Zhe Zhang, MD
JI Program: Cardiovascular
Status: Active/ Ongoing
Aortic aneurysm and dissection (AAD) is a devastating disease with a high mortality rate affecting ~4% of Americans above age 65. Although smoking, hypertension and hyperlipidemia are risk factors for AAD, genetics also plays a very strong role in risk. Approximately 35% of AAD patients have a family member with aortic aneurysm. In some cases, mutations in genes related to the TGF-beta signal cascade appear to greatly increase risk of AAD (TGFBR1, TGFBR2, ACTA2, FBN1), but most cases do not carry mutations in these genes. We aim to identify the underlying genetic causes of AAD in multi-ethnic cohorts using exome sequencing and genome-wide association approaches. This study has the potential to provide paradigm-shifting discoveries of translational importance for this devastating cardiovascular disease.
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