School of Medicine Researchers Led by Miller Lab Obtain New Insights Into Coronary Artery Disease

Clint L. Miller, PhD (left), and Chani J. Hodonsky, PhD (right)

University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have obtained important new insights into the development of coronary artery disease – the world’s No. 1 killer – in diverse groups of people traditionally underrepresented in research studies.

The UVA researchers, led by Clint L. Miller, PhD, and Chani J. Hodonsky, PhD, used a sophisticated new approach to understand how genetic – or inheritable – factors influence the development of coronary artery disease (CAD) in people of non-European descent. The focus of prior research primarily on people of European and East Asian descent has hampered discoveries in heart disease by limiting generalization to other ancestral populations and also by failing to capture the full spectrum of variation in humankind. As such, this new work implements important new tools to fill in the blanks in science’s understanding of different groups’ genetic risk factors.

The UVA researchers say their new approach will help scientists better understand all stages of the development of CAD – even before doctors can detect it in patients. That could set the stage for new and better ways to treat and possibly even prevent CAD.

“This work generates much-needed molecular data from primary vascular tissues derived from ancestrally diverse study participants,” said Miller, of UVA’s Center for Public Health Genomics “By extending these resources to the community, we can better understand drivers of the disease process and begin to explore more targeted therapies for CAD.”

View the full article at SOM website