Frank Sacks

MD – School of Public Health –
Harvard University – Boston, MA

Frank Sacks


Dr. Sacks is Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Departments of Nutrition and Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is involved in research and public policy in lipid disorders, hypertension, nutrition, and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Sacks conducts research on human lipoprotein metabolism and clinical trials in nutrition and cardiovascular disease. The laboratory research concerns the acute and long-term effects of diet on the function of lipoproteins including VLDL, LDL and HDL in humans; and biochemical epidemiology of lipoprotein particle types and CVD.  His laboratory is studying HDL speciation based on content of specific proteins, and recently discovered that a type of HDL that contains apolipoprotein C-III predicted higher rates of heart disease, the opposite to the protective relation for the total HDL. His group has made the novel findings that HDL is secreted into the circulation in wide range of sizes which then circulate for 2-3 days mostly in the secreted size.

Dr. Sacks was Chair of the Design Committee of the DASH study, and Chair of the Steering Committee for the DASH-Sodium trial. Dr. Sacks was Principal Investigator of an NIH funded trial on dietary approaches for weight loss and maintenance, the PoundsLost trial, which showed that diets varying in protein, carbohydrate and fat content had the same beneficial effects on weight loss and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Dr. Sacks was co-Chair of the OmniHeart and OmniCarb trials which found that reducing carbohydrate content of the DASH diet improved its effect on risk factors, whereas reducing glycemic index did not produce further benefits.

Dr. Sacks was the 2011 recipient of the American Heart Association’s Research Achievement Award for lifetime research accomplishments.