Request for Applications for 2019-2020 Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery T32 Research Training Program

The Baylor College of Medicine Research Training Program in Cardiovascular Surgery is designed to prepare M.D. surgical residents and Ph.D. post-doctoral fellows for a research career in 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 co-directors, Scott A. LeMaire, M.D., vice chair for research, and Barbara W. Trautner, M.D., Ph.D., director of clinical research.

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.

Training Program Overview


The Research Training Program in Cardiovascular Surgery capitalizes on the diverse, multi-institutional environment of the Texas Medical Center (TMC)—the world’s largest medical center—and the high caliber mentoring faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, the TMC Innovation Institute, 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 training track (e.g., wet laboratory, bio-design or innovation studio, or an outcomes research team).

1. Bioengineering and Biodesign: This track involves training and certification in the TMC Biodesign Fellowship Program and working within a multidisciplinary team to develop a medical device or digital tool.

2. Basic and Translational Research: This track involves training in laboratory-based research focused on understanding and addressing cardiovascular diseases.

3. Clinical and Outcomes Research: This track emphasizes developing skills in health services research or in conducting clinical trials with the ability to improve 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 the Department of Surgery’s Research Core, Surgery Education Office, and annual Resident Research Day Symposium; Baylor College of Medicine Centers of Excellence, such as the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI); the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuESt) weekly seminar series in health services research; Baylor College of Medicine’s Team Launch program activities and courses; the TMC Library, one of the country’s largest medical libraries.


Our faculty mentors conduct bioengineering, basic science, translational, clinical, 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 MD 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. 

Overview of Faculty Mentors in the Research Training Program


Primary Department

BCM Division(s)

Secondary Department(s)*

Willam Cohn, M.D.


Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Circulatory Support

TMC Innovation Institute; Bioengineering (Rice); Texas Heart Institute

Mary Dickinson, Ph.D.

Molecular Physiology & Bioengineering (Rice)

Bioengineering (Rice)

Jane Grande-Allen, Ph.D.

Bioengineering (Rice)

Panos Kougias, M.D., MSc


Vascular & Endovascular Therapy

Scott LeMaire, M.D., CAQ



Molecular Physiology & Biophysics; Texas Heart Institute

James Martin, M.D., Ph.D.

Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

Texas Heart Institute 

Aanand Naik, M.D.


Health Services Research; Geriatrics

Bijan Najafi, Ph.D.


Vascular & Endovascular Therapy; Surgical Research

Vijay Nambi, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.


Atherosclerosis & Vascular Medicine

Laura Petersen, M.D., M.P.H.


Health Services Research

Xinchun Pi, Ph.D.


Atherosclerosis & Vascular Medicine

Molecular Physiology & Biophysics; Molecular & Cellular Biology

Todd Rosengart, M.D.


Cardiothoracic; Surgical Research

Daryl Scott, M.D., Ph.D.

Molecular & Human Genetics

Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

Ying Shen, M.D., Ph.D.


Surgical Research; Cardiothoracic

Texas Heart Institute

Hardeep Singh, M.B.B.S., M.P.H.


Health Services Research

Barbara Trautner, M.D., Ph.D.

Medicine; Surgery

Infectious Diseases; Health Services Research; Surgical Research

Molecular Virology & Microbiology

Salim Virani, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.


Atherosclerosis & Vascular Medicine

Xander Wehrens, M.D., Ph.D.

Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

Medicine (Cardiology); Pediatrics


Trainee stipends are fixed by the National Institutes of Health and vary depending on the number of years of experience following doctoral degree. Supplemental funds are available to ensure compensation equitable to clinical training stipends at Baylor College of Medicine-affiliated hospitals. Trainees are eligible for health insurance, tuition support, and some travel money when appropriate for advancing the training experience.


Eligible applicants must be postdoctoral candidates who are M.D.s in their second year of surgical residency and Ph.D. postdoctoral fellows, all with a strong interest in cardiovascular research. Surgery resident applicants must be willing to delay the completion of their clinical training for two years.

Applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.

Presently, priority is given to applicants from surgical residency programs at Baylor College of Medicine, and postgraduate programs at Baylor, Rice University, and the University of Houston. However, interested applications from other institutions may apply to the program.

How to Apply

For further instructions, interested applicants should send an inquiry to Barbara W. Trautner, M.D., Ph.D.