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George Thanassoulis, MD

Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

Regular Member
Cardiovascular Diseases and Critical Care
Medical Genetics and Genomics


McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)

Cardiologist


McGill University

Department of Medicine


Research Interest


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.

Research Foci


  • genetic epidemiology of aortic stenosis
  • genetic epidemiology of acute coronary syndrome
  • mendelian randomization in aortic stenosis
  • randomized trial of lipoprotein(a) lowering for aortic stenosis

Keywords


Genetics, genomics, cardiovascular disease, aortic stenosis, myocardial infarction, lipoprotein(a), family history

Selected Publications


Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • 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.