Navid Nafissi, MD

Start Year

Education and Training

Duke University

Medical School
University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio

University of Virginia

Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship
Duke University

Career and research goals

I plan to pursue advanced training in Electrophysiology. My clinical and research interests are in inherited arrhythmia syndromes. 

Honors, awards, and distinctions

  • Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellowship
  • Duke Center for Combinatorial Gene Regulation Trainee Pilot Award

Fellow Perspective

Tell us briefly about your background before fellowship.

I grew up in Texas and first came to Duke for college, where I celebrated the Blue Devils’ 2010 NCAA Basketball championship my senior year. I returned to Texas for medical school and conducted a Sarnoff Fellowship at Harvard Medical School, where I studied the disease mechanisms of inherited cardiomyopathy. I completed my residency training in idyllic Charlottesville, VA at the University of Virginia before returning to Duke for cardiology fellowship. 

What are your career plans in cardiology? 

I plan to become an Electrophysiologist with a clinical and research niche in genetics and inherited arrhythmia syndromes.  

Why did you choose Duke for your fellowship training? 

Duke is one of the few programs in the country that offers exemplary clinical and research training. The opportunities here are virtually limitless. I was also impressed by the faculty and fellows on my interview day, and I continue to be amazed and inspired by their dedication and achievements. Finally, geography factored into my decision, as my wife is from North Carolina, and I was eager to return to Durham. 

What advice might you offer residents looking at fellowship programs? 

Know thyself. Consider your career/life goals and how different programs can help you achieve these. Trust the feeling you have when you interact with faculty, fellows, and staff on your interview day. 

From your experience in fellowship, what have you learned about training at Duke? 

Duke is a special place to train. You will learn from master clinicians and Nobel laureates. You will see the full spectrum of cardiovascular disease and care for complex patients with cutting edge techniques. You will not only work with outstanding cofellows, but your cardiac sonographers, cath lab technicians, APPs, nurses, and program coordinators are all best in class. You will have access to willing collaborators and innumerable resources and opportunities throughout Duke University. And you will find a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

How is your life in the Triangle area outside of work? 

Life in the Triangle is an adventure. There are so many great places to explore between Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Thrill. We also love the affordable cost of living, temperate climate, and southern hospitality. 


Nafissi, Navid A., Marat Fudim, Carmelo A. Milano, Paul B. Rosenberg, Adam D. DeVore, and Richa Agarwal. “A Case of Rare Inherited Restrictive Cardiomyopathy With Severe Biatrial Enlargement.” Jacc. Case Reports 1, no. 4 (December 2019): 588–91.

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Halaney, David L., Arnav Sanyal, Navid A. Nafissi, Daniel Escobedo, Martin Goros, Joel Michalek, Pedro J. Acevedo, et al. “The Effect of Trabeculae Carneae on Left Ventricular Diastolic Compliance: Improvement in Compliance With Trabecular Cutting.” Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 139, no. 3 (March 1, 2017).

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Hinson, John T., Anant Chopra, Navid Nafissi, William J. Polacheck, Craig C. Benson, Sandra Swist, Joshua Gorham, et al. “HEART DISEASE. Titin mutations in iPS cells define sarcomere insufficiency as a cause of dilated cardiomyopathy.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 349, no. 6251 (August 2015): 982–86.

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