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Mission

The Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory focuses on assessing the interplay between diet and heart disease risk factors. The scope of this work ranges from human intervention studies to in vitro experiments. The primary aim of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory is to adjudicate the potential effect of dietary interventions on cardiovascular disease risk factors and expand our understanding of the underlying mechanisms with specific emphasis on post-menopausal women and older men.

Lab Objectives

1. Determine the effect of diets differing in fat and carbohydrate type on cardiometabolic risk indicators, lipoprotein and fatty acid metabolism, response to lipid modifying therapy, and gene-nutrient interactions, using human, animal and in vitro models.

2. Determine the relationship between food preferences, consumption patterns and dietary acculturation, and cardiovascular health using population-based datasets.

3. Identify novel biomarkers for food and nutrient intake and merge them with current biomarkers for food and nutrient intake to better relate dietary patterns to cardiovascular health.

Lab Members

Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., Laboratory Director
Senior Scientist
Research focus: Dietary fatty acids, nutrition, lipoproteins, and cardiovascular disease risk, biomarkers of nutrient intake and disease risk, nutrition policy

Bela Asztalos, Ph.D. (part time)
Scientist I
Influence of nutrition on lipoprotein metabolism and role of HDL in cardiovascular disease risk reduction.

Stefania Lamon-Fava, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientist I
Research Focus: Nutritional and hormonal regulation of the expression of genes involved in lipoprotein metabolism. Apolipoprotein kinetics in humans. Epidemiology of risk factors for coronary heart disease.

Nirupa Matthan, Ph.D.
Scientist I
Research Focus: Nutrition and cardiovascular disease, dietary fatty acids, cholesterol and bile acid metabolism, fatty acid and lipoprotein kinetics, sphingolipids, plant sterols, glycemic index

Ernst J. Schaefer, M.D. (part time)
Senior Scientist
Research focus:
Nutrition, genetics, lipoproteins, and cardiovascular disease risk

Kathryn Baldyga, B.S., Research Tech
Samantha Berger, Graduate student
Margaret Diffenderfer, Ph.D., Project Manager (part time)
Jean Galluccio, B.A., Senior Research Technician
Katalin V. Horvath, M.S., Senior Research Assistant (part time)
Huicui Meng, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Katrin Niisuke, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher
Jisun So, Graduate Student
Maura Walker, Graduate student
Shumao (Simon) Ye, Graduate Assistant