Faculty Spotlight

Gain further information surrounding our faculty members through multimedia videos, including Chairpersons and keynote presenters.


Christie M. Ballantyne, MD

Christie M. Ballantyne, MD

Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D., is Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Methodist DeBakey Heart Center; Chief of the Section of Cardiovascular Research, Donald P. Chapman Endowed Chair of Cardiology, Chief of the Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine; Director of the Maria and Alando J. Ballantyne, MD, Atherosclerosis Laboratory; Professor of Medicine, Professor of Genetics, Professor of Physiology with a joint appointment in Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine; and Co-Director, Lipid Metabolism and Atherosclerosis Clinic, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, and his postgraduate training included an internal medicine residency at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas; a cardiology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine; and an American Heart Association/Bugher Foundation Fellowship at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Institute for Molecular Genetics at Baylor. Dr. Ballantyne is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

He previously served as governor of the Texas Chapter of the American College of Cardiology and president of the Houston Chapter of the American Heart Association. Dr. Ballantyne has been the recipient of numerous study grants, including an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award and several NIH grants to study leukocyte-endothelial adhesion molecules and novel biomarkers for atherosclerosis. He has been a member of numerous steering committees for multicenter trials, including the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, Improved Reduction of Outcomes: Vytorin Efficacy International Trial (IMPROVE IT), A Study to Evaluate the Effect of Rosuvastatin on Intravascular Ultrasound-Derived Coronary Atheroma Burden (ASTEROID), DAL Outcomes, and has also participated as a member of several Data and Safety Monitoring Boards. Dr. Ballantyne is Editorial Director for www.lipidsonline.org. He has published extensively and has spoken nationally and internationally on lipids, atherosclerosis, and inflammation. Dr. Ballantyne's research interests include the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, with an emphasis on monocyte activation and adhesion. His clinical interests include preventive cardiology, lipids, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, genetics, and coronary artery disease.

Meet me at CMHC West

Robert H. Eckel, MD

Robert H. Eckel, MD

Dr. Eckel is the Charles A Boettcher II Endowed Chair in Atherosclerosis, Professor of Medicine with appointments in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes and the Division of Cardiology, and Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine Anschutz Medical Campus, and Director of the Lipid Clinic at the University of Colorado Hospital. He is also the Program Director of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) Discovery Translation component of the Colorado Clinical Translational Sciences Institute, and previously served as Program Director of the Adult General Clinical Research Center at UCD for 15 years. In addition, Dr. Eckel previously was a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Past President of the American Heart Association. His NIH funded research has focused on the pathogenesis and treatment of lipid disorders, obesity, the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea. Studies in animals and humans are directed towards dissecting the impact of nutrition/hormones on lipid and carbohydrate fuel partitioning and energy balance.

In humans, Dr. Eckel has examined the nutritional/metabolic predictors of weight change, lipid disorders, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. In the laboratory, he uses genetically modified mice with tissue-specific overexpression or deletion of lipid-related gene expression and tissue culture to address similar issues in more extensive and mechanistic detail. Overall, Dr. Eckel's research is targeted to uncovering basic mechanisms of how metabolic diseases relate to cardiovascular and pulmonary disease in hopes that the data to be gathered will lead to more favorable diagnostics and therapeutics to follow.

Meet me at CMHC West