Amar Parikh, MD grew up in Edison, New Jersey, then ventured down South to earn a bachelor's degree in English at Duke University. He returned to the Northeast to obtain his medical degree at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, then completed his internal medicine residency training at NYU Medical Center, where he served as chief resident and developed a passion for medical education. His studies in English and medicine sparked an interest in medical writing that he fostered throughout his training in New York. He was a frequent contributor to NYU's award-winning online medical journal, Clinical Correlations, and went on to serve as the editor of its humanities section, then ultimately as its associate editor.
Amar returned to the South to pursue cardiology fellowship at Vanderbilt, where he was drawn to its collaborative culture, leadership in medical education, and unique training opportunities, particularly in cardio-oncology. "I was deciding between cardiology and oncology for fellowship - I loved the pathophysiology of cardiology but was drawn to the uniquely human element of caring for a patient with cancer. Vanderbilt is one of the only programs in the country with a dedicated cardio-oncology training program, so I knew I wanted to be here to explore the field further. Vanderbilt is also a global leader in heart failure/transplant, electrophysiology, and critical care among other areas, so I really feel this is the perfect program to get a well-rounded training experience."
Amar is currently a cardio-oncology fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Javid Moslehi and is interested in the role of cardiac MRI in the care of cardio-oncology patients. He has continued to develop his passion for medical writing and education during fellowship and currently serves as an ACC FIT Editorial Fellow, contributing multiple articles to the ACC FIT Newsletter on topics in medical education and general cardiology. "The best part about Vanderbilt is its outstanding mentorship - the faculty here make fellows their #1 priority and constantly find ways to set us up for success." In the future, Amar hopes to develop a cardio-oncology program at an academic medical center and continue to cultivate his passion for the medical humanities. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing guitar and piano, and of course, cheering for Duke basketball!
Jeff grew up on a dairy farm in Northeast Nebraska and like all good Nebraskans, he is a huge Husker fan. He attended the University of Nebraska, majoring in Biological Systems Engineering. After graduation, Jeff attended graduate school in Virology and Gene Therapy at the Mayo Clinic for two years before his mentor’s lab moved to University College Cork in Cork, Ireland. He completed his PhD training, tracking bone marrow derived progenitor cells in vascular injury. Upon graduation, he worked as a post-doc in Molecular and Genomic Vascular Biology at Duke University, studying paracrine factors for cardiac regeneration. After two years, Jeff went to medical school at the University of North Carolina, but continued his research at Duke. Outside of work and research, Jeff enjoys a good pub, smooth whiskey and brewing his own beer. With the little free time during intern year, Jeff plans to do some hiking and camping and is looking forward to exploring the lakes and mountains of Tennessee.
Dr. Fiona Strasserking, MD was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa and now claims Pearland, TX as her home away from home. She completed her undergraduate degree at the George Washington University while serving in the US Navy as a hospitalcorpsman. She then went on to complete her medical school training at the now McGovern Medical School in Houston and her internal medicine residency at the Washington University in St. Louis.
Fiona has a great interest in health disparities, global health and imaging. During her training she has completed several international research projects that have combined her love for imaging and the cardiovascular system. This year she was awarded a fellowship at the NIH funded Fogerty International Center and will be going to Zambia where she will do her research in Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. She will also pursue further training in cardiovascular imaging under a T32 grant.
Fiona chose Vanderbilt because of “the opportunity to work with great mentors like Dr. Doug Heimburger in the School of Public Health and Dr. Julie Damp in pursuing global health research. The flexibility and support provided by the department of cardiovascular disease has been tremendous and very much appreciated.”