Coleen A. McNamara


  • MD, Medical College of Ohio
  • Residency, University of Virginia
  • Fellowship, University of Virginia

Primary Appointment

  • Professor, Medicine- Cardiovascular Medicine


Research Interest(s)

Atherosclerosis, Obesity, Diabetes

Research Description

In recent years, obesity and diabetes have reached epidemic proportions. These diseases have many health consequences including stroke, heart attack and peripheral vascular disease. Common to all of these is atherosclerosis, which is the process by which lipids, cells and fibrous elements accumulate within the walls of arteries. Coordinated gene expression is essential to maintain normal vascular tissue structure and function and many transcription factors regulate these processes.

Our lab has recently identified the transcription factor Id3 as a major regulator of atherosclerosis and obesity. We have discovered that Id3 regulates the homing of B cells to the vasculature and that the loss of Id3 results in increased plaque formation. In ongoing research, we are utilizing different molecular imaging modalities to further explore and quantify the trafficking of B cells to the vessel wall and pursuing molecular strategies to further elucidate the mechanism by which Id3 affects the function of B cells in atherosclerosis.

In addition, studies from our lab have shown an important role for Id3 in the regulation of visceral adiposity. We have demonstrated the role of Id3 in the transcriptional regulation of adiponectin (an anti-inflammatory cytokine produced by adipocytes). Further studies are underway to investigate the mechanisms whereby Id3 deletion protects from high fat diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance.

Selected Publications

  • Manichaikul A, Rich S, Perry H, Yeboah J, Law M, Davis M, Parker M, Ragosta M, Connelly J, McNamara C, Taylor A. A functionally significant polymorphism in ID3 is associated with human coronary pathology. PloS one. 2014;9(3): e90222. PMID: 24603695 | PMCID: PMC3946163
  • Perry H, Oldham S, Fahl S, Que X, Gonen A, Harmon D, Tsimikas S, Witztum J, Bender T, McNamara C. Helix-loop-helix factor inhibitor of differentiation 3 regulates interleukin-5 expression and B-1a B cell proliferation. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2013;33(12): 2771-9. PMID: 24115031 | PMCID: PMC4003558
  • Bourque J, Schietinger B, Kennedy J, Pearce E, Christopher J, Taylor A, McNamara C, Kramer C. Usefulness of cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging of the superficial femoral artery for screening patients with diabetes mellitus for atherosclerosis. The American journal of cardiology. 2012;110(1): 50-6. PMID: 22459304 | PMCID: PMC3377855
  • Campbell K, Lipinski M, Doran A, Skaflen M, Fuster V, McNamara C. Lymphocytes and the adventitial immune response in atherosclerosis. Circulation research. 2012;110(6): 889-900. PMID: 22427326 | PMCID: PMC3373006
  • Lipinski M, Campbell K, Duong S, Welch T, Garmey J, Doran A, Skaflen M, Oldham S, Kelly K, McNamara C. Loss of Id3 increases VCAM-1 expression, macrophage accumulation, and atherogenesis in Ldlr-/- mice. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2012;32(12): 2855-61. PMID: 23042815 | PMCID: PMC3509414
  • Perry H, Bender T, McNamara C. B cell subsets in atherosclerosis. Frontiers in immunology. 2012;3 373. PMID: 23248624 | PMCID: PMC3518786
  • Perry H, McNamara C. Refining the role of B cells in atherosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2012;32(7): 1548-9. PMID: 22699274
  • Cutchins A, Harmon D, Kirby J, Doran A, Oldham S, Skaflen M, Klibanov A, Meller N, Keller S, Garmey J, McNamara C. Inhibitor of differentiation-3 mediates high fat diet-induced visceral fat expansion. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2011;32(2): 317-24. PMID: 22075252 | PMCID: PMC3262109
  • Doran A, Lipinski M, Oldham S, Garmey J, Campbell K, Skaflen M, Cutchins A, Lee D, Glover D, Kelly K, Galkina E, Ley K, Witztum J, Tsimikas S, Bender T, McNamara C. B-cell aortic homing and atheroprotection depend on Id3. Circulation research. 2011;110(1): e1-12. PMID: 22034493 | PMCID: PMC3253259
  • Deliri H, Meller N, Kadakkal A, Malhotra R, Brewster J, Doran A, Pei H, Oldham S, Skaflen M, Garmey J, McNamara C. Increased 12/15-lipoxygenase enhances cell growth, fibronectin deposition, and neointimal formation in response to carotid injury. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2010;31(1): 110-6. PMID: 20947825
  • Doran A, Lehtinen A, Meller N, Lipinski M, Slayton R, Oldham S, Skaflen M, Yeboah J, Rich S, Bowden D, McNamara C. Id3 is a novel atheroprotective factor containing a functionally significant single-nucleotide polymorphism associated with intima-media thickness in humans. Circulation research. 2010;106(7): 1303-11. PMID: 20185798 | PMCID: PMC2860382
  • Lipinski M, Perry H, Doran A, Oldham S, McNamara C. Comment on "Conventional B2 B cell depletion ameliorates whereas its adoptive transfer aggravates atherosclerosis". Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 2010;186(1): 4; author reply 6. PMID: 21172871