Tomas Vaisar, PhD


  • Research Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition
  • Director, Quantitative and Functional Proteomics Core, UW Diabetes Research Center

Complete list of published work.

Tomas Vaisar received his PhD at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic in 1992 in the area of Organic Chemistry focusing on gas phase ion chemistry and mass spectrometry. After 9 years in biotech industry, in 2002 he joined the laboratory of Dr. Jay W. Heinecke at the University of Washington, Seattle. In 2005 he was appointed to the faculty and is currently a Research Associate Professor at the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology and at the UW Medicine Diabetes Institute at the University of Washington. He serves as the Director of the Diabetes Research Center Quantitative and Functional Proteomics Core.

Research Interests

Dr. Vaisar’s research focuses on examining the role of metabolic diseases in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease.  Specifically, his research centers on the relation of diabetes, lipoproteins metabolism and the role lipoproteins in the accelerated development of cardiovascular disease in diabetes. His research further focuses on application of state-of-the-art quantitative mass spectrometric techniques to basic, translational as well as clinical studies.

Current projects focus on:

  • HDL as a carrier of biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.This project focuses on development and application of quantitative proteomic methods to discovery of biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.  Unlike whole plasma, HDL is a simple proteome of up to 100 proteins which is in the causal pathway of cardiovascular disease. Quantitative assessment of HDL proteome can therefore provide biomarkers for disease diagnosis as well as markers of therapeutic intervention efficacy.


  • Role of diabetes and inflammation in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseasewith particular focus on the role of HDL and its interactions with cells in the atherosclerotic lesions (macrophages, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells). Inflammation is one of the hallmarks of atherosclerosis and is associated with major changes in the HDL protein composition, activation of cells in the arterial wall, and increased production of proteases in the atherosclerotic lesions. We are addressing questions of how the changes in HDL composition affect its anti-atherogenic properties and what is the role of proteolysis in the progression of atherosclerosis.

To address these questions his lab is using state of the art techniques including functional assessment of the HDL in macrophages and endothelial cells, lipoprotein particle analysis (HDL-P) using calibrated differential ion mobility analysis (cIMA) for direct lipoprotein particle measurement, and targeted quantitative methods for lipoprotein proteome analysis.

  • Applications of quantitative proteomics to clinical and translational studies. This research focuses on development of quantitative liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry based assays (SRM-LCMS, Data-independent analysis, DIA) for quantification of proteins in lipoproteins, blood, as well as in urine, for discovery and validation as biomarkers of diabetes accelerated cardiovascular disease and diabetic kidney disease.

How can this research help people with diabetes?

Identification of the mechanisms by which diabetes accelerates cardiovascular disease, and biomarkers predicting the risk of developing CVD will lead to early detection of the CVD risk and novel treatments for prevention of cardiovascular complications of diabetes.