Faculty - Division of Cardology
The divisions of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery at University Hospital are staffed by 150 dedicated professionals in a wide array of disciplines. The physician team is comprised of board-certified specialists who are also faculty members of New Jersey Medical School (NJMS).
Marc Klapholz, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Professor of Medicine
Chair, Department of Medicine
Marc Klapholz, MD, FACC, FSCAI is Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine and director of the Heart Failure Prevention and Treatment Program.
Dr. Klapholz received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York. He completed his residency in internal medicine, followed by an NIH sponsored Heart Failure Research Fellowship, General Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Bronx Municipal Hospital Center. Dr. Klapholz is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Echocardiography, Interventional Cardiology and Heart Failure and Transplant.
Dr. Klapholz has been a principle investigator on over 100 clinical trials in heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases. He has served on AHA Grant Review Committees, the Heart Failure Society of America Guidelines Committee and on the Editorial Board of several journals. He has chaired and continues to chair numerous Steering, Endpoint and Data Safety Monitoring Board Committees for national and international trials in heart failure.
His major research interests include the evaluation of novel therapeutic agents and devices for the treatment of heart failure. Dr. Klapholz has authored and co-authored over 100 peer reviewed articles, book chapters, monographs, and reviews in cardiovascular disease.
Julius M. Gardin, MD, MBA, FACC, FASE
Professor of Medicine
Director (Interim), Division of Cardiology
Julius M. Gardin, MD, MBA is a Professor of Medicine, Director (interim), Division of Cardiology, and the Chief of Quality and Program Development for the Division at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He previously served as Chair of the Department of Medicine (2008-2015) at Hackensack University Medical Center. Dr. Gardin cares for patients with a wide spectrum of cardiac conditions and risk factors, and has been listed annually in the Who’s Who, Best Doctors in America and Top Doctors publications.
Dr. Gardin earned his undergraduate and medical degrees with honors from the University of Michigan. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at University of Michigan-affiliated hospitals and then completed a fellowship in Cardiology at Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Gardin has made important contributions to cardiac investigation through research funded by the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health and the medical industry. His ongoing research has helped to elucidate the role of non-invasive cardiac imaging in predicting the risk of developing heart attacks and stroke. He has been an author of more than 200 original research articles, in addition to guidelines, editorials, textbook chapters, review articles, and a U.S. patent. Dr. Gardin serves on multiple editorial boards and is currently an Senior Consulting Editor for the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. He is a former President of the American Society of Echocardiography, International Cardiac Doppler Society, and Council on (Society of) Geriatric Cardiology and was awarded the Melvin L. Marcus Gifted Teacher in Cardiology Award from the International Academy of Cardiology.
Emad F. Aziz, DO, MBCHB, FACC, FHRS
Professor of Medicine
Section Chief Cardiac Electrophysiology
Dr. Emad Aziz joins Rutgers New Jersey Medical School as a Professor of Medicine and Section Chief of Cardiac Electrophysiology and Director of the Arrhythmia Institute at the Rutgers-NJMS University Hospital.
Dr. Aziz is triple certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine, the American Osteopathic Board of Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology. He attended the Faculty of Medicine of Alexandria University in Egypt and the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Westbury, NY.
Dr. Aziz completed his residency training in Internal Medicine and fellowships in Cardiology and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, a University Hospital of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, along with a fellowship in Advanced Heart Failure at Montefiore-Einstein Heart Institute. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society joining the elite physicians in the field of electrophysiology.
He is a highly regarded lecturer at national and international conferences, with hundreds of presentations to his credit, Dr. Aziz has published more than 130 abstracts and 80 manuscripts and book chapters in peer-reviewed and professional journals. He currently serves as a reviewer on more than two dozen peer-reviewed journals.
Christine M. Gerula, MD, FACC, FASE
Director, Cardiology Fellowship Program
Dr. Christine Gerula is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Assistant Dean for Careers in Medicine at the New Jersey Medical School. Within the division of cardiology she serves as the Program Director for the Cardiovascular Fellowship. Dr. Gerula earned her medical degree from New Jersey Medical School in 1996, and has remained at the institution, completing both her Internal Medicine residency and her Cardiology fellowship. She is an esteemed educator at the medical school and has responsibilities within the medicine residency program. Dr. Gerula specializes in echocardiography and her research interest lie in the assessment and management of cardiac disease in end stage liver disease patients awaiting transplantation.
Pallavi Solanki, MD, FACC
Director, Advanced Heart Failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support
Pallavi Solanki, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and serves as the Director of the Advanced Heart Failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support. She completed her Cardiovascular Research Fellowship as well as Cardiology Fellowship at Rutgers - New Jersey Medical School. She completed subspecialty training in Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplantation at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Columbia University in New York. Dr. Solanki is board certified in cardiovascular disease, advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology and comprehensive adult echocardiography.
Prior to joining Rutgers NJMS as the Director of the Advanced Heart Failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, Dr. Solanki worked as an Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Cardiologist at the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. She participates in several international clinical trials involving heart failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support. She performs right heart catheterizations, heart biopsies, cardiopulmonary stress tests, echocardiogram, and is part of the primary cardiology teaching faculty. Under her leadership, University Hospital has achieved Advanced Heart Failure recertifications from the Joint Commission every 2 years and the University Hospital’s Heart Failure Program has been awarded with “Gold Plus Honor Roll” award from American Heart Association.
Alfonso Waller, MD, FACC, FASE, FASNC, FSCCT, RPVI
Director, Cardiac Imaging
Alfonso H. Waller, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and is the Director of Cardiac Imaging at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He previously served as the Chief Medical Informatics Officer (2016-2020) at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
Dr. Waller completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship at New Jersey Medical School. He subsequently completed an Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Fellowship and served as Chief Fellow of the Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital - Harvard Medical School. Dr. Waller is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology, Cardiac CT, Cardiac MRI, and Vascular Interpretation. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Echocardiography, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, and the Society for Cardiovascular CT.
Dr. Waller has extensive clinical expertise in multi-modality cardiovascular imaging and has published peer reviewed manuscripts in the fields of Cardiac MRI, Cardiac CT, Nuclear cardiology (SPECT and PET), and Advanced Echocardiography. His clinical and research interests include optimal selection between imaging tests and comparative effectiveness of cardiovascular imaging.
Stephanie Feldman, MD, FACC
Dr. Feldman earned her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School and then completed fellowships in Cardiovascular Disease at Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center and Cardio-Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Feldman is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology, and Cardio-Oncology.
Dr. Feldman cares for patients with a wide spectrum of cardiovascular diseases and has expertise in the management of cardiovascular disease in cancer patients before, during, and after cancer treatment, facilitating optimal cancer therapy in patients who are at risk for or who have existing cardiovascular disease. Dr. Feldman's clinical and research interests include prevention and management of cancer treatment related cardiotoxicities, arterial thromboembolism in cancer patients, venous thromboembolism (DVT/PE), and multi-modality cardiac imaging (echocardiography and nuclear SPECT/PET).
She has expertise in medical education, completing the Clinician-Educator Track at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, has authored peer reviewed publications and book chapters on medical education and cardio-oncology topics, and is a supervising attending for the Rutgers NJMS Cardiology Fellow Clinic Practice.
Abhishek Sharma, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Cardiology Program
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dr. Abhishek Sharma joined the Division of Cardiology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School as Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Cardiology Program. Dr.Sharma completed his fellowships in interventional cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (Boston) and Structural and Congenital Heart Disease at Rush University Medical Center.
Dr. Sharma studied medicine at the University of Delhi (Maulana Azad Medical College). After moving to the United States, he trained in internal medicine at Maimonides Medical Center and cardiovascular medicine at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Sharma is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology and comprehensive adult echocardiography. Prior to joining Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Dr. Sharma served as Co-Director of Structural Heart Disease Program at the Gundersen Health System at LaCrossse, Wisconsin.
In addition, he is actively involved in cardiovascular outcomes research, especially in the field of coronary artery disease and transcatheter valve therapies. He has authored/co-authored more than 100 peer reviewed manuscripts and book chapters. He serves on editorial board and as reviewer for several reputed national and international medical journals and actively involved at national level in committees of The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (Ischemic Heart Disease Council, Structural Heart Disease Council), the American Heart Association (Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Committee, Lifelong Learning Activity Review Group) and American College of Cardiology. His clinical focus includes an entire spectrum of transcatheter mitral valve therapies, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, ASD/PFO closure, paravalvular leak closure, and left atrial appendage closure, in addition to high risk coronary interventions and mechanical circulatory support.
Joseph Daoko, MD, FACC
Attending Cardiovascular Disease, Echocardiography, and Nuclear Cardiology
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dr. Joseph Daoko is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Cardiology at Rutgers – New Jersey Medical School. He is a full time cardiologist at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, a Clinical Affiliate of Rutgers. Dr. Daoko earned his medical degree from Aleppo University in Syria and completed his training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Seton Hall University. He is board certified in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology . He is part of the primary teaching faculty in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, part of the reading panel in the Echocardiography lab at University Hospital and also serves as a supervising attending for the cardiology fellow clinic practice.
Cardiothoracic Surgery Faculty
Justin Sambol, MD
Justin Sambol, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the New Jersey Medical School and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University Hospital and New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Sambol specializes in all aspects of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery including off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery, mitral valve repairs, endovascular repairs, aortic surgery including thoracic aortic aneurysm repair.
In addition, Dr. Sambol’s interests include thoracic oncology, tracheal surgery as well as minimally invasive cardiac and thoracic procedures.
He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and completed medical school as well as his residency in general surgery and fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at New Jersey Medical School.
Huzaifa A. Shakir, M.D
Huzaifa Shakir, MD is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Shakir completed his undergraduate studies with distinction as Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude in Boston University School of Medicine's seven-year accelerated BA/MD program.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Huzaifa Shakir is honored to be voted as one of New Jersey's Top Doctors in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018. Noteworthy, he and his team have worked hard to maintain a risk-adjusted CABG mortality rate well below the New Jersey State average for several years (as published in NJ Department of Health Report).
Broadly trained, with a depth of expertise in cardiac and thoracic surgery, Dr. Shakir's skills and interests include: coronary artery bypass grafting, complex aortic/mitral valve surgery, electrophysiology surgery, and minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Dr. Shakir has double board certification (ABS, ABTS). He is actively involved in the teaching of medical students and residents and manages a robust cardiothoracic program at multiple Northern New Jersey hospital locations.
University Cardiology Associates
University Cardiology Associates is group of dedicated cardiologists who practice in the community and at University Hospital. These physicians are leaders in their field and hold academic appointments at the New Jersey Medical School. They have unique access to the cutting edge technologies and protocols available at University Hospital and are invited to attend weekly grand rounds and conferences.
Qaisra Saeed, MD
Dr. Saeed, is an Clinical Assistant Professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. She earned her medical degree from Khyber Medical College in Peshawar, Pakistan and completed her residency and fellowship in Maryland and New Jersey. Dr. Saeed also completed Interventional Cardiology at Mount Sinai Hospital Center in New York, NY. She has advanced board certification in both Nuclear Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology. She is part of the primary teaching faculty in the cardiac catheterization laboratory and is also part of the reading panel in the Echocardiography lab at University Hospital.
Kamran Hamirani MD
Dr. Hamirani, is an Assistant Clinical Professor in Cardiology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He earned his medical degree from University of Sindh-Liaquat Medical College in Jamshoro, Pakistan. Dr. Hamirani completed his residency at Morehouse in Atlanta, GA and graduated the Cardiology Fellowship at MCP Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, PA and Interventional Cardiology at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Echocardiography and Nuclear Medicine. He is part of the primary teaching faculty in the cardiac catheterization laboratory and is also part of the reading panel in the Echocardiography lab at University Hospital.
Michael Benz MD
Dr. Benz, is an Assistant Clinical Professor in Cardiology at Rutgers - New Jersey Medical School. He earned his medical degree from Osmania Medical College in India. Dr. Benz completed his residency at New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ. He was awarded the "Resident of the Year" and the "Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence". Dr. Benz completed his Cardiology Fellowship at the same institution. He was awarded the "Fellow Teaching Award". Dr. Benz also completed an additional year of training in Interventional Cardiology at Saint Vincent Hospital in New York, NY.
Dr. Benz is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Nuclear Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology, Echocardiography, Vascular Medicine, Endovascular Interventions and CT Angiography Level II.
Joaquim Correia MD
Dr. Correia, is an Assistant Clinical Professor in Cardiology at Rutgers - New Jersey Medical School. He earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine, graduating with honors. Dr. Correia completed his residency, Cardiology and Electrophysiology Fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, NY.
Dr. Correia has a private practice in Newark, NJ. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology.