Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., so I'm studying how genes, medications, and everyday behaviors influence heart health.”

Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD

Group Health Research Institute Senior Investigator

Areas of focus:


Bruce Psaty is a general internist and cardiovascular disease epidemiologist with interests and expertise in pharmaco-epidemiology, pharmacogenetics, and drug safety. Also a professor of medicine, epidemiology, and health services at the University of Washington (UW), he co-directs the UW’s Cardiovascular Health Research Unit.

Dr. Psaty’s work includes population-based case-control studies of myocardial infarction, stroke, atrial fibrillation, and venous thromboembolism conducted at Group Health Cooperative. His primary research interests include risk factors such as high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and diabetes and the drugs used to treat these conditions; new or emerging risk factors for heart disease and stroke; genetics, genomics, and pharmacogenetics; and genetic risk factors for a variety of conditions.

His several current NIH-funded projects focus on interactions between medications and genes; they represent efforts to translate findings from the Human Genome Project into clinical practice and, thus, improve the safety and efficacy of commonly used medications. He is a founding member of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium (CHARGE), which conducts genome-wide association studies in collaborating cohorts, including the Cardiovascular Health Study and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He also teaches and mentors students, fellows, and junior faculty in medicine and epidemiology.

A national leader in encouraging better postmarket surveillance of approved medications, Dr. Psaty is a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Science Board, a committee that advises the commisioner and chief scientist. He previously served on two Institute of Medicine (IOM) panels charged with reviewing the FDA, most recently the ethical and scientific issues in studying the safety of approved drugs. Dr. Psaty is also a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Advisory Council. In 2013, he was elected to the IOM and designated a distinguished scientist by the American Heart Association.

Dr. Psaty maintains a small but long-standing primary care practice in the Adult Medicine Clinic at Harborview Medical Center.

Research interests and experience

  • Cardiovascular Health

    Myocardial infarction and stroke; venous thrombosis; atrial fibrillation; and risk factors, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes

  • Medication Use & Patient Safety

    Pharmaco-epidemiology; drug safety

  • Genetics, Genomics, and Pharmacogenetics

  • Epidemiologic Methods


Recent publications

Jun G, Ibrahim-Verbaas CA, Vronskaya M, Lambert JC, Chung J, Naj AC, Kunkle BW, Wang LS, Bis JC, Bellenguez C, Lunetta KL, Harsol D, Destefano AL, Grenier-Boley B, Beecham GW, Smith AV, Escott-Price V, Chouraki V, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Gerrish A, Ikram A, Fievet N, Martin ER, Sims R, Schmidt H, Kamatani Y, Valladares O, Ruiz A, Zelenika D, Foroud TM, Choi SH, Boland A, Kukull WA, van der Lee SJ, Pasquier F, Beekly D, Fitzpatrick AL, Hanon O, Barber R, Gudnason V, Campio D, Bennett DA, Amin N, Berr C, Buxbaum JD, Lopez OL, Deramecourt V, Cantwell LB, Tarraga L, Dufouil C, Crane PK, Eriksdottir G, Hannequin D, Evans D, Mosley TH, Letenneur L, Goate AM, De Jager P, Jakobsdottier J, Dartigues JF, Kamboh MI, de Bruijn RFAG, Tzourio C, Larson EB, Rotter JI, Montine TJ, Nalls MA, Reiman E, Jonsson PV, St Geroge-Hyslop P, Voada M, Wendland JR, Schmidt R, Winslow AR, Younkin SG, Hofman A, Wilhelmsen KC, IGAP Consortium, Haines JL, Psaty BM, Lathrop M, Homans P, Seshadri S, Pericak-Vance MA, Amouyel P, Williams J, van Duijn CM, Schellenberg GD, Farrer LA.

A novel Alzheimer disease locus located near the gene encoding tau protein.

Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Mar 17. doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.23 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Roger VL, Boerwinkle E, Crapo JD, Douglas PS, Epstein JA, Granger CB, Greenland P, Kohane I, Psaty BM.

Roger et al. respond to "Future of population studies."

Am J Epidemiol. 2015;181(6):372-3. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwv009. Epub 2015 Mar 4. PubMed

Roger VL, Boerwinkle E, Crapo JD, Douglas PS, Epstein JA, Granger CB, Greenland P, Kohane I, Psaty BM.

Strategic transformation of population studies: recommendations of the Working Group on Epidemiology and Population Sciences from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council and Board of External Experts.

Am J Epidemiol. 2015;181(6):363-8. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwv011. Epub 2015 Mar 4. PubMed

Germain M, Chasman DI, de Haan H, Tang W, Lindström S, Weng LC, de Andrade M, de Visser MC, Wiggins KL, Suchon P, Saut N, Smadja DM, Le Gal G, van Hylckama Vlieg A, Di Narzo A, Hao K, Nelson CP, Rocanin-Arjo A, Folkersen L, Monajemi R, Rose LM, Brody JA, Slagboom E, Aïssi D, Gagnon F, Deleuze JF, Deloukas P, Tzourio C, Dartigues JF, Berr C, Taylor KD, Civelek M, Eriksson P; Cardiogenics Consortium, Psaty BM, Houwing-Duitermaat J, Goodall AH, Cambien F, Kraft P, Amouyel P, Samani NJ, Basu S, Ridker PM, Rosendaal FR, Kabrhel C, Folsom AR, Heit J, Reitsma PH, Trégouët DA, Smith NL, Morange PE.

Meta-analysis of 65,734 individuals identifies TSPAN15 and SLC44A2 as two susceptibility loci for venous thromboembolism.

Am J Hum Genet. 2015 Mar 11. pii: S0002-9297(15)00051-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.01.019 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed