Hayek Lab

Cardiac Biomarkers Laboratory


October 19, 2022

Our most recent paper has just been published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation!

Clinical, genetic, and experimental increase in soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor levels promotes atherosclerosis

Our team collaborated with contributors Alexander Balinksi and Rafey Rehman from Oakland University school of Medicine. We also collaborated with Connor Kerndt from Spectrum Health in partnership with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. ​​

Our own Postdoctoral Research Fellow student Alexi Vasbinder made huge contributions to this study. We would also like to thank our contributors from Michigan Medicine: Raymond Yeow, MD, Monika Leja, MD, Christopher Lao, MD, and Leslie Fecher, MD.

This study combined epidemiologic, genetic, and experimental approaches. The primary outcome of interest was suPAR’s involvement in atherosclerosis: specifically, is suPAR causally involved in atherosclerosis?

People with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are at higher risk of atherosclerosis for unclear reasons. Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is an immune-derived mediator of CKD and has an independent association with atherosclerosis.

Through our cohort study, genetic experimental analyses, and mouse models, we found that chronically elevated suPAR levels promote atherosclerosis. Our results indicated a causal association between suPAR levels and atherosclerotic phenotypes in addition to kidney disease.

These findings place high suPAR levels as a shared risk factor and potential therapeutic target for both cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.

Read more HERE!

The Cardiac Biomarkers lab is a quickly growing lab with both clinical and basic research projects. Our research centers on the novel use of biomarkers for predictive and prevention-based diagnoses and disease treatment. The lab's ultimate goal is to use high-throughput technology to personalize patient care.

Find out more about us - Research, Publications & Lab Members.

Please contact us if you would like to know more about our research!