Diversity Committee

Mission Statement

The Council on Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) Diversity Committee is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion of ATVB membership, as well as in improving awareness of the importance of focusing on diversity in cardiovascular research and health outcomes. We foster opportunities that bring together members of varying race, ethnicity, gender, professional background, and experiences that advance research and health outcomes in arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. The Diversity Committee also seeks to increase awareness of disparities in health outcomes and increasing research opportunities examining these disparities. We also recognize leaders who have made significant contributions in promoting diversity and inclusion through the annual ATVB Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Recognition Award.

Diversity Committee Chair

Marlene Williams Headshot

Marlene S. Williams, MD, FACC

Associate Professor of Medicine,
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine John Hopkins University


Dr. Williams obtained her undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and her medical degree from Columbia University in New York. She completed her medical residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Her cardiology fellowship training was completed at Mount Sinai hospital in New York and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the division of Cardiology and is the Clinical Director of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Her research focuses on platelet physiology particularly as it relates to acute coronary syndromes. Her laboratory specifically examines platelet aggregation, flow cytometric analysis to measure platelet activation, and correlates platelet function with platelet genotype.

Diversity Committee Vice Chair

Ngan Huang Headshot

Ngan F. Huang, PhD, FAHA

Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Courtesy Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Stanford Cardiovascular Institute


Ngan F. Huang, PhD, FAHA is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University and Research Career Scientist at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. Dr. Huang completed her BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a PhD in bioengineering from the University of California Berkeley & University of California San Francisco Joint Program in Bioengineering. Prior to joining the faculty, she was a postdoctoral scholar in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University. Her laboratory investigates the interactions between pluripotent/multipotent stem cells and their extracellular matrix microenvironment for engineering cardiovascular tissues to treat cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases. She has active or completed projects funded by the NIH, NSF, AHA, Department of Defense, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and Department of Veteran Affairs.

Diversity Committee Immediate Past Chair

Francine Welty Headshot

Francine Welty, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


A cardiologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Welty comes from a mixed-descent Native family after her great-grandmother and children died from smallpox and her great-grandfather married a Lenni Lenape Indian. Raised in the Native tradition of growing fruits and vegetables, Dr. Welty’s interest in heart-healthy eating and a career in preventive cardiology began. Atherosclerosis is a disease of chronic inflammation. In a randomized clinical trial, Dr. Welty reported that the ratio of downstream products of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, the specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators that resolve chronic inflammation, to the proinflammatory mediator, leukotriene B4, can lead to regression of coronary fatty plaque, the type which ruptures and causes heart attacks. Her team reported that an omega-3 fatty acid index > 4% improves cognitive function at 30 months compared to < 4%, and musculoskeletal symptoms are improved. She received the Special Recognition Award in Arteriosclerosis from the AHA in 2021.

Diversity Committee Members

Callie Kwartler Headshot

Callie S. Kwartler, PhD

Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine (Division of Medical Genetics)
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston


Callie S. Kwartler, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at UTHealth in Houston, TX. She received her undergraduate degree from Amherst College and her PhD from the UTHealth MD Anderson Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences before completing postdoctoral research at UT Southwestern Medical Center and UTHealth. Her research focuses on the molecular and epigenetic regulation of vascular smooth muscle cell differentiation and how these processes are dysregulated in patients with moyamoya disease using induced pluripotent stem cell and mouse models. Her laboratory is also interested in the nuclear functions of muscle-specific isoforms of actin.

Adil Rasheed Headshot

Adil Rasheed, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology
Immunology Center of Georgia
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University


Adil Rasheed, PhD started as an Assistant Professor in the Immunology Center of Georgia at Augusta University in November 2023. Prior to his independent appointment, Dr. Rasheed obtained his PhD from the University of Toronto in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a Collaborative Degree in Cardiovascular Sciences, after which he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Ottawa. His research focuses on the influence of metabolism on driving immune fate and function in cardiovascular disease. He is a member of the ATVB and Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine editorial boards, in addition to his activities on the ATVB Diversity Council.

Shashi Headshot

Shashi Kant, PhD

Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School


Dr. Shashi Kant, Ph.D., FAHA, is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an associate scientist at the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Kant received his Ph.D. degree from Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. Dr. Kant completed his postdoctoral training at Howard Hughes Medical Institute under Dr. Roger Davis at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Kant has authored several publications in high-impact journals such as Cell Reports, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Nature Communications. Dr. Kant is a recognized expert in stress signaling and its role in metabolism and cardiovascular biology. He has served as an ad-hoc committee member for NIH and AHA grant reviews. Dr. Kant has received several awards and honors, including the AHA SDG in 2016, the Alan Lerner Award in 2020, the HVC Junior Faculty Award in 2021, and the Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) in 2023.

Genesio Karere

Genesio Karere, PhD

Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine
Wake Forest University School of Medicine


Dr. Karere is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His academic background includes training in Genetics for MS and PhD degrees, and a post-doctoral training in Genomics and Molecular Biology. For AHA, he has been a member since 2011; is a Fellow of American Heart Association (FAHA); successfully competed AHA post-doctoral fellowship in 2014; served in Early Career Committee, and currently serving in Diversity Committee and Planning Committee for Vascular Discovery Session 2024.

Rihab Bouchareb Headshot

Rihab Bouchareb, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Rihab Bouchareb is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York (ISMMS). She graduated from the University of Strasbourg in France with a master's degree and a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology. Dr. Bouchareb's Ph.D. focused on studying the molecular mechanism leading to atherosclerosis plaque rupture and platelet activation. After completing her postdoctoral training at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute, Laval Hospital, Quebec, Canada, she joined the Mount Sinai Cardiovascular Research Center as a postdoctoral fellow and was subsequently promoted to instructor. She then moved to the Department of Nephrology as an assistant professor. Her research program currently investigates the effect of kidney disease on heart disease.

Hong Chen

Hong Chen, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Vascular Biology Program, Boston Children's Hospital


Dr. Hong Chen completed her Ph.D. and postdoctoral training at the Yale University School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Pietro De Camilli, where she discovered a family of endocytic adaptor proteins called epsins. Dr. Chen is Associate Professor at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Her group continues to study epsins and other endocytic adaptors for their impact on disease initiation and progression. Dr. Chen received the Irvine H. Page Young Investigator Research Award from the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2013 the AHA Established Investigator Award in 2015, and Alan T Hirsch MD Mid Career Award in Vascular Medicine in 2018. She served on the AHA Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology Woman’s Leadership Committee and serves as a grant reviewer for the AHA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Diversity Liaisons

Masanori Aikawa Headshot

Masanori Aikawa, MD, PhD

Yoshihiro Miwa Distinguished Chair & Founding Director,
Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences, Brigham and Women’s Hospital;
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Masanori Aikawa, MD, PhD is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Yoshihiro Miwa Distinguished Chair at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) where he serves as Founding Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences and one of the PIs at the Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology. His focus areas include atherosclerosis, macrophage biology, and drug discovery. Dr. Aikawa’s goal is to translate basic research discoveries into clinical practice using a systems approach involving multi-omics, network science, single cell analysis, and machine learning. Dr. Aikawa has held editorial positions in Circulation, Circ Res, ATVB, JACC, and Cardiovasc Res. He currently is a chief editor of Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. He has published >230 articles and delivered >220 invited lectures. His work has been recognized with the awards including the Special Recognition Award in Vascular Biology 2013 and the Jeffrey M. Hoeg Award 2023 from the AHA.

Jaume Amengual Headshot

Jaume Amengual, PhD

Assistant Professor of Personalized Nutrition
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign


Dr. Amengual is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign since 2018. He obtained his BS in biology and PhD in nutrition at the University of the Balearic Islands (Spain). After that, Dr. Amengual came to the US for a postdoctoral position in the Pharmacology department at Case Western University (Cleveland). He then moved to NYC for a second postdoctoral position in the Cardiology department at New York University. His research focuses on the role carotenoids and vitamin A play in cardiometabolic diseases.