Cardiovascular Nutrition

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 (e.g., delta13C, theobromine an L-carnitine) and merge them with current biomarkers for food and nutrient intake (e.g., red blood cell omega-3 fatty acid content) to better relate dietary patterns to cardiovascular health.

Lab Members
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
Nutrition, genetics, lipoproteins, and cardiovascular disease risk

Bela Asztalos, Ph.D.
Scientist I and Associate Professor, Medicine
Influence of nutrition on lipoprotein metabolism and role of HDL in cardiovascular disease risk reduction.

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: Nutrition and cardiovascular disease, dietary fatty acids, cholesterol and bile acid metabolism, fatty acid and lipoprotein kinetics, sphingolipids, plant sterols, glycemic index

Margaret Diffenderfer, Ph.D., Project Manager
Huicui Meng, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Jean Galluccio, B.A., Senior Research Technician
Audrey Goldbaum, B.S.,
Research Technician
Katalin V. Horvath, M.S.,
Senior Research Assistant

Samantha Berger, Graduate student
Maura Walker, Graduate student
Kathryn Baldyga, B.S., Research Tech
Rebecca Tibbetts, B.S., Research Tech
Caitlin Meeks, B.S, Research Tech
Jisun So, Graduate Student
Hiroaki Ikezaki, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Yuya Yokota, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

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