Get to Know the Early Career Section Leadership Council

Get to know background and insights from some of the Early Career Section Leadership Council. A few of the Council members share their experience below.

Scott Lilly, MD, PhD, FACC, is an Ohio native who completed his clinical training in Philadelphia and joined The Ohio State University as an interventional cardiologist after fellowship. He became involved with the ACC as a Fellow in Training (FIT). The College's activities have added a rewarding professional dimension to practice and have been a welcome forum for discussions and initiatives regarding clinical and non-clinical aspects of cardiovascular medicine.

Meena Madhur, MD, PhD, FACC, is a tenure-track assistant professor in the department of medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. She is a physician-scientist working on inflammatory mechanisms of hypertension and aortic dissection. Her research program spans from basic studies in animal models to translational work using human subjects and samples. She also has a general cardiology clinic and sees patients on the cardiology as well as the hypertension consult services at Vanderbilt University Hospital.

Michael Cullen, MD, FACC, is an assistant professor of medicine and consultant in the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. His ACC roles have included being the chair of the ACC's FIT Section Leadership Council (2014 – 2015), the co-founder of the FITs-on-the-Go video blog, a member of the Digital Strategy Committee, and a member of the Minnesota Chapter's Board of Directors. Dr. Cullen currently leads the Early Career Section's Education Working Group. Originally from Wisconsin, Dr. Cullen completed his undergraduate and medical school training at the University of Wisconsin, followed by residency, a chief residency and fellowship in cardiovascular diseases and advanced echocardiography at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His clinical and research interests include handheld echocardiography, stress echocardiography and cardiovascular education.

Animesh Tandon, MD, FACC, is a pediatric cardiologist at UT Southwestern/Children's Medical Center Dallas. His current clinical focus is on cardiac MRI (CMR), and his research foci are the use of CMR to aid in noninvasive histology and the understanding of pathophysiology in pediatric cardiology; the use of big data, remote sensing, 3D printing, 3D visualization, virtual reality, and augmented reality in pediatric cardiology; and other emerging technologies. He believes ACC's Early Career Section is vital to engaging and supporting early career cardiologists in the especially challenging transition from fellow to faculty and into the early career. He is honored to serve on the Council and hopes to be of service to the community.

Akhil Narang, MD, is the immediate-past chair of the FIT Section and serves on the Early Career Section Leadership Council to help bridge the two sections. His focus is to ensure there is a seamless transition from trainee to early career cardiologist. In that capacity, his goal this year is to help curate programming catered to navigating this important yet challenging transition.

Nishant R. Shah, MD, MPH, MSc, FACC, is an assistant professor at the Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School in Providence, RI. His interests and expertise lie in the cost-effective utilization of advanced cardiovascular imaging to understand and manage cardiovascular disease. He says that he is indebted to the ACC for fostering his career development with national leadership opportunities (Cardiovascular Imaging Section Leadership Council) and research grant funding (Presidential Career Development Award). He also notes that he is thankful to have the opportunity now to serve the College on the Early Career Section Leadership Council, where he is working hard to improve Early Career member value.

Tina Shah, MD, FACC, is a non-invasive cardiologist at Baylor College of Medicine. She has a special interest in heart failure and valvular heart diseases. She loves being involved in the different initiatives at the ACC. She is a member of the Early Career Section and the Heart Failure and Transplant Section at the ACC. She is also on the editorial boards of and The ACC provides its members many different avenues for involvement; correspondingly, her goal as the chair of the Communications Work Group of the Early Career Section is to increase involvement of the Early Career members at the ACC. Personally, Dr. Shah says that being involved in the various initiatives at the ACC has given her the opportunity to network with a great group of individuals and access a number of resources for professional development.

Mirvat Alasnag, MB, BCh, is the deputy head of cardiology and director of the catheterization laboratory at the King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Early Career Section has served as a gateway for her to learn about and get involved with other ACC sections more actively. It also allowed her to expand her professional network.

Tami Atkinson, MD, is an interventional cardiologist at the Portland VA Medical Center in Portland, OR. Her involvement with ACC began at her local chapter, where she served as the FIT representative and was then fortunate to join the national ACC Leadership Academy. She notes that the experience was invaluable and demonstrated the commitment of the ACC to mentor its Early Career and FIT members, which is why she joined the Early Career Section to continue to be part of this community.

Other members of the Council include Anthony Hilliard, MD, FACC, chair of the Early Career Section; Jorge A. Gonzalez, MD, FACC; Justin Bachmann, MD, FACC; Nishath Quader, MD, FACC; and Sarah Joyner, MD, FACC, governor of ACC's Virginia Chapter.