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Nicholas Leeper - Associate Professor of Surgery (Vascular Surgery) and of Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine)

Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

The Leeper laboratory studies the vascular biology of atherosclerosis and aneurysm disease.  They are interested in the molecular mechanisms that mediate vascular disease, and developing new translational therapies directed against them.  Their group uses a combination of hypothesis-free genetic approaches, favoring the concept that insights generated in this manner are likely to have relevance to human disease.  Currently, the Leeper lab's major focus is on the chromosome 9p21 locus, which is widely recognized as the most important heritable cardiovascular locus identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS).   They seek to fully explain how this locus - which affects over 20% of the population - potentiates coronary disease, stroke and aneurysms, and does so independently of all classical risk factors.   The Leeper group pursues the goal of true ‘bench-to-bedside’ translation, and includes a basic genetics, molecular biology and mouse model team, as well as a translational Vascular Medicine team which performs early-phase clinical research.  Ultimately, they seek to develop a platform of new therapies directed against atherosclerosis, which is now the leading killer worldwide.