Daniel Rader, M.D. Chair

Dr. Rader is the Cooper-McClure Professor of Medicine and is Professor of Pathology and Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is Associate Director of Penn's Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and Director of the newly created Translational Research Center. He is also the Director of Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine and Lipid Clinic and the Director of the Lipid-Atherosclerosis Research Unit. Dr. Rader's basic research laboratory focuses on genetic and pharmacologic regulation of lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis, and he directs a translational research program focusing on human genetics of lipid disorders and atherosclerosis and novel approaches to treatment of dyslipidemia and regression of atherosclerosis. He has a particular interest in HDL metabolism, factors and genes involved in its regulation, the causal nature of the relationship of HDL metabolism to atherosclerosis, and novel approaches to targeting HDL metabolism and reverse cholesterol transport in the treatment, prevention, and regression of atherosclerosis.


Dr. Rader received his undergraduate degree from Lehigh University and his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital, followed by a year as a Chief Resident. In 1988 he began a fellowship in lipid metabolism at the Molecular Disease Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, and was subsequently appointed to a staff scientist position. He was recruited in 1994 to the University of Pennsylvania.


Dr. Rader is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, a past Established Investigator of the American Heart Association, and a recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research, a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, and a Bristol Myers Squibb "Freedom to Discover" Unrestricted Cardiovascular Research Grant. Dr. Rader is an editorial Board Member of Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, American Journal of Physiology (Endocrinology and Metabolism), Circulation, Circulation Research, Journal of Lipid Research, and Trends in Molecular Medicine. Dr. Rader has authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications, review articles, and book chapters, including chapters on lipoprotein disorders for Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Topol's Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Nelson's Textbook of Pediatrics. He is a frequently invited speaker nationally and internationally on his basic and translational research in lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis.


Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D.

Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine and is the Chief of the Section of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine and interim Chief of the Section of Cardiology. He is the Director of The Maria and Alando J. Ballantyne, M.D., Atherosclerosis Clinical Research Laboratory and the Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and the Co-Director of the Lipid Metabolism and Atherosclerosis Clinic at the Methodist Hospital.


Dr. Ballantyne received his MD degree from Baylor College of Medicine, and his postgraduate training included an internal medicine residency at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas; a cardiology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine; and an American Heart Association/Bugher Foundation Fellowship at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Institute for Molecular Genetics at Baylor.


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.


Dr. Ballantyne has been the recipient of numerous study grants, including an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award, and has several National Institutes of Health grants to study leukocyte–endothelial adhesion molecules and novel markers for atherosclerosis. He is editorial director for www.lipidsonline.org. Dr. Ballantyne has published extensively and has spoken nationally and internationally on lipids, atherosclerosis, and inflammation. Dr. Ballantyne's research interests include the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, with an emphasis on monocyte activation and adhesion.


William S. Harris, Ph.D.

Dr. Harris is an internationally recognized expert on how omega-3 fatty acids can benefit patients with heart disease. He has been the recipient of five NIH grants for studies on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) on human health. He has over 80 publications relating to omega-3 fatty acids in medical literature and was co-author of the America Heart Association's scientific statement, "Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease" published in 2002 in the journal Circulation.


Dr. Harris is a Research Professor of Medicine at the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota (Sioux Falls, SD), a Senior Scientist at Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. (Richmond, VA), and the founder and President of OmegaQuant, LLC (Sioux Falls), a laboratory that offers fatty acid analysis for commercial and academic researchers.


John J.P. Kastelein, M.D., Ph.D.

John J.P. Kastelein (1954) is Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Vascular Medicine at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam, where he holds the Strategic Chair of Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease.


He received his medical degree in Amsterdam in 1980 where he subsequently received specialty training in internal medicine. Then, between 1986 and 1988, he was trained in medical genetics, lipidology and molecular biology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver under the guidance of Prof. Dr. M.R. Hayden.


Upon his return to the Netherlands, he was awarded a doctorate (Cum Laude) and in 1989 he founded the Lipid Research Clinic at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, which is currently serving as a tertiary referral centre for over 5,000 patients each year and has become part of the Department of Vascular Medicine.


In 1995, Dr. Kastelein set up a foundation for the active identification of patients with classical familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) in the Netherlands (StoeH), for which he currently holds a position in the Board of Directors. This program has now been fully institutionalized and is operational under supervision of the RijksInstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM) and financially supported by the Ministry of Health with a total grant of approximately 30 million Euros. Since its inception, the StoeH has found over 12,000 individuals for whom a molecular diagnosis of FH could be made. The subsequent improvement of the treatment of these FH carriers has saved many lives, as published in Lancet in 2001 and very recently in the British Medical Journal in 2008.


In 1997 and 1998 he served a visiting Professorship at the Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. In these years, Dr. Kastelein was a Co-Founder of Xenon Genetics Inc., a drug discovery company that has now changed its name into Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. and is based in Vancouver, Canada.

Dr. Kastelein is president of the Dutch Atherosclerosis Society (DAS) and chairs the National Scientific Committee on Familial Hypercholesterolemia (EHC). He also is a member of the Royal Dutch Society for Medicine & Physics, the Council for Basic Science of the American Heart Association and the European Atherosclerosis Society. He also is a board member of the International Task Force for CHD Prevention and was recently appointed to the Executive Board of the International Atherosclerosis Society (IAS).


Professor Kastelein was also one of the founders of Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics Inc. (AMT), a gene therapy company based on the concept of gene replacement in hereditary lipoprotein disorders. AMT has recently (summer 2007) enjoyed a successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) at EuroNext in Amsterdam. The results of the first successful human gene therapy trial were widely publicized in the media and are published in ATVB in 2008.


Professor Kastelein's current research interests can be found in the etiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of hypertriglyceridaemia, hypercholesterolaemia and low HDL cholesterol, all conditions associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.


He has published over 530 research papers in peer reviewed journals, including Nature Genetics, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA and Circulation and has a Hirsch index of 55.


Dr. Kastelein is an investigator of the Bloodomics and CardioGenics consortia, two large European Union supported endeavours under the Framework Programme 7, that aim to elucidate the molecular basis of atherosclerosis and premature coronary disease.


Besides the scientific programmes aimed at the etiology of atherogenesis, Dr. Kastelein also serves on a number of executive and steering committees of large intervention studies, including the IDEAL, TNT, CAPTIVATE, ENHANCE, ILLUMINATE, JUPITER, RADIANCE and numerous others of which TNT (2005), RADIANCE 1 (2007), ENHANCE (2008) and JUPITER (2008) are published in the New England Journal of Medicine, IDEAL (2006) in JAMA and RADIANCE 2 (2007) in Lancet.


Since recently, Dr. Kastelein has developed the use of non-invasive B-mode ultrasound as well as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (MRI) studies of the carotid arteries for the diagnosis and assessment of novel treatments for atherosclerosis. This has led to the recognition of the AMC as the world-wide leading center for this technique which has recently been exported to a substantial number of academic sites throughout Europe. This has culminated in the setup of NICE, Network of Imaging Centers in Europe of which Dr. Kastelein is the Director. Dr. Kastelein's achievements in this field are internationally recognized by numerous invited reviews on this subject.


He has directed 36 postdoctoral theses and currently, he heads a team of 6 internists, 6 postdoctoral fellows, 26 MD PhD students, and a large number of laboratory technicians and clinical trial / study coordinators.


David G. Orloff, M.D.

Dr. Orloff is Vice President, Medical and Regulatory Affairs at Medpace, Inc., a global clinical research organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio, with expertise in therapeutics development for endocrine/metabolic and cardiovascular disease. Prior to coming to Medpace in January 2006, he was the Director of the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products at FDA, where he spent 11 years.


Dr. Orloff attended Harvard College (A.B. 1980) and the New York University School of Medicine (M.D. 1984). He was a medical resident at the Yale-New Haven Hospital (1984-87) and a research fellow in cellular and molecular biology at the National Institutes of Health (NIH, 1987-1994). While at NIH, he took a fellowship in clinical endocrinology in the NICHD-NIDDK program. At FDA, Dr. Orloff oversaw regulation of new drugs for the treatment of dyslipidemia, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, growth disorders, and inborn errors of metabolism, among others. In addition, Dr. Orloff represented FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research on the FDA commissioner’s obesity task force. He also represented FDA on the HHS Interagency Diabetes Mellitus Coordinating Committee, and worked with NIDDK/NIH as well as ADA and JDRF on emerging scientific, clinical, and regulatory issues in drug development for the treatment and prevention of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Throughout his tenure at FDA, Dr. Orloff remained engaged in patient care and clinical investigation in dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease prevention at NHLBI/NIH. He was a consultant to the National Cholesterol Education Program’s Adult Treatment Panel III. Until leaving federal service, Dr. Orloff was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), and he is the recipient of multiple honors, including the PHS Outstanding Service Medal. He served until recently on the board of directors of the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences at NIH and is an advisor to multiple companies involved in development of therapies for the management of metabolic and cardiovascular disease.


Kevin C. Maki, Ph.D.

Kevin C. Maki, Ph.D. is the President and Chief Science Officer of Biofortis-Provident Clinical Research, a company specializing in the design and conduct of clinical trials in clinical nutrition and cardiovascular disease risk factor management. Prior to founding Provident, now Biofortis-Provident, Dr. Maki served as the Chief Science Officer and Director of Nutrition and Metabolism Research for 10 years at the Chicago Center for Clinical Research and for 5 years as a Research Scientist at the Edward Hines, Jr. Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Hines, Illinois.


Dr. Maki’s research has mainly focused on the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus. He has participated in more than 200 clinical trials as an investigator, consultant or statistician, and published more than 150 scientific papers, books and book chapters. His most recent book, Practical Lipid Management, Concepts and Controversies (Wiley), co-authored with Dr. Peter Toth, was published in October 2008. Dr. Maki is a member of the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the American Society of Nutrition, and the Obesity Society. He earned a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Illinois School of Public Health and a M.S. in Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiovascular Health from Benedictine University.


Stephen Nicholls M.D., Ph.D.

Stephen Nicholls is Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and the Cardiovascular Director of the Cleveland Clinic Coordinating Center for Clinical Research. He undertook his cardiology training and doctoral studies focusing on HDL functionality in Australia and postdoctoral study of plaque imaging at the Cleveland Clinic. He has joint staff appointments at the Cleveland Clinic in the Departments of Cardiovascular Medicine and Cell Biology and leads two research groups that investigate atherosclerotic plaque imaging and lipoprotein function, in addition to his role in leading clinical trials of novel antiatherosclerotic therapies. He has published more than 300 manuscripts, book chapters and abstracts and serves on the editorial board of numerous journals including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.