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Linda L. Demer, M.D., Ph.D.
M.C. Guthman Professor of Medicine and Physiology
Vice Chair of Cardiovascular and Vascular Medicine
Director, UCLA STAR Program
Office:  17-052A CHS
Phone:  (310) 206-2677


Curriculum Vitae

Research Interest

My laboratory has focused on determining the mechanism of artery wall calcification in atherosclerosis. Though it was previously considered a passive process, vascular calcification is now known to recapitulate embryonic osteogenesis under the control of a variety of bone differentiation factors, in part due to our research. After developing the first cell culture model of spontaneous vascular calcification, we isolated the artery wall cell responsible for matrix mineralization, and identified it as a multipotential mesenchymal stem cell with substantial self-renewal capacity. Most recently, we used computational analysis to demonstrate that these vascular stem cells organize themselves into predictable patterns through a reaction-diffusion process governed by differential diffusion of two morphogens, bone morphogenetic protein and its inhibitor, matrix carboxyglutamic acid protein. This research is essential because vascular calcification is common and promotes heart failure and hypertension. Its prevalence may increase even further with the widespread supplementation of food with calcium and vitamin D.

Representative Publications

Garfinkel A, Tintut Y, Petrasek D, Bostrom K, Demer LL. Pattern formation by vascular mesenchymal cells.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004; 101(25):9247-50.

Demer LL, Tintut Y. Mineral exploration: Search for the mechanism of vascular calcification and beyond: The 2003 Jeffrey M. Hoeg Award lecture. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2003; 23(10):1739-43.

Abedin M, Tintut Y, Demer LL. Mesenchymal stem cells and the artery wall. Circ Res. 2004; 95(7):671-6.

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