Allan S. Jaffe, M.D., has spent his long academic career investigating the use of biomarkers to characterize the pathobiology of acute cardiovascular disease. For that reason, he is the chair of the Division of Clinical Core Laboratory Services in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic.
He is a member of most of the major cardiology and clinical chemistry editorial boards and sits on most of the major guidelines committees for the use of these biomarkers.
Dr. Jaffe's initial efforts focused on coagulation and fibrinolysis and resulted in an appreciation for the pro-coagulant effects of plasminogen activators. At that time, he was also actively involved in defining how to best measure and use CKMB to determine the diagnosis and prognosis (infarct size) of patients with acute myocardial infarction.
Subsequently, with investigators at Washington University, he helped to develop and was responsible for the validation studies of the first cardiac troponin I assay. His efforts have since focused on the measurement of cardiac troponin and how to use the value obtained from clinical studies.
In addition, he has expanded his interests into the area of heart failure and has published extensively on the use of both cardiac troponin and natriuretic peptides to characterize patients with both acute and chronic heart failure. An additional interest relates to the intersection of depression and heart disease where he was the co-chair of the Enhancing Recovery in Coronary Heart Disease (ENRICHD) study of post-acute myocardial infarction patients.
Significance to patient care
The use of cardiac biomarkers is expanding rapidly as patients and physicians look for more objective ways to diagnose and monitor patients. However, as with all testing, the quality of biomarker samples, the assays that are used and proper interpretation of the results of such testing is critical. The sophistication of these assays and their sensitivity is increasing amplifying these challenges since small changes may be of importance.
Dr. Jaffe's research is on the cutting edge of these questions for many commonly used biomarkers, such as the natriuretic peptides and troponin.