About the Program
The Baylor College of Medicine Research Training Program in Cardiovascular Surgery is designed to prepare M.D. residents and Ph.D. post-doctoral fellows for a research career focused on cardiovascular surgery. Funded by a T32 grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), our program is led by principal investigator/program director Todd K. Rosengart, M.D., chair of the Department of Surgery, and program director Ravi Kiran Ghanta, M.D.
Our joint M.D./Ph.D. research training program aims to equip trainees with the skills necessary to be successful and productive in cardiovascular research. Interdisciplinary collaborations between clinical investigators, bench scientists and diverse specialists are essential for translational research to have a tangible impact on clinical care. Our program addresses this need by launching surgeons and Ph.D.s on academic careers in cardiovascular research through a highly structured surgeon-scientist research experience involving day-to-day collaborations between M.D.s and Ph.D.s.
The program supports two (M.D. or Ph.D.) trainees per year, for two years each.
The Research Training Program in Cardiovascular Surgery capitalizes on the diverse, multi-institutional environment of the Texas Medical Center—the world’s largest medical center—and the high caliber mentoring faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, TMC Innovation, Rice University, and the University of Houston.
Postdoctoral M.D. and Ph.D. trainees accepted into the program will engage in a mentored research project which will be complemented by a set of core program activities, team science training, and responsible conduct of research training.
Our program is organized into three training tracks. Individual trainee curriculum and training environment will vary depending on the training track (e.g., wet laboratory, bio-design or innovation studio, or an outcomes research team).
Bioengineering and Biodesign: This track involves training and certification in the TMCi Biodesign Fellowship Program and working within a multidisciplinary team to develop a medical device or digital tool.
Basic and Translational Research: This track involves training in laboratory-based research focused on understanding and addressing cardiovascular diseases.
Data Science and Health Services Research: This track emphasizes developing skills in data science and health services research focused on improving healthcare outcomes in cardiovascular disease.
In each track, didactic training or completion of advanced degrees is fully optional and will be individualized per trainee. Trainees in the Clinical and Outcomes Research track may enter The University of Texas School of Public Health program for a master’s degree, or they may join the Clinical Scientist Training Program (CTSP) at Baylor College of Medicine and complete their degree program in clinical investigations. Trainees in the Basic and Translational Research Track may opt to complete a certificate or degree program from the CTSP, or to take a graduate-level course at Baylor, Rice University, or the University of Houston.
Goals and Objectives
Each of our three training tracks is designed to provide an appropriate array of research options to our trainees that will be suitable for M.D.-Ph.D. team training, and will be staffed with collaborating faculty possessing appropriate expertise and experience to support these training experiences.
Trainees will benefit from common resources including:
- Department of Surgery’s Office of Surgical Research, Surgery Education Office, and annual Research Day Symposium
- Baylor College of Medicine Centers of Excellence, such as the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI)
- Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuESt) weekly seminar series in health services research
- TMC Library, one of the country’s largest medical libraries
Our faculty mentors conduct bioengineering, basic science, translational, clinical, data science, and health services research on a wide range of topics related to cardiovascular disease. All T32 faculty mentors have active laboratories, have been successful in securing extramural funding, and have a strong commitment to training the next generation of cardiovascular surgeon-scientists and Ph.D. investigators.
Trainees will receive close guidance from a primary mentor, who will be responsible for the direction of the project throughout the two-year program. In addition to a primary mentor, each trainee will have a mentoring committee that will include both M.D. and Ph.D. members and will join existing, interdisciplinary research teams. Guided by their mentors, trainees will become skilled in research methods and will be prepared to pursue independent academic careers.
View a listing of Faculty Mentors in the Research Training Program.