George Thanassoulis, MD
Genetics • genomics • cardiovascular disease • aortic stenosis • myocardial infarction • lipoprotein(a) • family history
My research focuses on cardiovascular prevention with the goal of using genomic and molecular epidemiology to better inform preventive strategies for the general population, as well as identifying personalized preventive strategies to maintain cardiovascular health in genetically predisposed individuals. Most recently, I co-led an international consortium that completed the first genome-wide association study for aortic valve disease which identified an unusual form of cholesterol known as lipoprotein(a) as one of the first causal factors for the development of aortic valve disease. Using this unique dataset, we are continuing to probe the genetic underpinnings of valve calcification. I am also currently the principal investigator of a CIHR-funded randomized trial to translate this discovery to clinical practice. The Early Aortic Valve Lipoprotein(a) Lowering (EAVaLL) trial will test whether pharmacological Lp(a) lowering in individuals genetically predisposed to high Lp(a) can reduce the progression of aortic valve disease. I also have an interest in the genetic epidemiology of myocardial infarction/acute coronary syndrome (using data from the RISCA and PRAXXY cohorts) as well as the prevention of cardiovascular disease in individuals with a family history of heart disease.
Thanassoulis G, Campbell CY, Owens DS, et al. CHARGE Extracoronary Calcium Working Group. Genetic associations with valvular calcification and aortic stenosis. N Engl J Med. 2013 Feb 7;368(6):503-12.
1: Thanassoulis G, Peloso GM, O'Donnell CJ. Genomic medicine for improved prediction and primordial prevention of cardiovascular disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013 Sep;33(9):2049-50.
Thanassoulis G. Mendelian randomization: how genetics is pushing the boundaries of epidemiology to identify new causes of heart disease. Can J Cardiol. 2013 Jan;29(1):30-6.
Sniderman AD, Thanassoulis G, et al. Comparison of coronary calcium screening versus broad statin therapy for patients at intermediate cardiovascular risk. Am J Cardiol. 2012 Aug 15;110(4):530-3.
Thanassoulis G, et al. A genetic risk score is associated with incident cardiovascular disease and coronary artery calcium: the Framingham Heart Study. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2012 Feb 1;5(1):113-21.