Dr Paul Ridker, Director, Center For Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

RT Hall Lecture:  100 years from C-reactive protein to anti-cytokine therapy for atherosclerosis: A history of discovery

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Over the past 25 years, Dr. Paul Ridker has been collaboratively responsible for elucidating the critical role of inflammation in the detection, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Best known for his pioneering population biology work on inflammatory biomarkers such as high-sensitivity CRP and interleukin-6, the first demonstrations of the anti-inflammatory effects of statins, the guideline changing JUPITER trial in 2008, and ultimately through the CANTOS interleukin-1b inhibition trial in 2017. 

Dr. Ridker’s work has led to a fundamental shift in our understanding of atherosclerosis and to the first proof that targeted anti-cytokine therapies can lower cardiovascular event rates in the absence of lipid lowering. Insights from his group that the magnitude of inflammation inhibition directly relates to the magnitude of clinical benefit has spawned a novel class of cardiovascular therapeutics, led to the clinical recognition that “residual inflammatory risk” is a separate and distinct entity from “residual cholesterol risk”, and opened an entirely novel approach to the treatment of inflammatory lung cancers. 

Spanning the fields of epidemiology, vascular biology, population genetics, public health, preventive medicine, and clinical trials, Dr. Ridker’s career-long focus on inflammatory mechanisms of disease has advanced a controversial concept into a proven clinical intervention. Few clinical investigators have had as much translational influence at the bench, the bedside, and on guidelines for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.