Dr. Tsimikas is Professor of Medicine and Director of Vascular Medicine at the University of California San Diego. He obtained his MD degree in 1988 from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and completed his Internal Medicine training at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1991. From 1992-1997, he completed separate fellowships in Cardiovascular Disease, Atherosclerosis Research and Interventional Cardiology at the University of California San Diego.
Dr. Tsimikas’ clinical interests are focused in his role as Director of the Vascular Medicine Program that encompasses treating a wide variety of patients in the continuum of high-risk primary prevention to endovascular intervention. Areas of interest include evaluating and treating patients with elevated Lp(a) levels, and percutaneous coronary and peripheral interventions. This program also functions as a key teaching venue for general and interventional cardiology fellows.
Dr. Tsimikas’ research interests are translational in nature and broadly include atherogenesis, oxidation and innate immunity. Areas of interest include defining the mechanisms of atherosclerosis progression and regression, plaque rupture, acute coronary syndromes, percutaneous coronary intervention and the benefits of therapeutic cardiovascular agents. Dr. Tsimikas has well-established programs in “biotheranostics” that seeks to develop biomarkers, molecular imaging and therapeutics related to diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, the targets are oxidation-specific epitopes (OSE) present in plasma and the targeting agents are murine and human monoclonal antibodies. The biomarker program is organized in the UCSD OSE Biomarker Laboratory and encompasses more the 60,000 biological samples from a wide variety of epidemiologic and cardiovascular studies and collaborating investigators. As a bench-to-bedside paradigm, the OxPL/apoB assay will be clinically available in the near future as a predictor of CV death, MI and stroke and for risk stratification of patients at risk for cardiovascular disease. For molecular imaging program, both nuclear and MR approaches are being used, including a variety of MR nanoparticles for imaging OSE that may represent high risk plaques. For therapeutics, human oxidation-specific antibodies reduce atherogenesis in mouse models and are now being translated for clinical use for acute plaque stabilization and reduction in ischemia-reperfusion injury.
Dr. Tsimikas has published over 150 articles and book chapters, including in NEJM, Nature, JACC, JCI, Circulation, Circ Res, ATVB, and EHJ. He is Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions. He is also Deputy Editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Associate Editor of JACC Cardiovascular Interventions.