Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Human Heart Systems Biology

In the human failing heart, it is the systems biology that ultimately fails: electrical, mechanical, and chemical perturbations in their function do not manifest in isolation, but critically impact on each other in health and disease. Investigation of human myocardium, unlike inbred rodent models, is challenging since no two humans are identical. There is a need for the collection and assessment of clinical patient data, biometrics, and in vivo tests, such as ECG, Echo, and MRI as well as in vitro data, such as mechanical and electrical parameters of the human myocardial muscles and cells. These data, combined with genomics, proteomics, and histology of the very same human heart, repeated in a large number of hearts, would be needed.

Tags (Keywords associated with the idea)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Procured/stored tissue from these hearts could be made available NHLBI/NIH-wide, and studied by a large number of investigators on protein levels, RNA/DNA level, and/or histological assessments. This data could then be correlated to any other parameter assessed on these hearts, providing correlative guidance, through systems biology/neural network programming, for future mechanistic studies. For each additional parameter investigated, the number of correlation analysis (with any and all parameters, including clinical and biometric parameters) would mathematically double.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Supporting the basic collection of these in vivo and in vitro parameters and possibly the logistics for tissue distribution to collect correlative mechanical, proteomics, genomics, and histology data for correlation with the in vivo and in vitro data would allow for an NIH/NHLBI-wide translational approach to human heart failure that could encompass everyone’s “favorite” molecule, protein, pathway, and disease etiology. A logistical challenge is that such a project would likely exceed the funding of a single standard grant, but more importantly would surely exceed the standard 4-5 year duration, requiring long-term vision, planning, and buy in from NIH/NHBLI and investigators.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Paul Janssen


6 net votes
13 up votes
7 down votes
Idea No. 738