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Faculty/Areas of Research

Faculty/Areas of Research

Ann Marie Schmidt, MDVascular Biology
Ann Marie Schmidt, MD

Division of Surgical Science
Dr. Schmidt, who was trained in vascular biology, is Chief of the Division of Surgical Sciences in the Department of Surgery. Her laboratory focuses on studies of the Receptor for AGE (RAGE), a multiligand cell surface receptor, which acts as a signal transducing receptor for the products of nonenzymatic glycation and oxidation of proteins and lipids, the Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs).  This research unit includes research programs of Dr. Alan Tall, the director of the Division of Molecular Medicine and Dr. Ira Goldberg, the Director of the Division of Preventive Medicine and Nutrition.  These additional investigators and their teams further ensure the excellence of vascular biology research training. Dr. Schmidt has an excellent record of training physician-scientists.  Her thematic focus on molecular mechanisms of diabetic vascular complications has proven to be an attractive option for both cardiology and surgical candidates wishing to pursue this line of inquiry, with obvious relevance to the broad field of cardiovascular disease.

Robert Kass, PhDIon Channels and Pharmacology
Robert Kass, PhD
Dr. Kass is Chair of the Department of Pharmacology. His research focuses on the regulation of ion channel expression in normal and genetically-altered cardiac cells: gene-targeted pharmacology of inherited cardiac arrhythmias.  He has contributed greatly to the training of fellows and junior faculty in cardiovascular ion channels and is recognized as an authority on cardiac ion channel function.  Cardiovascular or surgical trainees seeking to develop an investigative career based upon the study of the effects of mutations on ion channel function would be appropriate for training within this outstanding laboratory.

Mark A. Hardy, MDImmunity, cellular signaling and genomics
Mark A. Hardy, MD
Dr. Hardy’s basic research laboratory probes the mechanisms of tolerance induction and pancreatic islet physiology and immunology in islet transplantation. Included in this research unit will be cellular signaling transduction laboratories, and genomics led by Dr. Paul Harris.  Trainees will be exposed to an important mix of immunological and microsurgical techniques, which has the potential to advance their training and promote their development as academic investigators.  This research unit includes research programs of Dr. Nicole Suciu Foca, Director of Immunogenetics Laboratory and of Dr. Paul Harris whose laboratory also focuses on development of markers for angiogenesis in relation to diabetes mellitus and pancreatic islet engraftment and acceptance. These additions further ensure the excellence of training in immunobiology research. 

Karina W. Davidson, PhD Outcomes Research
Karina W. Davidson, PhD
Dr. Davidson is Director of the Center for Behavioral & Cardiovascular Health within General Medicine. The center's mission is to understand the role of stress and of behavioral, psychological, genetic and lifestyle factors in the development of chronic illnesses, in particular cardiovascular diseases. The trainee will have the opportunity to interact with investigators who will provide excellent training in outcomes research with a focus on behavioral sciences. In recognition of the importance of the assessment of procedural outcomes (both pharmacologic and surgical) and the developing scientific approach within this research area, we will formally offer our trainees the opportunity to develop expertise in outcomes research. It is anticipated that at the conclusion of training with this unit, the fellow will have adequate training and preliminary data to write for a mentored training grant (K award, AHA scientist development award) and will develop an ability to design and execute an excellent epidemiologic/clinical study. The candidates also have the opportunity to conduct outcome studies in cardiovascular diseases and transplantation through the Division of Outcome Studies of the Department of Surgery, associated with the Mailman School of Public Health.

Henry M. Spotnitz, MDClinical Sciences
Henry M. Spotnitz, MD
Dr. Spotnitz’s research focuses on improving surgical outcomes through improved operative monitoring. Research in his laboratory aims to examine the effect of surgical correction of congenital heart disease on the systolic and diastolic properties of the left and right ventricles in human children and infants. 


The overall focus of the group is based upon research modalities utilizing advanced imaging and/or interventional techniques.  Trainees seeking to develop specific expertise in clinical research will engage in research programs designed to enhance their ability to design, execute and analyze clinical trials in cardiovascular disease and perform preclinical pharmacologic, immunologic, and physiologic studies. It is anticipated that the intensive research training in clinical cardiovascular sciences will ensure the development of academic clinical researchers with an outstanding grasp of the steps required to implement a clinical trial.  The close proximity of the School of Public Health and the Outcomes Research Unit (see above) will be important components of the overall training.

Columbia University Medical Center | Department of Surgery | Department of Medicine