Dr Gaziano is a nationally and internationally recognized chronic disease epidemiologist. He has a particular interest in the roles that individual lifestyle choices (diet, exercise, smoking), metabolic factors (obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension), and biochemical and genetic markers play on the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke. Also of interest is the impact that vascular disease has on other organ systems, including cognitive dysfunction and renal disease.
Recently, Dr. Gaziano has initiated a number of research projects to investigate the diverse nature of atherosclerosis. While atherosclerosis plaques form only in certain large and medium-sized vessels, the process of atherogenesis (the formation of plaque in the inner lining of arteries) affects arteries of all sizes. For example, cognitive decline and osteoporosis-related fractures have been linked to various cardiovascular disease risk factors, suggesting a role for small vessel disease in vascular dementia and in abnormal bone remodeling. These projects are intended to explore the extent to which atherosclerotic disease in small vessels leads to these and other chronic conditions, such as renal failure.
Two internationally known and widely utilized resources are the centerpieces of his research: the Physicians' Health Study (PHS) and the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC) databases. Dr. Gaziano is principal investigator for the internationally known PHS II study, a large-scale trial of vitamins in the prevention of chronic disease. He is also co-director of MAVERIC, which is one of three national centers of epidemiology funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Through MAVERIC, he recently became the principal investigator of the newly launched MVP (Million Veteran Program) study, which is in the process of recruiting a million participants for this major initiative in genetic epidemiology. In addition, he serves as the director of the Geriatric Research and Education Center (GRECC) at the VA Boston Healthcare System.