CVD Training

Past Trainees

For individual trainee perspective on our program, please follow trainee links.

Andrew Althouse Andrew Althouse
I began my graduate studies at Pitt by obtaining a Masterís degree in the field of Applied Statistics. Along the way, I had a summer-long internship in Pittís Epidemiology Data Center, which introduced me to clinical research. This experience convinced me that Pittís Department of Epidemiology was the place to merge my statistical training with a newfound interest in medical research.
Julius Asubonteng Julius Asubonteng
My background is in computer science and mathematics, and I became interested in medical research when I interned for Pfizer Inc. in my junior year in college. I worked on number of projects that span over different therapeutic areas, as well as phases of clinical trials. After graduation, I went to work for a number of outfits that largely deal with clinical research.
Mehret Birru Mehret Birru
I grew up in Pittsburgh and after college graduation I did health literacy research at Pitt. During this time, I decided to go to medical school. I ultimately chose Pitt because it was the only MD-PhD program I applied to that offered an Epidemiology option. Pitt is a great place to train because it is such a strong research institution and there are so many people doing fascinating work here.
Yamnia Cortes Yamnia Cortes
I entered the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Training Program after completing my PhD in Nursing at Columbia University, where I also received a BS/MS in Nursing and MPH in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences. Prior to Columbia University, I received a BA in Biology and a concentration in Latino Studies from William College.
Susan Devaraj Susan Devaraj
I received my Bachelors and Masters in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. After several years working as a Registered Dietitian in hospitals and outpatient dialysis clinics, I returned to Pitt to pursue my doctoral studies and to gain experience working with lifestyle approaches to diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention. Pitt offered the valuable opportunity to learn from experts in behavioral lifestyle intervention, diabetes and cardiovascular disease epidemiology.
Michael Genuardi Michael Genuardi
I received my BA in Physics from Boston University and my MD from Tufts. After internal medicine training at Massachusetts General Hospital, I joined UPMC as a cardiology fellow. During my fellowship, I choose to join the CVD training grant because I wanted learn rigorous epidemiologic principles to apply to my research in cardiovascular disease. I study the associations between sleep, arrhythmia, and heart failure.
Emily Guhl Emily Guhl
I received my BA in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and my MD from University of Chicago - Pritzker School of Medicine. After internal medicine training at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center I stayed as a cardiology fellow. During my fellowship, I joined the CVD training grant in my third year of fellowship because I wanted learn epidemiologic principles to apply to my research in cardiovascular disease. I am interested in the impact of various social determinants of health on cardiovascular disease.
Fouzia Farooq Fouzia Farooq
I received my Masters in Public Health from George Mason University and worked as a bench scientist for several years at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR)/Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) near Washington, DC, developing vaccines for malaria and ebola. After a summer internship in Swaziland (now Eswatini), I decided to pursue a PhD in Epidemiology. I chose Pitt because it has one of the most advanced programs in Women's Health, specifically Reproductive Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology (RPPE). I became interested in the T32 training program in CVD epidemiology because I am interested in pursuing a career as a multi-disciplinary epidemiologist with expertise in both RPPE and CVD epidemiology.
William I. Fisher, PhD William I. Fisher, PhD
I joined the training program in Cardiovascular Epidemiology after receiving a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Baylor University with an emphasis in Health Psychology. Previously, I had completed a Master's degree in Health Psychology from Texas State University, with an emphasis in clinical psychology. Prior to psychology, I completed a degree in the culinary arts, worked as a chef, and served in Operation Desert Shield/Storm aboard a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in the United States Navy.
Carrie Hanley Carrie Hanley
I graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and served five years on active duty as an Air Force officer. During this time, I garnered invaluable experience as a supervisor and leader. After my military service, I joined the U.S. Peace Corps and served as a health volunteer in The Gambia, West Africa. I lived in a remote village and worked with the maternal and youth trekking team to provide healthcare to villages cut off from services. My experience as a volunteer instilled in me a passion for public health. After returning from the Peace Corps, I supervised multiple medical practices that were part of a network of community health centers providing healthcare to underserved communities. I wanted to further my education in public health and found that the epidemiology program at the University of Pittsburgh was a perfect fit. I received my MPH in epidemiology and decided to continue on for my doctorate to further develop my skills as an epidemiologist.
Marquis Hawkins Marquis Hawkins
Before coming to graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh, I was an Exercise Science student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As a recreational athlete, the focus of my early training was on strength and conditioning. Although working with athletes was fun, it didnít provide for me a meaningful experience. As a senior, I decided that my focus should be on helping people maintain and improve the quality of their lives through disease prevention and management instead of helping people develop a nice six pack for the beach.
Hsin-Hui Huang Hsin-Hui Huang
I graduated from Kaohsiung Medical College and finished my resident training in internal medicine. I focused on treating cancer patients in the medical oncology department after getting my MPH degree of health management at Yale. I've gotten experience in the clinical practice, but did not know how to turn it into sound evidence for future clinical application. Therefore, I joined the MS program of Biostatistics at Pitt to understand the mathematical methods to answer my question quantitatively. In order to have good quality of evidence, appropriate study designs are required to collect correct data and to obtain less biased results. I decided to pursue my PhD degree of Epidemiology because I want to know the methods to design good quality studies.
Tim Hughes Tim Hughes
I received my master's in public health and had worked for the CDC and NIH. I started out in toxicology and chemistry before finding the "human" aspect of epidemiology so appealing. I chose Pitt because of the reputation it had with the NIH researchers I worked with at the National Institute on Aging.
Franya Hutchins Franya Hutchins
My first exposure to public health was studying food safety and environmental pathogens while pursuing an MS degree in Agricultural and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. Following this experience, I was drawn to epidemiology for its combination of analytic rigor and translational impact. When I came to Pitt for the PhD program, I joined the Epidemiology Data Center where I have had the opportunity to broaden my research interests through working with the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. As a trainee in Cardiovascular Epidemiology, my current work focuses on protective factors for cardiovascular health among women in midlife and late life.
Dana Jorgensen Dana Jorgensen
My background is in physiology and public health, and I graduated Magna Cum Laude in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado in 2010, after which, I decided to pursue an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Colorado, AMC. During this time I worked with the Colorado Department of Health on the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring program. After receiving my MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Colorado, I moved to Pittsburgh to begin studies to obtain my PhD at Pitt. I made this decision to attend Pitt so that I could learn about the cardiovascular risk factors for cognitive impairment from experts in the field.
Allison Kuipers Allison Kuipers
I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology with minors in Theater Performance and Chemistry. As an undergraduate, I was a lab assistant in the molecular epidemiology lab of Dr. Joseph Zmuda. I had initially planned to go to medical school, but after working in the field of epidemiology on the molecular side of research, I decided to pursue a graduate degree in Epidemiology.
Megan Marron Megan Marron
I received a Bachelor of Science in Applied Statistics from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh. After completing my MS degree, I worked as a data analyst on several NIH-funded large epidemiologic cohort studies at the University of Pittsburgh. This work led me to continue my studies and in 2019, I received a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Scholar, working toward becoming an independent scientist. My current research involves using metabolomics to identify biological determinants of healthy aging, free of physical disability, cardiovascular disease and other common chronic conditions.
Candace McClure Candace McClure
I wanted a career in medicine, however I did not desire to be either a physician or a bench scientist. When I was introduced to epidemiology, I knew that I had found my niche. It has given me the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained in my favorite courses (developmental biology, cellular and molecular biology, research methods and statistics) to a single project.
Michelle Meyer Michelle Meyer
I attended the University of Minnesota and received a degree in microbiology before coming to Pittsburgh. I chose Pitt because of their academic program and reputation. I liked the diversity that the graduate school offered and I also wanted to experience a new environment.
Nancy Niemczyk Nancy Niemczyk
After a BA in religion, biology and women's studies from Swarthmore College and a BSN and MSN from the University of Pennsylvania, I spent 15 years practicing as a certified nurse-midwife. While helping individual families have healthy pregnancies and births is very satisfying, I wanted to do work which would improve the lives of more than just my individual clients.
Jennifer Njoroge Jennifer Njoroge
My background is in chemical engineering and as a student I worked on projects in computational modeling and laboratory research. I eventually came to realize that I wanted to pursue a PhD in an area of health research that directly involves working with and helping the public. I chose Pitt because of its reputation for strong medical research.
Kelly Shields
I have followed a rather unorthodox path toward my pursuit of an MS in Epidemiology and participation as a post-doctoral trainee with the Cardiovascular Training Grant. I spent 3 years in industry after completion of my bachelorís of science in mechanical engineering from Grove City College.
Andrea Leigh Stewart Andrea Leigh Stewart
I obtained my bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Community Health from Tufts University. After college, I worked for two years as a Post-Bachelor Fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation conducting global health research on vital registration and data collection systems, developing and refining computational methods for processing large amounts of complex data. I moved to Pittsburgh to pursue a PhD in Epidemiology because of its strong emphasis on Epidemiologic methods. At the University of Pittsburgh, I worked on the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) as a GSR, and then as a trainee on both Aging and Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology training grants.
Natalie Suder Natalie Suder
After studying Biology and Spanish at The Pennsylvania State University, I received my MPH in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh. While a student, I worked as a clinical virology research specialist. During that time, I decided to continue my studies in public health, and enrolled in the DrPH program in Epidemiology.
Curtis Tilves Curtis Tilves
I began my academic career at the University of Pittsburgh receiving my bachelors in Molecular Biology, Philosophy, and History and Philosophy of Science. During this time, I worked in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Lawrence on the role of protozoan predation driving Salmonella O-antigen diversity. I became interested in the role that communities of microorganisms play in human health and joined the molecular epidemiology lab of Dr. Joseph Zmuda where I worked on the impact of bacterial-induced inflammation on fat distribution in the Tobago Health Studies cohort. I found a passion for public health and continued my education in Pittsburgh, receiving an MS in Epidemiology and a Certificate in Public Health Genetics. I am now working on a PhD in Epidemiology and a Certificate in Global Health with the goal of understanding the relationships between the microbiome and cardiometabolic diseases.
Jessica White Jessica White
I entered the DrPH program in Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh after completing an undergraduate degree in Biology at Penn State University and a Masters degree in Bioscience Technologies (concentration: Medical Technology) at Thomas Jefferson University. Before enrolling in the Graduate School of Public Health, I worked as a Medical Technologist in the Clinical Microbiology and Immunology Department at Virginia Hospital Center (Arlington, VA). I am interested in building upon my clinical laboratory background to study effects of infectious and inflammatory diseases on subclinical cardiovascular disease measures.
Genevieve Woodard Genevieve Woodard
The University of Pittsburgh offers a diversity of research topics and advisors to choose from. Incoming students can explore a variety of research topics and identify an advisor that will develop into a lasting and rewarding relationship. Additionally, students can collaborate with other faculty to develop their research skills further.