Research Fellowship Program in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

The SPRC Research Fellowship Program in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention has been funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute under an institutional National Research Service Award since 1975.


The training program is fully integrated into the Stanford Prevention Research Center and is governed by the Center faculty and academic research staff. Dr. Christopher D. Gardner has primary day-to-day responsibility for the training program.


For the upcoming academic year:

Those Faculty members open to the possibility of accepting Post-Doctoral Fellows:

Those Faculty members not accepting Post-Doctoral Fellows at this time:

Fellowships are available for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who by the time of appointment will hold an MD or a PhD degree (or equivalent). Postdoctoral fellowships are intended for early career training and in general applicants must have received their doctoral degree within six years (MD) or three years (PhD) prior to the planned training start date. Physician applicants generally have completed residency in internal medicine, preventive medicine, pediatrics, or psychiatry, or may be concurrently enrolled in a clinical fellowship at Stanford.

The SPRC Fellowship does not include clinical training and specifically is not a cardiology subspecialty program.   For specific interests of our faculty, please see "Research interests".

The length of training is two years. The training program can also provide tuition support for completing a Masters degree in epidemiology, clinical research methods, or public health (at the University of California, Berkeley).

Please note: According to U.S. policy, any individual appointed to this training grant must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of the Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551 or I-151) at the time of appointment. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.

The three major elements of the training program are:

  • Direct research experience
  • Directed study and data analysis
  • A core seminar program.

The principal emphasis is on direct involvement in ongoing research. The core seminar program provides a modest structured, didactic experience. In addition, postdoctoral trainees are encouraged to take coursework in fields new to them to broaden their knowledge base in preparation for interdisciplinary research activities. There are also limited patient care and teaching opportunities. These various elements are described below.


Active mentorship is an important feature of the Center's fellowship program. The faculty is devoted to the academic success of the fellows and each fellow develops a relationship with one or two faculty advisors to supervise her or his research plans, publications, and career development. Our goal is to provide all fellows with an experience tailored to their career needs and including experience in research, manuscript preparation and publication, scientific presentations, grant-writing, and planning for future academic appointments.


The Center includes some $10 million annually in funded research projects providing ample opportunity for fellows to gain experience in research design, intervention design, and implementation, process evaluation, statistical methods and analytic software, metabolic and physiologic measurement, laboratory analysis, etc. Fellows typically select one or two ongoing research projects as the focal point of their research experience.

Directed Study

All fellows will engage in directed readings of major articles in the field of cardiovascular disease prevention. This reading provides a framework for understanding the current and future activities of the Center and for developing research and data analysis ideas. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to undertake a data analysis project in an area of interest utilizing data collected in various Center-sponsored research projects. This requires a literature review and consulting on data management and statistical methods with members of the faculty.

Core Seminars

The core seminar program provides a structured review of basic materials in chronic disease prevention, provides a forum for discussion of research projects, and promotes continuing review of relevant literature. There are currently two regular, informal research and publication discussion groups for Fellows, sponsored by the SPRC faculty. Other aspects of chronic disease prevention, including activities of scholars outside the Center, are provided by a weekly Research Seminar. This series is planned to include the broad range of activities within the Center, including clinical, behavioral, and community topics.

The Preventive Cardiology Clinic (PCC)

Physician fellows are expected to spend one half day per week in the PCC seeing patients with various cardiovascular risk factors and coordinating their medical and behavioral care under the direction of the attending physicians. Clinical psychologist fellows also have the opportunity to observe in the PCC and may participate in the Behavioral Medicine Clinic (in the Psychiatry Department).

Health Improvement Program

The Stanford Health Improvement Program is a comprehensive wellness program for faculty, staff, and retirees. HIP includes projects that can accommodate part-time help from fellows, which is an excellent way to earn supplemental income. Past projects have included: 

  • Database management and data analysis
  • Curriculum development
  • Revision of existing health promotion materials
  • Training programs, and teaching

HIP can also assist with the recruitment of individuals for pilot projects, focus groups, or scientific investigations

Master of Science Degree

Physician fellows may choose to pursue a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology during their fellowship if they have not had formal training in research methods. The SPRC training program grant provides partial tuition support for this degree. It is also possible, with approval, to pursue a Masters of Public Health degree at the University of California, Berkeley.

Current and recent Fellows provide an idea of the breadth of Fellows’ experience and the positions taken after completion of the fellowship.

Current Fellows

Former Fellows

Start Year

Fellow, Last Known Position


Chirag Patel, PhD, Research Associate in Biomedical Informatics, Center for Biomedical Informatics at Countway, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Sandra Winter, PhD, Social Science Research Associate, Program Director, Wellness Living Laboratory, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA

Kelly Young-Wolff , PhD, Research Scientist, Division of Research, Drug and Alcohol Research Team, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA


Jylana Sheats, PhD, Social Science Research Associate, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA

Juliann Saquib, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Qassim University, School of Medicine, Saudi Arabia

Lauren Grieco, PhD, Social Science Research Associate, Stanford Center on Longevity, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA


Arianna McClain, PhD, Senior Hybrid Design Researcher, IDEO, Palo Alto, CA

Sarah Ramirez, PhD, Lecturer, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Executive Director, Tulare County Food Bank  

Mary Rosenberger, PhD, Post Doctoral Scholar, Department of Psychology, and the Stanford Center for Longevity, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Alicia Salvatore, PhD, Assistant Professor, Occupational Health and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City  

Abu Nazmus, Saquib, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Sulaiman AlRajhi College, School of Medicine, Saudi Arabia


Erik Hekler, PhD, Assistant Professor, Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix

Matthew Buman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Exercise and Wellness, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix  

Dipanjan Banerjee, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Medicine - Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA


Kathleen Carrie Armel, PhD, Research Associate, Precourt Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA  

Matthew Wheeler, MD, PhD, Instructor, Cardiovascular Medicine/Dept of Medicine, Executive Director, Center for Undiagnosed Diseases, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 

Sandra Tsai, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Medicine - General Medical Disciplines/ Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 

Valarie Jernigan, PhD, Assistant Professor, College of Public Health, Assoc. Member, Stephenson Cancer Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Tulsa, OK  

Susan (Moore) Brown, PhD, Staff Scientist II, Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA  

Stacy Sims, PhD, Chief Research Officer, OsmoNutrition;  Consultant Research Scientist, Stanford University; Consultant Research Scientist, Industry; Adjunct Research Scientist, Otago University, School of Physical Education, New Zealand

Marina Martin, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, General Medical Disciplines/Geriatrics, Co-Director, Pacific Free Clinic, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA

Sharon Toker, PhD, Assistant Professor, Head of Organizational Behavior Program, Tel Aviv University, Israel'

Farshad Marvasti, MD, Adjunct Faculty Member & Educator 4 Care Associate, Stanford University School of Medicine; Founder and Owner, Marvasti Medical Services, PLLC


Steffani Bailey, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

Vani Henderson, PhD, Quantitative Marketing Manager, Google, Mountain View, CA  

Andrea Bersamin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biology Department and Center for Alaska Native Health Research; Nutrition and Physical Activity Core Director, Center for Alaska Native Health Research, University of Alaska, Fairbanks


Jennifer Tremmel, MD, SM, Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine; Director, Secondary Prevention Program; Clinical Director, Women’s Heart Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto CA

Ruth Taylor-Piliae, RN, CNS, MN, PhD, Associate Professor, BioBehavioral Health Science Division, College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson

Byron S Kennedy, MD, PhD, MPH, Physician in Preventive Medicine and Public Health; Commissioner of Public Health, Monroe County, NY


Natara Garovoy, PhD, MPH, Program Director, Women’s Counseling Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System

Leslee Throckmorton-Belzer, PhD, Pediatric Psychology Services, Licensed Pediatric Psychologist in Private Practice, Los Altos, CA

Sofiya Alhassan, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Mass. Amherst

Cooker Storm (Perkins), PhD, Associate Professor, Sports Medicine, Pepperdine University, Malibu


Tirzah Spencer, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Nutritional Epidemiology, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina

John R Sirard, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Jodi Stookey, PhD, Private Research Consultant, San Francisco, CA


Adam Hersh, MD, PhD, MS Medical Resident – Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco

Shannon Quinlan Hurtz, PhD, Part-Time Faculty, California State University-Sacramento

Guido Urizar, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, California State University-Long Beach

Niraj Sehgal, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Alison Rigby, PhD, MPH, Clinical Research Coordinator, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Stanford University Medical Center

Alexandre Kiazand, MD, Associate Medical Director, Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.


Brian Oliveira, PhD Faculty, University of Santa Clara, CA

Jennifer Goldberg, Psychology Research Consultant, Coral Gables, FL

Ying-Chih Chuang, Graduate Institute of Public Health, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan

Suzanne Drungle Danhauer, PhD, Assistant Professor & Associate Director, Psychosocial Oncology & Cancer Patient Support Program, Wake Forest University Health Science, Winston-Salem, NC


Glenn S. Brassington, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, Sonoma State University; Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Mercedes R. Carnethon, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, The Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Raul Calderon, Jr., PhD, Project Director/The Family Project, Prevention Research Center, Psychology Dept., Arizona State University

Latha Palaniappan, MD, MS, Assistant Investigator-Health Care and Policy Research, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA; Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Leslie Smithline Kinder, PhD, Co-Implementation Research Coordinator, IHD QUERI, Seattle, WA


Michael Antecol, PhD, Vice President, Pollara, Inc. (Public Opinion and Market Research Firm)

Carla V. Corral, PhD, Counseling Psychologist, Counseling and Career Services, University of California, Santa Barbara

B. Sophia Ford, PhD, Fellow in Urology/Andrology, University of Illinois, Chicago; Current Postion Unknown

Ruben E. Perczek, PhD, Director at the Perczek Leadership Institute, Hallandale, FL


Audie A. Atienza, PhD, Health Science Administrator, Behavioral Research Program/DCCPS, National Cancer Institute

Catherine Cubbin, PhD, Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Rakale Collins, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Epidemiology, Morehouse School of Medicine

Rebecca E. Lee, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine

Frederic Luskin, PhD, Associate Professor; Institute of Transpersonal Psychology; Project Director, Stanford Forgiveness Project


John A. Astin, PhD, Research Scientist, California Pacific Medical Center; Adjunct Professor, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology; Lecturer, Santa Clara University

Joseph Carlson, PhD, RD, Associate Professor, Division of Sports Medicine, Michigan State University School of Medicine, East Lansing, MI

Cynthia M. Castro, PhD, Research Associate, SPRC, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Donna Matheson, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, SPRC, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Elizabeth Wrone, PhD, Nephrologist, Diablo Nephrology Medical Group, Berkeley, CA


Dina Borzekowski, EdD, Assistant Professor, Program Director, Health Communication Track, Department of Population and Family Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD

Karen Jacowitz, PhD, Consultant, Moorehead, MN

Sonja Myhre, PhD, Consultant, Mountain View, CA

Julie Peltz, MD, Clinical Physician, Department of Sports Medicine and Occupational Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, Redwood City, CA

Sara Wilcox, PhD, Associate Professor, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Department of Exercise Science; Adjunct Associate Professor, University of South Carolina, Department of Psychology


Wayne Phillips, PhD, Assistant Professor, Exercise Science and Physical Education Department, Arizona State University


Rebecca Duran-Guarino, MD, Internal Medicine Physician, South Valley Multispecialty Group, San Jose, CA  

Christopher Gardner, PhD, Associate Professor, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Michaela Kiernan, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University , Stanford, CA

Kurt M. Ribisl, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  

Sarah Wild, PhD, Senior lecturer in Epidemiology and Public Health, Public Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, U.K.  

Daniel Williams, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah


Roy F. Oman, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Peter Orton, PhD, Director, Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA

Caroline Schooler, PhD, Vice President, Director of Research and Development, Foote, Cone & Belding Healthworks, New York, NY


Douglas Levine, PhD, Assistant Professor, Family Practice Physician, Camino Medical Group, Sunnyvale, CA  

Roberta K. Oka, D.N.Sc., Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health
Systems, UC San Francisco

Thomas G. Quinn, MD, Private Practice, Comprehensive Adult Risk Evaluation (CARE), Oakland, CA

Deborah Young, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology, College of Health and Human Performance, University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Erica Frank, MD, MPH, Professor and Canada Research Chair, University of British Columbia Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, and Department of Family Practice

We particularly encourage applicants with interests in the following (covering multiple dimensions of prevention research):

  • Assessing the built environment's impact using health technology
  • Child and adolescent health promotion (behavioral approaches to obesity prevention and treatment, tobacco use control and prevention) 
  • Chronic disease risk factors in the community and clinical settings
  • The effect of aging and other factors on bone health
  • Environmental and neighborhood influences on health (physical, social, cultural environments)
  • Genetics of prevention (cardiovascular and cancer genetic epidemiology, Omics technologies in prevention and personal genomics)
  • Health behavior change (nutrition, physical activity, sedentary behavior, sleep quality, tobacco use control and prevention)
  • Healthy Aging
  • Obesity prevention and control
  • Policy research related to public health
  • Research methodology (community interventions, community-based participatory research, meta-analysis and bias in research, RCT methods, mathematical modeling, and econometrics)
  • Technologies for intervention and assessment of health behaviors and conditions (mHealth, ecological momentary assessment, ambulatory monitoring)
  • Women’s health and gender science
  • International prevention efforts/Global health

Appointments to the Fellowship are ordinarily made for the academic year, September to August. The application deadline is November 15th for the following academic year; applications may be received anytime during the year prior to the deadline. Interviews are required and are conducted at Stanford during December and early January (we are not able to provide travel expenses but will try to accommodate existing travel plans; if you expect to be in the Stanford area, please include this information with your application). The selection process is complete by January/February; physician candidates may apply on the same schedule, with their appointment beginning in 18 months.

To apply for the fellowship, please use the on-line form, which needs to include;

  • Application Information
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Statement of professional plans, investigative interests, and goals for your training at Stanford; please also list Stanford faculty with whom you would prefer to meet if invited for an interview, click here.
  • List of references from whom you are requesting letters

Please have three letters of recommendation directed to Dr. Gardner, emailed directly from the sender to the fellowship coordinator at "". (Include, as appropriate, your residency director or PhD thesis advisor.)

If you have additional questions, you may contact;

Christopher D. Gardner, PhD, Training Program Director
c/o Alana Koehler
Stanford Prevention Research Center
Stanford University School of Medicine
Medical School Office Building
1265 Welch Road, MC 5411
Stanford, California 94305-5411