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Peter Libby, MD
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. 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 Aug 07; 40(30):2482-2491.

2. Libby P, Sidlow R, Lin AE, Gupta D, Jones LW, Moslehi J, Zeiher A, Jaiswal S, Schulz C, Blankstein R, Bolton KL, Steensma D, Levine RL, Ebert BL. Clonal Hematopoiesis: Crossroads of Aging, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer: JACC Review Topic of the Week. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019 Jul 30; 74(4):567-577.

3. Buckley LF, Libby P. Inhibiting NLRP3 Inflammasome Activity in Acute Myocardial Infarction: A Review of Pharmacologic Agents and Clinical Outcomes. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2019 Jul 22.

4. Ait-Oufella H, Libby P, Tedgui A. Anticytokine Immune Therapy and Atherothrombotic Cardiovascular Risk. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2019 Aug; 39(8):1510-1519.

5. Ketelhuth DFJ, Lutgens E, Bäck M, Binder CJ, Van den Bossche J, Daniel C, Dumitriu IE, Hoefer I, Libby P, O'Neill L, Weber C, Evans PC. Immunometabolism and atherosclerosis: perspectives and clinical significance: a position paper from the Working Group on Atherosclerosis and Vascular Biology of the European Society of Cardiology. Cardiovasc Res. 2019 Jul 01; 115(9):1385-1392.

6. Qamar A, Libby P. Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol After an Acute Coronary Syndrome: How Low to Go? Curr Cardiol Rep. 2019 Jun 27; 21(8):77.

7. Fruchart JC, Santos RD, Aguilar-Salinas C, Aikawa M, Al Rasadi K, Amarenco P, Barter PJ, Ceska R, Corsini A, Després JP, Duriez P, Eckel RH, Ezhov MV, Farnier M, Ginsberg HN, Hermans MP, Ishibashi S, Karpe F, Kodama T, Koenig W, Krempf M, Lim S, Lorenzatti AJ, McPherson R, Nuñez-Cortes JM, Nordestgaard BG, Ogawa H, Packard CJ, Plutzky J, Ponte-Negretti CI, Pradhan A, Ray KK, Reiner Ž, Ridker PM, Ruscica M, Sadikot S, Shimano H, Sritara P, Stock JK, Su TC, Susekov AV, Tartar A, Taskinen MR, Tenenbaum A, Tokgözoglu LS, Tomlinson B, Tybjærg-Hansen A, Valensi P, Vrablík M, Wahli W, Watts GF, Yamashita S, Yokote K, Zambon A, Libby P. The selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha modulator (SPPARMa) paradigm: conceptual framework and therapeutic potential : A consensus statement from the International Atherosclerosis Society (IAS) and the Residual Risk Reduction Initiative (R3i) Foundation. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2019 Jun 04; 18(1):71.

8. Shikatani EA, Besla R, Ensan S, Upadhye A, Khyzha N, Li A, Emoto T, Chiu F, Degousee N, Moreau JM, Perry HM, Thayaparan D, Cheng HS, Pacheco S, Smyth D, Noyan H, Zavitz CCJ, Bauer CMT, Hilgendorf I, Libby P, Swirski FK, Gommerman JL, Fish JE, Stampfli MR, Cybulsky MI, Rubin BB, Paige CJ, Bender TP, McNamara CA, Husain M, Robbins CS. c-Myb Exacerbates Atherosclerosis through Regulation of Protective IgM-Producing Antibody-Secreting Cells. Cell Rep. 2019 May 21; 27(8):2304-2312.e6.

9. Qamar A, Libby P, Bhatt DL. Targeting RNA to lower triglycerides: long strides from short molecules. Eur Heart J. 2019 May 15.

10. Guzik TJ, Libby P. Leaders in Cardiovascular Research: Peter Libby. Cardiovasc Res. 2019 May 01; 115(6):e61-e62.