Heart Failure and Obesity-Related Heart Disease

Investigating the Relationship Between Heart Failure and Cardiometabolic Disease

Research at BIDMC into heart failure and obesity-related heart disease is focused on understanding what causes the heart to change in heart failure and obesity-related cardiometabolic disease. Directed by Jennifer E. Ho, MD, the group seeks to understand better a subtype of heart failure in which the left chamber of the heart is too stiff to fill properly. This condition is called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). More than half of patients with heart failure have HFpEF, yet current treatments are limited.

The research group works with tools that span large population-based cohorts with deep phenotyping, including biochemical profiling, patient-oriented studies focused on cardiopulmonary physiology, and machine learning approaches to understand real-world data across health systems. The three focus areas include:

About Jennifer E. Ho, MDJennifer Ho, MD

Dr. Ho is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, Director of Research, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, a faculty member of the Heart Failure Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Associate Member of the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT. She completed her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, Harvard Medical School, followed by internal medicine residency at BWH, cardiology fellowship at UCSF, and heart failure/transplant fellowship at BWH.

She is a nationally recognized physician-scientist focused on clinical and translational research to understand mechanisms driving HFpEF, has published over 130 peer-reviewed original investigations and is the recipient of multiple NIH awards, including a K24 mid-career mentoring award. Dr. Ho co-directs the T32 training grant in Cardiovascular Medicine at BIDMC and serves on the Board of Directors of the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation. She is the recipient of multiple teaching and mentoring awards, including the 2021 MGH Cardiology Fellowship Mentoring Award, and the 2023 Clifford A. Barger Mentoring Award at Harvard Medical School.

Lab Members & Collaborators