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. 



ATVB Young Investigator Award competition

Drs. Leeper and St. Hilaire moderate the ATVB Young Investigator Award competition at the 2015 American Heart Association meeting.  Congratulations to Dr. Zehendner for his work on long noncoding RNAs in vascular disease.