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GENES, LIFESTYLE, AND RISK FOR HEART ATTACK
February 10, 2020 @ 12:00 pm
A Video from the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series:
Coronary artery disease is the leading global cause of mortality. Long recognized to be heritable, recent advances have started to unravel the genetic architecture of the disease. Genetic testing could enable precision-medicine approaches by identifying subgroups of patients who are at increased risk of coronary artery disease or have a specific driving pathophysiology that would make a therapeutic or preventive approach most useful.
Sekar Kathiresan, M.D. is a physician-geneticist who is co-founder and chief executive officer of Verve Therapeutics. Verve is developing therapies to safely edit the adult genome and confer lifelong protection from cardiovascular disease. Prior to joining Verve in July 2019, he served as director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Genomic Medicine and was the Ofer and Shelly Nemirovsky MGH Research Scholar. He also served as director of the Cardiovascular Disease Initiative at the Broad Institute and was a Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Kathiresan’s research laboratory focused on understanding the inherited basis for blood lipids and myocardial infarction and using these insights to improve preventive cardiac care. Among his scientific contributions, Dr. Kathiresan has helped highlight new biological mechanisms underlying heart attack, discovered mutations that protect against heart attack risk, highlighted triglyceride-rich lipoproteins as a therapeutic target, and developed a framework to interpret the genome for heart attack risk which includes monogenic, somatic, and polygenic drivers of disease risk. In tandem with his research, his clinical focus is the primary prevention of myocardial infarction in individuals with a family history of heart attack.