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Sekar Kathiresan, MD

4:00 PM — 6:00 PM

Massachusetts General Hospital, Broad Institute and Harvard Medical School

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Director of the Center for Genomic Medicine

Massachusetts General Hospital


Ofer and Shelly Nemirovsky MGH Research Scholar

Director of the Cardiovascular Disease Initiative

Broad Institute




Associate Professor of Medicine

Harvard Medical School



“Leveraging the Genome to Understand Risk and Protection from Heart Attack”







Dr. Sekar Kathiresan seeks to understand the genetic basis for heart attack and use this knowledge to improve cardiac care. Beyond low density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol genes, he has shown that inherited heart attack risk may be due to monogenic mutations that impair clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins or due to a polygenic model, that is, the cumulative impact of multiple DNA polymorphisms. He has developed a test for polygenic risk, and showed that statin therapy or a healthier lifestyle can modify polygenic risk. He has also identified gene mutations that confer resistance to heart attack by enhancing the clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, findings which have inspired the development of new medicines.



Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, a physician scientist and a human geneticist, is the Director of the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Ofer and Shelley Nemirovsky MGH Research Scholar, Director of the Cardiovascular Disease Initiative at the Broad institute, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kathiresan leverages human genetics to understand the root causes of heart  attack and to improve preventive cardiac care. Among his scientific contributions, Dr. Kathiresan has helped highlight new biological mechanisms underlying heart attack, discovered mutations that protect against heart attack risk, and developed a genetic test for personalized heart attack prevention.



To learn more about Dr. Sekar Kathiresan’s research, visit Google Scholar – Sekar Kathiresan, MD.