FIT August Spotlight: Mirnela Byku, MD

August 17, 2016 | Mirnela Byku, MD
Career Development

Each month, the Fellows in Training (FIT) Section newsletter, ACC On-Call, will highlight the achievements of one cardiology FIT. The Section would like to recognize Mirnela Byku, MD, an advanced heart failure/transplant FIT at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, as the 'star FIT' for the month of August.

What are your research interests?
I am interested in advanced heart failure (HF) management in patients with adult congenital heart disease.

What are your future plans after completion of training?
I plan to pursue a career as an academic HF/transplant cardiologist.

What do you enjoy doing outside of cardiology?
I enjoy exercising, reading historical novels and traveling. I also have 2.5-year-old, very energetic boy that keeps me very busy outside of work. I owe a lot to my parents, who help with my son, and my husband, who is also a physician, and extremely understanding and supportive to the demands of the job.

Who have been your most influential mentors?
Douglas Mann, MD, FACC, editor in chief of JACC: Basic to Translational Science; Andy Kates, MD, FACC, vice chair of ACC.17 and governor of ACC's Missouri Chapter; Joseph Billadello, MD, FACC; Sharon Cresci, MD, FACC; and Nishath Quader, MD, FACC.

How did you become involved with the ACC?
Dr. Kates, encouraged me to get involved.

Are you currently involved in any ACC committees?
I am a member of ACC's Missouri Chapter as an FIT council member.

What past and current ACC activities have you worked on?
As an FIT, I have participated in ACC FIT events and attendedlocal and national meetings. As Chapter council member I have been involved with the Missouri Chapter's scientific meeting planning as a committee member. Currently, I am actively involved in organizing a career-planning event for the Chapter FITs with C. Mike Valentine, MD, FACC, vice president of the ACC; Dr. Kates; and Toniya Singh, MBBS, FACC. Additionally I am working on a session on the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) for the Missouri Chapter's scientific meeting.

What is your message for incoming FITs who are interested in getting involved with activities of the ACC?
Being involved gives you a voice and helps your peers be heard at both the local and national level. As a young physician, getting to interact with the leaders of our field as peers is not only exciting but very inspiring and reminds you why you did this in the first place.

To nominate an FIT for the monthly spotlight, email