Fellows’ Projects

Research stories from the Fellows’ perspective

Dr. Romit Bhattacharya

Entering Class of 2018
Mentor: Dr. Pradeep Natarajan

Dr. Romit Bhattacharya is interested in digital cardiovascular care, human behavior/decision making, sports cardiology in the recreational athlete, and fitness/prevention in a secondary prevention population. He completed a fellowship in Healthcare Delivery Innovation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital prior to cardiology fellowship. In his research, he works with Pradeep Natarajan in the MGH Cardiovascular Prevention group on diverse projects in cardiac rehabilitation, digital cardiology, and preventive cardiology. He plans to use the MGH Cardiovascular Fellowship to pursue training in preventive cardiology, sports cardiology, and bioinformatics to help further his research career. The other branch of his research is centered around human behavior and irrationality, utilizing principles of behavioral economics and psychology to understand decision making particularly around healthcare – for both providers and patients. To this end, he collaborates broadly across cardiology divisions at MGH and BWH as well as general internists and the university’s psychology department. These projects center around Implicit Bias, Healthcare Disparities, Behavioral Nudges, and Human Centered Design for Quality Improvement.

Dr. Timothy Churchill

Entering Class of 2015
Mentor: Dr. Aaron Baggish

Dr. Timothy Churchill, from the entering class of 2015, is working in the Cardiac Performance Program on a number of different studies broadly focused on the intersection of exercise, cardiovascular health, and cardiovascular disease. He has several distinct ongoing projects. One is a collaborative effort with Dr. Sawalla Guseh, another MGH Cardiology Fellow who works in a basic lab, exploring molecular mechanisms underlying exercise intensity and its differential impacts on the human body. A second is a large prospective study focused on aortic size in Masters athletes. A third is a study assessing the cardiovascular response and structural cardiac remodeling to athletic training in exercise-naive teenagers. 

Dr. Laura Flannery

Entering Class of 2016
Mentor: Dr. Sammy Elmariah

Dr. Laura Flannery, from the entering class of 2016, is doing outcomes research on patients with severe aortic stenosis. She is exploring how aortic valve replacement affects mortality among the various phenotypes of aortic stenosis (low flow low gradient with reduced EF, etc.) as well as working to define the patient-specific and process-specific variables that predict likelihood of receiving an AVR. She aims to use this information to implement quality improvement initiatives.

Dr. Emily Lau

Entering Class of 2016
Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Ho, Dr. Marcelo DiCarli

Dr. Emily Lau, from the entering class of 2016, is interested in women’s cardiovascular health and is currently pursuing research in women’s health, HFpEF, and cardiometabolic disease through cross institutional support from the Brigham and Women’s NIH sponsored T32 imaging training grant and the MGH Corrigan’s Women’s Heart Health Program.

Dr. Akl Fahed

Entering Class of 2016
Mentor: Dr. Sekar Kathiresan

Dr. Akl Fahed, from the entering class of 2016, has a research career focused on cardiovascular genomics.  He is currently a T32-funded postdoctoral scholar at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. His projects are focused on improved discovery and clinical translation of monogenic and polygenic heart disease. During his fellowship, he is developing a skillset in statistical genomics and machine learning approaches to health data. Outside MGH, he serves as council member and precision medicine lead for the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Innovation Section and advises healthcare startups.

Dr. Michael Honigberg

Entering Class of 2017
Mentor: Dr. Pradeep Natarajan

Dr. Michael Honigberg, from the entering class of 2017, is interested in (1) risk factors for cardiovascular disease specific to women, (2) management of cardiovascular disease in pregnancy, and (3) refinement of cardiovascular risk assessment and targeted cardiovascular prevention strategies. He will be based at MGH and the Broad Institute, using epidemiologic and genetic approaches to understand cardiovascular disease risk in women. One current project examines the mechanisms linking hypertensive pregnancy complications and cardiovascular risk later in life among affected women. Working at MGH also enables fruitful collaborations across departments and with investigators and mentors throughout the Harvard system.

Dr. Jonathan Salik

Entering Class of 2018
Mentor: Dr. David Dudzinski

Dr. Jonathan Salik, from the entering class of 2018, is interested in general cardiology, critical care medicine, and medical education. He is working with Dr. David Dudzinski on a number of projects and recently published a paper assessing how well current TTE appropriate use criteria apply to TTEs ordered in the setting of a cardiac intensive care unit. He will be one of the MGH Internal Medicine Chief Residents in 2019. Dr. Salik also works with several members of both the cardiology and medicine departments on a number of cardiovascular education initiatives, specifically involving the use of educational interventions to reduce the rate of inappropriate diagnostic testing (e.g., telemetry).

Dr. Shaan Khurshid

Entering Class of 2017
Mentor: Dr. Steven Lubitz

Dr. Shaan Khurshid, from the entering class of 2017, has a strong interest in clinical electrophysiology. His overall research goal is to improve outcomes in patients with cardiac rhythm disorders. His approach is to leverage the scale afforded by large datasets such as the electronic health record (EHR) and apply rigorous statistical techniques in order to improve our understanding of the epidemiology of cardiac rhythm disorders and their treatment, and practically inform clinical care. He also seeks to gain experience with novel techniques such as prediction modeling, machine learning, and cost-effectiveness analysis to improve the rigor of clinical decision-making in electrophysiology. To that end, he plans to obtain formal training in clinical epidemiology by pursuing the MPH in clinical effectiveness offered at the Harvard School of Public Health, over the course of the 3rd and 4th years of general fellowship.

Dr. J. Sawalla Guseh

Entering Class of 2014
Mentor: Dr. Tony Rosenzweig

In the laboratory, Dr. J. Sawalla Guseh uses sequencing and high throughput profiling methods to understand how exercise works therapeutically to enhance and protect the heart against heart failure.  Clinically, Sawalla has pursued cardiomyopathy and ‘Sports Cardiology’ training with translational collaborations in the MGH Cardiovascular Performance Program. During training he received support from the MGH Cardiology Division’s NIH T32, the MGH Physician Scientist Development Program, and the John S. Ladue Memorial Fellowship in Cardiology.