Profiles of New Clinical Scholars for 2014

Through the Cedars-Sinai Clinical Scholars Program, aspiring clinical scientists can receive training and mentoring while they pursue scientific projects. This year’s incoming class is a diverse group whose research interests include pain therapy, heart disorders and cancer. Below are brief profiles of each scholar:

Robyn Balden, MD, PhD


Born: Johannesburg

Education: Combined MD/PhD from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Bryan

Postgraduate training: Residency in anesthesiology, Cedars-Sinai

Cedars-Sinai Department: Anesthesiology

Research project: Investigating combined opioid and double NMDA receptor antagonist (a class of anesthetics) pain therapy in patients and experimental animals undergoing surgical laminectomy — a procedure that removes a portion of the vertebral bone known as the lamina

Career goal: To continue translational research using experiences from the clinical practice of anesthesiology as a platform for basic science experimental design

Todd Barrett, MD


Born: Hiawatha, Kansas

Education: MD from University of Kansas in Lawrence

Postgraduate training: Residency in internal medicine and pediatrics, University of Chicago; fellowship in clinical ethics, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago; fellowship in palliative care and hospice, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cedars-Sinai Department: Medicine

Research project: Analyzing data from the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support to determine if there is a correlation between the quality-of-life scores and readmission rates in patients with mechanical circulatory support

Career goal: To become a national leader in palliative care for patients with mechanical circulatory support

Kiran Gollapudi, MD


Born: Washington, D.C.

Education: MD from University of California, Los Angeles

Postgraduate training: Internship in general surgery and residency in urology, University of California, Los Angeles; fellowship in minimally invasive urology, Cedars-Sinai

Cedars-Sinai Department: Urology

Research project: Undecided

Career goal: To be an academic urologist who provides excellent clinical care, participates in high-impact clinical research and improves surgical education

 

David Lange, MD


Born: Birmingham, Michigan

Education: MD degree from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Postgraduate training: Residency in internal medicine, University of California, San Francisco; fellowship in cardiology, Cedars-Sinai

Cedars-Sinai Department: Cardiology

Research project: A quality-improvement study of predictors for cancellation of catheterization laboratory staff activation and clinical outcomes of patients who present with ST segment myocardial infarction, a severe type of heart attack

Career goal: To be an interventional cardiologist at an academic center, dividing time among clinical duties, teaching and ongoing research

 

Pooja Nawathe, MD


Born: Mumbai, India

Education: MD from Topiwala National Medical College in Mumbai

Postgraduate training: Residency in pediatrics, Wayne State University in Detroit; fellowship in pediatric critical care, Columbia University Medical Center in New York

Cedars-Sinai Department: Pediatrics and Heart Institute

Research project: Improving access to an appropriate congenital heart program for adults with congenital heart disease

Career goal: To succeed as an independent researcher in the field of outcome research in congenital heart disease

 

Ali Sovari, MD


Born: Tehran, Iran

Education: MD from Shahid Beheshti University (formerly the National University of Iran) in Tehran

Postgraduate training: Residency in internal medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; fellowship in cardiology (physician-scientist track), University of Illinois at Chicago; research fellowship in cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; fellowship in clinical cardiac electrophysiology, Cedars-Sinai

Cedars-Sinai Department: Cardiology

Research project: Investigating mechanisms of pulseless electrical activity resulting in sudden arrhythmic arrest

Career goal: To become a successful academic clinical cardiac electrophysiologist and conducting translational researches focused on treatment and risk stratification for ventricular tachycardia and sudden cardiac death

 

Jonathan Wu, MD


Born: Los Angeles

Education: MD from University of California, Los Angeles

Postgraduate training: Residency in urology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California

Cedars-Sinai Department: Urology

Research project: Developing a more accurate imaging technique for prostate cancer detection

Career goal: To become an academic urologist providing excellent clinical care and while also conducting clinical and translational research