Baylor College of Medicine
Molecular and Human Genetics
Baylor College of Medicine
The Maria and Alando J. Ballantyne, M.D. Atherosclerosis Clinical Research Laboratory
Baylor College of Medicine
Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center
Lipid Metabolism and Atherosclerosis Clinic
Houston Methodist Hospital
J. S. Abercrombie Chair - Atherosclerosis and Lipoprotein Research
Baylor College of Medicine


BA from University Of Texas At Austin
MD from Baylor College Of Medicine
Residency at University Of Texas Southwestern Affiliate Hospitals
Internal Medicine
Clinical Fellowship at Baylor College Of Medicine Affiliate Hospitals
Fellowship at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Institute for Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine

Professional Interests

  • Clinical and translational research in patients with hereditary lipid disorders for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and genetic epidemiology related to lipids and cardiovascular disease

Professional Statement

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.

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