My research group focuses on 1) identifying the cause(s) of cholesterol and triglyceride disorders and 2) establishing new treatment options for patients who suffer from these disorders. After training with outstanding mentors with expertise in cholesterol metabolism and genetics (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)
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2007), Internal Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2010), Endocrinology & Metabolism

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


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Jean D. Wilson Excellence in Scientific Mentorship Award
    Division of Endocrinology, UT Southwestern Medical Center (2017)
  • 2nd Renewal - Extramural Loan Repayment Program for Clinical Research Award
    National Institute of Health (NIH) (2015)
  • 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)
  • Young Investigator's Award
    National Lipid Association Meeting, Orlando, FL (2014)
  • Renewal - Extramural Loan Repayment Program for Clinical Research Award
    National Institute of Health (NIH) (2013)
  • Top Rated 2013 Internal Medicine Grand Rounds Lecture
    “Complex Dyslipidemias: Challenges in Management” (2013)
  • Extramural Loan Repayment Program for Clinical Research Award
    National Institute of Health (NIH) (2011)
  • Clinical Nutrition Scholars Program
    Center for Human Nutrition, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (2010)
  • Chief Fellow
    UT Southwestern Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Fellowship Program, Dallas, TX (2007)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • FH Foundation (2013)
  • American Heart Association
  • Endocrine Society
  • National Lipid Association