​Salim S. Virani​

Vice Provost, Office of​​ Research and Graduate Studies

Salim S. Virani, MD, Ph.D., serves as the Vice-Provost (Global Research) and The Nizar E. Noor Mohammed Mewawalla Endowed Professor at the Aga Khan University (AKU). Working with a dedicated team, he leads and facilitates AKU’s global research and international collaborations across South Asia, Europe, and East Africa in the areas of medicine, nursing, education, culture, media, climate change, and environmental sciences.  Prior to joining AKU, Dr. Virani was a tenured Professor in the Sections of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Research at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and an investigator in the Health Policy, Quality, and Informatics Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Health Services Research and Development Center of Innovation in Houston, TX.  At BCM, he also served as the Director for the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Training Program. His clinical practice includes being a Preventive Cardiologist with a special emphasis on management of complex dyslipidemias.

Dr. Virani earned his medical degree from the Aga Khan University in Pakistan, graduating with the Best Medical Graduate Award. Dr. Virani completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Miami, there receiving an award as the Best Resident. He then completed a Cardiology fellowship at the Texas Heart Institute, where he served as the Chief Cardiology Fellow and received Tauber Award for the Outstanding Graduating Fellow. 

Dr. Virani’s research portfolio aims to understand the pathophysiology and epidemiology of atherosclerosis with a special emphasis on South Asians. His team is studying several domains in the delivery of high-quality guideline concordant primary and secondary cardiovascular disease preventive care. Via funded research grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, NIH, AHRQ, and the World Heart Federation, his team has evaluated models of delivery of cardiovascular disease preventive care, how to leverage machine learning while using “big data”, and how point-of-care informatics driven interventions can improve guideline-concordant care delivery. His team is also evaluating how best to leverage technology to deliver high-quality care in Low-Middle Income Countries especially in South Asia. He has authored or co-authored >700 peer-reviewed publications or book chapters (several with his mentees) related to various aspects of cardiovascular disease prevention including cholesterol, blood pressure control and aspirin therapy with several in high-impact journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, European Heart Journal, JAMA, JAMA Cardiology, and Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This work has received >145,000 citations. He has been recognized as “World Expert” in Cholesterol by Expertscape (top 0.01% of scholars writing about cholesterol from 2013-2023 among 194,955 published authors) and among the top 2% of the most cited scientists worldwide by PLos Biology in 2022. He is also among the top 10 researchers in Pakistan based on the 2023 Stanford Rankings. Dr. Virani has served as a faculty for >60 online literary educational programs and has participated in >200 online or in person media interviews. He has made ~300 invited presentations at various conferences and academic institutions worldwide. 

Dr. Virani has been a recipient of the Scott Grundy Award for Excellence in Lipids Metabolism Research from the American Heart Association (AHA), the Jeremiah Stamler Distinguished Young Investigator Research Award, Leadership Award from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) NCDR® Oversight Committee, National Lipid Association (NLA) President’s Service Award, and the Clark Faculty Service Award at Baylor College of Medicine for exemplary professionalism and community service. Dr. Virani serves as the Chair for the ACC’s Global NCD Academy and the ACC International’s Global Quality Solutions Work group. He also serves as an At-Large Board Member for the Southwest Chapter of the NLA and as a member on the ACC’s Science and Quality Committee. In the recent past, he served as the Chair for the AHA's Cardiovascular Disease Statistics Committee, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Section of the ACC, and the Research and Publications Committee of the ACC’s PINNACLE Registry (the largest outpatient cardiovascular disease registry in the world). He has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Preventive Cardiology, as the Associate Editor for Innovations for ACC.org, and the digital Strategy lead for the cardiovascular disease prevention related content for ACC.org.  He has been inducted several times in the Best Doctors® Database (peer-reviewed group that includes the top 5% of U.S. physicians). 

Dr. Virani has served as a panel member for the 2018 AHA/ACC Multi-society Guideline on Cholesterol Management, the 2019 ACC/AHA Guideline for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, and the 2019 World Heart Federation and International Diabetes Federation’s Road Map on the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease among People Living with Diabetes. He served as Co-Chair for the National Lipid Association’s Global think tank on Lipoprotein(a) and as  a writing committee member of the World Heart Federation’s Road Map on Cholesterol Management and the European Atherosclerosis Society’s Consensus statement on Lipoprotein(a). He Chaired the 2023 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Chronic Coronary Disease.

Dr. Virani firmly believes in the notion of Civil Society that one of the most important objectives of being able to acquire quality education is to serve the communities in which we live and the communities in need. In that respect, he has spent considerable amount of time in voluntary service with a dedicated team of volunteers to (a) support educational and behavioral intervention related resources to combat NCDs in the community (b) play an active role in health care capacity building for communities in South Asia, Central Asia, and East Africa. He serves on the World Heart Organization’s Technical Advisory Group on NCD related research and innovation (TAG/RI).