Jonathan W. Weinsaft, MD, on Integrating Genetic Research into Cardiovascular Medicine


The chief of cardiology at Weill Cornell Medical College discussed the center’s increased focus on genetic research.

“We have an increasingly prominent presence in terms of a tailored approach for ventricular arrhythmias and for atrial fibrillation, all of which are increasingly recognized as being genetically influenced in terms of their presentation and severity. And so, understanding how genes drive these conditions is critical to us. We are now routinely performing genotyping in our heart failure patients who present to us because that helps us to understand mechanism and guide and guide therapy.”

Gene therapy research is expanding to cardiology and other relatively newer fields of investigation. Verve’s gene editing therapies VERVE-101 and VERVE-102 recently made a splash for heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH), the former of which was recently deprioritized in favor of the latter, next-generation therapy after unexpected adverse events.1 The company dosed the first patient with HeFH or premature coronary artery disease (CAD) in Heart-2, a phase 1b clinical trial (NCT06164730) evaluating VERVE-102 in May.2

CGTLive® spoke with Jonathan W. Weinsaft, MD, chief of cardiology and professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, to learn more about research that the institution is conducting. He emphasizedthe increasing focus Cornell has on genotyping patients and creating tailored approaches for genetic diseases, including ventricular arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation. He stressed that to be able to create these tailored approaches, the field requires more collaboration between basic scientists and clinical investigators to be able to translate basic research to the investigational field; better patient outreach and engagement, and more funding to support these endeavors.

1. Verve therapeutics announces updates on its PCSK9 program. Verve Therapeutics. April 2, 2024. Accessed May 14, 2024.
2. Verve Therapeutics Announces Dosing of First Patient in Heart-2 Phase 1b Clinical Trial Evaluating VERVE-102. News release. Verve Therapeutics. May 7, 2024. Accessed May 14, 2024.
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