Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Stanford Cardiovascular Institute is committed to creating a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. Our goal is to pursue meaningful practices that support diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruitment, mentorship, and work environments.

— Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, Director of the Cardiovascular Institute


Promoting diversity and inclusivity in the scientific research community is an important component to identifying, developing, supporting, and maintaining novel, innovative research. CVI is committed to supporting efforts for growth and development in research and career development.

Mentoring to AdVance WomEN in Science


The mission of the CVI MAVENS program is to inspire, empower, and support individuals in academic medicine throughout their career progression to create an integrated community of scientists. You can apply to the MAVENS program if you are a senior postdoctoral scholar or early stage faculty member (Assistant or Instructor) affiliated with the CVI. MAVENS receive support in developing career milestones, sponsorship to achieve career development goals, constructive feedback for growth on professional aims, and recognition of promise as an early career scientist.

Grant Application Support

Below we have highlighted specific funding opportunities for individuals from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds. For more questions on diversity related grants, or for support in applications preparation, please contact CVI's Office of Research Development.

Loan Repayment Program

The NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) are a set of programs established by Congress and designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers.


Faculty development and diversity are critical to the advancement of the next generation of physicians, researchers, and educators who push forward not only cardiovascular research but also a new definition of standard of care for patients. CVI is committed to recruitment from a diverse applicant pool and supporting new faculty during their transition. Additionally, Stanford's Office of Faculty Development and Diversity provides several programs intended to foster inclusivity and visibility for members of our diverse faculty community.

CVI Seed Grant Funding

We understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion need to infuse all aspects of our work at CVI. Moving forward, CVI Seed Grant funding will encourage submissions that seek to address diversity in their research proposal. Meaningful incorporation of diversity in the research plan will be evaluated.


CVI is dedicated to providing comprehensive training in cardiovascular and medicine to students and early career researchers from diverse backgrounds. We strive to create a supportive, fair, and respectful culture of learning. Our education programs reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

CVI Summer Research Program

CVI is committed to increasing the pipeline of individuals from groups that have been historically underrepresented in science, including students and researchers from varying socioeconomic backgrounds, first generation students, students with disabilities, students who are members of federally recognized tribes, LGBTQ+ students, students who have been underrepresented on the basis of gender identity, or students with work, educational, or life experiences that contribute to the diversity of the field of cardiovascular science. Our CVI Summer Research Program is funded by multiple mechanisms, several of which  support students from underrepresented backgrounds: a Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research (NHLBI R25), an AHA SURE (Supporting Undergraduate Research Experiences) pilot program, a Stanford Cardiovascular Summer Research Training Program for Medical Students T35 award administered in collaboration with Meharry Medical College and the University of Puerto Rico Medical School, and a Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Diversifying the Pipeline Award administered in collaboration with Dr. Tomi Obafemi. The CVI Summer Research Program is open to individuals of all backgrounds, but we strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds to apply to our program to accelerate their training in cardiovascular research.  

T32 Postdoc and R38 Resident Training

CVI administers NIH-funded T32 training grants for postdoctoral researchers, as well as an R38 training grant for medical residents. A core mission of these programs is to promote diversity among early stage scientists pursuing careers in academic research. CVI partners with the Dean’s office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Diversity to help identify URM candidates for T32 postdoctoral training programs through their PRISM initiative.

Trainee Conference Funding

Trainees from backgrounds underrepresented in the cardiovascular sciences are encouraged to apply for CVI Travel Awards. This award facilitates access to career development and critical networking opportunities at national and international cardiovascular conferences.

Mentorship Program

The CVI Mentorship Program for early career scientists helps early-stage researchers, such as postdocs, residents, instructors, graduate students, and medical students, access career development and research advice from senior members of their field. The CVI Mentorship Program is open to individuals of all backgrounds, but those from backgrounds underrepresented in the cardiovascular sciences are encouraged to join the program. Participants can select an advisor from among our pool of over 50 mentors, several of whom are faculty members from underrepresented communities.

Bay Area Stanford Regenerative Medicine Conference for Students

The Bay Area Stanford Regenerative Medicine Conference for Students—A TERMIS-AM Ambassador’s Conference introduces attendees to the field of regenerative medicine.  Besides learning about interesting science, students will also learn about careers in regenerative medicine and more broadly careers in STEM fields. Greater Bay Area students who may be new to science and medicine were strongly encouraged to attend. By partnering with Stanford’s Office of STEM Outreach to encourage students from local community colleges to participate, in 2023 over 120 students from diverse backgrounds attended the conference. Find out more about the 2023 event.

Clinical Care

The Cardiovascular Institute is part of the broader Stanford and School of Medicine community. Together, we strive to build a diverse, supportive community that advances equity and inclusion. Below are some innovative programs that aim to promote diversity.


CVI is committed to creating a culture of diversity and acceptance. We are taking steps to increase representation from various groups among our leadership, faculty recruits, and invited speakers. CVI wants to ensure that everyone has a voice in our community. We administer anonymous climate surveys to assess ways we can continue to improve our Institute's community of inclusion and acceptance. In addition, CVI’s monthly steering committee meetings of faculty and staff always include a discussion on current opportunities to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

School of Medicine Affiliated Offices that recognize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion for graduate students, medical students, residents and fellows, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff include Stanford School of Medicine Diversity Center of Representation and Empowerment (D-CORE) and School of Medicine Diversity Programs for all members of the Stanford community.


Diversity & Inclusion in cardioVascular trials through Enrollment and education Resulting in Sustainable Equity

CVI members Eldrin Lewis, MD and Hannah Valantine, MD, are working with the Morehouse School of Medicine to test ways to enroll more diverse patients in clinical trials for heart disease treatments. The research is part of a $20 million project launched by the American Heart Association to improve diversity in clinical trials. Researchers will train community doctors to identify and remove barriers to health care access and to enroll people in research trials which can help their patients have access to the latest therapies. The instructions and resources developed for community doctors and hospitals will be made widely available to health care professionals outside the study area. Additionally, the team will form a network of leading pharmaceutical companies, technology companies and minority health care institutions to work together to make clinical trials more inclusive. Find out more.

Clinical Research Impacting Patient Care

Many CVI members conduct clinical research that has direct impacts on patient care. Over twenty CVI faculty members conduct health disparities-related cardiovascular research, for example:

●      Dr. Elan Burton has conducted research on health disparities in cardiovascular disease, diversity in radiology and molecular imaging, and other topics. She received an innovation research grant from the National Science Foundation for her work on an app for emotional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

●      Dr. Julieta Gabiola’s team is looking into prevention of hypertension through education and lifestyle modification as a practical alternative in the Philippines where hypertension and prehypertension are prevalent and medication is not affordable.

●      Dr. Abha Khandelwal’s research spans clinical trials in preventative cardiology, imaging, cardio-obstetrics and women’s heart health. Her vision is to integrate technology to improve health care delivery, health in high-risk populations, and reduce health disparities.

●      Dr. Abby King’s current research focuses on expanding the reach and generalizability of evidence-based interventions through use of state-of-the-art communication technologies; community-based participatory research perspectives to address health disparities among disadvantaged populations; and policy-level approaches to health promotion.

●      Dr. Mitchell Lunn’s work focuses on improving understanding of the factors that positively and negatively influence sexual and gender minority (SGM) health including research on SGM health disparities, SGM societal experiences, provider education about SGM health, and institutional climate towards SGM people.

●      Dr. Michelle Odden’s research aims to improve our understanding of the optimal preventive strategies for chronic disease in older adults, particularly those who have been underrepresented in research including the very old, frail, and racial/ethnic minorities. Her work has focused on prevention of cardiovascular and kidney outcomes, as well as preservation of physical and cognitive function in older adults.

●      Dr. Latha Palaniappan’s research has focused on the study of diverse populations, chronic disease and prevention. Dr. Palaniappan specifically seeks to address the gap in knowledge of health in Asian subgroups and other understudied racial/ethnic minorities.

●      Dr. Fatima Rodriguez specializes in cardiovascular disease prevention, inherited lipid disorders, and cardiovascular risk assessment in high-risk populations.Her research includes a range of topics around racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in cardiovascular disease prevention, developing novel interventions to address disparities, and opportunistic screening of coronary artery disease.

●      Dr. Julia Simard's lab is interested in how misclassification, missed opportunities, and misdiagnosis contribute to disparities in complex conditions such as systemic lupus. In addition to methodologic issues around misclassification and bias and the largely clinical epidemiology focus of her work, Dr. Simard's work examines social determinants of health and health disparities.

●      Dr. Nirali Vora directs the Stanford Global Health Neurology program, through which she started the first stroke unit in Zimbabwe and gained experience in HIV neurology and other neuro-infectious diseases. Additional research interests include stroke prevention, TIA triage, eliminating disparities in health care, and neurology education.

●      Dr. Paul Wise is a health policy and outcomes researcher whose work has focused on children's health; health-outcomes disparities by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status; the interaction of genetics and the environment as these factors influence child and maternal health; and the impact of medical technology on disparities in health outcomes.

●      Dr. Celina Yong’s research focuses on understanding and reducing inequities in cardiovascular care for patients, as well as resolving gender imbalances in the medical profession itself. She is actively involved in clinical trials of novel devices for percutaneous coronary and structural intervention, and performs structural and coronary interventions at the Palo Alto VA Hospital.