Fellow Spotlight: José Sanchez, MD
Dr. José Sanchez was born in Ecuador, spent part of his childhood in Mexico City, where his father trained in cardiology, then eventually settled with his family in Las Vegas, NV. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.
During medical school, he spent a year at UCSF as a Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation Fellow working in the lab of Dr. Robin Shaw. Dr. Sanchez studied Connexin43 (Cx43), a protein critical to the conduction of the electrical signals within the heart which allow the heart to beat. He discovered which molecular processes in Cx43 are disrupted during a heart attack – often contributing to problems including abnormal heart rhythms and even sudden cardiac death.
He returned to UCSF for residency, continuing his research in Dr. Shaw’s lab, and decided to stay at UCSF for his fellowship. So far, Dr. Sanchez has been particularly excited to perform angiograms to determine which artery in a patient’s heart is blocked. "I’ve wanted to do cardiology since before high school, and it was amazing to finally be the person who was holding the catheter and injecting the contrast [dye], and being part of the team that was doing an immediate, lifesaving intervention," he said.
Dr. Sanchez is especially interested in electrophysiology, a subspecialty focused on abnormal heart rhythms. Earlier this year he married Dr. Maggie Brooke, a third-year general surgery resident based at UCSF-East Bay. Dr. Sanchez’s hobbies include biking and drumming to hard rock.