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:

Biography

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

Yu B, Pulit SL, Hwang SJ, Brody JA, Amin N, Auer PL, Bis JC, Boerwinkle E, Burke GL, Chakravarti A, Correa A, Dreisbach AW, Franco OH, Ehret GB, Franceschini N, Hofman A, Lin DY, Metcalf GA, Musani SK, Muzny D, Palmas W, Raffel L, Reiner A, Rice K, Rotter JI, Veeraraghavan N, Fox E, Guo X, North KE, Gibbs RA, van Duijn CM, Psaty BM, Levy D, Newton-Cheh C, Morrison AC, Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute GO Exome Sequencing Project. Rare exome sequence variants in CLCN6 reduce blood pressure levels and hypertension risk. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2015 Dec 11. pii: CIRCGENETICS.115.001215. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Harrington LB, Wiggins KL, Sitlani CM, Blondon M, van Hylckama Vlieg A, Rosendaal FR, Heckbert SR, Psaty BM, Smith NL. The association of F11 genetic variants with the risk of incident venous thrombosis among women, by statin use. Thromb Haemost. 2015 Dec 3;115(3). [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Sitlani CM, Dupuis J, Rice KM, Sun F, Pitsillides AN, Cupples LA, Psaty BM. Genome-wide gene-environment interactions on quantitative traits using family data. Eur J Hum Genet. 2015 Dec 2. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2015.253. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Jensen RA, Sim X, Smith AV, Li X, Jakobsdóttir J, Cheng CY, Brody JA, Cotch MF, McKnight B, Klein R, Wang JJ, Kifley A, Harris TB, Launer LJ, Taylor KD, Klein BE, Raffel LJ, Li X, Ikram MA, Klaver CC, van der Lee SJ, Mutlu U, Hofman A, Uitterlinden AG, Liu C, Kraja AT; CHARGE Exome Chip Blood Pressure Consortium, Mitchell P, Gudnason V, Rotter JI, Boerwinkle E, van Duijn CM, Psaty BM, Wong TY. Novel genetic loci associated with retinal microvascular diameter. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2015 Nov 13. pii: CIRCGENETICS.115.001142. [Epub ahead of print].

 

healthy findings blog

Tough conversations: How can we help patients get off risky drugs?

Dr. Sascha Dublin describes a Group Health-UW finding that benzodiazepines probably don’t cause dementia. But she cautions that they’re still bad for you.

Read it in Healthy Findings.

GHRI IN THE MEDIA

Screening children for cholesterol

New York Times, Feb 13, 2012