Cardio-Oncology Clinical Certificate Program  

Clinical training, didactic teaching, research experience

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) Division of Cardiovascular Medicine offers a one-year clinical Cardio-Oncology Certificate Program to highly motivated individuals. The program includes clinical training, didactic teaching and research experience. The primary goal of the training program is to prepare trainees to become outstanding academic physicians and future leaders in cardio-oncology through research, education and clinical activities.  

The Cardio-Oncology Program is a Graduate Medical Education-approved Certificate Program that provides a structured curriculum, including weekly didactic sessions, clinical rotations and cardio-oncology-based research experience. Fellows rotate through the outpatient cardio-oncology and amyloid clinics, as well as dedicated oncology clinics, which expose them to the various aspects of oncology and oncology care. These dedicated oncology clinics will include breast cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma, leukemia/lymphoma, transplant, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and radiation oncology clinics, as well as the early drug development and survivorship oncology clinical programs. 

This broad clinical experience is made possible by an integrated cardiovascular center and access to world-class academic faculty in oncology and cardiology. Close collaboration with various departments at VUMC allows for integration with other aspects of the cardiovascular division, including heart failure, vascular medicine, cardiac imaging, arrhythmia, autonomic dysfunction and genetics programs.  

Individualized training

The Cardio-Oncology Program can be tailored to each fellows’ training needs. Given the broad expertise of the Cardiovascular Medicine division, the Cardio-Oncology Program can be combined with specific areas of interest in cardiology, including imaging, heart failure, interventional cardiology, basic research, clinical/translational research and clinical trials.  

A focus on innovation and research

Because cardio-oncology is a new field, an important emphasis of the Cardio-Oncology Program is innovation and research. Research begins with the development of a focused plan during the early phase of fellowship. The trainee’s research goals can be integrated into the many ongoing basic, translational and clinical projects within the group. The training program is also closely aligned with other programs in the university, including the Vanderbilt Translational and Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center.  

The Cardio-Oncology certificate at Vanderbilt will include an outpatient experience. The goal is for fellows to gain subspeciality training that prepares them to independently deliver cardio-oncology care after fellowship. This training would include 20 half-day cardio-oncology continuity clinics, two to four days of oncology clinics, and participation in 50 unique inpatient consultations. This can be obtained over the course of the three-year Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship, with a concentration in cardio-oncology clinical training in the final year of fellowship.

Additionally, fellows will be expected to understand the basics of acquisition and interpretation of advanced cardiovascular imaging as it pertains to cardio-oncology. Most of this training will be obtained during the three years of training, with the final year being focused on cardiac CT, nuclear imaging, or MRI per the interest of the fellow. 

The Cardio-oncology Program allows for fellows to obtain experience in cardio-oncology clinics, the Vanderbilt Amyloid Multi-Disciplinary Program (VAMP) clinic, and clinics in various oncology subspecialties, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma, leukemia/lymphoma, transplant, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and radiation oncology clinics, as well as the early drug development and survivorship oncology clinical programs.  

Fellows are expected to understand the cardiac effects and typical treatment indications of the following therapeutic classes as laid out by recent European Society of Cardiology Guidelines: 

  • Anthracycline chemotherapy 
  • HER2-targeted therapies 
  • VEGF inhibitors 
  • BCR-ABL inhibitors 
  • Multiple myeloma therapies 
  • RAF and MEK inhibitors 
  • Radiation therapy 
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors 
  • Androgen deprivation therapy 
  • Chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) and tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapies 

Additionally, fellows will be expected to learn about: 

  • Pre-hematopoietic stem cell transplant evaluation 
  • Carcinoid heart disease 
  • Amyloid light-chain cardiac amyloidosis 
  • Cancer survivorship and cardiovascular maintenance 

Fellows will encounter both acute, subacute and chronic cardiovascular toxicity and will learn how to manage these issues in the inpatient and outpatient setting. 

Fellows interested in the Cardio-oncology program will be expected to perform some research in the field of cardio-oncology, and there is a large group of faculty and projects for fellows to work on. At the culmination of the year, fellows will prepare a research presentation for the group with the goal of producing an abstract or paper. 

Cardio-oncology conferences occur every two weeks, on Thursday afternoons, in collaboration with University of California San Francisco. This conference includes physicians and researchers from around the world that present a mixture of didactic lectures, clinical presentations of interesting clinical case by a fellow (followed by discussion), as well as clinical and translational research presentations.

Additionally, fellows will be expected to meet with the attending 15 minutes before clinic for a session discussing interesting cardio-oncology topics, new drug discoveries, and relevant journal articles. Finally, there are monthly, local meetings with cardio-oncology faculty and trainees to discuss interesting cases and journal club. 

Currently the Cardio-oncology program is open to third- and fourth-year fellows at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

For more information, please email the program manager, Sylvia Jones.

  • Kemal Akat, MD, PhD – 2022-2023 
  • Lawrence Justin Charles, MD – 2022-2023 
  • Matthew Fleming, MD, PhD – 2021-2022 
  • Isik Turker, MD – 2021-2022 
  • Wouter Meijers, MD – 2020-2021 
  • Amar Parikh, MD – 2019-2021 
  • Weijuan Li, MD, MS – 2018-2019  
  • Wendy Bottinor, MD – 2017-2018  
  • Joe-Elie Salem, MD, PhD – 2017-2018  
  • Kristopher Swiger, MD – 2017-2018  
  • Nirmanmoh Bhatia, MD – 2016-2017 

Program Leadership

Eiman Jahangir, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine 
Director, Cardio-Oncology Program