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Student’s Research Named a Major Advance for 2013

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association selected Lerner College of Medicine student Bob Koeth's research paper as one of the top 10 advances in heart disease and stroke for 2013.

Bob, who graduates this year, led the research, which was directed by Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, Chair of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Vice Chair of Translational Research for the Lerner Research Institute and Head of Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation. 

The research uncovered that carnitine, with the help of gut bacteria, is metabolized to trimethylamine-N-oxide, or TMAO, a compound linked to clogged arteries. What’s perhaps most interesting is that TMAO levels were higher in omnivores. Vegans and vegetarians, when given carnitine supplements for the study, did not produce significant levels of TMAO.

The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Bob is working toward a combined MD/PhD degree, and he used this latest research project to complete his thesis on dietary trimethylamine compounds.

Read the full Plain Dealer article here.