FIT October Spotlight: Sherry-Ann Brown, MD, PhD

October 19, 2016 | Sherry-Ann Brown, MD, PhD
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 Sherry-Ann Brown, MD, PhD, a general cardiology fellow in the clinician investigator program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, as the 'star FIT' for the month of October. She describes her research interests, hobbies, career goals and involvement with the ACC in a short interview below.

What are your future plans after completion of training?
I will complete my fellowship in general cardiology in 2019 with an emphasis on preventive cardiology. The emphasis includes essentially the same components as a one-year preventive cardiology fellowship. Following this, in the short term, I envision working as a physician scientist in an academic institution, seeing patients and carrying on active high-impact research projects that are funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, as a preventive cardiologist. No doubt I will serve administratively and also continue to educate others and forge lasting academic and professional partnerships.

What are your research interests?
I am interested in personalized medicine; translational science; systems medicine/biology; participatory medicine; P4 medicine; cardiovascular genomics; preventive cardiology and cardio-oncology; biomarker discovery; biophysics; physiology; and quality improvement.

What do you enjoy doing outside of cardiology?
My current hobbies include travel, volunteer service, medical missions, writing/presenting poetry, movies, a variety of ethnic restaurants, and hanging with amazing friends. Hobbies I used to do a lot more include hiking, swimming, singing, dancing, and occasionally, acting.

How do you approach work-life balance?
I work hard in patient care, education, and research and play hard in meaningful life every week. Every trip for me (whether for an academic conference or a medical mission) is work AND play. I learn a lot from conferences, both when presenting and when participating in the audience, and I love building relationships and fostering old ones. Each conference offers a chance to learn and grow professionally, and catch up with colleagues, friends, or even extended family. What more can one ask for?

Who do you consider to be mentors?
There are so many individuals who have helped shape me over the years! It would be a disservice to all of my mentors, advisors, and sponsors if I was to try to name each one from my entire lifetime by name. So, mentioned here in no particular order is a non-exhaustive sample of individuals by whom I have felt officially or unofficially mentored or inspired by in some large or small way for a fleeting moment or longer on Twitter or offline, whether or not they realize their impact on me in the ACC, American Heart Association, American Society for Preventive Cardiology, or Association of Black Cardiologists: Sharon Mulvagh, MD, FACC; Sharonne Hayes, MD, FACC, a member of the Editorial Board; Lori Blauwet, MD, FACC, a member of the Women in Cardiology (WIC) Section Leadership Council; Kyle Klarich, MD, FACC, a member of the Editorial Board; Birgit Kantor, MD, PhD; Martha Grogan, MD, FACC, a member of ACC's Education Committee; Rekha Mankad, MD, FACC; Sunil Mankad, MD, FACC, a member of the Annual Scientific Session Program Committee; Frank Brozovich, MD, PhD; W. Bruce Fye, MD, MA, MACC, past president of the ACC; Stephen Kopecky, MD, FACC; Iftikhar J. Kullo, MBBS, FACC; Joerg Herrmann, MD; Rowlens Melduni, MD, FACC; Martha Gulati, MD, FACC, editor-in-chief of; Toniya Singh, MBBS, FACC; Jennifer Mieres, MD, FACC, a member of the Annual Scientific Session Program Committee; Ana Barac, MD, PhD, FACC, chair of ACC's Cardio-Oncology Section; Karol E. Watson, MD, FACC, team leader of the Editorial Board; Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC, president of the ACC; Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Robert Harrington, MD, MACC; Claire Duvernoy, MD, FACC, chair of the WIC Section; Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC; Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, MACC, past president of the ACC; Felix Sogade, MBBS, MD, FACC; and all other faculty at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, CT, and Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

Are you working on any of ACC's committees?
Serving as an unofficial WIC FIT representative to ACC's Minnesota Chapter for several months has been thoroughly enjoyable due to the opportunity to work closely with our ACC WIC faculty and FITs. I am also on the editorial board for the ACC/Mayo Clinic FITS-on-the-GO video blog, with the privilege of interviewing several of our incredible ACC leaders! Now is a really exciting time applying for national ACC committees, with the hope of serving in this way.

How did you become involved with the ACC?
My involvement in ACC increased when I responded to invitations to interview faculty at ACC.16 in Chicago for the FITS-on-the-GO video blog, and to serve as an unofficial WIC FIT representative to ACC's Minnesota Chapter.

Describe your past and current ACC activities:
A research poster at ACC.16 in Chicago brought me to my first national ACC event. FITS-on-the-GO brought me to the 2016 ACC Legislative conference, where I thoroughly enjoyed conducting interviews, as well as learning from each of the sessions – including a one-day WIC Leadership Workshop. Attending the ACC course, 'How to Become a Cardiovascular Investigator' was also a fantastic experience. Finally, helping as an FIT coordinator of the Mayo Clinic's ACC/AHA WIC group has been very fulfilling.

What is your message for incoming FITs who are interested in getting involved with activities of the ACC?
Find meaning that keeps you going when things get more challenging than usual. Center and replenish yourself to avoid or overcome burnout.