ADVANCE Atherosclerotic Disease Vascular
Function and Genetic Epidemiology

Project team

Stanford Cardiovascular Medicine

Tom Quertermous, MD
Dr. Quertermous, Principal Investigator, is the William G. Irwin Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Medicine for Research at Stanford University. He has served as Principal Investigator and Scientific Director of the Stanford and Kaiser ADVANCE study that was funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. He is also the Stanford PI for the Stanford Asia Pacific Program in Hypertension and Insulin resistance (SAPPHIRe) project.

Themistocles (Tim) Assimes, MD-PhD
Dr. Assimes is a junior physician-scientist who holds the title of Instructor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University. He is a practicing cardiologist with advanced training in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. More recently, he has also acquired skills in the field of genetic epidemiology of complex traits. He has extensive knowledge of the ADVANCE database and consequently understands the strengths and weaknesses of the design in the context of a clinical cardiologist. Using SAS genetics, Dr. Assimes has created programs to automatically analyze all candidate gene SNPs in the database.

Josh Knowles, MD-PhD
Dr. Knowles is a Cardiovascular Medicine research Fellow. He has been working on data analysis, functional characterization and manuscript preparation of findings from the original ADVANCE candidate gene study. He has an extensive knowledge of the ADVANCE cohort as well a strong basic science background.

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
(formerly the Stanford Human Genome Center)

Rick Myers, PhD
Dr. Myers is the Stanford W. Ascherman Professor in Genetics and a co-Principal Investigator and leader of the genotyping project, as well as the director of the Stanford Human Genome Center where all the genotyping work on the project was performed.

Devin Absher, PhD
Dr. Absher has extensive experience in studying human diseases at the genome level through work done during his graduate and postdoctoral training. He was recently recruited to the SHGC as Senior Scientist. He has experience with the Illumina technology, both with whole genome arrays, as well as smaller scale custom arrays.

Lindsay Jones, MS
Lindsay Waite Jones is a computational biologist at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama.  She completed her undergraduate study at Vanderbilt University and received her MS in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan.  She is currently pursuing a PhD in Biostatistics at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) while continuing her work at HudsonAlpha.

Stanford HRP

Mark Hlatky, MD
Dr. Hlatky is Professor of Health Research and Policy and of Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine). His was Executive Director of the Donald W Reynolds Center for Cardiovascular Clinical Research, a leader of clinical research in the Center and a PI on the original ADVANCE study. Dr Hlatky will work with the geneticists and other epidemiologists in design of data analysis, particularly with respect the definition of clinical endpoints of study (ie phenotype definition).

Stanford Prevention Research Center

Steve Fortmann, MD
Dr. Fortmann is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and of Health Research and Policy. Dr Fortmann was a key Principal Investigator of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Cardiovascular Clinical Research. He was also a PI on the original ADVANCE study. Dr. Fortmann has been conducting community and clinical research in cardiovascular disease prevention and epidemiology since 1977. Dr Fortmann works with the geneticists and other epidemiologists in the study on the study design and data analysis, particularly with respect to the definition of clinical endpoints of study (i.e., phenotype definition). He is currently a Senior Investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon.

Stanford DCC

Balasubramanian Narasimhan (alias “Naras”), PhD
Dr. Narasimhan is the director of the Data Coordinating Center at Stanford and will play a key role in the management and curation of the data from this study as well as in the construction and maintenance of the secure data portals. He has extensive experience in management of data from large epidemiological studies including SAPPHIRe, GenePAD, and ADVANCE.

Stanford Department of Genetics

Hua Tang, PhD
Dr. Tang is a statistical and population geneticist recently recruited back to Stanford after several years at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. She previously worked with Dr. Risch and has extensive experience in genetic epidemiology including work studies in hypertension, asthma and neurological disorders. She is particularly interested in developing methods for identifying disease susceptibility loci in stratified or admixed populations. For the present work, Dr. Tang is serving as a consultant on design and analysis issues.


Alan Go, MD
Dr. Go is a Research Scientist and Senior Physician at the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute's Division of Research (DOR) in Northern California and Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a PI at Kaiser for ADVANCE study. Dr. Go is a General Internist with expertise in the areas of ischemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and chronic kidney disease.

Carlos Iribarren, MD, MPH, PhD
Dr. Iribarren is a Research Scientist at the Kaiser DOR who is an experienced cardiovascular epidemiologist. Dr. Iribarren has been a part of the CARDIA Study and is the primary liaison to the CARDIA Study. He has a particular interest in diabetes and insulin resisitance.


Neil Risch, PhD
Dr. Risch is a statistical geneticist and genetic epidemiologist. He is currently a Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Director of the Institute for Human Genetics at UCSF. He has been associated with the ADVANCE study since its inception and is a co-Investigator of the present study. Dr. Risch has particular expertise in the genetic analysis of admixed groups such as African Americans and Latino Americans and will apply that experience to the multi-ethnic data that are part of the ADVANCE study.

Anahlaba Basu, PhD
Dr. Basu, a postdoctoral fellow with expertise in statistical genetics and population genetics, will work with Dr. Risch on the analysis of the data emanating from this project. He has considerable experience already in analyses of the candidate genes from the ADVANCE study, and in particular has focused on the admixed minority populations. His prior experience with these data will be particularly useful in the analysis of the high density SNIP data to be generated in this project. He has also extensive experience in other aspects of population genetics such as haplotype analysis and cluster analysis which will also be useful for this study

Former Team Members

Jun Li, PhD
Dr. Li was the senior scientist and technical manager of the Gene Expression Group at SHGC for the past four years. He did his postdoctoral work with Dr. Richard Myers in the Genetics Department of the Stanford University, where he studied the genetic basis of complex human traits such as autism and HIV-resistance, the gene expression differences between humans and chimpanzees, the heritability of gene expression in humans as estimated by comparing cell lines from human twins and sibs, and the development of a new method for detecting DNA polymorphisms. Dr. Li is a versatile researcher, with strong background in broad areas of neurobiology, genetics, statistical analysis, and technical development. He is currently at University of Michigan.

Audrey Southwick, PhD
Dr. Southwick was a Senior Scientist at the SHGC, and has worked in genomics and genetics laboratories for several years. Dr. Southwick has extensive experience in molecular biology and genomics research especially in the coordination of large study operations.

Miho Bennett, PhD
Dr. Bennett joined the Stanford Human Genome Center in April 2004 as a Statistical Programmer. She has experience with advanced statistical modeling techniques, analysis of clinical data, and graph theoretical methods. Her expertise with a variety of statistical programs, including SAS, S-Plus, SPSSI etc., made her especially valuable. She performed similar tasks in the Myers group for the candidate gene association studies we have done for the past several years, and more recently, with Dr. Li, analyzed data generated with the Illumina platform.


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