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Section of Atherosclerosis

Houston, Texas

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Section of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine
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Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D.

Photo Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D.


  • Professor of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Chief, Cardiovascular Research Section, Division of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine
  • Director, The Maria and Alando J. Ballantyne, M.D., Atherosclerosis Clinical Research Laboratory
  • Director, Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Methodist DeBakey Heart Center
  • Co-director, Lipid Metabolism and Atherosclerosis Clinic, The Methodist Hospital

Contact Information:

Phone: 713-798-5034
Fax: 713-798-3057

Basic Research Interests:

The general area of research interest for Dr. Ballantyne's laboratory is the role of inflammation and cell adhesion molecules in vascular disease. Dr. Ballantyne and colleagues have adopted a molecular genetic approach toward this problem and have utilized targeted homologous recombination to develop mutant mice deficient in various cell adhesion molecules including CD11a, CD11b, CD11c, and CD11d. These mice are being studied in models of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, vascular injury and acute inflammation. The mechanisms by which hyperlipidemia and obesity influence inflammation are also being studied. Characterization of the mutant mice involves a wide range of techniques, including molecular biology, cell biology, and integrative physiology.

Clinical Research Interests:

Dr. Ballantyne's clinical research is the prevention of atherosclerotic vascular disease. This interest includes pharmacological studies to assess the efficacy and benefits of lipid-lowering drug therapy including trials which utilize ultrasound and MRI to examine the effects of lipid-lowering drugs on the progression of atherosclerosis. As the director of The Maria and Alando J. Ballantyne, M.D., Atherosclerosis Clinical Research Laboratory, which serves as the core laboratory for the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, Dr. Ballantyne is studying whether novel biomarkers might be useful in identifying individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease, the metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Both genomics and proteomics are being used to identify novel molecules that are increased with atherosclerosis and the metabolic syndrome.

Selected Publications:

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