null James Engert, PhD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC, Glen site

Cardiovascular Health Across the Lifespan Program

Centre for Translational Biology

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, MUHC



genetic association studies • single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) • gene-environment interactions • atherosclerosis • aortic stenosis • Mendelian randomization

Research Focus

My research concerns the genetic etiology of a wide variety of cardiovascular diseases. These include myocardial infarction, dilated cardiomyopathy and aortic stenosis. My team currently uses several modern technologies and statistical methods to discover the genes underlying these diseases. We work with data from cardiovascular patients at the McGill University Health Centre as well as large-scale, publicly available data sets. I am the co-leader of an international consortium for the large-scale analysis of genome-wide studies that seek to understand the genetics of aortic stenosis and its risk factors in different ethnicities. My team is also working with methods to assess the long-term prognosis of individuals using “genetic risk scores.” Importantly, we are searching for risk factors that may alter genetic predisposition, and I have led one of the largest gene-environment interaction studies published to date. I also have an interest in the genetic epidemiology of the response to various pharmacological therapies for cardiovascular diseases. All of these projects have the goal of discovering novel contributors to disease as well as informing patient treatment.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Variation at the FADS1/2 Locus, Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, and Aortic Stenosis. Hao Yu Chen,…, James C. Engert *, George Thanassoulis*. JAMA Cardiology 2020 (In Press) *co-senior authors.

  • Association of LPA Variants With Aortic Stenosis: A Large-Scale Study Using Diagnostic and Procedural Codes From Electronic Health Records. Chen HY, Dufresne L, Burr H, Ambikkumar A, Yasui N, Luk K, Ranatunga DK, Whitmer RA, Lathrop M, Engert JC*, Thanassoulis G*. JAMA Cardiol. 2018 Jan 1. *co-senior authors. PMID: 29128868.

  • Recovery in Patients With Dilated Cardiomyopathy With Loss-of-Function Mutations in the Titin Gene. Luk K, Bakhsh A, Giannetti N, Elstein E, Lathrop M, Thanassoulis G, Engert JC. JAMA Cardiol. 2017 Jun. PMID: 28423146.

  • Association Between Family History, a Genetic Risk Score, and Severity of Coronary Artery Disease in Patients With Premature Acute Coronary Syndromes. Hindieh W, Pilote L, Cheema A, Al-Lawati H, Labos C, Dufresne L, Engert JC, Thanassoulis G; PRAXY Investigators*.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2016 Jun. PMID: 27102964.

  • Lipoprotein(a) Interactions With Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol and Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Premature Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). Afshar M, Pilote L, Dufresne L, Engert JC, Thanassoulis G. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016 Apr. PMID: 27108248.