Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB)—Women's Leadership Committee Members

WLC Chair

Daisy Sahoo, PhDDaisy Sahoo, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW)
Milwaukee, Wis. 

Daisy received her BSc(Hon) in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa (Canada) and her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta (Canada). Her research focuses on SR-BI-mediated delivery of HDL-cholesterol, reverse cholesterol transport and scavenger receptor biology in atherosclerosis.  She plays an active role in graduate and medical student education.  She is the Chair of MCW’s Research Affairs Committee. Having served as Chair of MCW’s Women’s Faculty Council, Daisy works closely with MCW Leadership to help develop programs that promote career advancement, faculty retention and promotion, as well as leadership opportunities for women faculty. Daisy is also a member of the ATVB Communications/Membership Committee and previously served on the ATVB Early Career Committee.

WLC Vice Chair

Vasanthy ‘Vas’ Narayanaswami, PhDVasanthy ‘Vas’ Narayanaswami, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, California State University Long Beach
Long Beach, Calif.

Vas obtained her BSc in Chemistry from University of Madras and PhD in Chemistry (Biochemistry) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Chennai, India. She did her post doctoral work as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the University of Dusseldorf in Germany, and at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. She holds an adjunct position at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA. Vas’ research interest is focused on the structural and functional analysis of apolipoprotein E, and its role in oxidative stress, cholesterol transport and cardiovascular/cerebrovascular disease. She is actively involved in increasing diversity in biomedical research and minority access to research careers. Vas is a member of the ATVB Women’s Leadership Committee since June 2013 and currently serves as the Co-Chair.

WLC Immediate Past Chair

Nancy R. Webb, PhDNancy R. Webb, PhD

Professor of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Kentucky
Lexington, Ky.

Nancy is the Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Kentucky.  She received her BA in Biology at the University of Virginia and her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Kentucky.  Her research focuses on inflammation, lipoprotein metabolism, and atherosclerosis.  In addition to her role on the Women’s Leadership Committee, Nancy served on the ATVB Leadership Committee and chaired the Research Committee for the AHA Great Rivers Affiliate.

WLC Members

Hanrui Zhang PhDHanrui Zhang PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Cardiovascular Institute, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pa.

Hanrui received her PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Missouri.  Her research focuses on stem cell biology, human functional genomics, cardiovascular physiology, adipose biology, and the mechanisms of cardiometabolic diseases.  Hanrui is a member of the ATVB Early Career Committee and the liaison to the Women’s Leadership Committee.

Connie B. Newman, MDConnie B. Newman, MD

Adjunct Associate Professor of Department of Medicine (Endocrinology), New York University School of Medicine
New York, N.Y.

Connie B. Newman, a graduate of Wellesley College ’74 and Weill Cornell Medical College ’78, is a board-certified endocrinologist, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, NYU School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.  Her expertise is in large cardiovascular clinical outcome trials, drug safety, and management of dyslipidemia and diabetes. She is currently collaborating with investigators at the University of Oxford on a clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of high dose vitamin D.  Dr. Newman is Chair of the Special Programs Committee of the Endocrine Society.

Isabella M. Grumbach, MD, PhD, FAHAIsabella M. Grumbach, MD, PhD, FAHA

Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Iowa City, Iowa

Dr. Isabella Grumbach is a female Internist, has 18 years of experience and practices in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiology, and Interventional Cardiology.

Alisa Wolberg, PhD Alisa Wolberg, PhD

Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Dr. Wolberg’s expertise is in physiologic and pathophysiologic mechanisms in hemostasis and thrombosis and in vitro and in vivo models of bleeding and thrombotic disorders.  She has a particular interest in the biochemical and physical contributions of cells and plasma proteins to thrombin generation and clot formation, structure and stability.  She is currently focusing on contributions of factor XIII activity, fibrinogen, and cell-derived microvesicles to thrombosis, and mechanisms that stabilize clots in hemophilia and factor XI deficiency.  Dr. Wolberg was awarded the AHA Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology Special Recognition Award in Thrombosis in 2012, and serves on the AHA Brinkhous Young Investigator Prize in Thrombosis Awards Committee and ATVB Spring Program Committee and Women’s Leadership Council.

Elena Aikawa, PhD, MDElena Aikawa, PhD, MD

Director, Vascular Biology Program;
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Boston, Mass.

Dr. Elena Aikawa earned her medical degree at the First Moscow Institute of Medicine and obtained her PhD in Pathological Anatomy from the Institute of Biophysics, Moscow. She joined the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 1991 where she conducted studies on the pathogenesis of valvular heart disease. She established a system to identify interstitial valvular cell phenotypes, which currently serves as a useful tool for clinical and basic research applications including cardiac valve tissue engineering. She currently focuses on the application of innovative molecular imaging techniques to explore the new paradigm of cardiovascular calcification as an inflammatory disease. Her recent imaging studies have provided insights into the biology of inflammation-triggered calcification, and aided the investigation of novel, more refined therapeutic strategies to combat calcific cardiovascular disease.

Elizabeth Tarling, PhDElizabeth Tarling, PhD

Assistant Professor, UCLA Division of Cardiology
Los Angeles, Calif.


Liz obtained her Bsc in Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry from the University of Nottingham (UK) and her PhD in Biomedical Science also from the University of Nottingham (UK). She did her post doctoral work at the University of California Los Angeles, where she now holds an Assistant Professor position. Her research is focused on understanding the regulation of lipid metabolism, inflammation, atherosclerosis and innate immunity.

Hong Chen, PhDHong Chen, PhD

Assistant Professor, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School
Boston, Mass.

Hong is a Principal Investigator in the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. She completed her PhD and received exceptional postdoctoral training from Dr. Pietro De Camilli, a world-class premier cell biologist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University. She developed a groundbreaking research program based on her discovery of a family of founding endocytic adaptor proteins, epsins, which resulted in a landmark publication in Nature. The discovery of epsins has opened brand new avenues for my exciting research program, which has been represented in several prestigious manuscripts including Nature and PNAS (Chen, et al. Nature, 1998, Chen, et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2003, 2005 and 2009).