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Section of Atherosclerosis

Houston, Texas

BCM faculty, staff and trainees are the heart of the organization.
Section of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine
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The Lipid and Atherosclerosis Training Program

Fellowship Director



Atherosclerosis remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for the United States and in Texas. The purpose of this fellowship program is to train physicians who will become future leaders in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis. Much remains to be done in the area of atherosclerosis because the disease is a such a complex one. Although strong evidence supports the importance of lipoproteins in the initiation and promotion of atherosclerosis at every stage, we are only at the beginning of a new paradigm for the cause of atherothrombotic events. Not long ago, atherosclerosis was viewed as a steadily progressive process which proceeded over decades until an artery was occluded. Now, it is known that most clinical events arise typically from plaque rupture and the ensuing thrombosis from lesions cause only mild to moderate angiographic stenosis. Furthermore, with novel therapies, it appears that lesion progression can be slowed, stopped or even regressed. Studies ranging from genetics and molecular biology to clinical and pharmacological trials reveal the potential of altering the natural history of this dreaded disorder. Continuing to promote therapeutic strategies in remains an important focus in the prevention of atherosclerosis.


Goals and Objectives

  • Understand the pathophysiology of lipid disorders and atherosclerosis
  • Become skilled in treating difficult lipid disorders and clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis
  • Become competent in treatment strategies for primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerosis and vascular disease
  • Understand the different therapeutic modalities for the treatment of obesity
  • Participate in ongoing and original clinical/translational research in the area of atherosclerosis, lipids, and obesity


Duties and Responsibilities of the Fellow

Each fellow is under the direct supervision of Dr. Christie M. Ballantyne, Dr. Vijay Nambi, and the clinical staff directing each clinical and research activity. Each fellow is evaluated on a quarterly basis by each faculty attending. The areas are: fundamental knowledge; clinical skills; presentation skills; character/ethics. The evaluation forms are based on evaluation tools used in the General Medicine and Cardiology offices. Research quality is evaluated by Dr. Ballantyne.

The fellow:

  • Is required to see inpatient lipid consults in the Lipid Metabolism and Atherosclerosis Clinic on a weekly basis - supervised by one of the faculty members (Dr. Christie Ballantyne, Dr. Vijay Nambi, Dr. Peter Jones, or Dr. Ryan Neal)
  • Will attend Vascular Biology Conference on a weekly basis (currently on Thursdays) - led by Dr. Joel Morrisett.
  • Will attend the Division's journal club on a weekly basis (currently on Wednesdays) - led by Dr. Mendel Chen.
  • Will participate in the IPM/Obesity clinic on a regular basis - supervised by Dr. Peter Jones.
  • Will follow clinical research patients on a daily basis with Dr. Christie Ballantyne, Dr. Vijay Nambi, Dr. Peter Jones, or Dr. Ryan Neal.
  • Has the opportunity to participate in endocrine or cardiology conference held daily at Baylor or affiliated hospitals.
  • Will actively participate and design research studies in atherosclerosis, lipids, obesity, and cardiovascular prevention.
  • Is advised to attend cardiology grand rounds and relevant endocrine and medicine grand rounds.
  • Will attend the month-long course "Fundamentals in Clinical Investigation" during the first month of training. These classes are held Monday-Thursday from 5:30-7:30 pm in July. An exam follows the course.


Selection Process

A position is available for one qualified candidate. Selected applicants will be given a formal interview. Applicants are scheduled for interviews after completing the application, requesting CV, verification of training, and letters of recommendation. The applicant is interviewed by at least 2 of the 4 faculty members.


Such candidates are required to have the following:

  • Must have completed their postgraduate training in internal medicine.
  • Must have Internal Medicine Board Eligibility or Board Certification.
  • Outstanding personal references from their previous training program(s).
  • Be committed to undertake meaningful research during their training programs.
  • Desire to continue in the field of prevention of cardiovascular disease.
  • Research experience is preferable.
  • Eligibility for NIH training grant position (US citizen or resident) is preferred, but outstanding foreign applicants with an H1 visa will be considered.
  • Eligible for medical training in Texas.

Click here to apply


Promotion of Residents and Fellows for the Training Program

  • Fellows may apply for a second year of training. Evaluation for the second year of training will include clinical performance, academic skills including presentation abilities, research potential, manuscript productivity, and commitment to an academic career.
  • Fellows who are chosen to pursue a second year are expected to develop original research proposals, prepare and assist in preparation of applications to the IRB, prepare original manuscripts, and participate in writing grants
  • A vote of the faculty members based upon the above criteria will determine whether the applicant is accepted for a second year.


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