Faculty Mentors:
Marcelo Di Carli, Kathryn Rexrode, Malissa Wood, Jennifer Ho, Viviany Taqueti

The growing evidence of sex disparities in cardiovascular outcomes has fostered an expansion in research in this area in our Program. The Division of Women’s Health within the Department of Medicine at BWH and the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program at MGH, both multidisciplinary programs, involving faculty at BWH and MGH and the Harvard School of Public Health with the aim of advancing clinical research and population science, are emblematic of the opportunities available to our trainees.

Marcelo Di Carli (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile), Malissa Wood (Clinical Profile, Research Profile) and Viviany Taqueti (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile) collaborate to study sex differences in subclinical coronary atherosclerosis and microvascular dysfunction on cardiac structure and function and outcomes. This research group has shown that atherosclerosis and microvascular dysfunction are particularly prevalent in the comorbid population of elderly women with cardiometabolic risk factors, in whom it may constitute an especially malignant phenotype. They are using imaging markers as targets for novel therapies for cardiovascular risk reduction.

Kathryn Rexrode (Clinical Profile, Research Profile) studies risk factors for heart disease and stroke in women. She has a particular interest in the role of metabolic and hormonal factors, as well as understanding sex differences. She has studied the effects of endogenous sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, and related genetic variants, and risk of cardiovascular disease.

Jennifer Ho (Clinical Profile, Research Profile) studies gender differences driving outcomes in obesity and HFpEF. Her group recently showed that the differential risk of HFpEF with obesity seems particularly pronounced among women and may underlie sex differences in heart failure subtypes. She is investigating associations between risk factors, circulating eicosanoids, abnormalities in cardiac structure and function and exercise performance, and outcomes in HFpEF, with a focus on gender differences.

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