Graduate Training

Graduate training in translational science and  cardiovascular research

Sponsored by: A Ruth L. Kirschtein NRSA Training Grant (T-32) Award from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD.

Principal Investigator: Kent L. Thornburg, Ph.D., Center for Developmental Health, OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute.

Program Overview

The NIH-sponsored training program for Translational Science and Cardiovascular Research at the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute is dedicated to the advanced specialty research training of physician-scientists and basic scientists. The program funds a total of six positions (M.D., D.O., or Ph.D.) for a two-year research experience in one of three general investigative categories:

  • Diabetes/obesity
  • Developmental programming
  • Regulatory processes

The aim of the program is to provide laboratory research training and mentoring that will establish the basis for a successful career as an independent investigator in an academic institution. Laboratory research will be supplemented with course work and scientific seminars. Unique aspects of the program include provision of individualized curriculum and career development, and the team-approach to mentoring that include both basic and clinical scientists. Our goal is to produce scientists with a broad outlook and a focus on bringing science to the benefit of patients.

Program components

The duration of support for this program is two years, although arrangements can be made for trainees to extend their research fellowship beyond the period of funding.

For physician-scientists, up to one year of the research program can qualify towards an ACGME-accredited Cardiology Fellowship.


The training program will involve the following activities:

  • Research training under the guidance of a primary research mentor
  • Periodic meeting with a mentoring team including the primary mentor, and two co-mentors
  • Course work (Biostatistics, Ethics of Research, Becoming a Successful Scientist, The Scientific Basis of Cardiology, Genetic Foundations of Cardiac Biology, Scientific Writing, etc.) or courses in the NIH-funded Human Investigation Certificate Program
  • Career counseling with the mentoring team
  • Participation in conferences (Cardiology Research Conference, Integrative Physiology, Annual Scientific Retreat)

An SEM image of the endothelium of a normal aorta (picture from Dr. Lindner's lab)

An SEM image of the endothelium of a normal aorta (picture from Dr. Lindner's lab)


Faculty and administration

Program director: Kent Thornburg, Ph.D.
Associate director: Sanjiv Kaul, M.D.

Diabetes / vascular physiology / inflammation

Virginia Brooks, Ph.D. | Kevin Grove, Ph.D. | Sanjiv Kaul, M.D. | Jonathan Lindner, M.D. | Daniel Marks, M.D., Ph.D. | Dawn Peters, Ph.D. | Jonathan Purnell, M.D. | Charles Roberts, Ph.D.

Developmental cardiology and programming

Craig Broberg, M.D. | George Giraud, M.D., Ph.D. | Lowell Davis, M.D. | Monica Hinds, Ph.D. | Sonnet Jonker, Ph.D. | Cynthia Morris, Ph.D. |Sandra Rugonyi, Ph.D. | David Sahn, M.D. | Kent Thornburg, Ph.D.

Regulatory and cellular physiology

Michael Andresen, Ph.D. | David Ellison, M.D. | Allison Fryer, Ph.D. | Eric Gouaux, Ph.D. | Beth Habecker, Ph.D. | Cheryl Maslen, Ph.D. | William Skach, Ph.D. | Mary Stenzel-Poore, Ph.D. | Philip Stork, M,D. | Zhengfeng Zhou, Ph.D.


Trainee requirements

  • Trainees must have a graduate degree (M.D., D.O., Ph.D., D.V.M., Pharm.D., D.D.S., etc.).
  • Trainees must either be a United States citizen, a non-citizen national of the United States, or have permanent resident status (possess a currently valid alien registration receipt card I-551, or other legal verification of such status).
  • Three trainees will be accepted per year.

Contrast enhanced ultrasound targeted imaging developed and refined by OHSU scientists provides a potent research method for the study of physiology.

Contrast enhanced ultrasound targeted imaging developed and refined by OHSU scientists provides a potent research method for the study of physiology.


Application process

The deadline for applications for starting date July 2014 is April 30, 2014.

Applications should include the following components:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement that describes research and career goals
  • Research plan (5 pages maximum not including references)
  • Letter from proposed research mentor that includes mentoring plan and resources
  • Two additional letters of recommendation
  • Medical school or graduate school transcript (for external candidates only)

Please send completed applications to:

Lisa Rhuman
Center for Developmental Health
OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute
Oregon Health & Science University
3303 S.W. Bond Avenue
Mail Code: CH15H
Portland, OR 97239

Selection process

Applications will be judged based on evidence of interest in research, research aptitude, desire to pursue an academic career, interest in translational research and general fit for the research program.

Minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

External candidates with a high likelihood for entrance into the program will be asked to interview at OHSU.