TEAM

Fatima Rodriguez

Fatima Rodriguez

Principal Investigator

Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH is a preventive and general cardiologist in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford. Dr. Rodriguez received her medical training from Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University. She specializes in common cardiac conditions such as coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, lipid disorders, and cardiovascular risk assessment in high-risk populations.

Dr. Rodriguez’s research includes a range of topics relating to racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in cardiovascular disease prevention and developing novel interventions to address disparities.

David Scheinker

Co-Investigator

David Scheinker is the Director of Systems Design and Collaborative Research at the Stanford Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. He is the Founder and Director of SURF Stanford Medicine, a group that brings together students and faculty from the university with physicians, nurses, and administrators from the hospitals to improve the quality of care using operations research methodology. He received a PhD in theoretical math from The University of California San Diego under Jim Agler. Before coming to Stanford, he was a Joint Research Fellow at The MIT Sloan School of Management and Massachusetts General Hospital. His current areas of research include applications of operations research in healthcare, healthcare policy, mathematical control theory, and functional analysis.

Students

Areli Valencia

Areli Valencia

Areli Valencia is pursuing a MD and MS in Biomedical Informatics at Stanford University. He is interested in applying machine learning to address cardiovascular health disparities and improve healthcare quality. At Stanford, he was the co-chair for the Latino Medical Student Association and has taught for the biochemistry course and Leadership in Health Disparities Program. Before medical school, Areli worked at the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney diseases conducting research on insulin resistance and lipodystrophy. He graduated from Williams College with a BA in Chemistry.

Bongeka Zuma

Bongeka Zuma

Bongeka Zuma is a medical student at Stanford, who was born and raised in South Africa. She received her BSc in Biology from Spelman College, where she graduated summa cum laude as the salutatorian of her class. Prior to joining Stanford, Bongeka received her MSc degree in Medical Anthropology from the University of Oxford – St. Antony’s College. She is interested in research at the intersection of cardiovascular health, technology and socioeconomic disparities with the intention of pursuing a career in cardiology. Bongeka’s recent work includes investigating how county-level health predictors comparatively affect the cardiovascular mortality of different races/ethnicities.

Austin Johnson

Austin Johnson

Austin Johnson is a Stanford Medical School student from the entering class of 2019. Prior to medical school, he studied biology at the University of Denver, where he researched the budding process of HIV and pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s Disease. Outside of lab, he worked as an on-campus EMT and Peer Health Educator. While his background is in wet lab research, Austin has since discovered a passion for clinical research in disease prevention and health technology. In addition to medicine and research, he is also interested in fitness and nutrition. In the future, Austin hopes to become a clinician educator and researcher who not only heals patients, but is involved in teaching the next generation of physician leaders and pushing the field of medicine forward.

Keon Pearson

Keon Pearson

Keon “KP” Pearson is an Internal Medicine resident at Stanford who focuses on cardiovascular disparities in ethnic minority populations. He received his MD and MBA from Stanford in 2020. KP has previously worked on cardiovascular outcomes in African Americans with chronic kidney disease as well as peripheral vascular disease screening cost effectiveness. Prior to medical school and business school, KP was a student at Harvard College, where he studied Human Evolutionary Biology and was active in the arts. When he is not studying, he enjoys running, hiking, travel, podcasts, and trashy reality TV shows. He plans to complete an Internal Medicine residency and Cardiology fellowship.

Neil Kalwani

Neil Kalwani

Neil Kalwani is Chief Fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford.  He is originally from West Lafayette, Indiana and attended college at Yale University.  He spent a year working in community outreach as an AmeriCorps member at a health center in New York City.  He then studied medicine and public policy at Harvard University before training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  His research focuses on evaluating innovations in health policy and care delivery designed to improve the value of care for patients with cardiovascular disease.

Justin Parizo

Justin Parizo

Justin Parizo is a current third year cardiovascular medicine fellow. Justin did his undergraduate training at UCLA in physiology and attended medical school at UCSF during which he did a Fulbright Fellowship studying malaria epidemiology in India. After completing medical school, Justin came to Stanford for Internal Medicine residency and more recently cardiovascular medicine fellowship. During his fellowship, Justin’s research focus has been on outcomes, disparities, health policy, and cost-effectiveness in heart failure and heart transplantation. He is currently funded under the NIH F32 mechanism for his grant entitled “Impact of race, socioeconomic status, and geography on disparities in access to heart transplant.” Justin will be continuing at Stanford next year as an Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Fellow.

Ashish Sarraju

Ashish Sarraju

Ashish Sarraju is a Chief Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford, and an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellow in the H2T (Heart Health Tech) center through the Center for Digital Health. Ashish did his undergraduate training at Boston University in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and attended medical school at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine where he was a Satter Foundation Scholar. Ashish completed Internal Medicine residency at Stanford, where he served as Chief Resident for 2017-2018. He remained at Stanford for cardiovascular medicine fellowship. His primary research interests are centered on preventive cardiology with a focus on cardiometabolic disease and health inequities, particularly through the use of digital health technologies.

Sujana Balla

Sujana Balla

Sujana spent her early years in the Bay area before she moved to India with her family where she went to medical school. On graduating, she came to Stanford for a research year where she developed a passion for preventive cardiology and women’s cardiac health. She will be an Internal Medicine resident at UCSF Fresno starting in June 2020. In her free time, she loves to hike and host board game nights.
Gabriela Spencer Bonilla

Gabriela Spencer Bonilla

Gaby earned a BA in Human Biology from Stanford, an M.Sc. in Clinical and Translational Science from Mayo Clinic, and an MD from University of Puerto Rico, where she was inducted into the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society. She is currently an Internal Medicine resident at Stanford. Her academic interests include shared decision making, minimally disruptive medicine, research synthesis and addressing the negative effects of structural violence and racism on cardiovascular health. She plans to pursue fellowship training in cardiovascular medicine.

Sofi Gomez

Sofia Gomez

Sofia Gomez is an Internal Medicine resident at Stanford. She completed her undergraduate training at Princeton University, where she studied Chemistry, and recently graduated from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research thus far has involved work in medical education, telemedicine, and critical care. She is interested in pursuing a career in academic Cardiology and hopes to explore healthcare disparities in cardiovascular disease and interventions to increase access to care. In her free time, she enjoys catching up on Netflix, biking, and playing basketball.
Elena Vasti

Elena Vasti

Elena Vasti is currently a resident in the Stanford Internal Medicine program. She is originally from Stockton, CA and went to UC Davis to study human development and exercise biology. She completed an MPH in Community Health Sciences/Epidemiology at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, but decided to switch career goals to pursue medicine. She graduated from UCSF School of Medicine. In her free time, Elena is passionate about running daily, listening to Bob Dylan and joining the Clinical Problem Solvers podcast. She plans to apply to cardiology fellowship to further study the intersection of heart failure, health disparities and public health interventions.

Collaborators

Sukyung Chung

Sukyung Chung

Dr. Chung has extensive experience in research in comparative effectiveness of healthcare delivery interventions using practice-based data from electronic health records, billing/claims, and patient-reported experiences and outcomes measures, as well as designing and assessing clinical trials. Dr. Chung’s career started as a Pharmacist and then she studied Public Health and Health Economics which provided her with lenses and analytical tools to make sense out of real-world data. Outside the office, she works extensively in the garden.
Jiang Li

Jiang Li

Jiang Li, Ph.D., MPH, is an Investigator at the Sutter Health Center for Health Systems Research (West Campus, currently operating as Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute). She graduated with a Ph.D. and MPH in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining Sutter Health, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow with the Los Angeles Area Health Services Research Training Program at the Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research, a joint program of the Fielding School of Public Health and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California at Los Angeles. Her research interests include disease prevention, chronic disease management, and psychosocial factors in cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, smoking and obesity, with a specific emphasis on underserved populations.

Staff

Summer Ngo

Summer Ngo

Summer Ngo is a research assistant and helps coordinate the many brilliant HEART Lab projects. She recently graduated from Pepperdine University with a BS in Biology, and is currently applying to medical school. Her research focus is in preventive cardiology, with an emphasis on improving patient education materials for low health literacy populations. In her free time, Summer enjoys exercising, drawing, and baking.

Lab Alumni

Andrew Ward

Andrew Ward

Andrew is currently working as a data scientist at HealthPals, and researching real-world applications of data science and machine learning in healthcare. He graduated with a PhD in Electrical Engineering in June 2020. Prior to studying at Stanford, he received his Bachelor’s degree in EE from Princeton. In the HEART Lab, his current research focuses on leveraging large EHR datasets to answer clinically relevant questions regarding cardiovascular disease and statin use in primary care settings, as well as predicting adverse outcomes using machine learning. More broadly, he is interested in designing large-scale analytic and machine learning systems which can be operationalized to improve both quality and cost of healthcare.