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Thorsten Martin Leucker, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Thorsten Martin Leucker, M.D., Ph.D.

Director of Basic and Translational Vascular Biology Research within the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Languages: English, German

Expertise: Acute Coronary Care, Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), Aortic Aneurysms, Atherosclerosis, Atrial Tachycardia, Bradycardia, Cardiac Arrhythmias, Cardiac Imaging, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Cardiomyopathy, Cardiovascular Risk Stratification, Carotid Artery Disease, Chest Pain, Circulatory Support Devices, Coronary Artery Disease, Coronary Care Unit, Coronary Endothelial Function, Critical Care Cardiology, Echocardiography and Nuclear Cardiology , High Cholesterol, Hyperlipidemia, Hypertension, Myocardial Infarction, Premature Coronary Artery Disease, Preventive Cardiology, Stress-induced Cardiomyopathy, Tachycardias, Valvular Heart Disease, Vascular Medicine ...read more

Research Interests: Acute coronary syndrome; Vascular inflammation; Endothelial cell function; Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging; HIV associated cardiovascular disease; Vascular function in the elderly; Diabetes associated cardiovascular disease ...read more

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Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
Appointment Phone: 410-502-0469

601 N. Caroline St.
7th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Background

Dr. Thorsten M. Leucker is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of Basic and Translational Vascular Biology Research within the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.

His clinical work focuses on cardiac critical care and Dr. Leucker attends regularly in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit (CCU) at Johns Hopkins Hospital. While attending in the CCU, Dr. Leucker manages the care of cardiac patients with critical heart disease and teaches and mentors residents and fellows in the treatment of these patients as well as the mechanisms responsible for cardiac disease and strategies to decrease the likelihood of future events.  In addition, Dr. Leucker is a core faculty member with the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and attends in the Advanced Lipid Disorders Clinic.

Dr. Leucker earned M.D. and Ph.D degrees  awarded summa cum laude from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn, Germany. He trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Louisville in Kentucky and received Cardiology training at Johns Hopkins.  He was chosen to serve as the Henry R. Kravis & Marie-Josée Chief Cardiology Fellow during his final year of fellowship and was awarded the Howard S. Silverman Research Award for originality and creativity in medical research and the Stanley L. Blumenthal, M.D. Cardiology Research Award in Clinical Research. Additionally, he was recognized with numerous Young Investigator awards by several chapters of the American College of Cardiology, and by the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation. 

Dr. Leucker is a physician-scientist and runs a basic vascular laboratory at Johns Hopkins as well as several translational clinical trials to better understand the impact of vascular inflammation in patients with acute coronary syndrome. In his basic laboratory, he investigates the impact of pro-inflammatory mediators on basic endothelial cell function. In addition, Dr. Leucker is the principal investigator on several intra- and extra-mural research grants investigating underlying mechanisms of pro-inflammatory disease states, such as diabetes, HIV infection and aging, on vascular and myocardial dysfunction. To test endothelial cell function and assess vascular inflammation in patients, he uses imaging modalities such as positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). 

Dr. Leucker has published more than 20 articles and book chapters and has been a referee for numerous journals including Circulation, Circulation Research, Hypertension, and American Journal of Physiology- Heart and Circulatory Physiology. He is a review editorial board member for Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, Striated Muscle Physiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology.

Dr. Leucker is a professional member of the National Lipid Association (NLA), American College of Cardiology (ACC), and American Heart Association (AHA), and Member of the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB).

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Titles

  • Director of Basic and Translational Vascular Biology Research within the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine

Departments / Divisions

Education

Degrees

  • MD, Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet Bonn (2008)

Residencies

  • University of Louisville Hospital / Internal Medicine (2014)

Fellowships

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Cardiovascular Disease (2017)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine / Cardiovascular Disease (2017)
  • American Board of Internal Medicine / Internal Medicine (2014)

Research & Publications

Clinical Trial Keywords

Acute coronary syndrome

Clinical Trials

Evolocumab in Acute Coronary Syndrome: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study.

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Schindler TH, Leucker TM. PCSK-9: Entering a new era of cardiovascular risk prediction. Int J Cardiol. 2018

Leucker TM, Valenta I, Schindler TH. PET-determined hyperemic flow, myocardial flow reserve, and flow gradient – Quo vadis? Front Cardiovasc Med. 2017 Jul 17;4:46. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2017.00046. eCollection 2017.

Leucker TM, Nomura Y, Kim JH, Bhatta A, Wang V, Wecker A, Jandu SS, Santhanam L, Berkowitz DE, Romer L, Pandey D. Cystathionine gamma lyase protects vascular endothelium: a role for inhibition of Histone Deacetylase 6. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2017 Feb 10:ajpheart.00724.2016.

Leucker TM, Ge ZD, Procknow J, Liu Y, Shi Y, Bienengraeber M, Warltier DC, Kersten JR. Impairment of Endothelial-myocardial Interaction Increases the Susceptibility of Cardiomyocytes to Ischemia/reperfusion Injury. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 22;8(7):e70088.

Leucker TM, Bienengraeber M Muravyeva M Baotic I, Weihrauch D, Brzezinska AK, Warltier DC, Kersten JR , Pratt PF Jr Endothelial-cardiomyocyte crosstalk enhances pharmacological cardioprotection. J Mol Cell Cardiol. Nov;51(5):803-11.

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