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Dr Daniel Freitag

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding the role of inflammation in the aetiology of coronary heart disease. There is substantial evidence that inflammation plays an important role in the development of coronary heart disease. Identification of the culprit factors driving misguided inflammation in coronary heart disease is key to developing novel therapeutic strategies, in order to extend the current standard of care beyond that of cholesterol and blood pressure lowering medications.

Genome-wide association studies of coronary heart disease have identified several genetic loci with suspected role in inflammation. I use large-scale genetic studies with information on inflammatory biomarkers (e.g. the INTERVAL study) and cellular phenotyping in order to elucidate the biological mechanism of genetic variants associated with coronary heart disease, as exemplified by my work on the interleukin-6 receptor.

Key Publications

Inflammatory cytokines and risk of coronary heart disease: new prospective study and updated meta-analysis. Kaptoge S, Seshasai SR, Gao P, Freitag DF, Butterworth AS, Borglykke A, Di Angelantonio E, Gudnason V, Rumley A, Lowe GD, Jørgensen T, Danesh J. Eur Heart J. 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

Functional IL6R 358Ala allele impairs classical IL-6 receptor signaling and influences risk of diverse inflammatory diseases. Ferreira RC*, Freitag DF*, Cutler AJ, Howson JM, Rainbow DB, Smyth DJ, Kaptoge S, Clarke P, Boreham C, Coulson RM, Pekalski ML, Chen WM, Onengut-Gumuscu S, Rich SS, Butterworth AS, Malarstig A, Danesh J, Todd JA. PLoS Genet. 2013;9(4):e1003444.

Interleukin-6 receptor pathways in coronary heart disease: a collaborative meta-analysis of 82 studies. Sarwar N*, Butterworth AS*, Freitag DF, Gregson J, Willeit P, Gorman DN, Gao P, Saleheen D, Rendon A, Nelson CP, Braund PS, Hall AS, Chasman DI, Tybjærg-Hansen A, Chambers JC, Benjamin EJ, Franks PW, Clarke R, Wilde AA, Trip MD, Steri M, Witteman JC, Qi L, van der Schoot CE, de Faire U, Erdmann J, Stringham HM, Koenig W, Rader DJ, Melzer D, Reich D, Psaty BM, Kleber ME, Panagiotakos DB, Willeit J, Wennberg P, Woodward M, Adamovic S, Rimm EB, Meade TW, Gillum RF, Shaffer JA, Hofman A, Onat A, Sundström J, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Mellström D, Gallacher J, Cushman M, Tracy RP, Kauhanen J, Karlsson M, Salonen JT, Wilhelmsen L, Amouyel P, Cantin B, Best LG, Ben-Shlomo Y, Manson JE, Davey-Smith G, de Bakker PI, O’Donnell CJ, Wilson JF, Wilson AG, Assimes TL, Jansson JO, Ohlsson C, Tivesten Å, Ljunggren Ö, Reilly MP, Hamsten A, Ingelsson E, Cambien F, Hung J, Thomas GN, Boehnke M, Schunkert H, Asselbergs FW, Kastelein JJ, Gudnason V, Salomaa V, Harris TB, Kooner JS, Allin KH, Nordestgaard BG, Hopewell JC, Goodall AH, Ridker PM, Hólm H, Watkins H, Ouwehand WH, Samani NJ, Kaptoge S, Di Angelantonio E, Harari O, Danesh J. Lancet. 2012;379(9822):1205-13.

*joint first authors