Vasan Ramachandran

Principal Investigator, RURAL Study at BU School of Medicine

Vasan S. Ramachandran, M.D., Principal Investigator and Director of the FHS, and Director of the FHS fellowship program in cardiovascular epidemiology for the last 25 years.

Dr. Ramachandran is a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at BUSM/BUSPH, and Chief, Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, BUSM. He is the Jay & Louis Coffman Professor of Vascular Medicine at BUSM. Dr. Ramachandran is a trained cardiologist with subspecialty training in echocardiography. He is a fellow of the AHA Councils on Epidemiology and Prevention and Functional Genomics and Translational Biology, and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). He has extensive experience in supervising trainees at many levels and has taught the foundational core course on Cardiovascular Epidemiology at BUSPH (EP751). He has several active R01 grants from the NHLBI/NIDDK and received two K24 Mid-Career Investigator mentoring grants from the NHLBI. He has mentored several K23 awardees, and is currently the Principal Investigator of a post-doctoral training program (T32) in cardiovascular epidemiology. Overall, he has supervised over 70 trainees during the past 20 years; most are in key positions in academia. He received the Outstanding Mentor awards from the Department of Medicine, BUSM, and the AHA Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, and the prestigious AHA Population Science Award in 2014.

Importantly, Dr. Ramachandran’s own peer-reviewed funding spans thematic areas of genetics and genomics, cardiac and vascular remodeling, novel biomarkers, systems biology including proteomics and metabolomics, and stem cell biology. He has a 25-year history in research in cardiovascular epidemiology, including the two years he trained as a FHS fellow (1993-1995). He established the first School of Public Health in India between 1996-1998, serving as its inaugural director and the coordinator of its MPH program. He is the founding member and leader of the international EchoGen consortium, and chairs the Steering Committee of the Chronic Kidney Disease Biomarker Consortium funded by the NIDDK (U01DK085689). He is recognized internationally for translational research in cardiovascular epidemiology and lectures regularly at the AHA early career session on “how to develop a career in translational research and epidemiology/genetics.” He is well equipped to mentor trainees about grant writing having been a member of the Cardiovascular and Sleep (CASE) SRG, and an active reviewer of grants for national and international funding agencies. He served for many years on the NHLBI panel for reviewing K23-K24-K25 career development grants. He is well qualified to mentor trainees in best publication practices and has served until recently as an Associate Editor for Circulation, and the Editor-in-Chief of Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics. He works directs the Center for Integrative Transdisciplinary Epidemiology within BUSM, that hosts multiple epidemiological datasets, including from multiple cohort studies, national surveys (NHANES), administrative databases and electronic health records; this center will be a valuable data source for trainees.

For the last 20 years, Dr. Ramachandran has focused his research on A) the genetic and non-genetic epidemiology of congestive heart failure, including identifying risk factors for the disease, characterizing the subgroups with diastolic heart failure, asymptomatic LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction, and evaluating the role of LV remodeling; B) population-based vascular testing and echocardiography, including identifying biological, environmental, and genetic determinants (correlates) of cardiac structure and function; normative standards; detailed assessment of biomarkers of the process of LV remodeling, including but not limited to role of natriuretic peptides, insulin resistance, cardiac extracellular matrix markers, oxidative stress, inflammation, growth factors; genetics of LV remodeling, LA and aortic structure and gene-environment interactions; brachial artery endothelial function, its correlates and tonometric assessment of large artery function; C) genetic and non-genetic epidemiology of high blood pressure, including characterizing the lifetime risk, rates of progression and risks associated with various degrees of elevation; large artery stiffness and function and role in systolic hypertension in the elderly; genetics of high blood pressure and large artery function; and D) CVD risk estimation in the short, medium- and long-term, with novel biomarkers including genomic biomarkers.