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

2024 VESS Resident Research award

Congrats to Sabina Sorondo for receiving the 2024 VESS Resident Research Award from the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society for her project entitled “Assessing Soluble Guanylate Cyclase Stimulators in PAD”.

2023 AHA Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine Young Investigator Award Finalist

Huge congratulations to Shaunak Adkar for being selected as a finalist for the Council on Genomic and Precision Medicine (GPM) Young Investigator Award competition!

2023 Most Inspiration Player Award

Congrats to Nicolas Lopez for receiving the 2023 Most Inspirational Player Award from the Stanford Men’s Baseball Team after their third consecutive trip to the College World Series.