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Molecular and Human Genetics

Houston, Texas

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
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Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D.

Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D.

Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics

Other Positions

Professor and Chief, Department of Medicine, Sections of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Research
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


M.D., Baylor College of Medicine, 1982
Resident, Internal Medicine, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, 1982-1985
Clinical Fellow, Cardiology, Baylor College of Medicine, 1985-1987
American Heart Association/Bugher Foundation Fellowship, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Institute for Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, 1987-1989

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 genetic variation in combination with 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. In addition, his group is studying how genetic variation modifies the response to lipid therapy with the goal of developing personalized diet, lifestyle and pharmacotherapy based upon the genetic profile and clinical phenotype.

Selected Publications

  1. Virani SS, Lee VV, Brautbar A, Grove ML, Nambi V, Alam M, Elayda M, Wilson JM, Willerson JT, Boerwinkle E, Ballantyne CM (2013). Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein Gene and Recurrent Coronary Heart Disease or Mortality in Patients With Established Atherosclerosis. Am. J. Cardiol., in press. PubMed PMID: 23891427
  2. Dadu RT, Dodge R, Nambi V, Virani SS, Hoogeveen RC, Smith NL, Chen F, Pankow JS, Guild C, Tang WH, Boerwinkle E, Hazen SL, Ballantyne CM (2013). Ceruloplasmin and heart failure in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Circ. Heart Fail. 6(5): 936-43. PubMed PMID: 23861484
  3. Ballantyne CM, Davidson MH, Macdougall DE, Bays HE, Dicarlo LA, Rosenberg NL, Margulies J, Newton RS (2013). Efficacy and safety of a novel dual modulator of adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase in patients with hypercholesterolemia: results of a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 62(13): 1154-62. PubMed PMID: 23770179
  4. Brautbar A, Barbalic M, Chen F, Belmont J, Virani SS, Scherer S, Hegele RA, Ballantyne CM (2013). Rare APOA5 promoter variants associated with paradoxical HDL cholesterol decrease in response to fenofibric acid therapy. J. Lipid Res. 54(7): 1980-7. PubMed PMID: 23633496
  5. Dadu RT, Fornage M, Virani SS, Nambi V, Hoogeveen RC, Boerwinkle E, Alonso A, Gottesman RF, Mosley TH, Ballantyne CM (2013). Cardiovascular biomarkers and subclinical brain disease in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Stroke 44(7): 1803-8. PubMed PMID: 23660848
  6. Negi SI, Brautbar A, Virani SS, Anand A, Polisecki E, Asztalos BF, Ballantyne CM, Schaefer EJ, Jones PH (2013). A novel mutation in the ABCA1 gene causing an atypical phenotype of Tangier disease. J. Clin. Lipidol. 7(1): 82-7. PubMed PMID: 23351586
  7. Schwartz GG, Olsson AG, Abt M, Ballantyne CM, Barter PJ, Brumm J, Chaitman BR, Holme IM, Kallend D, Leiter LA, Leitersdorf E, McMurray JJ, Mundl H, Nicholls SJ, Shah PK, Tardif JC, Wright RS; dal-OUTCOMES Investigators (2012). Effects of dalcetrapib in patients with a recent acute coronary syndrome. N. Engl. J. Med. 367(22): 2089-99. PubMed PMID: 23126252
  8. Nambi V, Boerwinkle E, Lawson K, Brautbar A, Chambless L, Franeschini N, North KE, Virani SS, Folsom AR, Ballantyne CM (2012). The 9p21 genetic variant is additive to carotid intima media thickness and plaque in improving coronary heart disease risk prediction in white participants of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Atherosclerosis 222(1): 135-7. PubMed PMID: 22349088
  9. Brautbar A, Virani SS, Belmont J, Nambi V, Jones PH, Ballantyne CM (2012). LPL gene variants affect apoC-III response to combination therapy of statins and fenofibric acid in a randomized clinical trial of individuals with mixed dyslipidemia. J. Lipid Res. 53(3): 556-60. PubMed PMID: 22236405
  10. Virani SS, Brautbar A, Davis BC, Nambi V, Hoogeveen RC, Sharrett AR, Coresh J, Mosley TH, Morrisett JD, Catellier DJ, Folsom AR, Boerwinkle E, Ballantyne CM (2012). Associations between lipoprotein(a) levels and cardiovascular outcomes in black and white subjects: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Circulation 125(2): 241-9. PubMed PMID: 22128224

Contact Information

Christie M. Ballantyne M.D.
Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Research, Division of Atherosclerosis
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza
Mail Stop: A601
Houston, TX, 77030, U.S.A.

Phone: 713-798-5034
Fax: 713-798-3057
Lab web site

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