Research Fellowship Program in Cardiovascular Pathology
HISTORY: The current institution has been in existence since January 2005 however, the professional and teaching staff previously worked at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in the Department of Cardiovascular Pathology where Dr. Renu Virmani, MD was the Chairman of the Department for twenty years. At CVPath Institute, Inc. (CVPath), Dr. Renu Virmani is the President and Medical Director, Dr. Aloke Finn, MD is the Director and Chief of Research, Dr. Harry Davis, Ph.D. is the Chief Scientific Officer, and Dr. Frank Kolodgie,PhD is Associate Director. The goal of CVPath is to conduct research in the field of Cardiovascular Pathology.
DURATION OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM: The duration varies from six months to four years depending upon the amount of training an individual desires. The goal of the six-month training fellowship is to get enough expertise in the field of cardiovascular pathology such that the individual is able to examine a heart and to recognize most diseases microscopically. These individuals are required to have an MD degree and to have experienced two to three years training in pathology, or cardiology.
The one to three year programs are for individuals with an MD degree and a background either in pathology or in internal medicine, or cardiology and who have a research interest beyond heart disease. These individuals will be trained in cardiovascular pathology including cardiovascular, structural heart, and peripheral artery disease. Furthermore, at completion of the program they will have written at least one manuscript for publication as a first author. Others will carry out applied research in the field of cardiology and will conduct an independent animal research project that will lead to a better understanding of a disease process or help develop novel animal models in this regard. The individual will learn not only to design the study with background, goals, methods, and discussion but also to write a justification as to inferences that can be drawn from the results of the project and how it has improved our understanding of the processes being studied. This research will lead to a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
The two to four year programs are designed to give a more in-depth understanding with the individual learning other techniques of molecular biology, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy and also tissue culture methodologies to enhance their understanding of various disease processes.
PREREQUISITE TRAINING/SELECTION CRITERION: An individual must hold an MD degree or a PhD degree. The MD must have training in the field of pathology, internal medicine, or cardiology, whereas an individual with a PhD will have completed the degree and will be doing a post-doctoral fellowship in the field of cardiovascular diseases. The individual will need to demonstrate his or her interest in learning and want to train in the field of cardiovascular diseases by either having published in this field or show an interest by having written an essay or letter which states an area that the individual is interested in exploring in the field of cardiovascular medicine.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR TRAINING: The goals and objectives of the training program is that the individual will, at the end of the training, be able to perform research pertaining to cardiovascular diseases consisting of designing an animal study, be able to perform sterile and non-sterile surgery, harvest animal tissue, prepare animal tissue for histological processing, histologic assessments both by light and electron microscopy, perform morphometry and data analysis, and prepare research reports and manuscripts for publications. The individual should be able to carry out tissue culture work utilizing molecular techniques to better understand disease processes. The latter is dependent on the time spent in training.
The participant is responsible for reading and learning about the area in which research is being conducted and, when necessary he or she will ask for help from the individual under whom the research is being conducted. The candidate will learn about methods, whether animal experimentation, tissue culture or molecular tools that are needed to carry out the research, and then to apply these methods to the project assigned to the participant such that meaningful data can be obtained. The participant will learn to prepare tissues for light and electron microscopy and to interpret histologic changes that are observed. Basic knowledge of various cells and their appearance and the pathologic processes that lead to various diseases will be learned through the participation in outside conferences. It is the responsibility of the individual to participate in all department research conferences and to present new publications that have appeared in various journals. Also, the individual will learn how to make presentations of the data he or she has generated. The faculty will spend at least one to two hours a day either in discussions, journal club or in the interpretation of procedures such that the trainee has mastered the procedures that are being utilized in the laboratories.
EVALUATION: Each fellow will be evaluated for his or her project and progress every six months so that we can ensure that the individual has actually grasped both the research being performed as well as learning the methodology being used. The evaluation will include ability to understand and reiterate the research project, understanding of methodologies, ability to reproduce and validate results that draw conclusions and inferences in written documents.
The individual will receive a certificate, which will state the duration the individual has spent in the program and will certify that the individual has learned to carry out research in the field of cardiovascular diseases.
Renu Virmani, MD
Aloke Finn, MD
Maria Romero, MD
Frank Kolodgie, PhD
19 Firstfield Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878