Clinical Investigators

Gary J. Balady, M.D., ProfessorGary_Balady

Dr. Balady is a Professor of Medicine and an Assistant Dean of Admissions at Boston University School of Medicine, and is the Director of Preventive Cardiology and Director of the Non Invasive Cardiovascular Laboratories at Boston Medical Center . Dr.Balady is a fellow of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Dr.Balady serves the American Heart Association both nationally and locally by leading and/or participating on several key committees involved with exercise, physical activity and preventive cardiology. He is Past Chairman of the AHA’s Council on Clinical Cardiology, Past President of the AHA Greater Boston Division, and presently serves as Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors of the AHA Founders Affiliate. He has either chaired or been a member of several writing groups of the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, which generate guidelines regarding exercise testing and training, and preventive cardiology. Dr. Balady’s research interests focus on exercise testing and training of cardiac patients, with a particular emphasis on the physiologic changes that occur in the cardiovascular system with regular exercise, as well as assessment of outcomes after cardiac rehabilitation. He is an associate editor for the journal Circulation, and past Editor in Chief for the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation.

More information on Dr. Balady may be found at the Cardiovascular Center website, and a list of his publications may be found at the PubMed search for Dr. Balady.

Robert T. Eberhardt, M.D., Assistant ProfessorEberhardt_Robert-2-5x3-5A

Dr. Eberhardt has a clinical interest in the diagnosis and management of a diverse array of vascular disorders. He is a delegate of the American Board of Vascular Medicine, a Registered Vascular Technologist, and Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation. He leads the clinical vascular medicine training program at Boston Medical Center and serves as Co-Director of the Leadership Program in Vascular Medicine at Boston University Medical Center – a center awarded a Research Career Development Program in Vascular Medicine by the NIH.

Dr. Eberhardt is an active member of several professional societies, including Fellow of the AHA Council on Clinical Cardiology and American College of Cardiology, Chair of the Emerging Leadership Committee of the Society for Vascular Medicine, Chair of the Vascular Ultrasound Council of the American Society of Echocardiography, and on the Board of Directors for the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories. He serves on the Item Writing Committee for the American Board of Vascular Medicine.

His research interests include understanding the mechanism and consequences vascular dysfunction as well as clinical predictors of outcomes in various vascular disorders. He has studied the impact of vascular dysfunction and its modification on clinical outcomes in peripheral vascular disorders and their treatment. He is also studying outcomes in various peripheral vascular disorders based upon clinical presentation and treatment strategy.

He has authored numerous scientific publications and book chapters, and co-edited a book, Peripheral Arterial Disease: Its Diagnosis, Manifestations, and Treatment. In addition, he lectures on the regional and national levels and stays involved in public services including cardiac and vascular disease education.

More information on Dr. Eberhardt may be found at the Cardiovascular Center website, and a list of additional publications may be found at the PubMed search for Dr. Eberhardt.

Selected Publications:

Noyan Gokce, M.D., Associate ProfessorGokce picture

Dr. Gokce is Director of Echocardiography at Boston Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology. He is a past recipient of NIH Research Career Development and American Heart Association Research Awards. His NIH-funded laboratory is currently examining mechanisms of vascular endothelial dysfunction in association with obesity and metabolic disease. His current research interests include micro- and macro-vascular biology, adipose tissue remodeling and associated adverse cardiovascular effects of obesity-related inflammation, and echocardiography assessment of cardiac impairment in metabolic and ischemic heart disease. Dr. Gokce currently serves on the editoral board of the journal Circulation: Cardiovasclar Imaging.

Find Dr. Gokce also at the Cardiovascular Center website.

Recent Publications:

  • Meyers M, Gokce N. Endothelial dysfunction in obesity: etiologic role in atherosclerosis. Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes 2007;14: 365-369.
  • Bigornia S, Mott, Hess D, Apovian CM, McDonnell M, Duess MA, Kluge M, Fiscale A, Vita JA, , Gokce N. Long-term successful weight loss improves vascular endothelial function in severely obese individuals. Obesity 2010 Apr; 18(4): 754-9. Epub 2010 Jan 7
  • Apovian CM, Bigornia S, Mott M, Meyers MR, Ulloor L, Gagua M, McDonnell M, Hess D, Joseph L, Gokce N. Adipose macrophage infiltration is associated with proinflammatory gene expression and systemic vascular endothelial dysfunction in obese subjects. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2008; 28:1654-1659.
  • Adiponectin promotes macrophage polarization towards an anti-inflammatory phenotype. Ohashi K, Parker JL, Ouchi N, Higuchi A, Vita JA, Gokce N, Pedersen AA, Kalthoff C, Tullin S, Sams A, Summer R, Walsh K. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2010; 285: 6153-60.
  • Hamburg N, Mott M, Bigornia S, Duess MA, Kluge M, Hess DT, Hess D, Vita JA, Gokce N. Maladaptive enlargement of the brachial artery in severe obesity is reversed with weight loss. Vascular Medicine 2010:15(3):215-22. Epub 2010 Apr 7.
  • Ouchi N, Higuchi A, Ohashi K, Oshima Y, Gokce N, Shibata R, Akasaki Y, Shimono A, Walsh K. Sfrp5 Is an anti-inflammatory adipokine that modulates metabolic dysfunction in obesity. Science. 2010: 329 (5990):454-7. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

Alice K. Jacobs, M.D.

A professor of medicine and the Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Cardiology at Boston Medical Center, has been very involved in the American Heart Association. On a national level at the AHA, she is currently President –Elect, chair of the Professional Education Committee, a member of the Science Advisory Coordinating Committee and chair of the Council on Clinical Cardiology Program Committee. She is also involved in local AHA activities and currently serves as President of the Northeast Affiliate. In addition, Dr. Jacobs plays an active role in the American College of Cardiology. She has been a member of several ACC writing groups establishing training criteria in interventional cardiology, assessing and maintaining competence in interventional cardiology and updating guidelines for the performance of percutaneous coronary intervention. In addition, she is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Interventional Cardiology Test Committee and the ACC/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Dr. Jacobs’ major research activities are in the area of invasive cardiology and revascularization strategies. Currently she is the site principal investigator of several multi-center trials including the NHLBI funded BARI 2-D, SHOCK, and OAT trials and the NHLBI Dynamic Registry. She is also active in the area of heart disease in women and has evaluated the acute and long-term outcomes of percutaneous coronary intervention in women in comparison to men.

Michael D. Klein, M.D.

A clinical professor of medicine, is Medical Director of the Heart Station at Boston Medical Center. He is a fellow of the AHA’s Council of Clinical Cardiology, American College of Cardiology, and American College of Physicians. His research interests include new drug algorithims for treatment of acute coronary syndromes, congestive heart failure, and atrial fibrillation. Current research projects include the expanded use of antithrombotics in acute MI patients transitioning to the catheter laboratory for coronary stents; novel anti-oxidant treatment for advanced congestive heart failure; and an NIH study seeking the link between coronary and periodontal disease.

Edward J. Miller, M.D. Ph.D, Assistant Professor

An assistant professor of medicine and radiology. His research interest is in the regulation of energy metabolism in the heart, focusing on signaling pathways that are disrupted in diabetic heart disease. The aims of his research are both to understand the basic mechanisms that are responsible for altered cardiomyocyte metabolism in type 2 diabetes, but also to investigate therapeutic options that can improve cardiac function in metabolic heart disease.

His clinical interests are in the evaluation and treatment of patients with heart disease and diabetes, as well as the use of nuclear cardiology (SPECT and PET) to understand myocardial blood flow in these patients.

More information and publications by Edward J. Miller can be found on the BU School of Medicine’s website.

 Recent Publications:

  • Baron S, Li J, Russell RR, Neumann D, Miller EJ, Tuerk R, Walliman T, Hurley R, Witters, LA, Young LH. Dual mechanisms regulating AMPK kinase action in the ischemic heart. Circulation Research, 2005. 96(3): p. 337-45. PMCID15653571
  • Miller EJ, Russell RR, Li J, Young LH. AMPK-a pivotal rheostat in the control of cardiac metabolism. Drug Discovery Today: Disease Mechanisms, 2005. 2(1): p. 93-100.
  • Li J, Miller EJ, Ninomiya-Tsuji J, Russell RR, Young LH. AMP-activated protein kinase activates p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase by increasing recruitment of p38 MAPK to TAB1 in the ischemic heart. Circulation Research. 2005. 97(9):872-9. PMCID16179588
  • Li J, Coven DL, Miller EJ, Hu X, Young ME, Carling D, Sinusas AJ, Young LH. Activation of AMPK alpha- and gamma- Isoform Complexes in the Intact Ischemic Rat Heart. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. Oct;291(4):H1927-34. PMCID16648175
  • Miller EJ, Li J, Sinusas K, Holman GD, Young LH. Infusion of a biotinylated bis-glucose photolabel: A new method to quantify cell-surface GLUT4 in the intact mouse heart. Am J Physiol Endo. 2007. June;292(6):E1922-8. PMCID17341550
  • Miller EJ, Li J, Leng L, McDonald C, Atsumi, T, Bucala R, Young LH. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor stimulates AMP-activated protein kinase in the ischemic heart. Nature. 2008. Jan 31;451(7178): 578-82. PMCID18235500
  • Kim A, Miller EJ, Young LH. AMPK, a Core Signaling Pathway in the Heart. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2009 May;196(1):37-53. PMCID19239414

Frederick Ruberg, M.D., Assistant ProfessorFLR Photo

Dr. Ruberg is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Radiology at Boston University School of Medicine and the Director of the Advanced Cardiac Imaging Program at Boston Medical Center. His clinical expertise is in the field of cardiac imaging with advanced training in echocardiography, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and cardiac computed tomography (CT). He is an attending physician in the echocardiography laboratory, the cardiac ICU, and on the cardiac MRI/CT service. Dr. Ruberg is a peer reviewer for numerous journals relevant to cardiovascular medicine including Circulation, Circulation Research, ATVB, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.  He is a member of the editorial board of Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. Dr. Ruberg is also the Co-Director of the Cardiovascular Fellowship Training Program.

Dr. Ruberg’s research interest is in the application of MRI-based techniques, including MR spectroscopy, to quantify lipid (fat) deposition within the heart and vasculature as it relates to cardiac and vascular dysfunction.  He also has a strong interest in amyloid cardiomyopathy, and in specific the utility of cardiac MR in the diagnosis and management of this disease. His research is supported by the American Heart Association, Amyloidosis Foundation, and NHLBI. Dr. Ruberg is also co-investigator on numerous extramurally funded projects with collaborations involving investigators in cardiovascular medicine, biophysics, neurology, cardiac surgery, and hematology/oncology.

Find Dr. Ruberg also at the Cardiovascular Center website.

Selected Publications:

  • Ruberg FL, Viereck J, Phinikaridou A, Qiao Y, Loscalzo J, and Hamilton JA. Identification of cholesteryl esters in human carotid atherosclerosis by ex vivo image-guided proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. J Lipid Res 47:310-317, 2006.
  • Ruberg, FL, Appelbaum E, Davidoff R, Ozanoff A, Kissinger KV, Harrigan C, Skinner M, and Manning WJ. Diagnostic and Prognostic Utility of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Light Chain Cardiac Amyloidosis. Am J Cardiol, 103:544 –549, 2009
  • Ruberg FL, Chen Z, Hua N, Bigornia S, Guo Z, Hallock K, Jara H, Phinikaridou A, Qiao Y, Viereck J, Apovian C, and Hamilton J. The relationship of ectopic lipid accumulation to cardiac and vascular function in obesity and metabolic syndrome. Obesity: 18(6): 1116-1121, 2010.
  • Phinikaridou A, Ruberg FL, Hallock K, Qiao Y, Hua N, Vierek J, and Hamilton JA. In vivo detection of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque by magnetic resonance imaging. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging: 3(3): 323-332, 2010.
  • Bhuiyan T, Helmke S, Patel A, Ruberg FL, Packman J, Cheung K, Grogan D, and Maurer M. Pressure-Volume Relationships in Patients with Transthyretin (ATTR) Cardiac Amyloidosis Secondary to V122I Mutations and Wild Type TTR: TRACS (Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloid Study). Circulation: Heart Failure (in press).
  • Ruberg FL. Paying at the pump: diet-induced accumulation of cardiac lipid and systolic dysfunction. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, 3(6):635-637, 2010.

Thomas J. Ryan, M.D.

A professor of medicine and former chief of the Section of Cardiology (1971-1994), has long served the cardiology community nationally and regionally. Dr. Ryan is past president of the American Heart Association (1984-86), past president of the InterAmerican Society of Cardiology (1993-96), served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American College of Cardiology and the Subspecialty Board on Cardiovascular Disease of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is an elected member of the Association of University Cardiologists and the American Clinical and Climatological Society. An early contributor to the development of coronary arteriography, Dr. Ryan is an internationally recognized authority on ischemic heart disease. He has been a leader in the development and conduct of numerous NHLBI sponsored clinical trials addressing the role of bypass surgery, thrombolytic therapy and angioplasty in patients with coronary artery disease. He has long been involved in the development of practice guidelines serving as Chairman of the ACC/AHA Subcommittee that generated the original Guidelines for PTCA in 1988 and their revision in 1993. Most recently, he chaired the ACC/AHA Subcommittee that has revised the Guidelines for the Management of Acute Myocardial Infarction. He has been a member of the Cardiology Advisory Committee of NHLBI and has served on the Editorial boards of the New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy. In 1991, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and served as a Fogarty Senior International Fellow at Oxford University. Dr. Ryan is a recipient of the AHA’s Gold Heart Award (1991) and was the 1996 recipient of the James B. Herrick award of the Council on Clinical Cardiology of the AHA. In 1997 he received the Distinguished Fellowship Award of the American College of Cardiology and was elevated to Master status in the American College of Physicians/American Society of Internal Medicine in 2001. This same year an Endowed Chair was named in his honor at Boston University Medical School. He received the Chairman’s Award of the American Heart Association in 2001 and has been made a Master of the American College of Cardiology in 2003.

Flora Sam, M.D.

An associate professor of medicine. She is a current recipient of a NIH R01 to study the role of aldosterone in cardiac remodeling. She is also a past recipient of a Clinical Investigator Development Award from the NIH to study the role of oxidative stress in human heart failure. She also received a Beginning Grant-in-Aid from the American Heart Association. Her basic research interests focuses on mechanisms of ventricular remodeling in the failing heart, especially pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic mechanisms that mediate cardiac remodeling in heart failure and hypertension.

Joseph A. Vita, M.D.

A Professor of Medicine, is a senior staff cardiologist in the Section of Cardiovascular Medicine/Department of Medicine at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Vita is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of University Cardiologists. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and of the American Heart Association’s Councils on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, and Clinical Cardiology. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and a member of the Society for Free Radical Research and Medicine and the Cardiovascular Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Vita serves as the Deputy Editor of Circulation. He has served as the research advisor for more than 30 fellows and junior faculty members, and the Department of Medicine recently awarded him the Robert Dawson Evans Research Mentoring Award. Dr. Vita is the principal investigator of a Specialized Center of Clinical Research (SCCOR) grant from the NIH entitled “Vascular Consequences of Insulin Resistance and Obesity” and three other RO1 level grants. His research focuses on mechanisms and clinical consequences of endothelial dysfunction in atherogenesis and vascular disease.

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