Department News

Meet CVRI's 2021-22 Early Career Advisory Committee Leadership Team

June 1, 2021 by Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont

Meet CVRI's 2021-2022 Early Career Advisory Committee Leadership Team
Meet CVRI's FY22 Early Career Advisory Committee Leadership Team

Maria Cristina Bravo, PhD - Chair

Maria Cristina Bravo, PhD is a Faculty Scientist in the Department of Biochemistry at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. Dr. Bravo was born and raised in the Midwest and pursued her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Northwestern University. Following research experiences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington, Dr. Bravo pursued and received a PhD from the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at the University of Vermont. After realizing that Vermont was home, she completed her Post-doctoral training in the Department of Biochemistry before being eventually being promoted to Faculty Scientist within the department.

Dr. Bravo’s research interests include using systems biology methods to study blood coagulation and the risk for thrombotic events in different patient populations – previously within trauma and currently within pregnancy. Currently, she is exploring the characteristics and impact of microvesicles on hemostatic balance.

Dr. Bravo has been actively involved with the Early Career Advisory Committee (ECAC) for the past three years and hopes to continue the excellent stewardship of past ECAC Chairpersons. Her primary hope is to further increase interdisciplinary interests and networks between the various realms (basic science, translational, epidemiological, and clinical) of cardiovascular research at UVM. Additionally, Dr. Bravo would like to increase engagement of trainees (medical students, graduate students, residents, post-doctoral fellows) with the CVRI and also the ECAC’s engagement with the greater UVM and Vermont community. As Vermont continues to lead the way with limiting community spread of COVID-19 and high vaccination rates, the ECAC looks forward to hosting safe* in person events to further foster and deepen our shared cardiovascular interests.

* In accordance with University of Vermont, University of Vermont Health Network, State of Vermont, and CDC guidelines.

Kramer Wahlberg, MD - Vice Chair
Kramer Wahlberg, MD was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest.  He studied bioengineering at Washington State University where he was a four-year oarsman on the men's crew team before going on to complete medical school at the University of Washington School of Medicine.  He then made the move to the University of Vermont for internal medicine residency, where he also served as Chief Medical Resident prior to beginning cardiovascular disease fellowship. Dr. Wahlberg anticipates a career as a clinician-researcher and educator with current interests in clinical research, medical education, quality improvement and high value care.

Dr. Wahlberg joined the CVRI ECAC in 2019 and has been grateful to serve the UVM cardiovascular community with other highly motivated early career investigators. The opportunity to partner scientists and clinicians across the early-career spectrum has been an extremely valuable and educational experience – an example being a collaboration with fellow ECAC members on two projects studying the impact of CVRI programs on the career development of early career investigators. As vice-chair he hopes to capitalize on the momentum from the exciting and successful virtual events of the past year as we look to hopefully transition back to in-person events with the UVM cardiovascular community.

Margaret Infeld, MD - Secretary
Margaret (Maggie) Infeld, MD, MS is a cardiac electrophysiology fellow at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Dr. Infeld completed her Internal Medicine residency at Duke and Cardiology fellowship at the University of Vermont.

Dr. Infeld’s primary research interests include the effects of heart rate and physiologic pacing on outcomes in atrial fibrillation and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). She serves as the principal investigator of two randomized controlled studies at UVM, one evaluating the effects of a novel form of site-selective atrial pacing on atrial fibrillation outcomes and the other assessing the effects of a higher, personalized backup heart rate setting in pacemaker patients with HFpEF.

As committee secretary, Dr. Infeld looks forward to contributing to the creative, dynamic, and collaborative culture of the CVRI ECAC. She hopes to increase outreach of committee-sponsored career development and social events, such as the Viridis Montis cardiovascular research competition, Biosketch workshop, and others that foster interdisciplinary collaboration and support for early career researchers at UVM.