Finding gene mutations that protect against heart attack and developing medicines that mimic them

Finding gene mutations that protect against heart attack and developing medicines that mimic them

July 29 The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - 6:00pm

Wednesday, July 29, 6-7pm
Finding gene mutations that protect against heart attack and developing medicines that mimic them

Heart attack is now the leading cause of death in the world. However, remarkably few medicines (e.g., aspirin, statins, and antihypertensive agents) are proven to prevent a first heart attack because most medicines fail during the drug development process. I will review an approach researchers are taking to overcome this problem: namely, leveraging the human genome as a tool for prioritizing molecular therapeutic targets for drug development. I will describe an opportunity to leverage the genome’s natural successes by: (1) scouring it for mutations that protect against disease with minimal adverse effects; and (2) developing medicines that mimic them.

Sekar Kathiresan, a clinical cardiologist and human geneticist, is the director of preventive cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, an associate member in the Broad Institute’s Program in Medical and Population Genetics, and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Sekar seeks to discover the genes responsible for inter-individual differences in risk for myocardial infarction and use this information to understand biological mechanisms and to improve preventive cardiac care.

He received his B.A. in history and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1997. Sekar completed his clinical training in internal medicine and cardiology at MGH. He served as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at MGH in 2002-2003. He pursued research training in cardiovascular genetics through a combined experience at the Framingham Heart Study and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In 2008, he joined the research faculties of the MGH Cardiovascular Research Center and the MGH Center for Human Genetic Research. Sekar lives with his wife and three children in Newton, MA. His passions include Pittsburgh Steelers football and U.S. politics.

Register here: https://msns15-sekkathiresan.eventbrite.com

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