ATVB Early Career Development

The ATVB Council has established an Early Career Committee to foster the development of trainees and early career professionals in the field of arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology, including research scientists and clinicians. Our goal is to promote and encourage trainees and early career individuals to participate in council activities and to provide information to those members of our council.

Early Career Committee Members

Chair Vice-Chair Immediate Past Chair
Thomas A. Vallim, PhD
UCLA Division of Cardiology
Cynthia St. Hilaire, PhD
Vascular Medicine Institute–University of Pittsburgh
Nick Leeper, MD
Stanford University
Dorothee Atzler, PhD
Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention (IPEK),
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich)
Alicia Lyle, PhD
Emory University Department of Medicine 
Eric van der Veer, PhD
Leiden University Medical Center 
Robert C. Bauer, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
Mireille Ouimet, PhD
University of Ottawa
Miao Wang, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Belinda Di Bartolo, PhD
South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
Uwe Raaz, MD
Heart Research Center Gottingen
Genesio Karere, PhD
Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Adam C. Straub, PhD
Vascular Medicine Institute–University of Pittsburgh

Want to get involved?

The American Heart Association depends on the time and talent of volunteers to help us create a healthier world, free of heart disease and stroke.

Early Career Development Program

Early Career Committee Information


  • Involve trainees/postdoctoral students/recently trained individuals in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Council activities.
  • Expand the diversity of the council.
  • Identify early career council members from diverse backgrounds to participate in other council committees.

Committee Membership

The committee is comprised of:

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Up to ten members

Selection of Members

Members shall be chosen using an application process, facilitated by a small task force from the Nominating Committee. The applicant will provide:

  • Personal letter
  • Letter of recommendation
  • CV

Call for applications occurs in the spring each year, and application information will be made available closer to that time.

Terms of Service

  • Two-year terms
  • Staggered terms for continuity

Member Commitment

The committee shall meet via teleconference three to four times per year, and will meet face-to-face at the ATVB spring conference. The time commitment will vary, but should not exceed an average of one to three hours per month. Special projects may require an additional time commitment.

Committee Responsibilities

  • Serve on other AHA ATVB Council committees.
  • Serve as a liaison as needed to other AHA councils’ committees.
  • Pursue activities that benefit early career persons at various levels. Examples:
    • Develop a Web site within the main council page devoted to trainee issues.
    • Mentor trainees.
    • Provide early career development support.
  • Help facilitate Early Career events at the annual ATVB spring conference and the annual networking reception held during Scientific Sessions

Benefits of Participation

  • Become familiar with AHA leadership structure and activities of the council at an early career stage.
  • Develop a credential for career advancement.

ATVB Early Career Awards

ATVB Travel Awards

ATVB Merit Travel Awards encourage and support the efforts of early career investigators in cardiovascular research and encourage participation in ATVB and AHA activities. The council offers opportunities for travel support to both the AHA's annual Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Conference each spring and to the AHA's Scientific Sessions each November. These awards help cover the travel expenses for new investigators to attend the scientific conference to present research in oral or poster format and engage in discussion with senior investigators. Merit awards are granted to the highest-scoring abstracts authored by early career investigators who also apply for these stipends.

ATVB Early Career Investigator Award

The ATVB Early Career Investigator Award recognizes the council’s early career investigator members who are performing high quality research in the fields of arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology. Candidates will be considered not only for the quality and relevance of their research being submitted to Scientific Sessions but also for their accomplishments, contributions to their fields and expertise as researchers in general. Five finalists will present their research at Scientific Sessions and a winner will be named at the ATVB Business Meeting and Awards Reception.

Early Career Council Awards

  • Kenneth M. Brinkhous Early Career Investigator Prize in Thrombosis
    This award recognizes outstanding endeavors by new investigators in fundamental and applied research in Thrombosis including the mechanism, detection, treatment, and prevention of thrombotic disorders.
  • Irvine H. Page Young Investigator Research Award
    This award is open to new investigators in arteriosclerosis and vascular biology. It recognizes investigators in the formative years of their careers who have the potential to become future leaders in cardiovascular research.
  • Emerging Scientist Award for Women
    This award helps recruit and retain women in the field of arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology by recognizing excellent research conducted by women.

Career Skills

Statistics and Mentorship

  • AHA Mentoring Handbook (PDF)
    This resource contains information on how to identify a suitable mentor, how to effectively use the mentor-mentee relationship and the responsibilities of the mentee.
  • JAMA article: Academic Mentoring - How to Give It and How to Get It (PDF)

Research Funding Resources

AHA Meetings of Special Interest

Vascular Discovery: From Genes to Medicine Scientific Sessions

Sept. 22–24, 2021

A Virtual Experience

The Vascular Discovery: From Genes to Medicine Scientific Sessions is the annual meeting of the ATVB and PVD Councils with top tier vascular research and special sessions aimed to foster the success of early career members. The meeting immediately follows the SVS Research Initiatives conference.

Scientific Sessions 

November 13–15, 2021

Boston, MA + Virtual

Scientific Sessions is a comprehensive national meeting of cardiac and vascular diseases.
Find out more about the Early Career Day programming at Scientific Sessions.

Other Meetings of Special Interest

  • Gordon Research Conferences
    Gordon Research Conferences includes presentations of emerging science, typically in an informal atmosphere for close collegial discussions and cooperation.

  • SVS Research Initiatives Conference
    Annual basic science meeting of the Society for Vascular Surgery emphasizing translational research into peripheral vascular disease and the research of junior vascular biologists. Held immediately before the Vascular Discovery: From Genes to Medicine Scientific Sessions.

  • North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO)
    • Vasculata – A useful detailed overview of current topics in vascular biology for young investigators. Includes an optional hands-on workshop in experimental techniques of value to the vascular researcher.
    • Vascular Biology – A meeting featuring two NAVBO Workshops and special sessions on therapeutics, resolution inflammation and signaling in inflammation.

  • Keystone Conferences
    Scientific conferences held in relatively informal locales to optimize information exchange and promote collaborative interactions. A subset of these each year is dedicated to cardiovascular diseases.

Early Career Event Resources 

  • Succeeding at Every Stage: Insights from the Early Career Committee
    This session focused on how to achieve success in your post-doctoral fellowship, how to successfully acquire transition grants, and keys to successfully negotiating your first independent position as a scientist or physician-scientist. Each topic was led by ECC members that have been highly successful in the subject area.

  • Transitioning to laboratory leadership (PPT) Keynote speech given by Kathy Barker, Ph.D.
    Kathy Barker completed her Ph.D. work in Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and her postdoc at Rockefeller University in the Laboratory of Viral Oncology with Saburo Hanafusa.

Kathy was an assistant professor at Rockefeller in the Laboratory of Cell Physiology and Immunology when she left the lab to write At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, which sought to demystify the culture of the laboratory, so newcomers regardless of background could feel comfortable in asking questions and performing experiments. Many problems in the lab are were caused not by people in the lab, however, but by the principal investigator (P.I.). While new P.I.s have excellent training developing their research goals and technical skills, new P.I.s often lack the required communication and organizational skills they need to effectively run a research program. Kathy's latest book, At the Helm: Leading your Lab, addresses the so-called "soft skills" that are critical to research and professional success.

  • Activism and Advocacy in Science (PPT) for ATVB Mentor of Women Award Luncheon

  • Grant Presentation: Road to Independence (PPT)

  • NIH Grants for Early Career Investigators (PPT)

  • How to Get Your Work Published in the Best Journals (PPT)

  • Grants and Grant Writing
    Learn about the current state of affairs for grants and grant writing with William P Fay, MD, FAHA. Dr Fay’s lab is at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he is director of the Division of Cardiology and professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Medical Physiology and Pharmacology.

  • How to Get Published in Good Journals
    Ushma S Neill, PhD, will discuss how to get published in good journals. Dr Neill has been the executive editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation since 2003. Prior to that, she was an editor at Nature Medicine.

  • Crafting a Competitive Career Development Proposal
    With emphasis on career development and/or transition awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funders, this session is designed to provide participants with the information and tools needed to prepare a competitive K-type series proposal. Topics will include Know Your Funder and the K Opportunities, Understanding the Review Criteria for K Awards, the Anatomy of an Application and tips on fitting development of a proposal into an already busy schedule (15 Steps to the Payline). An opportunity to hear the success stories from recipients of NIH K Awards will be a dynamic feature of this session. This session was led by Robert J. Milner, PhD, Associate Vice Provost for Professional Development, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Joan M. Lakoski, PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Science Education Outreach, University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences

  • Inside Story on Decision Making by an NIH Study Section Panel
    To prepare a competitive proposal, it is critical to understand your audience — the study section panel. Learn what happens after you submit your application for a K or other NIH award by viewing a “live” mock study section panel at work. The session will include a debriefing on the dynamics of the review process so that participants will be better informed on how to craft an application that garners favorable reviews from a review panel. This session was led by Robert J. Milner, PhD, Associate Vice Provost for Professional Development, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Joan M. Lakoski, PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Science Education Outreach, University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences
    • Finding, Funding and Succeeding in Your Postdoctoral Fellowship
      Phil Owens, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.  Katey Rayner, PhD, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, N.Y.  Rong Huang, PhD, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio  
    • Tips for Successfully Acquiring Transition Grants: K08, K99/R00, SDG
      Jordan Miller, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Hyung Chun, MD, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.
    • Negotiating a Start-up Package as a Career Scientist
      Daisy Sahoo, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis.,  Wayne Orr, PhD, LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, La.
    • Negotiating a Start-up Package as a Physician-Scientist
       Nick Leeper, MD, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., Aloke Finn, MD, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga.