Biography: Frank M. Sacks, MD

Frank M. Sacks, MD
  • Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
  • Nutrition Department, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Channing Division of Network Medicine
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Boston, MA

Dr. Frank M. Sacks is Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. He is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a senior attending physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital where he has a specialty clinic in hyperlipidemia in the cardiovascular division. He is involved in research and public policy in lipid disorders, hypertension, nutrition, and cardiovascular disease.

His research program is a combination of laboratory research on human lipoprotein metabolism, and clinical trials that focus on nutrition and cardiovascular disease. The laboratory research concerns the acute and long-term effects of dietary and drug treatments on the function of lipoproteins in humans; the function in humans of specific apolipoproteins in VLDL, LDL, and HDL including apoC-III and apoE; metabolic pathways for HDL subtypes involved in reverse cholesterol transport in humans; and epidemiology of the relation between lipoprotein particle types based on apolipoprotein composition and CVD.

Dr. Sacks was Chair of the Design Committee of the DASH study, and Chair of the Steering Committee for the DASH-Sodium trial. These multicenter National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute trials found major beneficial additive effects of low salt and a dietary pattern rich in fruits and vegetables on blood pressure. Dr. Sacks was Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded trial on dietary approaches for weight loss and maintenance, the PoundsLost trial. In this trial, 4 diets varying in protein, carbohydrate, and fat content were tested in 811 overweight people for 2 years. The diets had the same beneficial effects on weight loss, and all favorably affected risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Sacks is active in national and international committees and conferences in dietary and drug treatments of dyslipidemia, and nutrition and health guidelines. Dr. Sacks was a member of the Hypertriglyceridemia Guidelines Committee of the Endocrine Society. He is Past Chair of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee, which advises the AHA on nutrition policy. He is a member of the Lifestyle Working Group of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Clinical Guidelines for Reducing Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Sacks teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health as course director for nutritional biochemistry and for scientific writing, and at Brigham & Women's Hospital on treatment of lipid disorders.

Dr. Sacks was the 2011 recipient of the American Heart Association's Research Achievement Award for lifetime research accomplishments. He has also published more than 200 original research articles and 85 reviews, editorials, and letters.

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