Steven E. Reis, MD
Steven E. Reis, M.D., is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research, Health Sciences, at the University of Pittsburgh. In this institutional role, Dr. Reis serves to promote an interdisciplinary collaborative environment that fosters clinical and translational research. Dr. Reis’ clinical research investigates biological mechanisms and hormonal modulation of arterial endothelial function and atherosclerosis in women. His early work demonstrated that estrogen acutely abolishes endothelial dysfunction in women, men and cardiac allografts and that this effect is attenuated by chronic estrogen treatment. He demonstrated that chronic hormone use is associated with a substantial mortality benefit in women with heart failure and that tamoxifen does not affect cardiovascular risk when used for breast cancer prevention in women with heart disease. Dr. Reis investigates the coronary microvasculature, inflammation, arterial remodeling and metabolism/obesity. He has demonstrated that women with chest pain in the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) have a high prevalence of coronary microvascular dysfunction which is not related to atherosclerosis risk factors, hormones, and inflammation. He reported that inflammation is more strongly associated with cardiovascular events than with obstructive CAD, indicating that inflammation plays a critical role in atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. His investigation of metabolism and CAD demonstrated that obesity is not an independent cardiovascular risk factor in women; increased cardiovascular risk that is associated with obesity is related to the presence of the metabolic syndrome, which commonly coexists with obesity. Dr. Reis’ current work is investigating race-related differences in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and disparities in cardiovascular risk.