Cardiovascular Nutrition

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. Assess the relationship between biomarkers of nutrient intake and heart health using plasma samples from the Women’s Health Initiative.

2. Characterize the relationship between plasma markers of cholesterol homeostasis, dietary intake and intestinal cholesterol absorption protein genotypes, and heart health using samples from the Framingham Offspring Study.

3. Assess the value of glycemic index (GI) as a component of dietary guidance to promote heart health and decrease the risk of chronic diseases associated with aging.

4. Assess the relationship between the red blood cell fatty acid profiles and indicators of heart health in subjects consuming diets enriched in trans fatty acids derived from ruminant fat and partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils.

5. Assess the efficacy of a comprehensive family centered lifestyle modification program, Family Weight Study (FamWtStudy), using biomarkers of nutrient intake and cardiovascular risk factors in family member pairs (female parent/guardian and child) after initiation of a comprehensive year long program.

Staff
Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., Laboratory Director
Senior Scientist and Gershoff Professor, Nutrition Science and Policy
Research focus: Dietary fatty acids, nutrition, lipoproteins, and cardiovascular disease risk; phytoestrogens/soy protein; sterol/stanol esters; genetically modified/selectively bred oils; glycemic index; cholesterol homeostasis; nutrition policy, systematic evidence based reviews

Ernst J. Schaefer, M.D., 
Senior Scientist and Professor, Medicine and Nutrition
Research focus: nutrition, genetics, aging, gender effects, lipoproteins, and cardiovascular disease risk

Bela Asztalos, Ph.D.
Scientist I and Associate Professor, Medicine
Research focus: HDL and cardiovascular disease risk subspecies, coronary heart disease risk, and nutrition

Stefania Lamon-Fava, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientist I and Associate Professor, Nutrition
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 and Assistant Professor, Nutrition
Research Focus: Dietary fatty acids, cholesterol metabolism, plant sterols, soy protein, lipoproteins, kinetic modeling, glycemic index, nutrition and cardiovascular disease risk

Pimjai Anthanont, M.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Elizabeth J. Reverri, Ph.D.,
Postdoctoral Fellow
Mariko Tani, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Fumiyoshi Tsunoda, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Margaret Diffenderfer, Ph.D., Senior Research Assistant
Katalin V. Horvath, M.S., Research Assistant
Lee Ann Honda, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant
Jessie L. McGinty, Graduate Research Assistant
Jean Galluccio, B.A., Research Coordinator
Joyce Rudy, B.A. , Research Technician
Sarah Gibeley, B.S. , Research Technician
For contact information, please click on the scientist’s webpage or visit the Tufts University online directory at http://whitepages.tufts.edu/.