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Atherosclerosis Research Lab »  About the Lab

About the Lab

Atherosclerosis, the clogging of arteries by deposits of fat and cholesterol, is a significant cause of cardiovascular disease, especially among individuals with diabetes. Reducing the rate of atherosclerosis progression has been achieved clinically by lipid-lowering medication, but such therapies are far less effective among diabetic individuals. Our research therefore investigates how diabetes and hyperglycemia contribute to enhanced atherosclerosis. 

An important topic of our research is to explore the interplay between plasma lipoprotein metabolism and microRNA-controlled inflammation in atherosclerosis initiation and regression. Through studies utilizing mouse models developed in our laboratory, we investigate the effects of these microRNAs on hematopoietic progenitor and mature cells. We are focused primarily on the mode in which mature cells can communicate back (via microRNAs) to the hematopoietic progenitor cells.

As a member of the Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium at the NIH Common Fund, our laboratory collaborates with numerous colleagues at UCSF and other academic institutions nationwide to explore the relevance of extracellular RNA transported through exosomes and lipoproteins as effectors of atherosclerosis. Our goal is to develop treatments for atherosclerosis based on the delivery of extracellular RNA, including in the form of cell-derived exosomes.

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Metabolic Stress & Altered Hematopoiesis in Atherosclerosis

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