Distinguished Scientists 2013 - Alan R. Tall, MB BS, FAHA
Dr. Alan R. Tall is the Tilden-Weger-Bieler Professor of Medicine, Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics and head of the Division of Molecular Medicine in the Department of Medicine of Columbia University. He recently served as the founding head of the Cardiovascular Research Initiative of Columbia University. Dr. Tall is internationally recognized for his work in plasma lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis, especially in relation to the regulation and metabolism of plasma high density lipoproteins (HDL). Dr. Tall and collaborators discovered mutations in the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene that are associated with dramatically increased HDL and reduced LDL levels, establishing the role of CETP in the regulation of lipoproteins and identifying CETP as a potential therapeutic target.
Dr. Tall and colleagues have done research on the ATP binding cassette transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1 that promote cholesterol efflux from macrophage foam cells to apoA-1 and HDL particles, respectively. Recently, Dr. Tall and colleagues have identified a key role of cholesterol efflux pathways in limiting the proliferation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and thus the pro-atherogenic production of inflammatory cells. Most recently, these studies have shown that in the setting of hypercholesterolemia, cholesterol efflux pathways mediated by a distinct transporter ABCG4 suppress the proliferation of megakaryocyte progenitor cells and limit excessive platelet production with anti-atherogenic and anti-thrombotic consequences. These studies have uncovered new links between the regulation of cellular cholesterol homeostasis by cholesterol efflux pathways and the regulation of cell proliferation, with relevance to both atherosclerosis and neoplastic disorders.
Dr. Tall is a member of the Association of American Physicians and has served on the Board of Scientific Councilors of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Research Committee and the ATVB Council of the American Heart Association. Dr Tall is an Associate Editor of Circulation Research and serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the ATVB journal. In recognition of his work, Dr Tall has been the recipient of the Irvine Page Award of the ATVB Council, and the Robert I Levy Lectureship of the Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health (formerly Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism) Council of the American Heart Association.