Allison L Kuipers

  • Associate Professor
  • Faculty in Epidemiology

Dr. Kuipers' primary research is on the molecular determinants of cardiovascular and other age-related diseases. Her long-term interests stem from previous exposure to both laboratory and epidemiologic research and include the development of translational approaches that move from “the bench to the population”. Dr. Kuipers’ current research is focused on evaluating the epidemiologic predictors of cardiac structure and function, and other subclinical cardiovascular disease measures in a population-based, longitudinal cohort study of African ancestry men and women on the Caribbean island of Tobago. She currently has an R01 to add transthoracic echocardiography to her existing data archive of subclinical cardiovascular disease, including vascular calcification, carotid ultrasound, and pulse-wave velocity, in this study. This represents the first population-based data on cardiac structure and function in African Caribbeans to date and will help establish the risk factors and molecular predictors of these measures in this population subset with a great burden of hypertensive disease. Her overarching aim is to use a variety of banked biospecimen samples to test the association of multiple molecular markers, such as genetic variation, gene expression, and protein concentration, with cardiac and vascular measures in order to better understand the etiology and physiology of cardiovascular disease. She is also researching the role that aging plays in vascular health with both her own study and as a part of the Long Life Family Study, a family-based longitudinal cohort of exceptional longevity, for which a study site is located at the University of Pittsburgh. Her long-term research goals are focused on using translational molecular techniques to study the interrelation and shared etiologies of an array of human chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, aging, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, and osteoporosis.


2014 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | NHLBI T32 Post-doctoral Fellowship
2011 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | PhD in Epidemiology
2011 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | Certificate in Public Health Genetics
2011 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | NHLBI T32 Pre-doctoral Fellowship
2007 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | BS in Biological Sciences


EPIDEM 2600: Molecular Epidemiology (Spring Semester)

Selected Publications

An updated, complete list of publications can be found at:

A selection of influential works include: 

1.     Kuipers AL, Miljkovic I, Kammerer CM, Evans RW, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Wheeler VW, Sutton-Tyrrell K, Zmuda JM. Evidence for a genetic link between bone and vascular measures in African ancestry families. J Bone Miner Res. Aug 2013. 28(8):1804-10.

2.     Kuipers AL, Kammerer CM, Miljkovic I, Woodard G, Miljkovic I, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Wheeler VW, Newman AB, Zmuda JM. Genetic epidemiology and genome-wide linkage analysis of carotid artery ultrasound traits in multigenerational African ancestry families. Atherosclerosis. Nov 2013. 231(1):120-3.

3. Kuipers AL, Zmuda JM, Carr JJ, Terry JG, Nair S, Cvejkus R, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Wassel CL, Miljkovic I. Association of Ectopic Fat with Abdominal Aorto-Illiac and Coronary Artery Calcification in African Ancestry Men. Atherosclerosis. June 2017. 263:198-204.

4. Kuipers AL, Miljkovic I, Barinas-Mitchell E, Cvejkus R, Bunker CH, Wheeler VW, Zmuda JM. Arterial stiffness and hypertension status in Afro-Caribbean men.  J Hypertens. 2019. 37(3):546-54.

5. Kuipers AL, Wojczynski MK, Barinas-Mitchell E, Minster RL, Wang L, Feitosa MF, Kulminski A, Thyagarajan B, Lee JH, Province MA, Newman AB, Zmuda JM. Genome-wide linkage analysis of carotid artery traits in exceptionally long-lived families. Athersclerosis. 2019. Oct 10(291):19-26.

6. Kuipers AL, Miljkovic I, Barinas-Mitchell E, Nestlerode CS, Cvejkus RK, Wheeler VW, Zhang Y, Zmuda JM. Wnt pathway gene expression is associated with arterial stiffness. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020. 9(3):e014170.

       7. Yang Y, Cvejkus RC, Barinas-Mitchell E, Cristensen K, Wojcynski MK, Thyagarajan B, Zmuda JM, Kuipers AL.      Genetic Association Analysis of the Cardiovascular Biomarker: N-Terminal prohormone Brain Natriuretic Pepetid (NT-proBNP). PLOS One 2021 Mar 15;16(3):e0248726.

       8. Feitosa M, Kuipers AL, Wojczynski M, Wang L, Barinas-Mitchell E, Kulminski A, Thyagarajan B, Lee J, Perls T, Christensen K, Newman A, Zmuda J, Province M. Heterogeneity of the Predictive Polygenic Risk Scores for Coronary Heart Disease Age-at-onset in Three Different CHD Family-based Ascertainments. Circ Genom Precis Med. 2021 Apr 12. Doi: 10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003201. Online ahead of print.

       9. Cvejkus RK, Miljkovic I, Barone Gibbs B, Zmuda JM, Wheeler VW, Kuipers AL. Association of physical activity with blood pressure in African ancestry men. Prev Med Rep. 2021 Jun 16;23:101458.

     10. Yudkovicz JJ, Minster RL, Barinas-Mitchell E, Christensen K, Feitosa M, Barker MS, Newman AB, Kuipers AL. Pleiotropic Effects Between Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Measures of Cognitive and Physical Function in Long-Lived Adults. Sci Rep. 2021 11(1):17980.

      11. Kuipers AL, Carr JJ, Terry JG, Nair S, Barinas-Mitchell E, Wheeler V, Zmuda JM, Miljkovic I. Aortic area as an indicator of subclinical cardiovascular disease. 2022. In print at The Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal.