Prof Chris Packard has focussed on two main aspects of atherosclerosis research – lipoprotein metabolism and how it is affected by diets and drugs, and large-scale clinical trials of lipid lowering agents. More recently his interests have widened to include investigations of emerging risk factors, the role of genetics in coronary heart disease, and the impact of social deprivation on health.
As study director and one of the main investigators of the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS and the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER), Prof Packard helped establish the evidence base for statin use in CHD prevention. These trials provided confidence that statins are beneficial in primary prevention and in older adults, and publication of the 20 year follow up of WOSCOPS provided unique long-term safety data.
Work from his laboratory helped elucidate the role of biomarkers such as CRP, high-sensitivity troponin and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 in predicting risk of CHD and of type 2 diabetes. Recently, Prof Packard contributed to European expert Consensus Panels and publications on the causal role of LDL in atherosclerosis, and the role of triglycerides and remnant lipoproteins in CVD.
Current interests include studies to investigate the metabolism of intestinal and liver-derived plasma lipids and apolipoproteins, the use of genetics in CHD prediction, and exploration of the mechanism of action of novel lipid lowering drugs.