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RHD Fellowship Opportunity: American Heart Association Children’s Network

05 July 2017

Children’s National Health System seeks a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow with an interest in in global health research to join our Center, Strengthening the Health System Response to Rheumatic Heart Disease: Developing Evidence-Based Strategies For Prevention. This Center is one of four recently awarded by the American Heart Association (AHA) as part of the AHA’S Strategically Focused Children’s Research Network. This two-year fellowship will enable the trainee to engage in basic/translational, clinical, and population research while working across three interconnected projects. The fellow will also participate in educational, mentorship and professional development programs based on the applicant’s professional goals and interests. We seek to train the next generation of globally minded transdisciplinary investigators and equip them with the skills they will need to develop impactful independent careers in basic, clinical and/or population science research.

Project Overview and Location:
With funding from the AHA, Children’s National Health System has collaborated with the world’s Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) experts to rapidly advance the global fight against RHD, which afflicts over 33 million people. Craig Sable, MD from Children’s National directs the Center and training program. The Center consists of three highly synergistic research projects lead by physicians from Memphis, Washington, and Seattle: 

Basic/Translational Science: Project PI, James Dale, MD, University of Tennessee
Human Immune Responses to Potential GAS Vaccine Antigens in Subjects at High Risk for RHD
Goal: Make critical advancements in the science needed for the development of a safe, effective GAS vaccine through study of the immune response to group A strep infection.

Clinical: Project PI, Andrea Beaton, MD, MS, Children’s National Health System
Working Towards a Better Understanding of ARF
Goal: Characterize the pattern of contemporary and endemic ARF and develop a biological signature to improve sensitivity and specificity of ARF diagnosis.

Population: Project PI, David Watkins, MD, MPH, University of Washington 
Building a Case to Invest in RHD Prevention and Control in Limited Resource Settings
Goal: Identify health-system shortfalls and develop a “costed” action plan to incite meaningful policy change.

Each fellow will focus on one of the three projects in the Center with an opportunity to collaborate in the other two projects with leading researchers from the following institutions: 

  • Children’s National Health System – Washington, DC
  • University of Tennessee – Memphis, TN
  • University of Washington – Seattle, WA
  • Case Western University – Cleveland, OH
  • Uganda Heart Institute – Kampala, Uganda
  • University of Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa
  • Telethon Kids Institute – Perth Australia

The fellow will be based at Children’s National in Washington, DC, but over their two year team, they will conduct supervised field work in Uganda and/or South Africa and gain laboratory experience in Seattle, Memphis, Cape Town and/or Perth. Additional optional clinical experience is available at Case Western for fellows from outside the United States. 

For further information:
Rheumatic Heart Disease Fellowship: American Heart Association Children’s Network | Application information
Children’s National Health System to Launch Rheumatic Heart Disease Eradication Effort with $3.7 Million Grant from American Heart Association | Press Release