Despite many game-changing medical advances in recent years, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading killer of men and women alike in the United States. A number of risk factors for CVD – such as high LDL and low HDL – have long been known, and identification of novel predictors continues even to this day. These risk factors usually are considered one-by-one, but in truth they exert their effects in the context of many other processes. That is, CVD is a complex disease, with many factors involved in its onset and progression. These factors are affected by environment (such as diet) and genes and their interactions with each other. In attempting to reduce risk of CVD, then, it is critical to consider, to the extent possible, the big picture that includes all these risk factors and their various relationships, and that is the overall objective of our studies.
In my laboratory, we perform a number of assays of well-established CVD risk factors (some of these assays are novel and we have developed them ourselves and some we have adapted from standard human clinical assays). A goal of these studies has been to develop new approaches that will more specifically identify key components of risk. I have been fortunate to be associated with two major programs that aim to study risk factors for CVD – one using a human population and one using our pedigreed baboon colony. The strength of participating in these two programs lies in our ability to validate findings back and forth between the two closely-related species and in our power to thoroughly characterize the determinants of variation related to risk of CVD.
Doctoral Degree: Ph.D. Cellular and Molecular Biology
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
Bachelor's Degree B.A. Biology
Chapman College Orange, CA
Effects of diet on genetic regulation of lipoprotein metabolism in baboons.
Rainwater, D.L., J.L. VandeBerg, and M.C. Mahaney
Atherosclerosis 2010 Sep 27 [Epub ahead of print]
PubMed ID: 20880526
Genetic regulation of endothelial inflammatory responses in baboons.
Rainwater, D.L., Q. Shi, M.C. Mahaney, V. Hodara, J.L. VandeBerg, and X.L. Wang
Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 30: 1628-1633, 2010
PubMed ID: 20508207