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Section of Atherosclerosis

Houston, Texas

BCM faculty, staff and trainees are the heart of the organization.
Section of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine
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Division of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine

The Division of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine is involved in basic, clinical, and translational research, along with education and patient care.


In 2006, the Division of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine was renamed from Section of Atherosclerosis and Lipoprotein Research. Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D., was named chief of the section in July 2006. The section was founded in 1970, and Antonio Gotto, M.D., was chief of the section from 1972-1997. Henry Pownall, Ph.D., was chief of the section from 1997-2006.


The goals of the division are to reduce pain, suffering and death from atherosclerosis and vascular disease. Strategies to achieve these goals include developing in vitro and animal models that emulate key aspects of the human metabolism and to use these models to test hypotheses about molecular mechanisms for lipid disorders, obesity, diabetes, and atherogenesis, and ultimately translating these insights into improvements in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of vascular disease in man. Both graduate and post-graduate education is also important to translate new therapies into clinical practice.


The divison's research, which focuses on multiple aspects of the metabolic syndrome including lipid disorders, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease, is conducted through work within two centers, a core laboratory, and individual investigator-initiated programs.

Individual investigator-initiated programs in this section conduct a broad spectrum of basic research that include atherosclerosis imaging; proteomics; HDL production, remodeling and uptake, and lipoprotein structure; mouse models of atherosclerosis and inflammation; adipocyte signaling; and, energy transport in cellular models of insulin sensitive tissues.


The Division of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine provides two important training programs:

The division also holds a weekly journal club, which is led by Vijay Nambi, M.D., where current topics of interest are presented by students, faculty and fellows.

Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D., is involved in continuing medical education and is the editorial director for the nationally recognized and award-winning web site which provides educational resources in atherosclerosis.


The Division of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine offers outstanding healthcare for cardiovascular conditions and is nationally recognized for providing consultation services for lipids and atherosclerosis in the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention's:

Lipid Metabolism and Atherosclerosis Clinic

Members of the division also treat patients in the following hospitals:

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