As a graduate of Brown University, the Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Paul M. Ridker is formally trained in cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology and directs the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, a translational research unit at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Dr. Ridker’s research focuses on the design and conduct of multi-national randomized trials, the development of inflammatory biomarkers for clinical and research use, the molecular and genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases, and on novel strategies for cardiovascular disease detection and prevention. Best known for his work translating the biology of vascular inflammation into clinical practice, notable research findings from Dr. Ridker’s group include the first use of inflammatory biomarkers such as CRP, IL-6, and ICAM-1 to predict cardiovascular risk in otherwise healthy men and women; the first demonstrations that these same inflammatory biomarkers independently predict incident diabetes and hypertension; the first clinical observation that statins reduce inflammation and might be effective among those with low LDL but who have a persistent inflammatory response; and the development and validation of the Reynolds Risk Score, the first clinical risk prediction tool to include family history and inflammation along with traditional risk markers. On the basis of these data, Dr. Ridker then collaborated with investigators worldwide to conduct the 17,000 patient JUPITER trial demonstrating that statins in primary prevention are highly effective at reducing heart attack, stroke, and total mortality in those who do not qualify for treatment because of already low LDL but who are at elevated risk due to high CRP levels.
Continuing his work translating inflammation biology into practice, Dr. Ridker currently serves as Trial Chairman and Principal Investigator of two multi-national, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials designed to address whether reducing inflammation can reduce cardiovascular event rates. These trials are the Canakinumab Anti-Inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Study (CANTOS) and the NHLBI funded Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial (CIRT) which together will include more than 25,000 patients worldwide. Dr. Ridker is also the Principal Investigator of the Women’s Genome Health Study (WGHS) and the JUPITER-GWAS, two prospective genome wide association studies being conducted among more than 40,000 initially healthy men and women.
Academically, Dr. Ridker serves as the Eugene Braunwald Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and for fifteen years has directed an NHLBI-funded training grant in cardiovascular epidemiology that has proudly produced a cadre of talented young clinical cardiovascular investigators. Having received early-career funding from the American Heart Association in the form of a Clinician Scientist Award (1992-1997) and an Established Investigator Award (1997-2002), Dr. Ridker also has a longstanding commitment to the AHA and its research and clinical missions, particularly for young investigators.