Dr. Sacks is Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in the Nutrition Department of Harvard Chan School of Public Health; Professor of Genetics & Complexes Diseases; and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sacks led the panel designing the DASH Study, which crafted a healthful eating pattern and demonstrated that it lowered blood pressure more effectively than any previous dietary treatment. Subsequently Dr. Sacks led the DASH-Sodium study, which determined the dose-response effect of dietary sodium on BP. Dr. Sacks was Co-Chair of the OmniHeart Trial that found that variations of the DASH diet that are higher in protein or unsaturated fat and lower in carbohydrate further improved blood pressure and lipid risk factors. He also led the seminal PoundsLost trial which showed the percentage of calories from fat or carbohydrate had no effect on long term weight loss. Dr. Sacks led the OmniCarb trial, which studied the effects of glycemic index and load on cardiovascular risk factors. Dr. Sacks’s laboratory research is on the role of apolipoproteins affecting the metabolism of VLDL, LDL, and HDL, and their relation to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Currently, he is co-investigator of the MIND study, a randomized trial of a diet that combines features of the Mediterranean and DASH diets to preserve cognition in older people, funded by the National Institute on Aging.
Dr. Sacks was Chair of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee and a member of the Lifestyle Working Group of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, which designed the American Heart Association guidelines for diet and exercise. Dr. Sacks teaches at Harvard School of Public Health as course director for nutritional biochemistry and for scientific writing. Dr. Sacks received the 2011 Research Achievement Award of the American Heart Association for lifetime research accomplishment.