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News: Publications

EAS Newsletter May 19, 2020

Tuesday 19 May 2020   (0 Comments)
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EAS Congress 2020 Geneva

Updated Congress programme now available

As you know, EAS 2020 is now rescheduled to October 04-07. We would like to thank our Congress faculty for enthusiastically re-confirming their support and agreeing to take part on the new dates. The updated scientific programme is now published on the Congress website. 

Events in recent months have highlighted how important international collaboration is to our community. We continue to plan for EAS Congress 2020, and unless local or national circumstances prevent it, the Congress will go ahead as planned in Geneva. We hope you will be able to join us.

To the EAS Congress Programme >>

EAS Academy

Featured Open Lecture: Anitschkow Lecture: A journey from plaque to paté.


This presentation was given as the Anitschkow Lecture entitled “A Journey from Plaque to Paté” at the 87th EAS Congress in Maastricht 2019, by Professor Helen Hobbs.

Helen Hobbs is professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. After her residency she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Drs. Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein before joining the faculty of UT Southwestern in 1987.

Professor Hobbs is a pioneer in genetics, is directing the Dallas Heart Study, and uses the genetic discoveries from this study to expedite the translation of a genetic association into a therapeutic product. Her research has led to novel therapeutic approaches in the field of cardiovascular disease, most recently in the development of agents targeting PCSK9. Novel strategies are targeted towards the combat of fatty liver disease.

She started her Anitschkow Lecture with explaining her profound interest in cholesterol and triglycerides and gave the reason for why it is important to study these two key molecules – accumulation in the wrong tissues causes atherosclerosis and fatty liver disease. In family-studies she identified ABCG5/G8 as the genes responsible for sitosterolemia, a recessive disease characterized by plant sterol accumulation and moderate hypercholesterolemia. She moved to population studies and hypothesized that sequencing of the extremes of an intermediate trait – e.g. LDL cholesterol levels – would detect genetic variants only appearing in one extreme, and thus very likely to be functional. This approach led to the identification of protective PCSK9 variants and subsequent development of PCSK9-targeted therapeutics towards LDL cholesterol lowering and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The most recent drug targets with special impact for LDL cholesterol are the ANGPLT proteins, where several therapeutical approaches targeting this family of molecules currently are being tested in clinical trials.

The next wave in her scientific carrier was directed towards fatty liver disease and the interaction with genetics/ethnicity, and overweight. She and her group identified several important molecules for liver fat accumulation, and for progression from benign non-alcoholic liver fatty disease to the more severe non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. These molecules are currently being investigated for their therapeutic potential.

She concluded her Anitschkow Lecture by stating that the interest in two key molecules – cholesterol and triglycerides – has carried her through an exciting journey from plaque to paté.

To the presentation >>

Themed Short Track: “Prediction of CVD – genes and risk factors"

Under this headline, we have selected two presentations given at the EAS Congress in Maastricht 2019.

The genetic burden in CVD

  This presentation was given as a lecture by Heribert Schunkert, Professor in Cardiology of the Technische Universitaet Munich, Director of the Cardiology Department and Medical Director of the German Heart Centre Munich. Professor Schunkert is a pioneer within genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in cardiovascular disease (CVD) with the initiation of the CardioGram genetics consortium.

In his lecture, Professor Schunkert first described monogenic disorders versus polygenic traits, and stated that the “common variant-common disease” hypothesis has proven right based on the accumulating evidence from a wealth of GWAS projects.
Monogenic disorders as Familial Hypercholesterolemia is important for individual risk, however common variants have more profound effects at the population level, since all individuals carry a spectrum of risk alleles.

At present 164 genomic loci associated with CVD have been identified and involves mechanisms within blood pressure, lipid metabolism, neovascularization, angiogenesis, inflammation, transcriptional regulation, nitric oxide signaling and vascular remodeling. Most interestingly, genome-wide polygenic risk scores identify individuals with risk equivalent to monogenic diseases like Familial Hypercholesterolemia.

The near future will show whether polygenic risk scores have a place in risk prediction and prevention

To the presentation >>

Estimating risk – what’s new?


This presentation was given as a lecture by Ian Graham, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine in Trinity College, Dublin, and Professor Emeritus of Preventive Cardiology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Professor Graham has been a driving force in generation and recalibration of the SCORE risk charts for decades.

The SCORE system has now been recalibrated to cover a spectrum of European, Asian and middle east countries by taking the specific underlying risk factor patterns and underlying incidences of CVD for each country or region into account.

Professor Graham gave an overview of the future directions and ideas on how to improve risk prediction incorporating life-time risk and estimates from genes.

Mendelian randomization strategies shows that 1 mmol/L lower lifetime LDL cholesterol decreases CVD risk by 50-55%, information that in the near future may be incorporated into the SCORE system.

To the presentation >>

EAS online General Assembly!

EAS Members' General Assembly will be held as an online meeting, June 02, 2020 at 16.00 CET. We hope that many members will take this opportunity to take part. The Agenda and materials for the meeting are now available. Note that there are proposed changes to the Society Bylaws.

A link to join the meeting and instructions on how to vote will be sent to members in the week prior to the meeting.

More information about General Assembly 2020 >>

Last chance to nominate for Executive Committee positions.

If you've ever considered taking a more active role in the Society – now is the time! Talk to your colleagues - you can nominate one of them (with their agreement), or have them put your name forward as a prospective candidate.

The six positions are: Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer & 3 Executive Committe member positions.

More information about Nomination for Executive Committee >>

Lecture of the week: Risk Prediction for Add on Lipid Modulating Therapy

This interesting lecture about Lipid Modulating Theraphy was presented in EAS Congress in Maastricht by Professor Kausik Ray.

Kausik Kumar Ray is currently Professor of Public Heath, Deputy Director of Imperial Clinical Trials Unit and Head of Commercial Trials within the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, School of Public Health, Imperial College London.

More information about Professor Ray >>

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