You are here

Donna Arnett Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Donna Arnett Ph.D., M.S.P.H.
Department of Epidemiology
Ryals 220
(205) 934-7066
Web Site

Donna Arnett received her PhD in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master's degree in biostatistics and epidemiology and a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of South Florida. She has more than 15 years of experience in teaching and research in the area of epidemiology. Since 1994, Dr. Arnett has designed and taught graduate level courses in fundamental and advanced concepts of epidemiology, methodological and theoretical aspects of epidemiology, and grant writing. From 1998-2001, she served as Chair of the Epidemiology Master's Degree Program at the University of Minnesota and as Director for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded Training Program in Cardiovascular Genetic Epidemiology. At UAB, Dr. Arnett leads the Seminar Series and teaches Grant Writing, a doctoral level course that teaches the fundamentals of writing grant applications.

Dr. Arnett is an elected fellow in the American Heart Assocation Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, the Society of Epidemiology and the American College of Epidemiology (ACE), and serves on the Board of Directors for ACE. Dr. Arnett is President Elect of the Greater Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association, representing Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Puerto Rico. In addition, Dr. Arnett is Chair of the Scientific Publishing Committee for the American Heart Association and serves on the AHA Board of Directors. Dr. Arnett has served as an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Epidemiology since 1996 and as an Editor since 2004. She currently serve as Guest Editor-in-Chief for Circulation.

Dr. Arnett's primary research area is cardiovascular genetic epidemiology. Professor Arnett's current research involves the genetic epidemiology of atherosclerosis hypertension, and target organ damage from hypertension. Pharmacogenetics is another research interest. Dr. Arnett is Co-Director of the Program in Analytic and Epidemiologic Genomics for the UAB Heflin Center for Human Genetics.

Research Projects

Genetics of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy: HyperGEN (Arnett, PI):

This family study seeks to identify genes contributing to hypertensive heart disease in families participating in the Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network (HyperGEN) study.  The study is currently in the midst of a genome-wide association analysis to identify genes contributing to left ventricular hypertrophy. 

Genetics of Antihypertensive Associated Treatments, GENHAT (Arnett, PI):

Ancillary to the ALLHAT study, this grant is evaluating genetic modifiers of response to four antihypertensive treatments in ~39,000 hypertensive individuals.

Genetics of Diet and Lipid Lowering Network, GOLDN (Arnett, PI):

GOLDN was designed to evaluate the genetic predictors of response to two interventions, one to raise triglyceride values (i.e., a high fat meal), and one to lower triglycerides (i.e., drug treatment with fenofibrate).  We are currently conducting a genome-wide association study to identify genes contributing to these traits.

Pharmacogenetics of Methotrexate Response (Arnett, PI):

This study is ancillary to the Treatment of Early Aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis Study (TEAR).  We are evaluating candidate genes contributing to folate synthesis, polyglutaminization of methotrexate, and drug transport genes to determine variable efficacy and toxicity of methotrexate treatment.


  • Arnett DK, Claas SA. Preventing and controlling hypertension in the era of genomic innovation and environmental transformation.JAMA. 2012;308:1745-6.
  • Arnett DK, Meyers KJ, Devereux RB, Tiwari HK, Gu CC, Vaughan LK, Perry RT, Patki A, Claas SA, Sun YV, Broeckel U, Kardia SL. Genetic variation in NCAM1 contributes to left ventricular wall thickness in hypertensive families. Circ Res. 2011;108:279-283. Aslibekyan S, Brown EE, Reynolds RJ, Redden DT, Morgan S, Baggott JE, Sha J, Moreland LW, O'Dell JR, Curtis JR, Mikuls TR, Bridges SL Jr, Arnett DK. Genetic variants associated with methotrexate efficacy and toxicity in early rheumatoid arthritis: results from the treatment of early aggressive rheumatoid arthritis trial. Pharmacogenomics J. 2013 Apr 2. doi: 10.1038/tpj.2013.11.
  • Frazier-Wood AC, Manichaikul A, Aslibekyan S, Borecki IB, Goff DC, Hopkins PN, Lai CQ, Ordovas JM, Post WS, Rich SS, Sale MM, Siscovick D, Straka RJ, Tiwari HK, Tsai MY, Rotter JI, Arnett DK. Genetic variants associated with VLDL, LDL and HDL particle size differ with race/ethnicity. Hum Genet. 2013;132:405-13.
  • Lynch AI, Boerwinkle E, Davis BR, Ford CE, Eckfeldt JH, Leiendecker-Foster C, Arnett DK. Pharmacogenetic association of the NPPA T2238C genetic variant with cardiovascular disease outcomes in patients with hypertension. JAMA. 2008;299:296-307.
  • Zhang X, Lynch AI, Davis BR, Ford CE, Boerwinkle E, Eckfeldt JH, Leiendecker-Foster C, Arnett DK. Pharmacogenetic association of NOS3 variants with cardiovascular disease in patients with hypertension: the GenHAT study. PLoS One. 2012;7:e34217.Zhi D, Irvin MR, Gu CC, Stoddard AJ, Lorier R, Matter A, Rao DC, Srinivasasainagendra V, Tiwari HK, Turner A, Broeckel U, Arnett DK. Whole-exome sequencing and an iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte model provides a powerful platform for gene discovery in left ventricular hypertrophy. Front Genet. 2012;3:92.
  • James M. Shikany, Cora E. Lewis, Barry I. Freedman, Donna K. Arnett, Catherine Leiendecker-Foster, Tamekia L. Jones, David T. Redden, Albert Oberman. Metabolism clinical and Experimental 56 (2007) 1011-1016. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2007.03.020
  • Sue Bielinski, James Pankow, Mike Miller, Paul Hopkins, John Eckfeldt, James Hixson, Yongmei Liu, Tom Register, Richard Myers,Donna Arnett. Circulation MCP-1 levels shows linkage to chemokine receptor gene cluster on Chromosome 3: the NHLBI Family Heart Study Follow-up Examination, number 2007 GAI-107-R Genes and Immunity
  • James M. Shikany, Cora E. Lewis, Barry I. Freedman, Donna K. Arnett, Cahterine Leiendecker-Foster, Tamekia L. Jones, David T. Redden, Albert Oberman. Metabolism Clinical and Experimental 56 (2007) 1011-1016. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2007.03.020
  • Sekar Kathiresan, Alisa K. Manning, Serkalem Demissie, Ralph B D'Agostino, Aarti Surti, Candace Gianniny, Nöel P Burtt, Olle Melander, Marju Orho-Melander, Donna K. Arnett, Gina M Peloso, Jose M Ordovas and L Adrienne Cupples. Published: 19 September 2007 BMC Medical Genetics 2007, 8(Suppl 1):S17 doi:10.1186/1471-2350-8S1-S17.
  • Jim Pankow; Cathie Leiendecker Foster; Mike Miller; Paul Hopkins; John Eckfeldt; James Hixson; Yongmei Liu; Thomas Register;Donna Arnett; Richard Myers. Circulating soluble ICAM-1 levels shows linkage to ICAM gene cluster region on Chromosome 19: the NHLBI Family Heart Study Follow-up Examination Atherosclerosis
  • Jun Wu, Michael A. Province, Hilary Coon, Steven C Hunt, John H Eckfeldt, Donna K Arnett, Gerardo Heiss, Cora E Lewis, R Curtis Ellison, Dabeeru C Rao, Treva Rice and Aldi T. Kraja. An investigation of the effect of lipi-lowering medication: genome-wid linkage analysis of lipids in the HyperGEN study. BMC Genetics 2007 8:60 (10Sep 2007)

Search for listing of Dr. Arnett's publications -- abstracts are available through the National Library of Science's PubMed service; full-text may be purchased at an additional cost.