Associate Professor of Medicine | Stanford University
Dr. Marco Perez’s research goal is to better understand the fundamental causes of cardiovascular disease through the study of genetics and epidemiology. His group studies the genetic variations and environmental exposures that are associated with conditions such as atrial fibrillation and heart failure. He has led the studies of atrial fibrillation in Women’s Health Initiative, one of the largest nation-wide population-based cohorts. He is currently conducting a large study monitoring for silent or asymptomatic atrial fibrillation in women from the WHI randomized to exercise intervention, and is co-PI in the Apple Heart Study, a clinical trial using the Apple Watch to screen for atrial fibrillation. He is interested in understanding the paradox that atrial fibrillation is less common in African Americans and Hispanics, despite a greater burden of risk factors such as hypertension. As director of the Stanford Inherited Arrhythmia Clinic, he evaluates families with rare inherited arrhythmias associated with sudden death such as Long QT and Brugada Syndromes and explores their links with novel genes. He is particularly interested in studying the genetic causes of very early onset atrial fibrillation. He also studies how best to use the electrocardiogram to identify patients at risk for atrial fibrillation and athletes at risk for life-threatening arrhythmias due to conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. His genetic studies have led to the discovery of promising novel therapeutic targets that his group is now studying at a functional level. Dr. Perez receives funding from NIH/NHLBI (R01), Apple Inc., the Weston Havens Foundation, The Stanford Cardiovascular Division and the Stanford SPARK program.