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Peter Libby
Senior Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Department of Medicine
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

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Research Narrative:

Dr. Peter Libby directs a research laboratory that focuses on the basic mechanisms of diseases of the arteries, including atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Dr. Libby and his colleagues are exploring the concept that the body's own defense mechanisms against such injury as cholesterol may eventually lead to a maladaptive reaction that leads to blood vessel disease. The research group studies various messengers produced by the body that may be involved in producing blockages in arteries. These blockages, often called arterial plaque, can trigger formation of blood clots that cause heart attacks, strokes, and gangrene of the limbs.

In addition to probing the basic mechanisms of important arterial diseases, the studies underway in these laboratories may help to understand how modern medications used to treat high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease may produce their benefit. Such studies may also point to new targets for developing therapies to lessen further the burden of the heart and blood vessels, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Major Research Interests:

  • Cell and molecular biology of vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells
  • Immune and inflammatory aspects of vascular functions and pathogenesis of blood vessel diseases
  • Mechanisms of growth regulation of vascular wall cells
  • Atherogenesis and mechanisms of arterial hyperplastic diseases

Dr. Peter Libby's research interest is vascular biology with special reference to atherogenesis. His group studies normal and abnormal function of smooth muscle and endothelial cells using the tools of biochemistry and cell and molecular biology. Two major themes of investigation include the control of smooth muscle cell proliferation and the immune and inflammatory functions of blood vessel wall cells. Specific projects currently underway include basic investigation of the regulation of gene expression in vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells, and study of the cellular mechanisms of atherogenesis as well as coronary restenosis and transplant-associated arteriosclerosis.

Publications (Pulled from Harvard Catalyst Profiles):

1. Libby P. Once more unto the breach: endothelial permeability and atherogenesis. Eur Heart J. 2019 Mar 14; 40(11):938-940.

2. Everett BM, Cornel JH, Lainscak M, Anker SD, Abbate A, Thuren T, Libby P, Glynn RJ, Ridker PM. Anti-Inflammatory Therapy With Canakinumab for the Prevention of Hospitalization for Heart Failure. Circulation. 2019 Mar 05; 139(10):1289-1299.

3. Libby P, Kobold S. Inflammation: A Common Contributor to Cancer, Aging, and Cardiovascular Diseases. Cardiovasc Res. 2019 Mar 04.

4. Libby P, Everett B. Novel Antiatherosclerotic Therapies. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2019 Feb 28; ATVBAHA118310958.

5. McAlpine CS, Kiss MG, Rattik S, He S, Vassalli A, Valet C, Anzai A, Chan CT, Mindur JE, Kahles F, Poller WC, Frodermann V, Fenn AM, Gregory AF, Halle L, Iwamoto Y, Hoyer FF, Binder CJ, Libby P, Tafti M, Scammell TE, Nahrendorf M, Swirski FK. Sleep modulates haematopoiesis and protects against atherosclerosis. Nature. 2019 Feb; 566(7744):383-387.

6. Garbern JC, Williams J, Kristl AC, Malick A, Rachmin I, Gaeta B, Ahmed N, Vujic A, Libby P, Lee RT. Dysregulation of IL-33/ST2 signaling and myocardial periarteriolar fibrosis. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2019 Mar; 128:179-186.

7. Vromman A, Ruvkun V, Shvartz E, Wojtkiewicz G, Santos Masson G, Tesmenitsky Y, Folco E, Gram H, Nahrendorf M, Swirski FK, Sukhova GK, Libby P. Stage-dependent differential effects of interleukin-1 isoforms on experimental atherosclerosis. Eur Heart J. 2019 Jan 30.

8. He S, Kahles F, Rattik S, Nairz M, McAlpine CS, Anzai A, Selgrade D, Fenn AM, Chan CT, Mindur JE, Valet C, Poller WC, Halle L, Rotllan N, Iwamoto Y, Wojtkiewicz GR, Weissleder R, Libby P, Fernández-Hernando C, Drucker DJ, Nahrendorf M, Swirski FK. Gut intraepithelial T cells calibrate metabolism and accelerate cardiovascular disease. Nature. 2019 02; 566(7742):115-119.

9. Anzai A, Mindur JE, Halle L, Sano S, Choi JL, He S, McAlpine CS, Chan CT, Kahles F, Valet C, Fenn AM, Nairz M, Rattik S, Iwamoto Y, Fairweather D, Walsh K, Libby P, Nahrendorf M, Swirski FK. Self-reactive CD4+ IL-3+ T cells amplify autoimmune inflammation in myocarditis by inciting monocyte chemotaxis. J Exp Med. 2019 Feb 04; 216(2):369-383.

10. Wang Y, Liu CL, Fang W, Zhang X, Yang C, Li J, Liu J, Sukhova GK, Gurish MF, Libby P, Shi GP, Zhang J. Deficiency of mouse mast cell protease 4 mitigates cardiac dysfunctions in mice after myocardium infarction. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2019 Jan 11.