Sekar Kathiresan, a clinical cardiologist and human geneticist, is the director of preventive cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a genetics researcher in the Broad Institute's Program in Medical and Population Genetics. Dr. Kathiresan seeks to discover the genes responsible for inter-individual differences in risk for heart attack and use this information to understand biologic mechanisms and to improve preventive cardiac care. His scientific contributions have been four-fold. First, through genetic studies in populations, he and collaborators have discovered 45 gene regions related to risk for heart attack and 95 gene regions related to risk factors for heart attack including blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Second, through genetic studies in families, he has identified a gene responsible for extremely low levels of LDL cholesterol. Third, he has utilized gene variants to show that some means of raising HDL cholesterol may not lower risk for heart attack. Finally, he has identified a panel of gene variants that can be used to assess future risk for heart attack.
Dr. Kathiresan is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received his B.A. in history and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1997. Kathiresan completed his clinical training in internal medicine and cardiology at MGH. He served as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at MGH in 2002-2003. Kathiresan pursued research training in cardiovascular genetics through a combined experience at the Framingham Heart Study and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In 2008, he joined the research faculties of the MGH Cardiovascular Research Center and the MGH Center for Human Genetic Research.