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            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 a process known as ‘programmed cell removal’, or ‘efferocytosis’ (Latin: to carry the dead to the grave’).  We seek to determine why diseased cells accumulate in the atherosclerotic plaque, and how to harness the power of the immune system as a means to reactivate their removal and stabilize the vulnerable lesion.   Our group pursues the goal of true ‘bench-to-bedside’ translation, bringing together interdisciplinary experts spanning the fields of genomics, molecular biology, translational vascular biology, and clinical Vascular Medicine.  Ultimately, we seek to train the next generation of investigators and physician-scientists who will develop a platform of new therapies directed against atherosclerosis, which is now the leading killer worldwide. 


Heart Health

"Good vascular health is the key to longevity"

Watch Elsie Ross, MD Vascular Surgeon and Eri Fukaya, MD Vascular Medicine Specialist, discuss the importance of vascular health and how to protect your vascular system.

News, Events, and Team Milestones

Publication in Nature Nanotechnology

Trojan horse nanoparticles deliver anti-atherosclerotic therapy specifically to the diseased blood vessel

Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award

Congratulations Caitlin!

Caitlin Bell, MD is a recipeint of the 2021 Damon Ruynon Physician-Scientist Training Award, under the mentorship of Nick Leeper, MD and Irving L. Weissman, MD.  Congratulations to Caitlin on this prestigious award.  We look forward to your research.  

Damon Runyon Press Release and EurekAlert

Sendoff part fo Kai Jarr

Sendoff party for graduating post-doc Kai Jarr, who returns to Germany to begin his faculty appointment as a translational cardiologist at Heidelberg University.  Congratulations to Kai on a hugely successful time with us and best wishes as he establishes his own independent research laboratory.

Congratulations Leeper Lab Members

Congratulations to lab alumni, Ricky and Alyssa, who both matched their top choice for residency after medical school graduation.   Ricky (internal medicine) and Alyssa (vascular surgery) are both heading to MGH and we wish them the very best as they enter the next phase of their careers!