CVD Training

Current Trainees

Adrianna I. Acevedo-Fontánez Adrianna I. Acevedo-Fontánez
I received a Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences and a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Puerto Rico. I worked as a study coordinator and community health educator in several research groups and then I completed a pre-Doctoral Diversity Supplement from the NIH. The Diversity Supplement supported my efforts to peruse a Doctoral degree in Epidemiology which I started in August of 2019 at the University of Pittsburgh. My main research goals are focus on understanding the association between modifiable lifestyle risk factors with obesity and CVD and how we can use this new knowledge to implement sustainable and culturally appropriate prevention strategies to reduce the burden of these illnesses among minority populations.
Brandon Herbert Brandon Herbert
I received both my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh. My research career started as a bench scientist investigating potential roles of T lymphocyte cell subsets in severe and steroid-insensitive asthma. However, my desire to investigate the role of social determinants of health grew through my experience as a fellow at a help desk located at the Birmingham Free Clinic in Pittsburgh's Southside neighborhood. I quickly learned the detrimental effects on health that a lack of access to resources, healthcare and support can have. The T32 program in CVD epidemiology has offered me an opportunity to continue conducting research focused on the impact of several social determinants of health on cardiovascular care, quality, and health by leveraging large health system-based datasets.
Mitali Ray, PhD, RN Mitali Ray, PhD, RN (she/her)
I earned a BS in Biology from Towson University, a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, and an accelerated BS in Nursing (BSN) from West Chester University. My graduate work focused on characterization of the anti-inflammatory, pro-angiogenic cytokine, Interleukin-19, in regulation of vascular inflammation. During my BSN I was exposed to pregnancy-related cardiovascular disease research, which has been the focus of my postdoctoral research at University of Pittsburgh, a leader in pregnancy-related research. I joined the cardiovascular disease epidemiology T32 program for a third year of postdoctoral work, after completing two years of T32 training in omics at Pitt School of Nursing. The personalized mentorship I am receiving has been customized for my background and research interests and designed to round out my multi-disciplinary postdoctoral training. My current work focuses on applying omics to understand how the embodiment of chronic stress drives racial disparities of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, namely preeclampsia.
Mary Schiff
I received my BS in Public Health from The Ohio State University, and my MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a Pittsburgh native, I happily returned to the city to pursue my PhD in Epidemiology, and ultimately chose Pitt for its strong commitment to service and reputation for quality research. My area of interest and current work integrates spatial and epidemiologic methods to describe the contextual influence of neighborhood-level social and built environment factors impacting cardiovascular wellness and health.