Rayner, Katey

Katey Rayner, PhD, is a Scientist and Director of the Cardiometabolic microRNA Laboratory at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Dr. Rayner is also a Full Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa. She leads the Ottawa region strategic research Innovation Cluster on Vascular Inflammation and Metabolism.


Dr. Rayner obtained her BSc from the University of Toronto, and her PhD from the University of Ottawa. Dr. Rayner’s doctoral work focused on the role of hormones, heat shock proteins and macrophage foam cells in the development of atherosclerosis. Dr. Rayner pursued a postdoctoral fellowship first at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, then at New York University School of Medicine where she discovered a role for microRNAs, specifically microRNA-33, in the regulation of HDL and its atheroprotective effects.

Dr. Rayner is a member of the peer review committees for Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is an Editorial Board Member of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) and Circulation Research. She also serves as the Social Media Editor of ATVB (@atvbahajournals). Dr. Rayner reviews for many peer-reviewed journals including Circulation, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Nature Communications, and Cell Reports.  

Dr. Rayner holds a New Investigator Award from the CIHR, and was awarded the McDonald Scholarship in 2013 as the highest-ranked New Investigator from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Her research is funded by CIHR, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (Early Researcher Award), and the European ERA-CVD Consortium. Dr. Rayner has been recognized by the American Heart Association’s ATVB Council with awards such as the Irvine H Page Young Investigator Research Award and the Early Career Award for Outstanding Research.

Research and clinical interests

Dr. Rayner’s research program focuses on how inflammation is dysregulated in both atherosclerotic vascular disease and other metabolic diseases.  Her research also investigates the intersection of inflammation, energy metabolism and RNA biology, and how microRNAs may be used as therapeutics in the future to treat these cardiometabolic diseases.


See current publications list at PubMed.

Selected publications:

  • Raggi P, Genest J, Giles JT, Rayner KJ, Dwivedi G, Beanlands RS, Gupta M. Atherosclerosis. 2018 Sep;276:98-108. Role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and therapeutic interventions
  • Nguyen MA, Karunakaran D, Geoffrion M, Cheng HS, Tandoc K, Perisic Matic L, Hedin U, Maegdefessel L, Fish JE, Rayner KJ. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018 Jan;38(1):49-63. Extracellular Vesicles Secreted by Atherogenic Macrophages Transfer MicroRNA to Inhibit Cell Migration.
  • Rayner KJ. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2017 Jul;37(7):e75-e81. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.117.309229. Review. Cell Death in the Vessel Wall: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.
  • Karunakaran D, Geoffrion M, Wei L, Gan W, Richards L, Shangari P, DeKemp EM, Beanlands RA, Perisic L, Maegdefessel L, Hedin U, Sad S, Guo L, Kolodgie FD, Virmani R, Ruddy T, Rayner KJ. Sci Adv. 2016 Jul 22;2(7):e1600224. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1600224. eCollection 2016 Jul. Targeting macrophage necroptosis for therapeutic and diagnostic interventions in atherosclerosis.
  • Karunakaran D, Thrush AB, Nguyen MA, Richards L, Geoffrion M, Singaravelu R, Ramphos E, Shangari P, Ouimet M, Pezacki JP, Moore KJ, Perisic L, Maegdefessel L, Hedin U, Harper ME, Rayner KJ. Circ Res. 2015 Jul 17;117(3):266-78. Macrophage Mitochondrial Energy Status Regulates Cholesterol Efflux and Is Enhanced by Anti-miR33 in Atherosclerosis.
  • Rayner KJ. miR-155 in the Heart: The Right Time at the Right Place in the Right Cell. Circulation. 2015 Apr 7.
  • Rayner KJ, Esau EC, Hussain FN, McDaniel AL, Marshall SM, van Gils JM, Ray TD, Sheedy FJ, Goedeke L, Liu X, Khatsenko OG, Kaimal V, Lees CJ, Fernandez-Hernando C, Fisher EA, Temel RE, Moore KJ. Inhibition of miR-33a and b in non-human primates raises plasma HDL cholesterol and reduces VLDL triglycerides. Nature. 2011; 478(7369):404-7.
  • Rayner KJ, Sheedy FJ, Esau EC, Hussain FN, Temel RE, Parathath, van Gils JM, Rayner AJ, Chang AN, Suarez Y, Fernandez-Hernando C, Fisher EA, Moore KJ. Antagonism of miR-33 in Mice Promotes Reverse Cholesterol Transport and Regression of Atherosclerosis. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2011; 21(7):2921-31.
  • Rayner KJ*, Suarez Y*, Davalos A, Parathath S, Fitzgerald ML, Tamehiro N, Fisher EA, Moore KJ# and Fernandez-Hernando C#. miR-33 Contributes to the Regulation of Cholesterol Homeostasis. Science. 2010; 328(5985):1570-3. *,# Equal contribution.
Katey Rayner

Rayner, Katey

Rayner, Katey


Appointments and affiliations

University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Cardiometabolic microRNA Laboratory
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Full Professor
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Innovation Cluster Lead
Vascular Inflammation and Metabolism

Innovation Cluster Member
Percutaneous Intervention

University Research Chair in Vascular and Metabolic Inflammation
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa