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

Gharib SA, Loth DW, Soler Artigas M, Birkland TP, Wilk JB, Wain LV, Brody J, Obeidat M, Hancock DB, Tang W, Rawal R, Boezen HM, Imboden M, Huffman JE, Lahousse L, Alves AC, Manichaikul A, Hui J, Morrison AC, Ramasamy A, Smith AV, Gudnason V, Surakka I, Vitart V, Evans DM, Strachan DP, Deary IJ, Hofman A, Gläser S, Wilson JF, North KE, Zhao JH, Heckbert SR, Jarvis DL, Probst-Hensch N, Schulz H, Barr RG, Jarvelin MR, O'Connor GT, Kähönen M, Cassano PA, Hysi PG, Dupuis J, Hayward C, Psaty BM, Hall IP, Parks WC, Tobin MD, London SJ; CHARGE Consortium; SpiroMeta Consortium. Integrative pathway genomics of lung function and airflow obstruction. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Sep 22. pii: ddv378. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Fretts AM, Follis JL, Nettleton JA, Lemaitre RN, Ngwa JS, Wojczynski MK, Kalafati IP, Varga TV, Frazier-Wood AC, Houston DK, Lahti J, Ericson U, van den Hooven EH, Mikkila V, Kiefte-de Jong JC, Mozaffarian D, Rice K, Renstrom F, North KE, McKeown NM, Feitosa MF, Kanoni S, Smith CE, Garcia ME, Tiainen AM, Sonestedt E, Manichaikul A, van Rooij FJ, Dimitriou M, Raitakari O, Pankow JS, Djoussé L, Province MA, Hu FB, Lai CQ, Keller MF, Perälä MM, Rotter JI, Hofman A, Graff M, Kähönen M, Mukamal K, Johansson I, Ordovas JM, Liu Y, Männistö S, Uitterlinden AG, Deloukas P, Seppälä I, Psaty BM, Cupples LA, Borecki IB, Franks PW, Arnett DK, Nalls MA, Eriksson JG, Orho-Melander M, Franco OH, Lehtimäki T, Dedoussis GV, Meigs JB, Siscovick DS. Consumption of meat is associated with higher fasting glucose and insulin concentrations regardless of glucose and insulin genetic risk scores: a meta-analysis of 50,345 Caucasians. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 9. pii: ajcn101238. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Langefeld CD, Gottesman R, Mosley TH, Shahar E, Woo D, Yaffe K, Liu Y, Sale MM, Dichgans M, Malik R, Longstreth WT Jr, Mitchell BD, Psaty BM, Kooperberg C, Reiner A, Worrall BB, Fornage M. Social and emotional learning services and child outcomes in third grade: evidence from a cohort of head start participants. Stroke. 2015 Aug;46(8):2063-8. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.115.009044. Epub 2015. Jun 18. PubMed

Brutsaert EF, Shitole S, Biggs ML, Mukamal KJ, deBoer IH, Thacker EL, Barzilay JI, Djousse L, Ix JH, Smith NL, Kaplan RC, Siscovick DS, Psaty BM, Kizer JR. Relations of postload and fasting glucose with incident cardiovascular disease and mortality late in life: the Cardiovascular Health Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 Aug 27. pii: glv106 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed