Dr. Jay Traverse, M.D.
I graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1982. Following graduation, I took a job in technical sales at the Stauffer Chemical Co. working out of their Chicago Region where I worked for 1-year before returning to graduate school where I received a M.E in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Virginia in 1985. During those 2 years I was exposed to research in small animal surgery and studied mathematical modeling of the control of respiration with Dr. Milton Adams. I began medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in August 1985. During those 4 years I performed physiology research in the Dept. of Neonatology with Dr. Waldemar Carlo on the cardiovascular effects of high-frequency ventilation. I published my first papers during that period.
I moved to Minneapolis after graduating from medical school in 1989 to begin my internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota that I completed in 1992. From 1992 to 1996 I completed a fellowship in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology. During that time I worked in the laboratory of Robert Bache studying the regulation of coronary blood flow and developed a model of congestive heart failure in dogs for which I was awarded a Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association and promoted to Assistant Professor of Medicine.
In 1996 I accepted a position an Interventional Cardiologist at The Minneapolis Heart Institute. This is the largest cardiovascular practice in Minnesota after the Mayo Clinic, and is comprised of 60 cardiologists and surgeons working out of Abbott Northwestern Hospital, the largest hospital in the Twin Cities. I have stayed at this Institution for my entire practicing career and I am currently Director of Research at The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.
Over the last 20 years I have transitioned from basic cardiovascular research in coronary physiology at The University of Minnesota to translational and clinical research at the Minneapolis Heart Institute. My main research interest is cardiovascular stem cell therapy. We have one the busiest clinical cell therapy programs in the United States and are a charter member of the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute (NHLBI) Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN). This is a consortium of 7 academic centers in the United States charged with fostering the development of stem cell therapy in the United States. My other research interest is the mitigation of infarct size and reperfusion injury in patients having heart attacks treated with angioplasty and stenting in the cardiac catheterization lab for which I have received funding from the NIH.
If you are interested in medicine then there is no better education you can receive than a degree in chemical engineering. An engineering degree gives you a unique skill-set that cannot be obtained in pre-med or the biological sciences, which is just repeated in more detail in medical school. An engineering curriculum teaches you to think critically and analytically and provides you with life-long skills in problem solving. It is especially invaluable if you want to pursue a career in research. My education at Notre Dame was outstanding and gave me the tools to have a successful career in medicine.