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.  

Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (R35)

Congratulations to the Leeper Lab for receiving a 7 year R35 award from the NIH.  This grant will allow the team to study the fundamental origins of atherosclerosis, with a particular focus on the mechanisms by which cells undergo clonal expansion during disease progression, and how they can be translationally targeted for therapeutic purposes


NHLBI R01 Grant to Study Women's Heart Health

Congratulations to Drs. Hlatky and Winn for their newly funded NHLBI R01 which will investigate the link between preeclampsia and future risk of atherosclerotic disease.  The Leeper lab looks forward to helping conduct the EPOCH (Effect of Preeclampsia on Cardiovascular Health) study to gain new insights into this important aspect of women’s heart health.

Read the full article about this exciting study here: Full Article

Headline News: Research on Varicose Veins

In the largest genetics study ever performed on varicose veins, Dr. Fukaya and colleagues pursue the inherited and environmental drivers of disease and identify a novel link between varicose veins and human height.

American Heart Association Publication

The Stanford research team including Vascular Medicine physicians Dr. Leeper and Dr. Fukaya have discovered a new risk factor for heart failure: leg bioimpedance. Their work is published in the Jorunal for American Heart Association June 2018, read more about this important advancement in the American Heart Association Article link below.  


2018 Fondation Leducq award

Congratulations to the Leeper lab for receiving a 2018 Fondation Leducq award.  This grant, led by Drs. Gary Owens and Gerard Pasterkamp, will use advanced genomics approaches to investigate the contribution of matrix producing cells to atherosclerotic vascular disease.  Additional details about this exciting new collaboration can be found at http://plaqomics.com/.