Scientific Advisory Board

An interdisciplinary approach to SCAD.

Collaboration is fundamental to the SCAD Alliance philosophy. From the start, we built a team whose members are interested in studying spontaneous coronary artery dissection from every angle and integrating the related disciplines. The SCAD Alliance Scientific Advisory Board features experts in cardiology, vascular medicine, imaging, genetics, connective tissue disorders, psychology, reproductive science, and endocrinology. By bringing these experts together and encouraging collaboration, SCAD Alliance aims to fast-track the existing knowledge of SCAD into better diagnosis, care and outcomes.

Learn more about our Scientific Advisory Board members by selecting from the tabs below:


David Adlam, MD

Senior Lecturer, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Cardiovascular Research Centre at Glenfield General Hospital, Leicester, UK

Dr. Adlam is an interventional cardiologist and researcher in a busy metropolitan heart attack center. He completed his BMBCH, and DPhil at University of Oxford, and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians. His research interests include spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD); infective endocarditis; cardio-oncology; coronary optical coherence tomography (OCT), including its role in minimal invasive autopsy; and the role of tetrahydrobiopterin in the autonomic dysregulation of heart failure.

In 2010, Dr. Adlam first delved into the science of SCAD and published “Management of Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection in the Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Era,” in the Journal of Invasive Cardiology. In 2013, in collaboration with a group of SCAD survivors in UK and Ireland, he launched and became clinical director of the SCAD UK/EU research initiative and the patient website portal hosted by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (LCBRU). This initiative has been supported by the British Cardiovascular Society and the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society.

Under Dr. Adlam’s direction, the LCBRU was awarded a grant by the British Heart Foundation in January 2014, which allowed assignment of a dedicated research fellow to SCAD-related research. The LCBRU is one of 20 units throughout England funded by the NIHR, a strategic research funding body within the National Health Service (NHS). The LCBRU is a partnership between the University of Leicester and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Charles Pritchard, Parannoia203 Photography

dr-sarah-berga

Sarah Berga, MD

Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Executive Director of Women’s Health at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

Dr. Berga’s roles include expanding clinical access, diversifying our clinical and research portfolio, and fostering basic and translational research in areas relevant to reproductive and women’s health, including the biology of sex differences.  Dr. Berga is specialty certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and subspecialty certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI).  She cares for patients with amenorrhea, infertility, menopause, and related conditions.

As an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, she studied the contribution of sex hormones to human behavior, sexual dimorphism, and gender asymmetry.  After receiving her MD from UVA, she completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harvard Medical School followed by a fellowship in REI at UCSD.  Prior positions include Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and Psychiatry at University of Pittsburgh, Senior Scientist at Magee-Women’s Research Institute, Medical Director of the NIH-funded Magee-Women’s Clinical Research Center, and Chair of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University in Atlanta.

Her research explores neuroendocrine mechanisms mediating stress-induced reproductive compromise and the impact of sex hormones on brain health in human and monkey models using neuroimaging and delineation of hormonal and cognitive patterns.  Her team pioneered the use of cognitive behavior therapy for stress-induced infertility.  Contributions include 130+ peer-reviewed publications, 80+ book chapters, and 20+ years of service on various NIH study sections.  She currently serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and as an Associate Editor of Human Reproduction Update.  Awards include the SGI Presidential Achievement Award and the Berthold Medal of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Endokrinologie (German Endocrine Society).  Past leadership positions include President of the Society for Gynecological Investigation and Society of Humanism in Medicine, and member of the Board of Directors of Emory Healthcare, University of Pittsburgh Physicians, and American Society of Reproductive Medicine.  She is currently serving on the board of the International Society of Gynecologic Endocrinology.

Women's Heart Health Team. Photo taken on November 13, 2013. ( Norbert von der Groeben/Stanford Hospital and Clinics )

Katie Edwards, PhD

Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Instructor, Division of Cardiology, Stanford University Medical Center

Katie Edwards, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Instructor in the Division of Cardiology at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Edwards’ interest in spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) developed while working in the Women’s Heart Health Clinic with Stanford cardiologist Jennifer Tremmel, MD, who routinely prescribes psychological evaluation for patients who have experienced a SCAD.  Through working with numerous survivors of SCAD, Dr. Edwards has come to appreciate the unique psychological challenges of this disease and is committed to improving psychosocial treatment options for SCAD patients nationwide.

Dr. Edwards is a graduate of the University of Houston and Stanford University.  She completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center, specializing in Behavioral Medicine.  She is a cognitive behavioral therapist with experience in mindfulness-based interventions, such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and training in biofeedback.


Elkayam, UriUri Elkayam, MD

Professor of Medicine (Cardiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology) Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Southern California (Los Angeles)

Dr. Elkayam’s clinical and research interests include congestive heart failure, vascular biology, renal vasoregulation, cardiovascular pharmacology, and heart disease in pregnancy.  He has been involved in more than 100 self-initiated NIH and industry funded research projects, and has been on the steering committees of multiple multicenter studies.

Dr. Elkayam’s publications include over 180 peer review articles and 80 book chapters.  He also co-edited three editions of the books, Cardiac Problems in Pregnancy and Principle and Practice of Medical Therapy in Pregnancy.

For the past 18 years, Dr. Elkayam has been the program director of an annual symposium on “Heart Failure – An Update on Therapy.” He served as chairman of a biannual “International Congress on Cardiac problems in Pregnancy (CPP)” and was chairman of the first “Pan American Heart Failure Congress” held in Panama City, Panama, in 2012. Dr. Elkayam is a past member of the executive council of the Heart Failure Society of America and the past chairman of the corporate affairs committee. He is a member of many national and international committees and advisory boards, and is a member of the editorial boards of the American Journal of Cardiology, JACC Heart Failure, Cardiology, Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Cardiology in Review. He is a past member of the editorial lectures extensively locally, nationally and internationally.

A recipient of numerous honors, Dr. Elkayam was awarded the Melvin L. Marcus Memorial Award for Distinguish Contribution as a Gifted Teacher – 8th World Congress of Heart Failure in 2002; the Richard H. Paul MD Maternal-Fetal Medicine Distinguish Teaching Award at the University of Southern California in 2002; and the Distinguished Fellowship Award from the International Academy of Cardiology in 2007. Dr. Elkayam has the distinction of being listed in Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Doctors for the years 2001 through 2013.

Santhi Ganesh, MD

Santhi Ganesh, MD

Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Human Genetics — University of Michigan

Santhi Ganesh is a physician-scientist with clinical sub-specialization in cardiology and vascular medicine, and her research focuses  on the molecular and genetic basis of vascular diseases.

Dr. Ganesh completed her medical training at the University of Michigan (Internal Medicine Residency) and Johns Hopkins University (Cardiology Fellowship), after which she trained for six years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health [National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)] and the Johns Hopkins Institute of Genetic Medicine to train in vascular biology and human genetics.

Dr. Ganesh has secured funding from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations, including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, to support her research.

girardiLeonard N. Girardi, MD

Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Associate Attending Surgeon, Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Girardi completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University in 1985, obtaining a degree in biochemistry. He pursued his medical education at Cornell University Medical College and completed his residency in general surgery at Cornell Medical College, where he remained as a resident in Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Girardi graduated from the program in 1996 under Dr. O. Wayne Isom, his Chairman at present. After completion of a fellowship in aortic surgery at Baylor, Dr. Girardi assumed his present position at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Dr. Girardi’s surgical expertise includes adult cardiothoracic, minimally invasive cardiac, cardiac valve, mitral valve, and coronary artery bypass surgery, as well as thoracic and thoraco abdominal aneurysm, aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection, and bloodless surgery.

Deeply committed to training the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons, Dr. Girardi teaches medical students and residents on all levels. He is a member of numerous surgical societies, including the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, Society of Thoracic Surgery, The DeBakey International Surgical Society and the American College of Surgeons. He has published extensively on multiple topics in cardiovascular and aneurysm surgery and has given many lectures at regional and national surgical meetings.

Kim, EstherEsther (Soo Hyun) Kim, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Arteriopathy Clinic at Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute

Dr. Kim is a cardiologist and vascular medicine specialist in the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute. She treats patients with a range of cardiovascular disorders but has a special interest in patients with uncommon arterial disorders including fibromuscular dysplasia, spontaneous coronary artery dissection, and aneurysmal disease. She has authored several research publications and book chapters on these disorders.  Her interest in SCAD was borne out of her background as a cardiologist whose vascular training enabled her to see patients with rare and complex arterial disorders, including fibromuscular dysplasia  (FMD) and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), type IV.

Dr. Kim’s other major interest includes non-invasive vascular imaging using both physiologic testing and duplex ultrasound. She is a registered physician in Vascular Interpretation and has lectured extensively on vascular ultrasonography. She holds leadership positions in several national cardiovascular societies including the Society for Vascular Medicine, the American Society of Echocardiography, and the American Heart Association. She currently serves as an Associate Editor for Vascular Medicine, the premier peer-reviewed vascular medicine journal.

A graduate of Duke University School of Medicine, Dr. Kim also holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. She completed an Internal Medicine residency at Johns Hopkins and completed fellowships in Cardiology and Vascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Kim is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Vascular Medicine. She is also certified in Diagnostic Medical Sonography as a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI).

Lindsay, MarkMark Lindsay, MD, PhD

Cardiologist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Mark Lindsay is a member of the Cardiology Division faculty at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Massachusetts. In the MGH Thoracic Aortic Center, he performs genetic evaluations and provides ongoing care for children and adult patients with Marfan syndrome and other familial aneurysm conditions.

Dr. Lindsay is a member of the staff of the Cardiovascular Research Center at MGH investigating the genetic etiology and pathophysiology of human vascular disease focusing on gene discovery and the developmental underpinnings of vascular aneurysms and dissections.

Dr. Lindsay attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine where he completed the Medical Scientist Training Program, obtaining M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. He completed residency training in pediatrics as well as fellowship training in pediatric and congenital cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, Maryland.

pictureSahar Naderi, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Medicine – Cardiovascular Medicine

Dr. Naderi is Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Stanford University Medical Center.  Her interest in spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) began while she was completing a Women’s Cardiology Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital with Dr. Malissa Wood.  Her particular areas of focus are SCAD and other causes of heart attacks in young women, heart disease in pregnancy, and preventive cardiology.

Dr. Naderi is a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine.  She completed a Master in Health Science at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She did her Internal Medicine training at Duke University Medical Center and went on to do Cardiology Fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic.  She also completed a Women’s Cardiology Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Dr. Naderi is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease.

image1-e1437507204159-243x300Jacqueline Saw, MD, FRCPC, FACC

Interventional Cardiologist, Vancouver General Hospital; Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

Dr. Jacqueline Saw is an Interventional Cardiologist at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), with joint appointment at St Paul’s Hospital. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, and Program Director of the Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program at VGH.

She was awarded Canada Scholar and the Dean’s Entrance Scholarship for Natural Sciences at Simon Fraser University, where she did her undergraduate degree. She then obtained her medical doctorate at the University of Ottawa, where she graduated summa cum laude. She did her residency training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of British Columbia, and served as Chief Cardiology Fellow. She then proceeded to Interventional Cardiology fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic, which encompassed carotid, peripheral and structural interventional training. She has been an active staff with the Division of Cardiology at VGH and joint appointment at St Paul’s Hospital since 2004. She is also a physician proctor for left atrial appendage closure with the Amplatzer Cardiac Plug and WATCHMAN devices.

Dr. Saw’s research interests include spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), left atrial appendage closure, antiplatelet therapy, percutaneous coronary intervention, carotid artery stenting, peripheral intervention and non-atherosclerotic coronary artery disease [including SCAD and coronary fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) in women]. She is the principal investigator of the Canadian SCAD Study, PRYME, NACAD, SAFER-SCAD, Canadian WATCHMAN Registry, TAP-CABG, and ELAPSE studies. She has authored or co-authored over 100 publications, including scientific research studies, review articles and book chapters. She is also the editor of two textbooks on carotid artery stenting, and one textbook on left atrial appendage closure.

Wood_MalissaMalissa Wood, MD

Co-director, MGH Heart Center Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program; Director, MGH Corrigan Minehan Heart Center Fellowship in Women’s Cardiovascular Disease; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

To improve the clinical care and understanding of cardiovascular disease in women, Dr. Wood designed and implemented the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program in 2007. This clinical model includes the development of individualized care plans for women at risk for or who are suffering from cardiovascular disease, as well as the development of research and educational components to better understand these conditions and share this information with practicing physicians. The educational goals of the program feature a biennial continuing medical education program and a two-year fellowship in Women’s Cardiovascular Disease. The research goals are addressed through the development of multiple clinical studies examining unique features of heart disease and risk factors in women. These studies include the HAPPY Heart program,  the NIRVANA study examining benefits of Nevibolol in women with microvascular ischemia, a prospective study examining vascular, psychological and clinical features of women with SCAD and a prospective registry of cardiovascular disease in pregnancy.

Dr. Wood has been lead investigator on a number of studies researching the effect of exercise on cardiac function. In a series of studies, Dr. Wood and her group investigated the cardiovascular benefits of prolonged endurance exercise in non-elite and Olympic athletes. In subsequent work, Dr. Wood and her colleagues examined the longitudinal effect of exercise training on heart structure and function. She has made significant educational contributions to awareness of gender differences in cardiovascular disease risk, symptoms and preventive strategies locally, regionally and nationally.

In addition, Dr. Wood’s clinical activities include working as an echocardiographer in the MGH Cardiac Ultrasound Laboratory. She completed her undergraduate and medical degrees in the combined B.A/M.D (Biology) program from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; internship and residency in medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston; cardiology training Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; and interventional cardiology fellowship at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio.

Dr. Wood is frequently cited in the lay press (Women’s Day, Family Circle, Women’s Health, Parenting) and has appeared on the Today show and several nationally syndicated radio programs. Dr. Wood is author of “Smart at Heart” and co-author of “Thinfluence.”