Escalator Awards

Escalator Awards

The Escalator Awards were established to “escalate” the careers of women
physicians by providing them with unique professional development opportunities and dedicated funding.

Women as One proudly announces the 2021 Women as One Escalator
Award Winners

research award

Winners are awarded $50,000 in support of an approved research project, participate in networking events and attend quarterly online research mentorship meetings with field leaders and previous Escalator Award winners.

 

  • Sonya Burgess, MBBS
    Sonya Burgess, MBBS
    Nepean Hospital and University of New South Wales | Australia
  • Lucrecia Maria Burgos, MD
    Lucrecia Maria Burgos, MD
    Instituto Cardiovascular de Buenos Aires | Argentina
  • Róisín Colleran, MBBCh
    Róisín Colleran, MBBCh
    Mater Private Hospital Dublin | Ireland
  • Thais Coutinho, MD
    Thais Coutinho, MD
    University of Ottawa Heart Institute | Canada
  • Jennifer Rymer, MD
    Jennifer Rymer, MD
    Duke University School of Medicine | United States

Mentor Match Award Winners

Mentors are awarded $25,000 and mentees receive $10,000. Each mentor is paired to a mentee and together are expected to develop a research, education or quality improvement project, to be carried out over the 12-month award cycle. Winners will also participate in networking events.

 

Match One

  • Shrilla Banerjee, MD, MBBS – MENTOR
    Shrilla Banerjee, MD, MBBS – MENTOR
    Surrey and Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust | United Kingdom
  • F. Aaysha Cader, MD, MBBS, MRCP – MENTEE
    F. Aaysha Cader, MD, MBBS, MRCP – MENTEE
    Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital & Research Institute | Bangladesh

Match Two

  • Renee Bullock-Palmer, MD – MENTOR
    Renee Bullock-Palmer, MD – MENTOR
    Deborah Heart and Lung Center | United States
  • Katia Bravo Jaimes, MD – MENTEE
    Katia Bravo Jaimes, MD – MENTEE
    University of California, Los Angeles | United States

Match Three

  • Allison Hays, MD – MENTOR
    Allison Hays, MD – MENTOR
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine | United States
  • Ellise Gambahaya, MBChB – MENTEE
    Ellise Gambahaya, MBChB – MENTEE
    University of Cape Town | South Africa

 

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Sonya Burgess, MBBS
Nepean Hospital and University of New South Wales | Australia

Dr. Sonya Burgess is an interventional cardiologist/academic and clinical cardiologist in Sydney, Australia, working at Nepean Public hospital, Sydney South West Private Hospital, South West Cardiology, and Penrith Specialist Group. She has recently submitted her PhD with the University of New South Wales studying incomplete revascularization in ST-elevation myocardial infarction. She received her MBChB from the University of Otago in 2001 and has a BSc in biochemistry. Dr. Burgess completed her advanced cardiology training at Wellington Hospital in New Zealand. She went on to complete a 2.5-year interventional fellowship at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney, one of the state’s largest hospitals, led by Stanford-trained interventionalists Dr. Craig Juergens and Dr. Sidney Lo, an internationally recognized CTO-PCI expert and the current Chair of the Interventional council of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. 

Dr. Burgess is a skilled interventional cardiologist with experience in high volume academic centers. She is an academic cardiologist with recent first author publications in the NEJM, JACC, Circulation, JAMA Cardiology, AHJ, AJC, HLC, and IMJ. Academic, ambitious, and passionate about delivering high quality evidence-based medicine to her patients, she has won one of only 2 international positions in the 2019-2021 SCAI Emerging Leader Fellowship Program. Her research examines STEMI, incomplete revascularization, multivessel disease, outcome differences for women with IHD, the gender gap in cardiology, and medical workforce diversity.  

Dr. Burgess is the first New Zealand woman to become an interventional cardiologist and is one of only 19 female interventional cardiologists in Australia and New Zealand. Dr. Burgess also is a founding member of the Women in Interventional Cardiology of Australia and New Zealand (WiiCAN), and the Women in Cardiology (WIC) in Australia and New Zealand. She is an active member of the cardiology community, a member of the ANZET meeting planning committee, NBMLHD Ethics committee, a contributing author for the EAPCI Radiation safety writing group, and part of multiple WAO initiatives including their Leadership Academy, CTO CLIMB program, and global parenting survey writing group.

Lucrecia Maria Burgos, MD
Instituto Cardiovascular de Buenos Aires | Argentina

Lucrecia Maria Burgos, MD, is a full-time cardiologist in the heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and heart transplant department at Instituto Cardiovascular de Buenos Aires in Argentina. She completed medical school at the National University of the South and the residency training program at the Instituto Cardiovascular de Buenos Aires. She specialized in cardiology at the University of Buenos Aires and obtained a degree in advanced heart failure at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina – Duke University.  Dr. Burgos has multiple postgraduate degrees in clinical research and advanced use of statistical software, and is currently in the second year of a cardiovascular ultrasound fellowship.

Dr. Burgos has received numerous awards, most recently as best scientific researcher of 2019, as well as multiple university research grants (ISCOMS, Abel Tasman Talent Program, Scientific Vocations of the National Interuniversity Council and an Introduction to Research grant). She has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, and is an active member of the research committee at Instituto Cardiovascular de Buenos Aires.

An emerging leader of the World Heart Federation and the Inter-American Society of Cardiology (SIAC) representing Argentina, Dr. Burgos is mentoring younger students from all around the continent as they complete their own projects. She has brought to the Emerging Leader Group of SIAC a holistic view about inclusiveness, diversity and equity. She firmly advocates against discrimination on the basis of race, sexual preference and identity, and political differences, and has started a project on Gender Equity in Cardiology.

Dr Burgos is a member of the heart failure council of the Argentine Society of Cardiology, and the International Society of Electrocardiology Young Community (ISE-YC). She served as an editor of the continuous update program of the Argentine Society of Cardiology and editor-in-chief of the Argentine Journal of Cardiology Residents. She was recently selected as a reviewer in the mentoring program of the European Heart Journal – Case Reports.

Róisín Colleran, MBBCh
Mater Private Hospital Dublin | Ireland

Róisín Colleran, MB BCh, MRCPI, FESC, is a consultant interventional cardiologist at the Mater Private Hospital Dublin and clinical researcher at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Dublin. 

She graduated in 2007 from National University of Ireland, Galway and undertook internship and basic specialist training in general medicine at University Hospital Galway and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. She was awarded Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCPI) in 2009. She completed cardiology specialist training with the Royal College of Physician of Ireland (RCPI) in University Hospital Galway and the Mater University Hospital, Dublin and was awarded her Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training in Cardiology in 2016. She completed sub-speciality training in catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias at the Mater Private Hospital, Dublin and in coronary and structural intervention at the German Heart Centre in Munich, Germany, before returning to Ireland.

Dr. Colleran also completed a research fellowship at the German Heart Center, Munich, where she was involved in the conduct of multicentre randomised clinical trials in patients undergoing coronary intervention. Her main research interests are coronary stents, drug-coated balloons, in-stent restenosis, antithrombotic therapies and high bleeding risk in patients undergoing PCI.

She has published in leading journals (Lancet, JACC, Circulation, the European Heart Journal, and the JAMA network) and serves as invited reviewer for journals including the Lancet, Circulation, European Heart Journal, JAMA Cardiology, European Heart Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Circulation Cardiovasc Interventions, Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions and EuroIntervention.

She is a fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC), member of the European Association of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (EAPCI) Scientific Documents and Initiatives Committee and serves as faculty at prestigious scientific congresses including the American Heart Association and Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meetings. 

Thais Coutinho, MD
University of Ottawa Heart Institute | Canada

A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dr. Thais Coutinho received her medical degree from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in 2004, and completed residency and fellowship training in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Vascular Medicine, Advanced Echocardiography, and Research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, in 2013. During her training, she received numerous awards, including the American Heart Association’s Young Investigator Award (2011), the Mayo Clinic’s Summerskill Research Award (2013) and the Mayo Clinic’s Cardiovascular Division Outstanding Achievement Award (2013).

Upon graduating, Dr. Coutinho joined the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) as a Clinician-Scientist and continued to receive Awards for her research and advocacy, including the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s Young Investigator Award (2015), the UOHI Academic Medical Organization Research Award for Clinical Science (2016) and Public Education (2018), and the UOHI Global Achievement Award (2019). In 2017, she was appointed Chief of the Division of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation and Chair of the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre. This was a historical moment for the UOHI, as Dr. Coutinho was the first woman in the Institution’s 40-year history to be appointed as Division Chief.  She is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. 

Dr. Coutinho has published several high impact manuscripts in the field of Cardiovascular Diseases.  Her research program focuses on aortic function and hemodynamics, with a special emphasis on arterial stiffness and its role on the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases such as thoracic aortic aneurysms, pre-eclampsia and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. She applies a sex- and gender-lens to all of her investigations, evaluating sex differences in arterial aging and how it may help explain sex differences in cardiovascular diseases. 

Dr. Coutinho is also a sought-after educator, having addressed audiences at many national and international meetings, in addition to her efforts on public education and women’s heart health advocacy. She has co-Chaired the first (2016), second (2018) and third (2021) Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit, the largest conference in the world dedicated exclusively to the cardiovascular health of women. Further, she is passionate about advancing knowledge translation about women’s cardiovascular health issues, and to accomplish this she has launched, with her team, the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance, whose Executive Steering Committee she chairs. This Alliance’s Mission is to provide leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of cardiovascular prevention and management strategies to improve women’s cardiovascular health.

Jennifer Rymer, MD
Duke University School of Medicine | United States

Dr. Jennifer Rymer is an interventional cardiologist and peripheral vascular specialist at Duke University Medical Center. She completed medical school at Vanderbilt University, as well as a Master of Business Administration. She completed a residency in internal medicine at Duke University and was selected to be Chief Resident at Duke University Hospital. She then went on to general cardiology and interventional cardiology fellowship at Duke, where she was elected to be Chief Clinical Cardiology Fellow.

Dr. Rymer has received several clinical and research awards, including the Joseph McClellan Award for most outstanding chief resident, the Walter Floyd Award for excellence in clinical cardiology, and the Robert Harrington Award for excellence in clinical research at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. She also received the William Keating career development award from the American College of Cardiology, as well as funding through several grant mechanisms from Boston Scientific and Abbott. Dr. Rymer just recently completed a Master of Health Sciences from Duke. She has over 50 peer-reviewed publications.

Shrilla Banerjee, MD, MBBS – MENTOR
Surrey and Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust | United Kingdom

Dr. Shrilla Banerjee is a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, UK.  She was an undergraduate at the University of Birmingham, with postgraduate training on the St George’s Medical Training Programme and the North-East London Cardiology Specialist Training Programme.  Her MD was based on the Appropriateness of Coronary Revascularisation (ACRE) study, supervised by Professor Adam Timmis, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Heart, British Medical Journal and the American Journal of Cardiology.

Dr. Banerjee has been active in medical education and has co-authored a textbook of Cardiology (Swanton’s Cardiology).  She has been invited faculty at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS), American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society (BCIS) meetings.  She has just completed a 3-year elected position on the Education Committee of the BCS, having previously been Women’s Officer for 4 years. Dr. Banerjee will join the Council of BCIS in January 2021 as an elected Council Member.  Dr. Banerjee is an invited member of the EAPCI Quality Improvement Committee and a reviewer for a number of high-impact journals.

In summer 2020, she was a panel discussant on the ACC – Non-Communicable Disease academy talking about Race, Ethnicity and Social Determinants of Health, and also presented in the ACC Women in Cardiology session on Gender Variations in COVID-19 Mortality.  She was also a participant in the Cath Lab Directors Round Table for Women as One. 

Dr. Banerjee has been a passionate advocate for women in her specialty.  In particular, she has been keen to develop a mentorship programme as part of a strategy aimed at balancing the gender-based disparity in Cardiology, and in particular procedure-based Cardiology.  This builds on her work as Chair of the Focus Group for Women (BCIS) which has resulted in change-drivers and campaigns to shape a more equitable future in Interventional Cardiology.

F. Aaysha Cader, MD, MBBS, MRCP – MENTEE
Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital & Research Institute | Bangladesh

Dr. F. Aaysha Cader, MBBS, MD, MRCP is a Sri Lankan-born cardiologist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with an interest in pursuing advanced training in complex coronary intervention. She is passionate about cardiovascular clinical trials, population health and outcomes research, with a focus on acute coronary syndromes and sex disparities in cardiovascular disease, and is undertaking a part-time MSc in Clinical Trials at the University of Oxford. 

A staunch advocate for Women in Cardiology (WIC), Dr. Cader is a co-founder of Global WIC Early Careers, an international collaboration of young women in cardiology across the globe. She is also a member of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Women in Cardiology communications group. Dr. Cader is a social media editor of European Heart Journal – Case Reports, and enjoys writing, with regular blogs for the American Heart Association Early Career & FIT blogging programme. She also has an interest in global health and is a World Heart Federation Emerging Leader. 

Renee Bullock-Palmer, MD – MENTOR
Deborah Heart and Lung Center | United States

Dr. Renee Bullock-Palmer is a board-certified Cardiologist who specializes in cardiac imaging and has a passion for cardiovascular health in women. She is the Director of Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging and the Director of the Women’s Heart Center at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, New Jersey. Dr. Bullock-Palmer currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and is a member of the South/Central New Jersey Board of the American Heart Association. She is the Chair of ASNC’s Social Media Task Force committee and the Vice-Chair of the Women in Cardiology committee of the national AHA. 

In addition to practicing medicine in New Jersey for over 10 years, Dr. Bullock-Palmer has led several outreach activities focusing on cardiac imaging and heart health in women, including CME activities at Deborah Heart and Lung Center and throughout the region.  She serves on committees in several professional societies including the AHA and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC), the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), and the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT). In 2011 and 2019, she was awarded the Teacher of the Year award at Deborah Heart and Lung Center. She has also been listed as one of Castle Connelly’s Top Doctors in New Jersey and Philadelphia from 2014 through to 2020. 

Dr. Bullock-Palmer’s special interests include women’s heart disease, cardiac amyloidosis and cardiac imaging. She has participated in many clinical research projects and authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Katia Bravo Jaimes, MD – MENTEE
University of California, Los Angeles | United States

Katia Bravo-Jaimes, MD, is an Adult Congenital Heart Disease Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her Medical Degree from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru, and completed Internal Medicine residency at the University of Rochester, New York, where she graduated with distinction in Medical Education and Research. She graduated from the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, receiving the Outstanding Clinical Fellow Award.  

Dr. Bravo’s research interests include innovative strategies to improve risk-stratification and outcomes in adults with congenital heart disease, use of advanced heart failure therapies in adults with congenital heart disease as well as increasing early detection of congenital heart disease and access to congenital heart surgery in low-income countries. She also has a strong focus in reduction of racial, ethnic and gender disparities in cardiovascular disease as well as increasing diversity in Cardiovascular Medicine.  

Dr. Bravo has been honored with the Excellence Award by Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos; Raphael Dolin Resident Research Award by the University of Rochester; Fellow of the Year Award by the National Hispanic Medical Association as well as the Trainee Award by the American Medical Association – Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians. 

Allison Hays, MD – MENTOR
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine | United States

Dr. Allison G. Hays, MD, FSCMR, FASE, FACC is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Dr. Hays is a graduate of Stanford University where she graduated with honors in Biology and English (BA and BS).  She obtained her medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where she received honors from the Alpha Omega Alpha Society.   She completed medicine residency at Columbia-New York Presbyterian and Cardiology fellowship training at New York University and Johns Hopkins, where she pursued advanced cardiovascular imaging training and research. She joined the Johns Hopkins Cardiology faculty after fellowship, and is currently Associate Professor of Medicine in Cardiology, serving as the Medical Director of the Echocardiography Lab at Hopkins for 3 years.  

Dr. Hays has specific training and expertise in research areas in testing and refining new cardiac MR methods, specifically with a focus on coronary and vascular imaging. She is a pioneer in the development of noninvasive MRI methods for measuring coronary endothelial function. She has published her work in top specialty and subspecialty journals and presented her work at national and international scientific meetings. She has been actively engaged in the American Society of Echo and the Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR) where she previously served as Program Chair for the society.  She is currently on the Board of Trustees of SCMR.

As principal investigator or co-investigator on several grants from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and NIH, she has built strong collaborations amongst other non-invasive imaging experts including colleagues in Cardiology, Radiology and Biomedical Engineering. She has extensive involvement as an investigator on grants focusing on coronary and body composition imaging and has made critical contributions to the field of non-invasive imaging, with a recent focus on HIV and women’s cardiovascular health.  Her academic accomplishments include extramural grants, publications, speaking invitations, editorships, leadership roles, participation on PhD thesis advisor committees, and organizational activities for national and international scientific conferences. Dr. Hays regularly mentors fellows, students and junior faculty.  In addition, she is a wife and mother of two girls, and enjoys traveling, tennis, and watching British period films.  

Ellise Gambahaya, MBChB – MENTEE
University of Cape Town | South Africa

Dr. Ellise Gambahaya is a cardiology fellow in her second year of training at the University of Cape Town, based at Groote Schuur Hospital in South Africa. She is originally from Zimbabwe and intends to return home after training to pursue both an academic and clinical career in cardiology. 

Dr. Gambahaya received her basic medical degree from the University of Zimbabwe in 2006, followed by a Masters of Medicine in Internal Medicine from the same institution in 2014.  Dr. Gambahaya is a keen researcher and has been awarded several research fellowships including the Fogarty Global Health Fellowship in 2016-2017. Her main area of interest is in Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, and she has created a registry of patients with Peripartum Cardiomyopathy in Zimbabwe. She has published her research findings in peer reviewed journals and presented at various local, regional, and international conferences.  

Dr Gambahaya’s long term goals are to establish a formal cardiology service in Zimbabwe as well as to continue to build cardiovascular research capacity and training.

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