Altered blood lipids predict risk of myocardial infarction and myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death worldwide.
Both blood lipid levels and myocardial infarction are heritable phenotypes. The genes underlying the variability in blood lipids and risk of myocardial infarction are largely unknown. Genes validated in the human population to relate to blood lipids and to risk of myocardial infarction may provide novel diagnostics and new therapeutic targets. My laboratory seeks to define the genetic basis for blood lipids (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides) and myocardial infarction (MI). We are focused on three goals:
1) mapping of genetic loci related to lipids and/or myocardial infarction and identifying the causal variants and genes
2) developing a molecular understanding of how the causal variants and genes lead to phenotype
3) applying genetic and functional insights to improve preventive cardiac care.
To address the above goals, my laboratory uses a variety of research methodologies and reagants including population genetics, large patient sample collections, genetic association, functional analysis in model organisms, and genetic studies in clinical trials and prospective cohort studies.