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Section of Atherosclerosis

Houston, Texas

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Section of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine
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ARIC Study

The objective of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study is to identify and characterize novel genetic and biochemical risk factors for cardiovascular disease using modern molecular, cellular, and metabolic approaches. Stored blood, urine, and DNA samples from available subclinical disease cases, newly occurring CVD cases, control subjects, and subgroups with rapid progression of subclinical disease are used in the ARIC study. In accordance with specified general requirements and tasks defined for the ARIC Lipid Laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine and the ARIC DNA Laboratory at The University of Texas Health Science Center, the Laboratories will:

  • Work with other ARIC investigators in all aspects of study design
  • Propose and justify new analytes to be measured in existing and new case-control studies
  • Measure approved analytes in existing and new case-control studies
  • Carry out both routine and specialized data analysis to address approved hypotheses
  • Take both leadership and participant roles in manuscript preparation
  • Establish and follow laboratory quality control procedures, including the maintenance of current Manuals of Procedures and
  • Consult and/or collaborate with interested investigators who wish to take advantage of the outstanding ARIC resource in pursuit of related and sound scientific objectives

Laboratory activities and specific aims are intimately related. The following is a technical plan for both the ARIC Lipid Laboratory and the ARIC DNA Laboratory.

Aims of the ARIC Lipid Laboratory are:

  • To utilize the known pathophysiology and biology of atherosclerosis, plaque rupture, and inflammation, select analytes for measurement and analysis in the case-control groups of ARIC, and examine whether these analytes correlate to the occurrence or progression of atherosclerosis and the onset of clinical CVD.
  • To use the results of genetic and genomic studies conducted by the ARIC DNA Laboratory and others that have identified genes/polymorphisms associated with atherosclerosis to prioritize selection of analytes for measurement and analysis in ARIC case-control groups.
  • To use public and published data resources representing differential gene expression profiles in atherosclerotic lesions and cells composing these lesions to identify and prioritize analytes for measurement and analysis in ARIC case-control groups.

Aims of the ARIC DNA Laboratory are:

  • Evaluate the ability of novel functional genetic variation, predict the occurrence and progression of atherosclerosis and the onset of clinical CVD.
  • To use genomic laboratory and statistical methods to identify and localize novel gene regions contributing to the occurrence and progression of atherosclerosis using two uniquely defined and highly informative risk groups.

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