Dr. Ballantyne’s clinical research is the prevention of atherosclerotic vascular disease. This interest includes pharmacological studies to assess the efficacy and benefits of lipid-lowering drug therapy including trials which utilize ultrasound and MRI to examine the effects of lipid-lowering drugs on the progression of atherosclerosis. As the director of The Maria and Alando J. Ballantyne, M.D., Atherosclerosis Clinical Research Laboratory, which serves as the core laboratory for the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, Dr. Ballantyne is studying whether genetic variation in combination with novel biomarkers might be useful in identifying individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease, the metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Both genomics and proteomics are being used to identify novel molecules that are increased with atherosclerosis and the metabolic syndrome. In addition, his group is studying how genetic variation modifies the response to lipid therapy with the goal of developing personalized diet, lifestyle, and pharmacotherapy based upon the genetic profile and clinical phenotype.