Dr. Thomas Quertermous's laboratory employs two basic approaches of study to better understand the genetic basis of atherosclerotic heart disease. One approach uses basic molecular biology methodology, primarily working with cellular and genetic mouse models, and is focused on the recently identified apelin-APJ pathway. A second approach employs the power of modern human genetics. Informative cohorts have been collected that allow investigation of risk factors such as hypertension and insulin resistance as well as coronary heart disease. Initial studies have employed the candidate gene approach, and more recently whole genome association studies, to identify allelic variation that is associated with risk factor and disease susceptibility.