Investigating the Relationship Between Cardiac and Metabolic Diseases
The CVI's nationally recognized research program in Personal Genomics and Cardiometabolic Disease is taking a close look at molecular signs of heart disease with the goal of uncovering early disease risk factors.
Dr. Robert Gerszten, the Program in Personal Genomics and Cardiometabolic Disease at BIDMC is
a national leader in metabolomics and proteomics technologies.
Among its key discoveries, the Gerszten laboratory has identified novel
biomarkers that single out individuals destined to develop diabetes and
heart disease more than a decade before disease onset, with the goal of
determining which of these patients might benefit from early clinical
The group’s highly interactive program incorporates basic molecular and
cell biology, chemistry and mass spectrometry, and bioinformatics, with a
foundation in clinical medicine. The program collaborates with researchers
from across numerous institutions, including the Broad Institute, the
Framingham Heart Study, the Jackson Heart Study, the Diabetes Prevention
Program, and the TIMI Study Group.
The Gerszten laboratory focuses on the nexus of cardiac and metabolic
diseases. To expand the novelty and clinical impact of its studies, the
laboratory has developed and incorporated emerging mass-spectrometry-based
technologies for the discovery of new biomarkers and pathways contributing
to atherogenesis and its complications.
Focusing on “metabolomics,” the team is conducting biochemical profiling
aimed at identifying intracellular small molecules serving in hormone-like
capacities on distant organs, including the control of blood pressure and
glucose homeostasis. Because small molecules are downstream of genetic
variation and transcriptional changes, they serve as “proximal reporters”
of physiology, and may be relevant biomarkers for human diseases.
Dr. Gerszten’s Harvard Catalyst Profile
News Coverage: Research Team Receives $11 Million NIH Grant to Study Molecular Changes Linked to Exercise and Physical Activity