The Leeper laboratory studies the vascular biology of atherosclerosis and aneurysm disease.  We are interested in the molecular mechanisms that mediate vascular disease, and developing new translational therapies directed against them.  Our group uses a combination of hypothesis-free genetic approaches, favoring the concept that insights generated in this manner are likely to have relevance to human disease.  Currently, our major focus is on the chromosome 9p21 locus, which is widely recognized as the most important heritable cardiovascular locus identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS).   We seek to fully explain how this locus - which affects over 20% of the population - potentiates coronary disease, stroke and aneurysms, and does so independently of all classical risk factors.   Our group pursues the goal of true ‘bench-to-bedside’ translation, and includes a basic genetics, molecular biology and mouse model team, as well as a translational Vascular Medicine team which performs early-phase clinical research.  Ultimately, we seek to develop a platform of new therapies directed against atherosclerosis, which is now the leading killer worldwide. 


News, Events, & Team Milestones

Publication in Nature

Experimental anticancer drug may tackle heart disease, too.  

“New Circulation study suggests that ‘taking out the trash’ may help prevent aneurysm disease” or similar?

Impaired cell cleanup associated with abdominal aortic aneurysms, new study finds.

According to a new Stanford study, the body’s ability to get rid of dead cells plays a role in the development of abdominal aortic aneurysms. The research could pave the way to preventing aneurysms from enlarging. Nicholas Leeper, Associate Professor of Surgery, is the senior author. The study builds on research by co-author Irving Weissman, the Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor in Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research, professor of pathology and of developmental biology and director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. 


Dr. Vivek Nanda Awarded NIH K99

Congratulations to Leeper lab member Vivek Nanda,Ph.D. for being awarded a K99 by the National Institute of Health (NIH).