IAS News and Literature Updates:
January 2019

From the President's Desk:

Raul Santos
It is with great honor that I start serving as President of the International Atherosclerosis Society (IAS) for the three-year term beginning in January 2019. Thinking of all that my predecessors accomplished, I realize the importance of the role I am assuming, and find it quite a challenging one.
The IAS aims to prevent cardiovascular disease, one of major causes of death worldwide, by playing important roles in coordinating the exchange of scientific information among the IAS constituent societies and fostering research on the prevention of atherosclerosis. In particular, the IAS has acted to foster education and communication globally among researchers, educators, and healthcare professionals in the field of atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic disorders.
Through the great efforts of the past presidents and many mentors, the IAS has kept growing and now is composed of 67 national and regional societies and has made many contributions to the successful prevention of cardiovascular disease in many countries. In addition, IAS has fostered collaboration with sister societies and entities that share the common goal of reducing cardiovascular disease.

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          In Memoriam       
Dr. Akira Yamamoto 1932-2019

Dr. Akira Yamamoto suddenly passed away after a short illness on January 7, 2019. A notice of his untimely death has reached us and came as a great shock to all of us. We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.
Dr. Yamamoto was born in Osaka, Japan in 1932. He graduated from Osaka University Medical School in 1955 and he obtained medical degree in 1956. He graduated from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine and received PhD for the research of lipid metabolism of fatty liver. As a postdoctoral fellow, he studied abroad in the City of Hope National Medical Center, CA, USA and worked on phospholipid metabolism with Prof. George Rouser from 1964 to 1967. After he came back to Japan, he became the Director of Lipid Research Laboratory at the Second Department of Internal Medicine of Osaka University and opened a specific outpatient clinic for patients with hyperlipidemia especially familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).

While he was groping the way of effective treatment of severe FH patients, including FH homozygotes often suffering from heart attack, he came across the report of discovery of an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (statin) from fungi by Prof. Akira Endo. Dr. Yamamoto met Prof. Endo and asked him to provide the statin. At that time, the pharmaceutical company Sankyo had not decided to develop the derivative to therapeutic drug because there was a marked species difference in the cholesterol lowering effects and side effects. However, because the patient was very sick due to the progression of coronary artery disease, Dr. Yamamoto decided to apply this new cholesterol lowering agent to both homozygotes and heterozygotes. For the first time in the world, Dr. Yamamoto treated a case of severe homozygous FH with Compactin (a prototype of statins) donated by Prof. Endo in 1978 at the Osaka University Hospital. He demonstrated that ~900 mg/dl of serum total cholesterol in the first homozygous FH case was reduced to ~720 mg/dl after 10 days of treatment with Compactin. Subsequently, he treated a severe case of FH heterozygote with Compactin for life-saving and obtained the reduction of total cholesterol from ~400 mg/dl to ~250 mg/dl and observed the disappearance of bruit in the carotid arteries (Atherosclerosis 35: 259-266, 1980). Dr. Yamamoto is the actually first investigator to use statin to “humans” and without his courageous decision, clinical application of statin must have been delayed.
From 1979 to 1996, he worked in the National Cardiovascular Center Research Institute (Suita, Osaka) as a Vice-Director. He also made a great contribution to the treatment of severe hyperlipidemia by the development of LDL apheresis system in collaboration with Kaneka Co.
From 1996, he served as a clinician for the aged patients at Mino City Health Center for the Elderly and at the same time he was still working on the research of lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis as an Honorable Investigator of National Cardiovascular Center.
He acted as a Board Member (Member-at-Large) of the International Atherosclerosis Society (IAS). He was also one of the founding members of Asian-Pacific Society of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Disease (APSAVD). He also used to be the President of International Society for Apheresis.
The vivid impression he made on all of us will always live in our memory.
Address for correspondence: Yuji Matsuzawa, Sumitomo Hospital, Osaka, Japan
E-mail: matsuzawa-yuji@sumitomo-hp.or.jp

            IAS ACTIVITIES         

IAS/FHFo Joint Session on “Recognize Familial Hypercholesterolemia and Save Lives“ during the WCC 2018 Congress (Dubai, UAE, December 8, 2018)
View the Slide Library


The International Atherosclerosis Society (IAS) and Oman Society of Lipid & Atherosclerosis (OSLA) are organizing the Lipid Metabolism and Cardiovascular Risk" to be held in Muscat, Oman, on February 8-11, 2019.

As in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the aim of this Course is to increase the knowledge and experience of early- to mid-career, English-speaking practicing clinicians interested in the management of lipid disorders and will be restricted to 30 clinicians practicing in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region who manage patients with lipid disorders.

We wish to thank all who submitted an application. We have received tens of them, all of very high standard. The selection has not been easy: at the end of the selection process 34 participants have been chosen, representative of almost all MENA Region countries, with good male to female ratio and different specialty.

For the Scientific Program

The slide library of the Course will be posted on the IAS website after the Course.


IAS is pleased to endorse the 2019 HDL workshop being held in Valencia, Spain 25-27th September, 2019.

A full and exciting program has been developed by an international advisory board of HDL experts across the globe, and the meeting will also feature oral communications from abstract submissions, and a conference awards dinner.
This meeting, featuring world-renowned experts in all facets of HDL will bring you cutting edge updates across a wide variety of topics. Your all-inclusive registration includes all catering and a conference awards dinner. Visit https://hdl2019.yoursecretariat.com.au or click HERE to read more.
Abstract submission and registration open March 1st, 2019.


7th  IAS-Weill Cornell Seminar on Lipid Metabolism and Cardiovascular Risk, Salzburg, Austria, November 3-9, 2019.

The residential Seminar is directed to physicians practicing in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the former Soviet Union and other countries in transition. The Seminar is organized jointly by the IAS, Weill Cornel Medical College, and the American Austrian Foundation. For further information please link to http://www.aaf-online.org/


Latest News from our IAS Member: the Iraqi Lipid Clinics Network

Dr. Mutaz Al-khnifsawi, the President of the Iraqi Lipid Clinics Network was invited by the Federal Ministry of Health in Iraq to attend the first meeting between the Network and the Ministry to support the mission of improving health care for FH patients in Iraq and improve the quality of early diagnosis and treatment of this genetic disorder.
The Iraqi Lipid Clinics Network announced the launch of the Iraqi national pediatric FH screening program in collaboration with and under the auspices of the International Atherosclerosis Society in two cities in Iraq , Diwaniya and Al-Samawa) for early diagnosis and treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia in Iraq.
We are also pleased to share with our readers the letter we have received from dr Mutaz Al-Khnifsawi, President of the Iraqi Lipid Clinics Network:
Dear all,
Good day!
Under the auspices of the International Atherosclerosis Society , the Iraqi Lipid Clinics Network established the first lipid clinic in the Iraqi capital Baghdad: the lipid clinic will provide health care for Familial Hypercholesterolemia patients (Early diagnosis and proper treatment). Dr. Khalid Al-Jumaily the vice-president of the network will run the 
Clinic in Ibn- Al-Nafees Cardiac Hospital.
The project is sponsored by Al-Mamourah scientific bureau in Iraq.
Best regards 
Mutaz R. Al-khnifsawi 

General Cardiologist
President of the Iraqi lipid clinics network
EAS-FHSC national lead investigator 
Faculty of medicine -Al-Qadisiyah university- Iraq


We are pleased to announce that the IAS is now on social media.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/atherosociety/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/atherosociety 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8689597/

Also included in this Newsletter:

     New IAS Executive Board      


The new Executive Board will begin its term on January 1, 2019 and will serve until December 31, 2021.
The IAS Nominating Committee, chaired by Philip Barter (Australia) and composed by Anne Goldberg (USA), Chris Packard (UK), and Brian Tomlinson (Hong Kong), has presented the IAS Council the final slate of the candidates to be elected during the ISA2018 congress in Toronto. The Council of the Constituent Societies has elected the future Board members during its meeting on June 11, 2018.

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For the full list of the New IAS Executive Board 2019-2021 please link to:

In the News:
     Featured Commentaries    

Revisiting Reverse Cholesterol Transport in the Context of Free Cholesterol Bioavailability

By: Corina Rosales and Henry J. Pownall

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACVD) is characterized by cholesterol accumulation within the subendothelial space of the arterial wall. Discovery of the reaction of lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), which esterifies free cholesterol (FC), mainly on high density lipoprotein (HDL), provoked the hypothesis that LCAT is part of a broader cholesterol transport process that sequesters cholesterol as cholesteryl ester (CE) in HDL thereby preventing accumulation of cytotoxic FC levels in peripheral tissues, which cannot catabolize FC.

> View Complete Commentary <

Life-and-death decisions in cholesterol balance of the small intestine

By: Luke J. Engelking

In 1993, Brown and Goldstein identified Sterol Regulatory Element-binding Protein 2 (SREBP-2) as a transcription factor that activates cholesterol synthesis and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) uptake. SREBP-2 was shown to increase the production of mRNAs encoding the LDL receptor and all the enzymes known to be required for cholesterol synthesis. SREBP-2 is produced in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as a membrane-bound transcription factor that is carried to the Golgi by an escort protein called Scap.

> View Complete Commentary <

   XIX International Symposium on Atherosclerosis 2021  

ISA2021 (Oman and Japan)

A very well attended booth was in place during the WCC2018 congress informing the participants about theISA2021 congress that will be held in Muscat, Oman on December 19-21, 2021 (pre-Satellite Symposium) and in Kyoto, Japan (October 24-27, 2021)  

Photos of the IAS Booth

 Upcoming Meetings 

February 8-11, 2019


Fifth IAS-OSLA Course on Lipid Metabolism and Cardiovascular Risk

Muscat, Oman


View Course Scientific Program

March 21-23, 2019


VI International Course on Endothelium Pathophysiology
Lima, Peru


August 16-17, 2019


17th Brazilian Congress of Atherosclerosis
Campos do Jordão, São Paulo

The IAS wishes to thank all the supporters which have generously offered grants to the IAS for the development of its many activities and in support of its mission: Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Amgen, Inc., Amgen (Europe) GmbH, Amryt, Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., Fondazione Giovanni Lorenzini, Kaneka Europe, Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., OSLA - Oman Society of Lipids and Atherosclerosis, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Pfizer, Sanofi and Regeneron, and Weill Cornell Medical College.
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IAS Newsletter Editors
Website Editorial Board
Scott M. Grundy, MD, PhD
Dallas, TX, USA

Associate Editors
Stefano Bellosta, PhD
Milan, Italy

Emanuela Folco, PhD
Milan, Italy

Website & Newsletter Editors
Elena Colombo
Milan, Italy
Yelonda Williams, BA
Dallas, TX, USA

 Executive Director

Emanuela Folco, Ph.D.
International Atherosclerosis Society
Viale Piave 35 
20129 Milan, Italy 
Tel: +39 02 29006267
Fax: +39 02 29007018
E-mail: emanuela.folco@athero.org; info@athero.org

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E-mail: info@athero.org

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