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News: Publications

EAS National Society Newsletter, May 2020

Wednesday 27 May 2020   (0 Comments)
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Dear EAS National Society member,

We write to share with you news from EAS, both for you as a President and for your National Society members.

We present our latest Featured Open Lecture

This presentation was given as the Anitschkow Lecture entitled “A Journey from Plaque to Paté” at the 87thEAS Congress in Maastricht 2019, by Professor Helen Hobbs, and is now available as an Open-access webcast.

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 Open Lecture: A Journey from plaque to paté >>

Open Access Themed Short Track: May - June

In SHORT TRACKS we collect recent lectures from EAS Academy, putting them together to provide up-to-date perspectives on a given current topic.

This month’s Short Track topic is “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 byHeribert 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 Short Track: Prediction of CVD – genes and risk factors >>

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.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 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 Short Track: Prediction of CVD – genes and risk factors >> 

EAS Congress October 04-07, 2020 Geneva: Updated Congress programme now available

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 >>

Forthcoming events endorsed or joint with EAS

  • August 31:Joint online session between the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) and European Society of Cardiology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • September 09:EAS joint session with KSoLA at the 21st International Vascular Biology Meeting, Seoul, Korea South.
  • October 02:EAS joint session with Georgian Atherosclerosis Society, Tblisi, Georgia.
  • October 21:EAS joint session at Spanish Arteriosclerosis Society (SEA) National Congress, Madrid, Spain.
  • November 10:4th Dubrovnik Lipidology School, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
  • December 13:EAS Joint session at the National Lipid Association, Chicago, USA

To the EAS Event calender >>

We invite you to share the above information with your society members - we particularly hope you will encourage them to explore EAS Academy & to view the above presentations and the many other interesting lectures, slides and webcasts you can find there.

We're happy to receive your feedback - you are welcome to contact us by e-mail at

With kind regards to you and your society members, keep safe and well in these difficult times,

Lale Tokgozoglu

European Atherosclerosis Society

On behalf of the EAS Educational Activities Committee

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