GeneSTAR Research Program - Study of Atherosclerosis Risk in Families










Welcome to The GeneSTAR Research Center

The GeneSTAR Research Center, with its origins and home in the Johns Hopkins Division of General Internal Medicine, consists of integrated studies primarily sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. .GeneSTAR began as a prospective epidemiologic family-based study conducted in initially healthy siblings of people with documented premature coronary disease under 60 years of age,their adult offspring, and the coparents of the offspring. The goal of the coordinated studies is to discover and amplify mechanisms of atherogenic vascular diseases and attendant comorbidities. Substudies of various lifestyle interventions and  chemoprophylaxis have also been done.
 
The primary family study cohort includes individuals identified from early-onset coronary disease probands enrolled from any of 10 Baltimore area hospitals. Extensive baseline and interval screening and follow-up for incident cardiovascular disease, stroke, peripheral arterial  disease, cancer, and related comorbidities have been done at 5-25 years.  Recent work in thrombosis and hemostasis is represented by extensive platelet function phenotyping.
 
More recently GeneSTAR has participated in the NHLBI PROGENI (Program in Gene Environment Interactions), STAMPEED (SNP Typing for Association with Multiple Phenotypes in Existing Epidemiology Data), and NextGEN NIH networks. GeneSTAR participates in COGENT, a free-standing consortium of studies with genome wide association data and phenotyping in populations of African American descent. GeneSTAR also participates int he National Institutes of Health "LIfe After LInkage" program, where we are examining the ability to use family structures to ampligy genetic findings. 

    Our focus is not only on disease, but on health and resilience, searching for genetic and nongenetic factors and biological cascades that are associated with successful vascular aging and well-being. Our work includes biological, lifestyle, and genetic models of both health and disease in families who are putatively at high risk for premature disease. We have collected data on diet, physical activity, smoking, mental stress, cognition, sociodemographic, and psychological factors as well as traditional lipid, metabolic, and inflammatory biomarkers, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular phenotypes, and measures of vascular function.
                                          
GeneSTAR has a long-standing interest in helping to better understand racial disparities and translation to population-based and patient approaches to enhancing health and wellness in diverse high risk populations.
 
Forms for access to data and more information can be found under the Tab "For Researchers." A full Data Sharing Manual and forms for data are under the same Tab

Please contact us if there is an investigative interest in our stored cells or DNA. Information about how to obvain these is under the "For Researchers" Tab.