Keck School Faculty

Howard Neil Hodis
Howard Neil Hodis
Professor of Medicine;Harry J. Bauer and Dorothy Bauer Rawlins Professorship in Cardiology
CSC 132 Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
During his academic career, Dr. Hodis’ overarching research interest has been in the area of vascular disease and atherobiology with investigative pursuits to understand the genetics and biology of the etiology and progression of these aging processes including prevention and intervention. In addition, Dr. Hodis’ research interests include development and application of imaging and measurement tools for the assessment, screening, prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Since vascular disease is an aging process affected by many conditions, Dr Hodis’ approach is integrative biology in practice and highly collaborative in application involving study of a broad array of conditions and disease processes that converge either as a cause of or result from atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Hodis’ work is translational in nature and spans basic to clinical science, including large population studies and intervention trials.\n\nWith more than 26 years of continuous NIH funding, Dr. Hodis has extensive experience as Principal Investigator from 20 NIH projects including 8 randomized controlled trials integrating translational research, biomedical engineering and integrative biology/medicine spanning basic, clinical and genetic investigation. In addition, Dr. Hodis has an extensive collaborative record as Co-Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on another 24 NIH projects. By leading a stable research team as director of the USC Atherosclerosis Research Unit, Dr. Hodis has successfully completed 10 single-center, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled serial arterial imaging trials of menopausal hormone therapy, lipid-lowering therapy, insulin-sensitizers, nattokinase, vitamin E, vitamin B and soy isoflavone supplementation.\n\nIn addition, as the director of the Atherosclerosis Research Unit Core Imaging and Reading Center (CIRC), Dr. Hodis has 25 years of experience in leading a stable team of highly-trained and experienced imaging specialist in the coordination and conduct of over 25 human clinical studies predominantly NIH-funded that have included large national randomized controlled trials and epidemiological and community studies. The CIRC provides a variety of non-invasive arterial imaging services encompassing anatomical and physiological measurements of atherosclerosis developed by Dr. Hodis’ team providing a full-array of research and experienced capability to support all investigational approaches that employ arterial imaging.\n\nDr. Hodis has received a number of honors and awards including the North American Menopause Society Thomas Clarkson Outstanding Clinical and Basic Science Research Award, a peer-nominated award for translational contributions, NASA Technology Awards and an Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Southern California. He has been inducted into the prestigious Association of American Physicians and holds membership in a variety of scientific organizations, such as Fellow of the American Heart Association. Dr. Hodis serves on Special Emphasis Panels and review committees for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funding agencies and has extensive experience as Chair of Data Safety and Monitoring Boards for NIH-funded studies. Dr. Hodis has served on dissertation committees and mentored 56 MD/PhD, PhD and master level graduate students, most of whom have used research data from Atherosclerosis Research Unit (ARU) studies as the basis for their theses. In addition, Dr. Hodis has served as a co-mentor on several NIH K-awards. Dr. Hodis has delivered more than 300 invited presentations worldwide and authored or co-authored more than 250 original scientific, peer reviewed publications many of which have been in the field of women’s health.\n\nA major focus and special interest of Dr. Hodis’ research has been women’s health in which he and his colleagues have made significant contributions to science. Dr. Hodis and his colleagues have conducted two of the earliest randomized controlled trials of hormone therapy and atherosclerosis intervention, the Estradiol Prevention Atherosclerosis Trial (EPAT; Ann Intern Med 2001) and the Women’s Estrogen-progestin Lipid-Lowering Hormone Atherosclerosis Regression Trial (WELL-HART; New Engl J Med 2003). The results of these early trials contributed to formation of the menopausal hormone therapy timing hypothesis that posits that the effects of hormone therapy depend on timing of initiation of hormone therapy in relation to menopause. Dr. Hodis and his colleagues conducted the Early versus Later Intervention Trial with Estradiol (ELITE; New Engl J Med 2016), the only randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial designed to test the menopausal hormone therapy timing hypothesis. The results of ELITE showed that the progression of atherosclerosis was reduced with hormone therapy when initiated in women less than 6 years since menopause but a null effect on atherosclerosis progression when initiated in women more than 10 years since menopause. ELITE supports the menopausal hormone therapy timing hypothesis, mechanistically explaining the divergent results from other studies reported over the past 40 years and has major public health significance. In addition, Dr. Hodis and his colleagues have conducted other women’s health studies such as the Women’s Isoflavone Soy Health (WISH; Stroke 2011) study, the only soy isoflavone primary prevention atherosclerosis trial in postmenopausal women. The ARU program is described at

North American Menopause Society: Thomas Clarkson Outstanding Clinical and Basic Science Research Award, 2010

Association of American Physicians: AAP Member, 2008

Western Society for Clinical Investigation: Member, 2008

National Aeronautics and Space Administration: NASA Inventions and Contributions Board Space Act Award, 2008

Western Society for Clinical Investigation: WSCI Member, 2008

Association of American Physicians: Member, 2008

American Heart Association: Fellow, 1991

Department of Family Medicine, USC: Outstanding Teacher Award, 1991

American Heart Association: AHA Fellow, 1991

: Phi Beta Kappa, 1979

USC: Outstanding Young Men of America Award, Phi Kappa Phi, 1976

USC: Alpha Mu Gamma, 1976


Cystatin C based estimation of glomerular filtration rate and association with atherosclerosis imaging markers in people living with HIV J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2020 Jul 27. . View in PubMed

Brain delivery of supplemental docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial EBioMedicine. 2020 Jul 17; 102883. . View in PubMed

Classical Monocyte Transcriptomes Reveal Significant Anti-Inflammatory Statin Effect in Women with Chronic HIV Cardiovasc Res. 2020 Jul 13. . View in PubMed

Effects of Estradiol Dose and Serum Estradiol Levels on Metabolic Measures in Early and Late Postmenopausal Women in the REPLENISH Trial J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2020 Jul 09. . View in PubMed

Association of oral estradiol dose/levels with coagulation measures in early/late postmenopausal women Climacteric. 2020 06; 23(3):273-278. . View in PubMed

Association of hot flushes with ghrelin and adipokines in early versus late postmenopausal women Menopause. 2020 05; 27(5):512-518. . View in PubMed

Changes in carotid artery intima-media thickness 3 years after cessation of menopausal hormone therapy: follow-up from the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study Menopause. 2019 01; 26(1):24-31. . View in PubMed

Apolipoprotein E4 genotype in combination with poor metabolic profile is associated with reduced cognitive performance in healthy postmenopausal women: implications for late onset Alzheimer's disease Menopause. 2019 01; 26(1):7-15. . View in PubMed

Effect of ApoE4 Genotype on the Association Between Metabolic Phenotype and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Postmenopausal Women Am J Cardiol. 2019 10 01; 124(7):1031-1037. . View in PubMed

Elevated Microparticle Tissue Factor Activity Is Associated With Carotid Artery Plaque in HIV-Infected Women J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2019 05 01; 81(1):36-43. . View in PubMed

Differential Effect of Plasma Estradiol on Subclinical Atherosclerosis Progression in Early vs Late Postmenopause J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 02 01; 104(2):293-300. . View in PubMed

Association of Lipidomic Profiles With Progression of Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis in HIV Infection JAMA Cardiol. 2019 12 01; 4(12):1239-1249. . View in PubMed

Cardiovascular risk after withdrawal of hormone therapy Menopause. 2018 04; 25(4):365-367. . View in PubMed

Carotid Artery Stiffness and Cognitive Decline Among Women With or at Risk for HIV Infection J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018 07 01; 78(3):338-347. . View in PubMed

Carotid artery atherosclerosis is associated with mortality in HIV-positive women and men AIDS. 2018 10 23; 32(16):2393-2403. . View in PubMed

Carotid Artery Intima-Media Thickness and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Women With Remote Histories of Preeclampsia: Results From a Rochester Epidemiology Project-Based Study and Meta-analysis Mayo Clin Proc. 2017 09; 92(9):1328-1340. . View in PubMed

Association of Macrophage Inflammation Biomarkers With Progression of Subclinical Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis in HIV-Infected Women and Men J Infect Dis. 2017 05 01; 215(9):1352-1361. . View in PubMed

Effects of Oral vs Transdermal Estrogen Therapy on Sexual Function in Early Postmenopause: Ancillary Study of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) JAMA Intern Med. 2017 10 01; 177(10):1471-1479. . View in PubMed

Cognitive effects of estradiol after menopause: A randomized trial of the timing hypothesis Neurology. 2016 Aug 16; 87(7):699-708. . View in PubMed

Effect of Reproductive History and Exogenous Hormone Use on Cognitive Function in Mid- and Late Life J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 12; 64(12):2448-2456. . View in PubMed

Back to the future: Hormone replacement therapy as part of a prevention strategy for women at the onset of menopause Atherosclerosis. 2016 11; 254:282-290. . View in PubMed

Association of bilateral oophorectomy with cognitive function in healthy, postmenopausal womenFertil Steril. 2016 09 01; 106(3):749-756. e2. . View in PubMed

A prospective, randomized clinical trial of antiretroviral therapies on carotid wall thickness AIDS. 2015 Sep 10; 29(14):1775-83. . View in PubMed

Effects of Testosterone Administration for 3 Years on Subclinical Atherosclerosis Progression in Older Men With Low or Low-Normal Testosterone Levels: A Randomized Clinical Trial JAMA. 2015 Aug 11; 314(6):570-81. . View in PubMed

Effects of Hormone Therapy on Cognition and Mood in Recently Postmenopausal Women: Findings from the Randomized, Controlled KEEPS-Cognitive and Affective Study PLoS Med. 2015 Jun; 12(6):e1001833; discussion e1001833. . View in PubMed

Abnormal blood rheology and chronic low grade inflammation: possible risk factors for accelerated atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease in Lewis negative subjects Atherosclerosis. 2015 Mar; 239(1):248-51. . View in PubMed

Echolucency of the carotid artery intima-media complex and intima-media thickness have different cardiovascular risk factor relationships: the Women's Interagency HIV Study J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Feb 19; 4(2). . View in PubMed

Association of endogenous sex hormones with adipokines and ghrelin in postmenopausal women J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Feb; 100(2):508-15. . View in PubMed

Arterial imaging outcomes and cardiovascular risk factors in recently menopausal women: a randomized trial Ann Intern Med. 2014 Aug 19; 161(4):249-60. . View in PubMed

Associations between urine excretion of isoflavonoids and cognition in postmenopausal women in the Women's Isoflavone Soy Health clinical trial J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Apr; 62(4):629-35. . View in PubMed

Effect of prior oophorectomy on changes in bone mineral density and carotid artery intima-media thickness in postmenopausal women Fertil Steril. 2014 Apr; 101(4):1117-22. . View in PubMed

Components of air pollution and cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults in Los Angeles Neurotoxicology. 2014 Jan; 40:1-7. . View in PubMed

Cognition, mood, and physiological concentrations of sex hormones in the early and late postmenopause Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Dec 10; 110(50):20290-5. . View in PubMed

Blunted nocturnal cortisol rise is associated with higher carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) in overweight African American and Latino youth Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Sep; 38(9):1658-67. . View in PubMed

Effect of isoflavone soy protein supplementation on endometrial thickness, hyperplasia, and endometrial cancer risk in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial Menopause. 2013 Aug; 20(8):840-4. . View in PubMed

Ectopic fat and adipokines in metabolically benign overweight/obese women: the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Aug; 21(8):1726-33. . View in PubMed

Birth weight and carotid artery intima-media thicknessJ Pediatr. 2013 May; 162(5):906-11. e1-2. . View in PubMed

Dysfunctional HDL and progression of atherosclerosis in HIV-1-infected and -uninfected adults Lipids Health Dis. 2013 Mar 05; 12:23. . View in PubMed

Characterization of vascular disease risk in postmenopausal women and its association with cognitive performance PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e68741. . View in PubMed

Association of subclinical atherosclerosis with lipid levels amongst antiretroviral-treated and untreated HIV-infected women in the Women's Interagency HIV study Atherosclerosis. 2012 Dec; 225(2):408-11. . View in PubMed

Biomarkers of microbial translocation and macrophage activation: association with progression of subclinical atherosclerosis in HIV-1 infection J Infect Dis. 2012 Nov 15; 206(10):1558-67. . View in PubMed

Associations among vascular risk factors, carotid atherosclerosis, and cortical volume and thickness in older adults Stroke. 2012 Nov; 43(11):2865-70. . View in PubMed

Childhood air pollutant exposure and carotid artery intima-media thickness in young adults Circulation. 2012 Sep 25; 126(13):1614-20. . View in PubMed

Cytomegalovirus immunoglobulin G antibody is associated with subclinical carotid artery disease among HIV-infected women J Infect Dis. 2012 Jun 15; 205(12):1788-96. . View in PubMed

Associations between retinol-binding protein 4 and cardiometabolic risk factors and subclinical atherosclerosis in recently postmenopausal women: cross-sectional analyses from the KEEPS study Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2012 May 15; 11:52. . View in PubMed

Alterations in platelet function and cell-derived microvesicles in recently menopausal women: relationship to metabolic syndrome and atherogenic risk J Cardiovasc Transl Res. 2011 Dec; 4(6):811-22. . View in PubMed

Carotid artery intima-media thickness in college students: race/ethnicity matters Atherosclerosis. 2011 Aug; 217(2):441-6. . View in PubMed

A "window of opportunity:" the reduction of coronary heart disease and total mortality with menopausal therapies is age- and time-dependent Brain Res. 2011 Mar 16; 1379:244-52. . View in PubMed

Effect of statins on estrogen and androgen levels in postmenopausal women treated with estradiol Climacteric. 2011 Feb; 14(1):49-53. . View in PubMed

Association between human immunodeficiency virus infection and stiffness of the common carotid artery Stroke. 2010 Oct; 41(10):2163-70. . View in PubMed

Associations between markers of inflammation and physiological and pharmacological levels of circulating sex hormones in postmenopausal women Menopause. 2010 Jul; 17(4):785-90. . View in PubMed

Drug firm conflicting interestsIf only WHI was done well. BMJ. 2010 Feb 16; 340:c591. . View in PubMed

Ambient air pollution and the progression of atherosclerosis in adults PLoS One. 2010 Feb 08; 5(2):e9096. . View in PubMed

Coronary heart disease and menopause management: the swinging pendulum of HRT Atherosclerosis. 2009 Dec; 207(2):336-40. . View in PubMed

Association of hepatitis C virus and HIV infection with subclinical atherosclerosis in the women's interagency HIV study AIDS. 2009 Aug 24; 23(13):1781-4. . View in PubMed

Coronary heart disease and hormone replacement therapy after the menopause Climacteric. 2009; 12 Suppl 1:71-5. . View in PubMed

Can menopausal hormone therapy prevent coronary heart disease? Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Aug; 19(6):206-12.. View in PubMed

Effect of pioglitazone on progression of subclinical atherosclerosis in non-diabetic premenopausal Hispanic women with prior gestational diabetes Atherosclerosis. 2008 Jul; 199(1):207-14. . View in PubMed

Assessing benefits and risks of hormone therapy in 2008: new evidence, especially with regard to the heart Cleve Clin J Med. 2008 May; 75 Suppl 4:S3-12. . View in PubMed

Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) cosegregates with blood pressure and renal function in hypertensive Hispanic families Atherosclerosis. 2008 May; 198(1):160-5. . View in PubMed

Brachial artery vasoreactivity is associated with cross-sectional and longitudinal anatomical measures of atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women with coronary artery disease Atherosclerosis. 2008 Feb; 196(2):674-81. . View in PubMed

Effect of antihypertensive therapy on progression of carotid intima-media thickness in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus Am J Cardiol. 2007 Apr 01; 99(7):956-60. . View in PubMed

Carotid artery intima-media thickness after raloxifene treatment J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2007 Apr; 16(3):370-8. . View in PubMed

17beta-Estradiol reverses shear-stress-mediated low density lipoprotein modifications Free Radic Biol Med. 2006 Aug 15; 41(4):568-78. . View in PubMed

Effect of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma agonist treatment on subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes Diabetes Care. 2006 Jul; 29(7):1545-53. . View in PubMed

Determinants of the effect of estrogen on the progression of subclinical atherosclerosis: Estrogen in the Prevention of Atherosclerosis Trial Menopause. 2005 Jul-Aug; 12(4):366-73. . View in PubMed

Carotid artery intima-media thickness and HIV infection: traditional risk factors overshadow impact of protease inhibitor exposure AIDS. 2005 Jun 10; 19(9):927-33. . View in PubMed

Association of the diabetes gene calpain-10 with subclinical atherosclerosis: the Mexican-American Coronary Artery Disease Study Diabetes. 2005 Apr; 54(4):1228-32. . View in PubMed

Effect of thiazolidinedione treatment on progression of subclinical atherosclerosis in premenopausal women at high risk for type 2 diabetes J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Apr; 90(4):1986-91. . View in PubMed

A genome-wide scan for carotid artery intima-media thickness: the Mexican-American Coronary Artery Disease family study Stroke. 2005 Mar; 36(3):540-5. . View in PubMed

Ambient air pollution and atherosclerosis in Los Angeles Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Feb; 113(2):201-6. . View in PubMed

Association between monocyte Fcgamma subclass expression and acute coronary syndrome Immun Ageing. 2004 Nov 12; 1(1):4. . View in PubMed

Early onset of subclinical atherosclerosis in young persons with type 1 diabetes J Pediatr. 2004 Oct; 145(4):452-7. . View in PubMed

Does elevated body mass modify the influence of postmenopausal estrogen replacement on atherosclerosis progression: results from the estrogen in the prevention of atherosclerosis trial Atherosclerosis. 2003 May; 168(1):91-8. . View in PubMed

Alpha-tocopherol supplementation in healthy individuals reduces low-density lipoprotein oxidation but not atherosclerosis: the Vitamin E Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (VEAPS) Circulation. 2002 Sep 17; 106(12):1453-9. . View in PubMed

Antiatherosclerosis interventions in women Am J Cardiol. 2002 Jul 03; 90(1A):17F-21F. . View in PubMed

Atherosclerosis imaging methods: assessing cardiovascular disease and evaluating the role of estrogen in the prevention of atherosclerosis Am J Cardiol. 2002 Jun 20; 89(12A):19E-27E; discussion 27E. . View in PubMed

Comparison of estrogen and androgen levels after oral estrogen replacement therapy J Reprod Med. 2001 Dec; 46(12):1052-6. . View in PubMed

Efficacy of two lipid-lowering treatments on quantitative coronary angiographic endpoints Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2000 Aug; 14(4):411-8. . View in PubMed

Correlations between measures of atherosclerosis change using carotid ultrasonography and coronary angiography Atherosclerosis. 2000 Jun; 150(2):371-9. . View in PubMed

Ascorbic acid enhances 17 beta-estradiol-mediated inhibition of oxidized low density lipoprotein formation Atherosclerosis. 2000 Jun; 150(2):275-84. . View in PubMed

Cholesterol oxidation products induce vascular foam cell lesion formation in hypercholesterolemic New Zealand white rabbits Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1999 Sep; 19(9):2179-88. . View in PubMed

Arterial injury by cholesterol oxidation products causes endothelial dysfunction and arterial wall cholesterol accumulation Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1998 Dec; 18(12):1885-94. . View in PubMed

A comparison of quantitative computerized and human panel coronary endpoint measures: implications for the design of angiographic trials Control Clin Trials. 1997 Apr; 18(2):168-79. . View in PubMed

Cardioprotective effects of individual conjugated equine estrogens through their possible modulation of insulin resistance and oxidation of low-density lipoprotein Fertil Steril. 1997 Jan; 67(1):57-62. . View in PubMed

Antioxidants and atherosclerosis: an overview Biofactors. 1997; 6(4):385-90. . View in PubMed

Effect of supplementary antioxidant vitamin intake on carotid arterial wall intima-media thickness in a controlled clinical trial of cholesterol lowering Circulation. 1996 Nov 15; 94(10):2369-72. . View in PubMed

Carotid intima-media thickness as a surrogate end point for coronary artery disease Circulation. 1996 Nov 01; 94(9):2311-2. . View in PubMed

Contribution of an in vivo oxidized LDL to LDL oxidation and its association with dense LDL subpopulations Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1996 Jun; 16(6):784-93. . View in PubMed

Efficacy of interventions designed to inhibit the progression of coronary atherosclerosis Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 1996 Feb; 30 Suppl:37-53. . View in PubMed

Compensatory vascular changes of remote coronary segments in response to lesion progression as observed by sequential angiography from a controlled clinical trial Circulation. 1995 Nov 01; 92(9):2411-8. . View in PubMed

Characterization of endothelial cell injury by cholesterol oxidation products found in oxidized LDL J Lipid Res. 1995 Sep; 36(9):1971-86. . View in PubMed

Effects of lovastatin on ApoA- and ApoB-containing lipoproteinsFamilies in a subpopulation of patients participating in the Monitored Atherosclerosis Regression Study (MARS). Arterioscler Thromb. 1994 Dec; 14(12):1906-13. . View in PubMed

Analysis of plasma cholesterol oxidation products using gas- and high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry Free Radic Biol Med. 1994 Nov; 17(5):397-409. . View in PubMed

Biochemical and cytotoxic characteristics of an in vivo circulating oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL-) J Lipid Res. 1994 Apr; 35(4):669-77. . View in PubMed

Coronary angiographic changes with lovastatin therapyThe Monitored Atherosclerosis Regression Study (MARS). Ann Intern Med. 1993 Nov 15; 119(10):969-76. . View in PubMed

Atherosclerosis--reversal with therapy West J Med. 1993 Aug; 159(2):172-9. . View in PubMed

Cholesterol feeding increases plasma and aortic tissue cholesterol oxide levels in parallel: further evidence for the role of cholesterol oxidation in atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis. 1991 Aug; 89(2-3):117-26. . View in PubMed

Acute hepatic failure associated with the use of low-dose sustained-release niacin JAMA. 1990 Jul 11; 264(2):181. . View in PubMed

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