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David Herrington, MD, MHS

David Herrington, MD, MHS, researches the pathogenesis and prevention of atherosclerosis, specializing in identifying the genetic determinants of premature heart disease. With more than 30 years of experience in clinical trials and population research, Herrington leads genomic, proteomic and metabolomics studies worldwide that investigate molecular mechanisms, biomarkers and novel therapeutic strategies for improved cardiovascular health.

David Herrington, MD, MHS

About David Herrington

Herrington’s interest in applied mathematics and quantitative analysis began at Davidson College and continued at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, where he received a master of health science in epidemiology. A trained cardiologist, Herrington earned his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then completed an internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1990, he joined the cardiovascular medicine department at Wake Forest School of Medicine to focus his clinical work and research in atherosclerosis.

Herrington serves as principal investigator of several multicenter, multinational studies investigating the genetic and metabolic signatures of coronary artery disease, with more than $30 million in current grant support. While his early research explored the effects of hormone therapy and heart disease in women—through active involvement in most of the clinical trials in the nation—he has since focused on omics research. Using mass spectrometry and advanced molecular and analytic methods, he examines the genetic, proteomic and metabolic factors that contribute to the onset, progression and prevention of atherosclerosis. He currently leads major studies analyzing arterial DNA tissues to characterize the genomic and proteomic mechanisms and biological pathways involved in the development of premature heart disease.

Herrington also leads a clinical research team that conducts various industry-sponsored pharmaceutical studies examining novel therapies for heart disease prevention. Through partnership with major pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Inc., Sanofi-Aventis, Hoffmann-La Roche, Amarin and others, his team has been the global patient recruitment leader for several large international clinical trials on cardiovascular health.

In addition to his own research portfolio, Herrington serves as vice-chair for research in internal medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine and is co-director of the Cardiovascular Sciences Center. Herrington was one of the founding directors of the Wake Forest University Translational Science Institute and previously served as chair of the American Heart Association Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Council.


David Herrington, MD, MHS, chair in cardiovascular medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, professor of cardiovascular medicine and vice-chair for research in the Department of Internal Medicine, specializes in:

  • Cardiology
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Preventive and rehabilitative cardiology
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Proteomics
  • Metabolomics
  • Genomics
  • Quantitative analysis