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Pankaj Arora, MD

Pankaj Arora, MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine
Division of Cardiovascular Disease
Faculty Office Tower 705
Phone: (205) 975-4710

After medicine residency, Dr. Arora joined the Framingham Heart Study for formal research training in complex trait genetics and genomics to conduct genetic association analyses. The efforts resulted in co-author publication of manuscripts from the consortium in Nature and Nature genetics. Over the course of research training, Dr. Arora identified a novel regulatory pathway for ANP expression involving a microRNA. The first-authored manuscript based on this work was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Dr. Arora was selected as one of the finalists for the FGTB Young Investigator Award for the 2012 AHA meeting. In a separate first-authored manuscript published in the Journal of American Heart Association, Dr. Arora was able to demonstrate that natriuretic peptides are increased significantly with weight loss in obese individuals. Dr. Arora’s current research revolves around a central hypothesis that a deficiency in natriuretic peptide signaling promotes cardiometabolic disease, which represents a therapeutic target. In 2015, Dr. Arora was selected as one of the finalists for the ACC Molecular & Cellular cardiology, Young Investigator Award. In this effort, Dr. Arora’s group was able to elucidate the influence of acute carbohydrate challenge on the ANP levels with no effect on BNP levels in whites. The first-authored manuscript for this work was published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology.

Research Interest

Currently, Dr. Arora’s is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Cardiometabolic disorders such as hypertension, central obesity, and glucose intolerance constitute major sources of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and worldwide. The management of cardiometabolic abnormalities represents an important public health challenge, given the rising prevalence of obesity and poor adherence to lifestyle interventions. The heart serves a major endocrine function by producing a family of hormones known as the natriuretic peptides (NPs). In the past decade, a large body of experimental evidence has suggested that the NP axis could play a key role in modulating susceptibility to cardiometabolic risk. Nonetheless, data translating these biologic insights to humans are very limited. Dr. Arora’s central hypothesis is that a deficiency in NP signaling promotes cardiometabolic disease, and represents an important therapeutic target.