Jil C. Tardiff, MD, PhD

  • Professor, Medicine
  • Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
  • Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine
  • Steven M. Gootter Endowed Chair for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death
  • Member, UA Sarver Heart Center and BIO5 Institute

Jil Tardiff, MD, PhD, is a professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a member of the Clinical and Translational Institute at the BIO5 Institute. She attended the University of California at Berkeley where she completed her B.A. in Genetics in 1984. She subsequently completed her M.D. and a Ph.D. (in Cell Biology) at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in 1992. Dr. Tardiff pursued her housestaff training at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. As one of the first participants in the ABIM Clinician-Scientist pathway as a Markey Fellow, she completed an internal medicine residency coupled to a combined clinical-research fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Columbia. In 2001 she joined the faculty at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine as an assistant professor of medicine and physiology and biophysics. She remained on faculty at Einstein, achieving the rank of associate professor. In 2012 Dr. Tardiff joined the faculty at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, where she currently holds the Steven M. Gootter Endowed Chair for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death.

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Tardiff’s work focuses on the mechanisms that underlie the development of the most common form of genetic cardiomyopathy, those caused by mutations in proteins of the cardiac sarcomere, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). These complex disorders affect one in 500 individuals of all ages and represent the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in the field. Her studies detailing the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis at the level of individual cells using transgenic mouse models has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2001 and the work has been cited in support of new clinical trials to evaluate novel treatment modalities for this challenging cardiomyopathy.  More recently, in collaboration with Steven Schwartz in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Arizona, her lab has developed computational approaches to modeling and eventually predicting disease severity based on protein structure. To fully translate these basic research findings to the clinical realm, one of her main goals remains the development of an HCM Center of Excellence at the University of Arizona where patients from all over the southwest can obtain lifelong cutting edge medical care for this complex and often devastating disorder.

Dr. Tardiff was awarded $1.4 million (NIH grant number HL075619) to continue her lab’s study of “Integrative Approach to Divergent Remodeling in Thin Filament Cardiomyopathies.” Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is an often devastating and common cardiac genetic disease. The goal of this research is to improve the understanding of how independent mutations cause this complex disorder and discover better therapeutic options, especially in young people.