Suzette J. Bielinski, Ph.D., is a cardiovascular genetic epidemiologist whose research focuses on identifying molecular biomarkers of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, she is interested in identifying genetic and protein biomarkers associated with heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms, that can be used clinically to improve risk prediction and identify tailored treatment and prevention strategies.
Dr. Bielinski uses research data from subjects enrolled in large cardiovascular cohort studies, such as the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), as well as clinical data collected from heart disease patients in southeastern Minnesota. Innovative methods, such as metabolomics and multiscale biology, are combined with traditional epidemiologic and statistical techniques to generate and analyze data.
- Why are some people more prone to heart disease? Heart disease risk differs between people, and some of these differences are caused by each individual's unique genetic makeup. Dr. Bielinski's research seeks to identify the specific genetic variations that contribute to heart disease.
- Is everyone with heart disease the same? No. A more complete understanding of genetic and protein profiles of individuals will improve the understanding of the causes of heart disease; contribute to better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease; and help to determine individually tailored prevention and treatment strategies.
- Why do some people respond to therapy and some do not? Individual variability in response to therapy is an accepted feature in virtually all drug treatments. Identification of genetic variation that affects whether some people need a higher or lower dose or if they might be at increased risk of side effects can be used to optimize medical care.
Significance to patient care
Understanding individual differences in disease holds the promise of improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease by tailoring medical care to an individual's molecular profile.
- Member, Genomics and Translational Biology Epidemiology and Observational Peer Review Study Group, American Heart Association, 2012-present
- Member, Ancillary Studies Committee, Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), 2011-present
- Invited Speaker, Schirber Lecture Series: Lecture on Contemporary Issues in Health Care, College of Saint Benedict, 2009
- Finalist, Jeremiah and Rose Stamler Research Award for New Investigators, American Heart Association, 2006
- Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Epidemiology Postdoctoral Award, National Institutes of Health, 2005-2006