2023 Association of American Physicians Elected Member: Tzung Hsiai, MD, PhD
Tzung Hsiai, MD, PhD, is the Maud Cady Guthman Endowed Chair in Cardiology and a professor of medicine and bioengineering at UCLA. His research focuses on integrating advanced imaging, computation, and mechanobiology to address cardiovascular injury and repair. After undergraduate training at Columbia University, and medical training at the University of Chicago, he completed internal medicine residency at Harbor-UCLA, and subspecialty clinical training in cardiovascular diseases at UCLA. Dr. Hsiai earned his PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 2001 through the UCLA Subspecialty Training Advanced Research (STAR) Program. He was awarded the UCLA Chancellor's Award for Academic Border Crossing, is an elected member of American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the American Institute of Medicine and Biological Engineering. In collaboration with the VA Greater Los Angeles (GLA) Healthcare System, Dr. Hsiai’s team science has resulted in the LA PRISMS Center (U54 EB022002) which connects UCLA’s Bioinformatics and Microbiome Research Center with USC’s Environmental Health Sciences Center, and NIH T32 Multidisciplinary Training Programs (iTEAM and iCMB) with UCLA Bioengineering and Caltech Medical Engineering. In collaboration with UCLA Health’s Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, he directs the American Heart Association’s Strategic Focused Research Network (SFRN) in Science of Diversity in Clinical Trials (iDIVERSE). The study is conducted in partnership with the UCLA Center Human Nutrition, University of Hawaii, and Washington State University.
Road to the The Association of American Physicians… 5 Questions with Dr. Tzung Hsiai, MD, PhD
Dr. Hsiai shares the experiences which have influenced his career in research and medicine, as well advice for the future leaders in medicine.
What events in your life led you to pursue a career and/or research in medicine?
While traveling to the Andes in Bolivia as a teenager, I was struck by the health disparities faced by local communities. This experience influenced my decision to pursue a career in medicine with a goal of alleviating some of these disparities. Along my journey as a physician, I decided to pursue an investigative pathway which guided my research towards exploring the mechanobiology of cardiovascular diseases,
What are some of the challenges you have had to overcome on this journey and what did they teach you?
Crossing academic borders.
Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?
Our team science has enabled us to mentor trainees at all levels that include NSF CAREER, NIH K-08, K99/R00, R01’s, VA MERIT, and AHA CDAs, and for industry such as for the Vice President and Edwards Lifesciences. In collaboration with NHLBI, our team has organized workshops on “Effective Collaboration & Diversity in Scientific Teams” which encourages interdisciplinary research teams in the scientific process.
What inspires you to do the work that you do?
My colleagues in the department of medicine. Within the department, we walk amongst giants in research and medicine who help elevate my work, that of my colleagues, and our trainees.
What would you want others reading this to know?
I am grateful for the mentorship from the leaders in the DGoSM. I am inspired by our world-class colleagues and trainees. It has been a humbling journey to contribute to the Department of Medicine and VA Healthcare System and to empower the next generation of leaders in academia and industry. It is my sincere hope to continue impactful educational, community engagement, service and patient care, and to demonstrate effective collaboration and diversity in team science to elevate our colleagues and trainees.