Gordon H. Williams

MD

Gordon H. Williams

Dr. Williams’ group’s first major goal is the identification of the genetic underpinnings of endocrine factors related to cardiovascular (CV) risk in hypertension and diabetes with the ultimate goal of using genetic markers to develop individualized, personal treatment programs for patients with these diseases. His is a translational research group with interdisciplinary focus in humans and at the bench. The group's major focus in human studies is on careful phenotyping of patients with hypertension and diabetes relative to cardiovascular risk factors. The research focuses on evaluating hormones that can modify vascular contractility and/or salt handling. The major current thrusts are the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), kallikrein, cortisol, adducin, the beta-2 adrenergic receptor and ion transport systems. The second major goal is to determine the role of aldosterone in producing CV disease at molecular, cellular, organ, whole animal and clinical levels. Recent studies suggest that aldosterone has a wide range of effects including inducing microvascular ischemia, thrombosis, fibrosis, and inflammatory responses many of them potentially mediated by aldosterone’s interaction with caveolins and two recently discovered proteins---striatin and lysine specific demethylase 1 (LSD1). Techniques employed include whole animal physiological studies using normal animals, those made hypertensive and those genetically modified (e.g. knock-outs and transgenics). Molecular and cellular techniques include gene arrays using chip technology, proteomics, confocal microscopy, electrophysiology and in situ hybridization. Finally, the group has just begin the first proof of concept clinical trial for using genetic information to provide personalized medicine.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chief, Endocrine Hypertension Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA