genetics. Likewise, the Proteomics and Informatics Workshop and Laboratory Practicum are specifically designed to provide additional exposure to basic science techniques and faculty with expertise in these techniques of potential relevance for clinical research. These various interactions with basic science colleagues will help provide the trainees with skills and understanding that will be useful for the development of future collaborative efforts with a team of both basic and clinical scientists. For those trainees that continue as clinical cardiology fellows at Wake Forest, we will encourage preparation and submission of K23 Mentored Research Award to serve as a bridge from trainee to funded investigator.

Type of Training: Post-doctoral

Key Faculty Available as Mentors

David Herrington,M.D,, M.S., Professor of Medicine/Cardiology, Associate in Public Health Sciences and Associate Director of the Center for Human Cardiovascular. His research is epidemiology with a focus on heart disease in women, the cardiovascular effects of estrogen and the pharmacogenetics of estrogen action.

Gregory Burke, Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences. Dr. Burke's research is focused on clinical and population-based disease prevention (especially Cardiovascular Disease).

Deborah Meyers, Professor of Epidemiology and Co-Director of the Center for Human Genomics. Dr. Meyers' research involves gene mapping in common complex diseases as well as in Mendelian disorders.

Don Bowden,, Professor of Biochemistry and Associate Director of the Center for Human Genomics. Dr. Bowden is searching for genes that contribute to type 2 diabetes and the renal and cardiovascular complications of type 2 diabetes with special attention to expression of these disorders in the African American population.

David C. Sane, M.D., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in the Section of Cardiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Sane's research is focused on the role of extracellular matrix proteins, integrin receptors, and the protein stabilizing enzyme transglutaminase in vascular disease, the mechanisms of action of platelet inhibitors and the effect of platelet receptor polymorphisms on platelet function.

Dalane Kitzman, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine/Cardiology and Director of Echocardiography at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Kitzman's research is focused on Echocardiography, Cardiac Imaging, and Stress Testing.

Lynne E. Wagenknecht, Professor and Section Head, Section on Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences. Dr. Wagenknecht's research is focused on the genetics of coronary calcification in siblings with type 2 DM and exploring novel mechanisms explaining the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in type 2 DM including glycated and oxidized lipoproteins.

Stephen S. Rich, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair of Public Health Sciences (Epidemiology) and Neurology and an Associate Professor of Cancer Biology. Dr. Rich's research is focused on genetic epidemiology and human gene mapping, with a specialization in the genetic basis of cardiovascular disease, particularly diabetes and its complications, and autoimmunity.

Eugene Bleecker, M.D., Professor and Section Head of Internal Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine) and Co-Director of the Center for Human Genomics. Dr. Bleecker's research is on the genetic causes of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases during aging, identification of genes responsible for the development and progression of asthma and other related airways diseases and prostate cancer genetics.

K. Bridget Brosnihan, Ph.D., Professor of Surgical Sciences-General (Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center) and Physiology & Pharmacology. Dr. Brosnihan is interested in the neuro-hormonal mechanisms participating in the regulation of cardiovascular function and the role that estrogen plays in the modulation of neural and hormonal mechanisms regulating arterial pressure.

David Busija, Ph.D., Professor in Physiology and Pharmacology. Dr. Busiju's research is focused on the mechanisms of vascular dysfunction that occur in the cerebral circulation as a result of diet-induced insulin resistance, the role of mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channels (mitoKATP) in the protection of brain cells against anoxic conditions and the role of oxygen free radicals derived from the cyclo-oxygenase system and mitochondrial in promoting neuronal injury during ischemic conditions.

Last updated: January, 2007

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