Career Escalator 2018

- Select Your Mentors -

**Scroll down to see mentors biographies**

Name *
CHOOSE YOUR MENTORS (in order of preference)
Scroll down to see their biographies.

Career Escalator Mentors Biographies:

It is our pleasure to announce to you our 2018 Career Escalator mentors representing the different stakeholders of CV clinical trials.

Kirkwood Adams


Kirkwood F. Adams Jr., M.D., is Associate Professor of Medicine and Radiology in the Division of Cardiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he founded and for many years directed the UNC Heart Failure Program and served as the first transplant cardiologist for two decades. Dr. Adams has been involved in more than 130 completed grant- and industry-funded research projects, and he is currently leading or participating in multiple drug development trials, several registry and database studies, and NIH/NHLBI-funded trials. Dr. Adams is the principal investigator for the national multicenter database group, UNITE-HF, which focuses on registries of patients with heart failure. In addition to drug development for acute and chronic heart failure, his current research interests are heavily focused on personalized médicine with ongoing projects related to novel biomarkers for heart failure, pharmacogenomics of heart failure therapeutics, and biomarker guided therapy for improving outcomes in CHF. He is very actively involved on the Executive Committee for the NHLBI sponsored trial of NT- proBNP guided therapy known as the GUIDE-IT Trial.

Tariq Ahmad

Tariq Ahmad.jpg

Tariq Ahmad is an Assistant Professor in the Section of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine and an Investigator in the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). His interest lies in the use of advanced analytics to improve phenotyping of heart failure and to use the EHR and mobile health technologies to perform pragmatic clinical trials across large health care systems. He completed his clinical training at Brigham and Women's Hospital (Internal Medicine) and Duke University School of Medicine (Cardiology and Advanced Heart Failure). He has an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health and did a fellowship in cardiovascular research at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He is actively involved in numerous research studies in heart failure, ranging from translational research involving novel biomarkers, to registries, and clinical trials. His scholarly work has been published in JAMA, Circulation, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. He has served in leadership positions at the ACC. He is passionate about the role of physicians in leading the big data revolution in medicine.

Jacqueline Alikhaani


Jacqueline Deloach Alikhaani is a Los Angeles based Heart Survivor/Patient/Volunteer.  She is a graduate of the University of Southern California and serves as a PCORI-American Heart Association Organizational Ambassador, Citizen Scientist, and WomenHeart Champion.  

As a PCOR(Patient-Centered Outcomes Research) Engagement Patient-Partner/ADAPTOR, she serves as a patient representative for several PCORI(Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute) Funded CER PCORnet projects.  

Her interests include national/global Patient-Centered Outcomes Research engagement to help address disparities in healthcare for traditionally under-served communities, and rare disease patients. to help improve care for all patients living with chronic, disabling and life-threatening medical conditions.  

Jacqueline is also a long-time IVCLA-International Citizen Diplomat for the City of Los Angeles.

Her primary objective is to help represent the patient/healthcare-consumer voice by using her personal medical story/healthcare experiences to help determine and voice best-practices that help advance clinical care and daily quality-of-life for healthcare-consumers/patients, family members and caregivers by better use of PROs(Patient-Reported-Outcomes).

Sadegh Alikhaani


Sadegh Alikhaani is a Healthcare-Consumer/Heart & Stroke Survivor/Patient/CER Advocate.  He is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Engineering and serves as a PCORI & American Heart Association Ambassador and UCLA(University of California-Los Angeles) Volunteer Patient Advocate.

As a CER (Comparative Effectiveness Research) Advocate, his volunteer interests include national/global Patient-Centered Outcomes Research engagement targeting the areas of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart patients, potential heart patients and traditionally under-served CVD segments such as rare disease patients.

Sadegh is also a long-time IVCLA-International Citizen Diplomat for the City of Los Angeles.

While he is a career Aerospace Mechanical Engineer/Scientist by profession, his latest self-adopted mission command is to combine his voice, medical experiences and support with his family members and others to help advance the use of PROs(Patient-Reported Outcomes) into research and clinical care to help improve patient-centered care.

Javed Butler

Butler, Javed high res 2.jpg

Javed Butler is the Patrick A. Lehan Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine Department at University of Mississippi. Prior to joining the University of Mississippi, he was Charles A. Gargano Professor and Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Co-Director of the Heart Institute at Stony Brook University, New York. He had served as the Director for heart failure research at Emory University and Director of the heart and heart-lung transplant programs at Vanderbilt University prior to that.

He received his Medical Degree from the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. He then completed residency training at Yale University, cardiology fellowship and advanced heart failure and transplant fellowships at Vanderbilt University, and cardiac imaging fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He has completed Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University and Master in Business Administration from Emory University.

He serves on several national committees for the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and the National Institutes of Health, and serves on the Heart Failure Society of America Board of Directors.

Cynthia Chauhan

CHAUHAN_picture 2017.png

Cynthia Chauhan has stage III heart failure with preserved ejection fraction which was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago and multiple comorbidities including stage III kidney failure secondary to kidney cancer and nephrectomy. There are very few treatment options for heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction and 50% of us die within the first five years from diagnosis so I enter every clinical trial for HFpEF for which I am eligible.  The heart failure has turned my life into having to take twice as long to do things half as well but I remain an active, engaged, contributing member of society including working to increase awareness of HFpEF and bringing the patient perspective to the research table and to professional discussions.

Alex Denner

ADenner PhD.jpg

Alex Denner is the founding partner and chief investment officer of Sarissa Capital Management LP, a registered investment advisor, which he founded in 2012. Sarissa Capital has been involved in lucrative healthcare deals including Idenix Pharmaceuticals, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals and most recently Bioverativ Inc. Dr. Denner played pivotal roles in the sale of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals to Takeda in 2017 for $5.2 billion and the recent sale of Bioverativ Inc to Sanofi  early this year for $11.6 billion. From 2006 to 2011, Dr. Denner served as a Senior Managing Director at Icahn Capital. Prior to that, he served as a portfolio manager at Viking Global Investors, and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Dr. Denner currently serves as a director of Biogen Inc., and The Medicines Company, both healthcare companies. Dr. Denner also previously served as a director of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he also served as Chairman, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Bioverativ Inc., Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., ImClone Systems Incorporated where he also served as Chairman of the Executive Committee. Dr. Denner received his S.B. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.S., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University.

Michael Engelgau


Michael Engelgau is the Director for China NCD activities with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is assigned to the US CDC office in Beijing, China, where he manages the portfolios for non-communicable disease research and capacity building. He completed a four year assignment with the World Bank during which he was the lead consultant for the World Bank’s non-communicable diseases portfolio and led a number of studies on non-communicable diseases in South Asia. Prior to the World Bank assignment he was with the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation since 1992, where he held several key positions, including the Division’s Directorship during 2006. During his time with the World Bank and CDC his focus has been on research programs and policies that translate science into practice to prevent and control non-communicable diseases. He is extensively published in the peer-reviewed US and international scientific literature. After earning his BA and MS at Oregon State University, he obtained his MD at Oregon Health Science University. He completed residencies in both Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine and training with CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.

Justin Ezekowitz

EZEKOWITZ_picture 2017.jpg

Dr. Justin Ezekowitz obtained his undergraduate Bachelor of Sciences (Honors Zoology) at the University of Alberta and medical training at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, achieving an honors degree.  He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas, Texas. He is currently on faculty as a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology and Co-Director of the Canadian VIGOUR Centre at the University of Alberta. He is a cardiologist and former Director of the Heart Function Clinic at the University of Alberta Hospital and Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.

His research and clinical focus is on heart failure. He is involved in numerous clinical trials in heart failure as a site investigator, and on the steering or executive committee for several multicenter international trials. He is also involved in the design leadership and implementation of several investigator-initiated trials funded through governmental and non-governmental research agencies.

Primary clinical research interests include heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction, population health of heart failure, and novel processes of care or treatments for acute or chronic heart failure. 

Dr. Ezekowitz is involved with the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (Chair of the Heart Failure Guidelines committee).

Gary Michael Felker

FELKER_picture 2017.jpg

Gary Michael Felker is Professor of Medicine with tenure in the Division of Cardiology at Duke University Medical Center. He is Chief of the Heart Failure Section at Duke University School of Medicine. He did his medical training at Duke University School of Medicine, his internal medicine training at Johns Hopkins Hospital where he was chief resident, and his cardiology training at Duke. Dr. Felker has published over 190 peer reviewed articles and book chapters in the field of heart failure. He has served on the Executive and Steering Committees for multiple national and international clinical trials in heart failure. He directs the Advanced Heart Failure Fellowship Training Program at the Duke University School of Medicine. Dr Felker is an editorial board member or peer reviewer for multiple high impact medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Lancet, Circulation, and JACC. He is the Associate Editor of JACC: Heart Failure and co-editor of Heart Failure: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease, the leading heart failure textbook. His research focus in on clinical trials in acute and chronic heart failure and the use of biomarkers as diagnostics, prognostic, and therapeutic tools in heart failure.

Jyothis George

GEORGE Jyothis_picture 2017.png

Jyothis George MD PhD is Global Head of Diabetes Clinical Development, Boehringer Ingelheim and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Warwick, UK.
Leadership roles in CV Outcome Trials include: EMPA-REG-OUTCOME trial (leading to first CV indication for a glucose-lowering drug), CAROLINA (Lina vs. active-comparator), CARMELINA (in a renally enriched type 2 diabetes population) and EMPEROR-Reduced, EMPEROR-Preserved (Empagliflozin trials in heart failure with reduced and preserved ejection fractions, respectively) and the Empagliflozin outcome trial in CKD.
Fully accredited in Internal medicine with fellowships from the Royal College of Physicians and the American College of Endocrinology, Jyothis served previously as Chief Investigator and member of OCDEM management board at the University of Oxford - an unparalleled opportunity to learn from legendary outcome triallists in diabetes (Holman, Oxford) and cardiovascular disease (Califf, Duke). 

Joseph Hill

HILL_picture 2017.jpg

Joseph Hill is a cardiologist-scientist whose research focuses on molecular mechanisms of remodeling in the stressed oral scientific training at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, followed by clinical training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr Hill served on the faculty of the University of Iowa for five years before moving in 2002 to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to assume the role of Chief of Cardiology and Director of the Harry S. Moss Heart Center. Dr Hill’s research group strives to decipher mechanisms of structural, functional, and electrical remodeling in heart disease with an eye toward therapeutic intervention. In addition, he serves on several editorial boards, including Circulation, Circulation Research, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and American Journal of Cardiology. He recently served as President of the Association of University Cardiologists and chair of the Academic Council of the American College of Cardiology. Presently, he serves as Editor-in-Chief of Circulation. Dr Hill maintains an active clinical practice focusing on general cardiology, hypertension, and heart failure.

James L. Januzzi

Januzzi head shot 2015 seated.jpg

James L. Januzzi is the Hutter Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a staff cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Senior Cardiometabolic Faculty at Baim Institute for Clinical Research. 

Dr. Januzzi's research has contributed to the understanding of cardiac biomarker testing, where his studies have set international guideline standards for use in diagnosis, prognosis, and management of patients suffering from acutely decompensated heart failure, chronic heart failure as well as those with acute coronary syndromes. Dr Januzzi has published more than 500 manuscripts, book chapters and review articles, has edited five text books. He is among the top 1% most cited researchers, according to Clarivate/Web of Science.  He has mentored dozens of trainees over the years, and has an international presence as a cardiovascular educator. He is an Associate Editor at both JACC and JACC Heart Failure and is chair of the ACC Task Force on Expert Consensus Decision Pathway Documents.

Lars H. Lund


Lars H. Lund is Professor of Medicine at Karolinska Institutet, and Senior Consultant at Karolinska University Hospital where he leads the heart failure research program. He trained in medicine, cardiology and heart failure at Duke University and Columbia University. His expertise is HF clinical and registry-based phenotyping and comparative outcomes studies as well as pragmatic registry-based trials primarily in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. He has developed a series of prognostic and risk stratification tools that are used to characterize patients and select appropriate therapy. He is active in programs to improve utilization of existing evidence based interventions in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and advanced heart failure, such as devices and transplantation, as well as in novel interventions and pragmatic trials of new use applications of existing drugs in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. He has leadership positions in heart failure registries and organizations: such as the Swedish Heart Failure Registry (SwedeHF) and ESC Heart Failure Registry, the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC, was previously Associate Director the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) Registry and on the Steering Committee of the ISHLT International Registry for Mechanical Circulatory Support (IMACS).

Alexandre Mebazaa

Prof Mebazaa 2017.jpg

Alexandre Mebazaa is Professor of Anaesthesiology and Critical Car Medicine at the Hôpital Lariboisière, University Paris 7, France. His research interests include mechanisms of contractile impairment during acute heart failure and global studies on biomarkers in acute heart failure. He acted as member or Chair of several Steering Committees including SURVIVE, COMPOSE, TRUE-HF. He is also involved in several European and global registries on circulatory failure. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 papers and is Lead-Editor of the Acute Heart Failure textbook. Dr. Mebazaa also serves as the Chair of Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care in Paris.

Roxana Mehran

MEHRAN_picture 2017.jpg

Roxana Mehran is Professor of Medicine, Cardiology and Professor of Population Health Science and Policy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is internationally renowned in the field of interventional cardiovascular disease. As Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Research and Clinical Trials at Mount Sinai, she has developed a globally-respected data and clinical coordination center. A prolific researcher and author, she has served as principal investigator for numerous large global studies, developed risk scores for bleeding and acute kidney injury, and authored >800 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Mehran has received numerous prestigious awards, the 2017 Bernadine Healy Leadership in Women’s CV Disease Award, and this May, the 2018 Wenger Award for Excellence in Medical Leadership. She co-founded the Academic Research Consortium (ARC) and SCAI Women in Innovation (SCAI-WIN), and a founding physician of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, where she is currently Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to her position at Mount Sinai, Dr. Mehran held appointments at Columbia University Medical Center and Washington Hospital Center. She completed internal medicine training at University of Connecticut and fellowships in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Wanda F. Moore

Wanda Moore headshot HIGH RES (1).jpg

Wanda Moore, a patient who as an American woman is in one of the highest risk groups dying from heart disease. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity and inactivity are risk factors that prevalent in her family. Therefore, she has made every effort to change her lifestyle to offset those risk factors.

A member of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Women’s Heart Health Education Committee for many years, she was blessed to be able to say with a humble heart that, “I do not have heart disease and I have not had a heart attack.” Well, in spite of her efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, she too became a victim of heart disease (coronary artery disease). In 2015, she had coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Drafted into the ranks of those living with CV disease she is more committed and passionate about research and outreach heart health education. 

Ileana Piña

PINA_picture 2017.jpg

Dr Ileana Piña, MD, MPH, is a nationally renowned cardiologist known for her work in heart failure and development of multidisciplinary clinical interventions to improve patient rehabilitation outcomes.
Dr. Piña graduated Magna Cum Laude of Chemistry from the University of Miami. Dr. Piña earned her medical degree and completed a cardiology fellowship at the University of Miami School of Medicine and her master's in public health degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
She did her internal medicine residency at the University of South Florida Tampa, where she was Chief Resident, and her surgery internship at the University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics. She is board certified in cardiovascular, internal medicine and clinical pharmacology and is fluent in Spanish.
Dr. Piña was appointed Director of Heart Failure and Transplantation at University Hospitals of Cleveland, a position she held from 1999 to 2006. She further completed a Quality Scholar Fellowship at the Cleveland Louis Stokes Veterans' Administration Medical Center.
In July 2011, she joined the Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care as Associate Chief for Academic Affairs and Staff Physician.
Dr. Piña serves as advisor/consultant to the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health and their section of Epidemiology. She is also consultant to Novartis Pharmaceuticals and GE HealthCare. She is the author/co-author of over 100 publications in print, and a world-renowned speaker in the World Congress of Cardiology, the European Heart Failure Association and the Heart Failure Management Symposium on this subject. Dr. Piña is also a member of GWTG Scientific Committee and Heart Failure workgroup, a national Spokesperson for Go Red for Women and was on the writing committee of the new American Heart Association Guidelines for the Prevention of Heart Disease.

Matthew T. Roe

Matthew Roe, Aug 2013.JPG

Matthew T. Roe is a cardiologist with extensive experience as principal investigator in numerous phase II-IV cardiovascular clinical trials. He has also served in leadership roles for observational registries focusing on patients with acute myocardial infarction, patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, and patients with familial hyperlipidemia. 

Dr. Roe is the DCRI Fellowship Program Director and served as faculty director of the Global Megatrials group at the DCRI from 2013-2017.  He is the co-principal investigator of the ADAPTABLE trial (the first, large-scale pragmatic trial being conducted in the PCORnet network).  He has published over 400 articles in high-tier journals.

Yves Rosenberg

ROSENBERG_picture 2017.jpg

Dr. Rosenberg is Chief of the Atherothrombosis and Coronary Artery Disease Branch at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the United States National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland). Dr. Rosenberg obtained his MD from the University of Lyon, France, and is Board certified in Preventive Medicine. He also has an MPH from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene & Public Health. Dr. Rosenberg’s main research interests are the design and conduct of large multicenter phase III clinical trials, especially trials of treatment strategies, comparative effectiveness and pragmatic trials. As a Program Director at NHLBI for over 20 years he has led and participated in the development, conduct, analysis and reporting of more than a dozen major international clinical trials, the results of which have usually been incorporated in clinical guidelines and are influencing today’s practice of cardiovascular medicine in the United States and all over the world.  

Patrick Rossignol


Born 1969, married, 3 children, Patrick Rossignol, MD, PhD, is professor of Therapeutics, Nephrologist and Vascular medicine specialist, Deputy Director of Nancy Plurithematic Clinical Investigation center (CIC)-Inserm. He has participated/is participating in several EU FP6-7 programs (Ingenious Hypercare: Coord A; Zanchetti; MEDIA: Coord: W. Paulus ; HOMAGE & FIBROTARGETS : Coord F. Zannad , Nancy CIC). He is coordinating a French network of excellence endorsed by F-CRIN (French Clinical research Infrastructure Network, the French affiliate of ECRIN/ERIC: Cardiovascular and Renal Clinical Trialists (INI-CRCT since 2014. He is coordinating the University Hospital “French Government Investment for the Future” Fighting Heart Failure program (2016-2020). He is the PI of the ongoing largest double blind (spironolactone vs. placebo) academic cardiovascular outcome randomized controlled trial in hemodialysis (ALCHEMIST: Identifier: NCT01848639) and steering committee member of several international randomized clinical trials. He is a EURECA-m (cardiorenal working group of ERA-EDTA: The European Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation Association) member since its creation in 2009 and got elected as board member (2013-2016) and he is now serving as scientific advisor. Since 2016 is a Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology “Translational” and “Cardiorenal” board member. He is CardioRenal cofounder.

Wai Hong Wilson Tang

W.H. Wilson Tang_Headshot (1).jpg

Wai Hong Wilson Tang is Professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, and Research Director of the Section of Heart Failure and Transplantation Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. He is the Director of the Center for Clinical Genetics at the Cleveland Clinic.  He serves as Associate Director for Cleveland Clinic Coordinating Center for Clinical Research (C5Research), and the director for Hub Research Capacity (Clinical Research Unit) for Case Western Reserve University’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Collaborative. As a clinician-scientist and practicing heart failure/transplant cardiologist, Dr. Tang's translational research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to disease progression in heart failure and cardiomyopathies, cardio-renal disease, and cancer-related heart diseases. He has been elected as member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2013 and the Association of American Physicians in 2018 for studying the contributing role of microbiome in cardiovascular diseases.

Muthiah Vaduganathan

HFSA Photo V2.jpg

Muthiah Vaduganathan is a Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA).

He is interested in drug development and clinical trials in HF. He has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and serves on the editorial boards of the European Journal of Heart Failure and JACC Heart Failure (Social Media/CME Editor). He is an institutional representative on the NHLBI-supported Heart Failure Apprentice Network, serves on the ACCF/AHA Task Force on Performance Measures, and is involved in an FDA Think Tank on improving future clinical trials in HF. He participates as a Clinical Endpoints Committee member for ongoing advanced-phase trials in HF / post-MI LV dysfunction and as a site investigator for DELIVER (dapagliflozin in HFpEF) and SELECT (semaglutide in obese/overweight) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.