Lipid Series


Welcome to the CardioNerds Lipid Series Page! 

The CardioNerds Lipid series is a comprehensive series led by series co-chairs Dr. Rick Ferraro, cardiology fellow at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Dr. Tommy Das, cardiology fellow at The Cleveland Clinic and produced in collaboration with the American Society For Preventive Cardiology (ASPC).


CardioNerds Academy Chief Fellows Dr. Rick Ferraro (FIT, Johns Hopkins) and Dr. Tommy Das (FIT, Cleveland Clinic) join Academy fellow Dr. Jessie Holtzman (soon, chief resident at UCSF internal medicine residency) to learn all about LDL physiology and function from Dr. Peter Toth!

Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) has been well established as a risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease with an ever growing armamentarium of medications to lower LDL-C plasma levels. Yet, LDL-C also plays a number of key physiologic roles across mammalian species, such as cell membrane formation, bile acid synthesis, and steroid hormone production. In this episode, we discuss the definitions of high, normal, low, and ultra-low LDL-C, what functional assays are used to measure LDL-C, and what is considered the safe lower-limit of LDL-C, if there is one at all. Drawing upon experience from rare genetic conditions including abetalipoproteinemia and loss-of-function variants of the PCSK9 gene, we glean pearls that clarify  the risks and benefits of low LDL-C.

Lipid Related CardioNerds Episodes

Lipid Series Co-Chairs!

Rick Ferraro, MD - CardioNerds

Dr. Rick Ferraro

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Dr. Rick Ferraro is midwest raised, spent two years as a Teach For America Corps member teaching science in Milwaukee before heading to medical school at Weill Cornell Medicine in NYC. Current senior resident at the Osler Medical Residency program and will begin cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2021. Completed intern year under the incredible leadership of Dr. Amit Goyal. Interested in cardiovascular prevention and imaging

Tommy Das, MD - CardioNerds

Dr. Tommy Das

The Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Tommy Das is an internal medicine resident in the Osler Program at Johns Hopkins and rising cardiology fellow at The Cleveland Clinic. He is a native of Houston, TX, and completed medical school at UT Southwestern School of Medicine. He is part of the inaugural Medical Education Pathway for IM Residents at Johns Hopkins, and is passionate about the interplay between MedEd and Cardiology.  His interests range from teaching hands-on bedside skills to interventional cardiology research to the pursuit of perfect pecan pie. 


Meet Our Guests!

Dr. Peter Toth

Dr. Peter Toth

CGH Medical Center

Dr. Peter Toth is the Director of Preventive Cardiology at CGH Medical Center in Sterling, IL, and Professor of Clinical Family and Community Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, and adjunct associate professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI, and PhD in Biochemistry from Michigan State University in East Lansing. He has written extensively on the topic of lipids and is Co-Editor of twenty textbooks in preventive cardiology, diabetes, hypertension, and lipidology. Additionally, Dr. Toth is the President of the American Society of Preventive Cardiology, past President of the National Lipid Association, as well as incoming chair of the American Heart Association’s Council on Lipoproteins, Lipid Metabolism, and Thrombosis.

Dr. Jessie Holtzman

Dr. Jessie Holtzman

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Jessie Holtzman (@jholtzman3) is an internal medicine resident at the University of California, San Francisco. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School, before which she had the time of her life as a Fulbright Scholar doing research in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She ultimately hopes to pursue a career that combines clinical cardiology with an emphasis on women’s cardiovascular health, medical education, and policy making. In her spare time, Jessie loves kayaking on the San Francisco bay, as well as reading about medical device regulation and novel payment models.