My research group focuses on identifying the cause(s) of cholesterol and triglyceride disorders and establishing new treatment options for patients who suffer from these disorders. After training in cholesterol metabolism and genetics with several outstanding mentors (e.g. Abhimanyu Garg, MD, Scott Grundy, MD, PhD, and Helen Hobbs, MD), I joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2010. Since then, my group has been identifying families with severe elevations in cholesterol or triglycerides in an effort to understand the underlying cause(s). For example, we found that most patients with familial hypercholesterolemia don’t have a mutation in the known genes, perhaps implying that undiscovered genes may be to blame. If we can discover some of these genes and understand why they affect cholesterol, we may be able to improve patient outcomes. 


Undergraduate School Tulane University (2000)
Medical School Tulane University School of Medicine (2004)
Residency UT Southwestern Medical Center (2007), Internal Medicine
Fellowship UT Southwestern Medical Center (2010), Endocrinology & Metabolism

Specialty Areas

Clinical Interest

  • Cholesterol - Dyslipidemia, Hypercholesterolemia, Hyperlipidemia
  • Dercum's Disease
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia

Research Interest

  • Chylomicronemia
  • Familial Hypercholesterolemia
  • Genetic/familial disease involving cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Invidividuals with very high cholesterol (Cholesterol > 300 mg/dL)
  • Pancreatitis due to high triglycerides
  • Patients with cholesterol/triglycerides that has been difficult to treat
  • Severely elevated triglycerides (Triglycerides > 1000 mg/dL)
  • Statin intolerance
  • Very low cholesterol (LDL-C < 40 mg/dL) - Hypocholesterolemia
  • Xanthomas (skin rash/bumps due to high cholesterol or triglycerides)


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Genotype-phenotype relationships in patients with type I hyperlipoproteinemia.
Chokshi N, Blumenschein SD, Ahmad Z, Garg A J Clin Lipidol 2014 May-Jun 8 3 287-95
Cholic Acid for Hepatic Steatosis in Patients with Lipodystrophy: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.
Ahmad Z, Subramanyam L, Szczepaniak L, Simha V, Adams-Huet B, Garg A Eur. J. Endocrinol. 2013 Feb
Lack of cardiovascular disease among old order amish with familial defective apolipoprotein B.
Ahmad Z, Garg A Arch. Intern. Med. 2011 Jun 171 11 1039-40; author reply 1040
Cirrhosis-induced pseudoglucagonoma syndrome in a patient with Type 2 Diabetes: an autopsy study.
Ahmad Z, Shastry S, Vuitch F, Garg A Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf) 2011 May 74 5 658-60
Homozygous null mutations in ZMPSTE24 in restrictive dermopathy: evidence of genetic heterogeneity.
Ahmad Z, Phadke S, Arch E, Glass J, Agarwal A, Garg A Clin. Genet. 2010 Oct
Early onset mandibuloacral dysplasia due to compound heterozygous mutations in ZMPSTE24
Ahmad Z, Zackai E, Medne L, Garg A Am J Med Genet A. September 2010
Mediastinal paragangliomas: association with mutations in the succinate dehydrogenase genes and aggressive behavior.
Ghayee HK, Havekes B, Corssmit EP, Eisenhofer G, Hammes SR, Ahmad Z, Tessnow A, Lazúrová I, Adams KT, Fojo AT, Pacak K, Auchus RJ Endocr. Relat. Cancer 2009 Mar 16 1 291-9
Large-scale analysis of the Alu Ya5 and Yb8 subfamilies and their contribution to human genomic diversity.
Carroll ML, Roy-Engel AM, Nguyen SV, Salem AH, Vogel E, Vincent B, Myers J, Ahmad Z, Nguyen L, Sammarco M, Watkins WS, Henke J, Makalowski W, Jorde LB, Deininger PL, Batzer MA J. Mol. Biol. 2001 Aug 311 1 17-40

Honors & Awards

  • Featured Poster (2014 Endocrine Society Meeting, Chicago, IL)
    “Familial Hypercholesterolemia: systematic genetic screening in a multi-ethnic U.S. cohort reveals a lack of disease-causing mutations in a large proportion of patients.” (2014)
  • Selected to LEAD (Leadership Emerging in Academic Departments) program
    UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (2014)
  • Top 10 2014 UT Southwestern Internal Medicine Grand Rounds
    “Complex Dyslipidemias: Challenges in Management” (2014)
  • Young Investigator's Award
    National Lipid Association Meeting, Orlando, FL (2014)
  • Clinical Nutrition Scholars Program
    Center for Human Nutrition, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (2010)
  • Endocrine Trainee Day Award
    Endocrine Society Meeting 2009, Washington DC (2009)
  • Endocrine Society Clinical Investigators Workshop
    Travel Award, Endocrine Society, Boston, MA (2008)
  • Genetics of Complex Disorders
    Travel Award, Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard in Cambridge MA (2008)
  • Chief Fellow
    UT Southwestern Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Fellowship Program, Dallas, TX (2007)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Heart Association
  • Endocrine Society
  • National Lipid Association