Dr. Murray Huff
Emeritus Professor, FAHA, FCAHS
Ph.D. University of Western Ontario
Postdoctoral Fellow, Baker Medical Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia
Office: Robarts Research Institute, 4222a
Dr. Huff is a Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry, and a Scientist at the Robarts Research Institute, The University of Western Ontario (UWO), Canada. He received a PhD in biochemistry from UWO and completed postdoctoral training as a Medical Research Council fellow in cardiovascular metabolism at the Baker Medical Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia.
Dr. Huff’s research is focused on the relationship between lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis. His laboratory discovered that macrophage and smooth muscle cell foam cell formation, induced by triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, can be inhibited through activation of nuclear, hormone receptors. Activation of the nuclear receptor PPAR delta in mice prevents dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia and inhibits atherosclerosis, in part, through attenuation of foam cell formation and inhibition of the inflammatory response.
His laboratory also discovered that the bioactive flavonoids naringenin and nobiletin inhibit the assembly and secretion of hepatic triglyceride-rich lipoproteins by activation of insulin signal transduction pathways. These flavonoids prevent metabolic dysregulation and obesity, attenuate atherosclerosis progression and induce atherosclerosis regression in mouse models of the metabolic syndrome, providing insights into potential therapeutic targets for treatment of lipid disorders associated with insulin resistance. Dr. Huff is an expert in the kinetic analysis of lipoprotein metabolism and has elucidated the mechanism of action of cholesterol-lowering drugs, including statins (atorvastatin, simvastatin), inhibitors of cholesterol absorption (ezetimibe), inhibitors of cholesterol esterification (acyl coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase [ACAT]; avasimibe, DuP128), inhibitors of the apical sodium bile acid co-transporter, inhibitors of oxidosqualene lanosterol cyclase (RO0717625), PPAR delta agonists (GW1516) and the ATP-citrate lyase inhibitor (bempedoic acid).
Dr. Huff has received peer-reviewed funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC). He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers, and his research has been recognized by over 18 invited presentations in the past five years. He has received awards recognizing his research, including the Robert Levy Award from the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Council (ATVB) of the American Heart Association (2008); the UWO Faculty Scholar Award (2008); the Senior Research Award from the Canadian Lipoprotein Conference (2010); the ATVB Distinguished Achievement Award (2011); the Senior Research Award from the Department of Medicine, UWO (2012); and the ATVB Mentor of Women Award (2020). Dr. Huff’s trainees have received 13 national or international research presentation awards over the past five years. Dr. Huff is the past Co-Chair of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Council Scientific Sessions for 2010 and 2011.