Center for Preventive Cardiology

Scientist prepares lab sample for testing

The Center for Preventive Cardiology at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute aims to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease through prevention, early detection, and tailored treatment. Our research program seeks to advance preventive cardiovascular medicine by developing and evaluating novel therapies and diagnostic methods. Major areas of research include:

  • Clinical trials of promising new therapies for cholesterol and coronary disease.
  • Studies of Familial Hypercholesterolemia
  • Studies to identify the genetic and biochemical underpinnings of atherosclerosis, the driver of heart attacks and stroke.
  • Studies to redefine the diagnostic and therapeutic value of HDL, so-called good cholesterol.
  • Studies of lipoprotein (a), a novel bad cholesterol carrier responsible for heart attacks, stroke, and aortic stenosis.

Clinical Research

Our research is focused on understanding the pathophysiology of lipoprotein metabolism and the molecular and cellular mechanisms of atherosclerosis development. Our laboratories have a track record of high-impact publications and federal funding on topics ranging from molecular mechanisms of hepatic uptake of postprandial lipoproteins to the role of macrophages in lipid metabolism and atherogenesis. Areas of focus include:

  • Studies on the role of PCSK9 and its inhibitors in the regulation of plasma lipoproteins in humans with different forms of dyslipidemia.
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia, rare disorders of lipid metabolism, and development of novel lipid-lowering therapies.
  • Metabolic phenotyping to identify the role of obesity on expression of diabetes and lipid abnormalities.
  • Epidemiologic and clinical studies to assess the contribution of novel HDL metrics to cardiovascular disease and stroke risk prediction.
  • Research on the interaction between plasminogen, Lp(a) and lipoproteins and their contribution to cardiovascular disease. 
  • Studies on the modulations of lipoproteins and proteins, levels and function during lipoprotein-aphaeresis.

Basic Research

Basic science research within the Center for Preventive Cardiology is facilitated insupport of and fully integrated with the translational and outcome-basedclinical research initiatives at the institute. Areas of focus include:

  • Studies of macrophage function in atherosclerosis, including gene therapy approaches to control atherosclerosis.
  • Studies to determine the driver of atherosclerosis regression.
  • Studies of the role of PCSK9 interaction with lipoprotein.
  • Studies to understand the role of systemic lipid alterations as disease modifiers in peripheral neuropathy.
  • Studies of the molecular pathways that modulate atherosclerosis through the interaction between Lp(a) and plasminogen.
  • Studies to understand the contribution of factors secreted by the epicardial adipose depot to heart disease and heart failure.

Opportunities

Postdoctoral and other research positions are available within the laboratories of the Center for Preventive Cardiology. Please review our faculty profiles below for further information about areas of focus and contact the faculty member directly to inquire about available positions in each laboratory.

Faculty