Understanding Lipoproteins

Research, Treatment and Relationship to Cholesterol


Dr. Angelo Scanu and his student studying a lipoprotein particle model in the University of Chicago Lipid Lab, 1989. Photo by Randy Tunnell

Opening Reception: Monday, November 12, 2018, 5:30 – 8:00pm. Free and open to the public.

Lipoproteins, though microscopically small, have great implications on our body’s overall health. Many lipoproteins accumulate through dietary intake, while others are hereditary. Understanding Lipoproteins: Research, Treatment and Relationship to Cholesterol educates visitors on the three main types of lipoproteins: High-Density Lipoprotein, Low-Density Lipoprotein and Lipoprotein(a). While all three are comprised of both lipids and proteins, they have vastly differing effects on the body. In addition to learning more about these key lipoproteins, this exhibition informs us of their implications on our cardiovascular health.

Angelo Scanu, M.D., a physician and researcher at the University of Chicago between the years 1963-2011, was a major contributor of what we know today about lipoproteins. He advanced our understanding of the High-Density Lipoprotein and the Lipoprotein(a) particles. In 1958, Dr. Scanu was the first person to describe the biochemistry of the High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), formerly known as “good cholesterol.” Throughout his research career, he remained passionate about treating patients with lipoprotein complications. The first lipid clinic in Chicago was opened at the University of Chicago in 1982 with Dr. Scanu as the Director. The laboratory and clinic were home to where Dr. Scanu and his team advised patients and carried out much of their critical lipoprotein research.

Showcasing how lipoproteins function, together with the history of lipoprotein research and treatment, Understanding Lipoproteins: Research, Treatment and Relationship to Cholesterol features a re-creation of Dr. Scanu’s research station alongside archival material from the first Lipid Clinic—illustrating how even the smallest particles can have the greatest impacts on our health.

This exhibit is made possible with support from:


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