Rochester, Minnesota




Suzette J. Bielinski, Ph.D., M.Ed., is a genetic epidemiologist whose research focuses on identifying molecular biomarkers of cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors, as well as understanding the role of genetic variants in drug response. Specifically, she is interested in identifying genetic and protein biomarkers and other clinical factors associated with heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure, and abnormal heart rhythms, that can be used to improve risk prediction.

Recognizing that pharmacogenomics has the potential to immediately impact the care of patients in a clinically meaningful way, Dr. Bielinski seeks to improve the selection of medications based on the genetic profile of individual patients. This approach aims to produce optimal effects for specific indications, improve patient experiences and reduce health care costs while limiting drug-related side effects.

Dr. Bielinski has been at the forefront of Mayo Clinic's interactions with several important cardiovascular cohort studies and consortia, including the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC), Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA), and Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) studies. She is a leader of Mayo Clinic's Right Drug, Right Dose, Right Time — Using Genomic Data to Individualize Treatment study that is designed to implement pharmacogenomic sequence data into clinical systems to improve patient outcomes.

Focus areas

  • Why are some people more prone to heart disease? Heart disease risk differs among people, and some of these differences are caused by individuals' 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? A more complete understanding of individuals' genetic and protein profiles will improve 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 cardiovascular disease holds the promise of improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease by tailoring medical care to an individual's molecular profile.

Professional highlights

  • Member, Genomics and Translational Biology Epidemiology and Observational Peer Review Study Group, American Heart Association, 2012-present
  • Member, Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Ancillary Studies Committee, 2011-present
  • Recipient, Pilot Project Award, Mayo Clinic Office of Health Disparities Research, 2019
  • Finalist, Jeremiah and Rose Stamler Research Award for New Investigators, American Heart Association, 2006
  • Recipient, Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Epidemiology Post Doctorate Award, National Institutes of Health, 2005-2006


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Epidemiology


  1. PhD - Major: Epidemiology, Minor: Human Genetics University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health
  2. MEd - Major: Curriculum and Instruction, Middle and Secondary - Science University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development
  3. BA - Major: Biology College of Saint Catherine

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