Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Animal Models for COPD -- Core Facilities

COPD is a major health problem with more than 140,000 deaths per year and yet there is a relative paucity of treatments that might modify the course of this disease. In part, this is due to the poor efficiency of animal models that require months of exposure to cigarette smoke. Moreover, there are no well validated small animal models of chronic mucus hypersecretion. Funding of core facilities that could both provide ...more »

Submitted by (@rwise0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Funding of core facilities that could both provide support for researchers wishing to study COPD, and the development of efficient research models as well as models of chronic bronchitis would be a major advance for screening for treatments of COPD.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Current technology is well established for exposure of small animals to combustible tobacco smoker. However there remains to be developed standardized exposures to e-Cigarettes and Biomass fuels.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Robert A. Wise

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Strategic Goal: Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Expanding short term Junior Faculty Training Programs such as the Summer Training Programs for Junior Faculty (PRIDE): Focus

Expanding the base of the program foci (e.g. including NCI in addition to the current HLBS).

Submitted by (@treva0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Expanding the PRIDE program foci beyond NHLBI’s heart, lung, blood, and sleep foci, may involve a common-fund effort, for example by having multiple institutes involved in the program. It is well accepted that good research today is a collaborative effort that often reaches across institutes. For example, the research interests of several PRIDE/SIPID trainees were at the intersection of cardiology and areas such as cancer, diabetes and aging.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Treva Rice for the PRIDE (Programs to increase diversity among individuals engaged in health-related research): Joe GN “Skip” Garcia, Francisco Moreno Girardin Jean-Louis, Gbenga Ogedegbe, DC Rao, Victor Davila-Roman, Mohamed Boutjdir, Betty Pace, Juan Gonzales, Bettina M Beech, Keith Norris, Marino Bruce, Alicia Fernandez, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, and Margaret Handley.

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14 up votes
4 down votes
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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Financial and psycosocial impact of transition in sickle cell disease

What are the financial and social implications for individuals living with SCD from adolescence transitioning into adult care? What impact does this transition have on the caregiver and family as a whole?

Submitted by (@sicklecellwarrior)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

It is very difficult for many living with SCD to maintain employment (many people have to rely on disability benefits to survive) finish school, even maintain relationships. Greater understanding of the financial and social impact would enable advocacy and direct patient service organizations to better prepare the transitioning population, reducing the financial strain on the individual and the growing medical debt incurred by hospitals and government social service programs.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Sickle Cell Warriors, Inc. community members

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30 net votes
38 up votes
8 down votes
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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Novel Cell Apheresis Technologies to Treat Hematologic Diseases

Current FDA approved apheresis technology uses elutriation/centrifugation or filtration separation techniques to remove pathologic cellular and/or plasma elements. Currently these techniques are non-specific, limited by inefficient removal kinetics and often require considerable blood product exposure. Despite tremendous improvement in our understanding of the pathophysiology of a variety of disease, our ability to ...more »

Submitted by (@ewong0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Novel means of selectively removing unique cellular elements involved in disease modulation are needed. For example, microparticles (MPs) have been implicated in a variety of biological processes such as: a) coagulation (e.g. platelet MPs has shown to be 50-100 times more procoagulant than activated platelets), b) oxidative stress (e.g. promotion of oxidative stress via endothelial-, monocyte-, or lymphocyte-derived MPs), and c) inflammation (e.g. acute lung injury in a rat model of acute lung injury). In regards to specific hematologic disease, the hypercoagulability associated with sickle cell disease, for example, may be the result of chronic hemolysis and circulating cell-derived MPs originating from activated platelets and erythrocytes. Endothelial progenitor cells when infused into patients with acute myocardial infarction have been shown to improve ventricular ejection fraction, cardiac geometry, coronary blood flow reserve and myocardial viability. Finally, apheresis for cells of the immune system such as T regulatory cells, cytotoxic T cells, monocytes, dendritic cells, and NK cells will be useful in immunotherapy approaches to hematologic disease. Removal of unique cellular elements may result in amelioration/treatment of associated diseases, or conversely, infusion of these cellular elements may be used to treat disease via a cellular therapy approach. Currently, apheresis methodologies that can selectively remove these unique cellular elements do not exist

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Large scale cell separation of unique cellular elements requires new approaches. Although there are no prototypic cell separation devices that can be used for clinical purposes, the emergence of microfluidic technologies have demonstrated alternatives to current cell separator technology. For example, microfluidic technology has utilized imaging/optical signal-based, magnetic, dielectrophoretic, mechanical/hydrodynamic, and molecular cell surface recognition principles to effect cell separation. Recently, acoustic separation of tumor from normal cells has been developed and offers a unique method for label free cell separation. Clearly, research into the use of these cell separation technologies on a clinical scale would require significant research and development/small business grant support and industry input with eventual need for clinical trials of these new devices to demonstrate utility.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Edward Wong on behalf of ASFA

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118 net votes
139 up votes
21 down votes
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Strategic Goal: Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

What is the Relationship Between CVD and Dementia in the Elderly?

The successes of preventing and treating CHD, CVD has resulted in a substantial increase in life expectancy, a very important success story, but unfortunately it has led to a growing population of elderly 80+ years of age.

Submitted by (@kullerl)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Their high prevalence of congestive heart failure (CHF), atrial fibrillation (Afib), stroke, peripheral vascular disease, dementia, frailty, and disability is clearly going to lead to the public health tsunami of the 21st century and bankrupt the health systems. Further studies are badly needed to determine the interrelationship between CVD, dementia, disability, and whether prevention of CVD beginning early in life, middle ages, or even at older ages can impact on successful aging with reduced risks of dementia and disability.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Older individuals with 0 coronary artery calcium (CAC) have extremely low risk of subsequent clinical CHD, CVD, and total mortality even at older ages. Whether these individuals with low risk, e.g. very low CAC, have less extensive brain abnormalities associated with increased risk of dementia needs to be evaluated.

 

The NHLBI should establish a registry of individuals who have had very low CAC scores at older ages, determine the relationship between these very low CAC scores and risk factors, genetics, and then consider trials to prevent CVD, CHD among older individuals 80+ with relatively low levels of CAC, with dementia, stroke, CHF, Afib, as primary endpoints. The NHLBI should also consider trials in middle-aged individuals to prevent the development and progression of coronary atherosclerosis, e.g. maintenance of 0 CAC. The NHLBI, in collaboration with other institutes at NIH, should evaluate the interrelationship between coronary artery atherosclerosis, e.g. CAC, and other measures of atherosclerosis, other manifestations of CVD, such as CHF, Afib, and brain changes and the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Lewis H. Kuller, MD, DrPH

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21 up votes
18 down votes
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Strategic Goal: Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

NIH trans-IC office of critical care research

Would an NIH trans-IC office of critical care research improve coordination and strategic planning across?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : American Thoracic Society member

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1 up votes
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Strategic Goal: Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Additional research needed to identify various contributors of obesity

What are the specific contributors of obesity that lead to chronic positive energy balance and surplus energy storage?

Submitted by (@mturner)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Obesity is a health crisis of epic proportions. About 34% of adults in the US have obesity, up from 31 % in 1999 and about 15% in the years 1960 to 1980. The chronic diseases that result from obesity annually cost over $150 billion in weight-related medical bills. Reduction of obesity improves cardiovascular and other health outcomes, yet what is currently known about obesity is inadequate to combat the global obesity epidemic. A comprehensive understanding about the mechanics of obesity may help in developing more effective preventive and treatment strategies, which in turn will substantially improve cardiovascular and other health measures.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Years of obesity research have revealed the complex nature of this disease and its multi-factorial etiology. While research has firmly established the role of energy balance in weight gain and weight loss, it is important to discover upstream factors that predispose only certain individuals to energy imbalance. This may be addressed by further focusing on newly identified putative contributors of obesity, including but not limited to the impact of sleep deprivation, ambient temperature, age at first pregnancy, intrauterine and intergenerational factors, neuro-endocrine factors, epigenetics, environmental chemicals and endocrine disruptors, gut microbes, infections and the immune system, and social and behavioral factors associated with obesogenic behaviors. These studies may provide mechanistic insight that may also lead to the development of new pharmacological approaches. It is possible that cause-specific prevention or treatment approaches may yield more effective results than generic approaches that do not necessarily consider upstream modulators of energy imbalance, or inter-individual differences.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : The Obesity Society

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18 up votes
10 down votes
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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

ESTABLISHMENT OF APHERESIS MEDICINE CONSORTIUM TO ADVANCE DEVELOPMENT OF EVIDENCE BASED THERAPIES

The apheresis medicine encompasses treatment of numerous diseases many of which are directly related to blood, lung and heart. There is a need to establish consortia for Apheresis Medicine to facilitate networking, information exchange and research collaboration among investigators, including junior investigators. These consortia would perform basic science as well as translational research and investigate the best pathways ...more »

Submitted by (@zbigniew.m.szczepiorkowski)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The creation of one or more Research Consortia devoted to research in Apheresis Medicine would allow for the establishment and support of a core group of investigators and institutions representing key specialty areas across the spectrum of Apheresis Medicine. An initial focus would be translational research priorities. In addition, we believe that a strong U.S. based consortium would facilitate participation of international investigators and societies, which would improve patient accrual on studies, especially those patients with rare disorders or who have rare indications for apheresis therapy. Such a group would significantly enhance the likelihood of completing high quality studies.

 

There is increasing national interest in developing new registries, bio-repositories and data-repositories. Very often such efforts do not include information regarding apheresis nor do they consider apheresis information as being important data points. A centralized, well organized and sustainable registry, either established and/or new for Apheresis Medicine, would be of great value to study the outcomes of therapeutic apheresis for different disease conditions. This need is particularly relevant for rare disorders and rare indications, for which a pilot effort is already being undertaken and sponsored by ASFA- the American Society for Apheresis.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Feasibility: There are hundreds of thousands apheresis procedures performed each year in the US. Many of these procedures are performed in tertiary and quaternary academic medical centers. These centers have experience in education, basic science, translational research and clinical trials. Despite the low frequency of some diseases there is a real possibility of performing clinical trials in the context of multicenter consortium. Such consortium could also assist in development of new projects related to Apheresis Medicine (both basic science and clinical) which then can proceed to clinical trials quickly as the appropriate infrastructure will be created within the consortium. This infrastructure would also serve education of the new investigators.

Challenges: Standardization of approaches between different medical centers might be initially difficult, but as it has been shown many centers follow in their clinical practice ASFA designated indications. Setting up research priorities for the consortium might be challenging as well as accrual patients to clinical trials within the consortium. Though standardization of the apheresis devices is not feasible, this could be mitigated by appropriate study designs. The number of investigators in apheresis medicine is limited but the consortium may serve as a great platform to expand its numbers through collaborative efforts of involved centers.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Zbigniew M. Szczepiorkowski, Yanyun Wu on behalf of ASFA

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112 net votes
131 up votes
19 down votes
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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Allogeneic transplantation as a safe and universally available therapeutic strategy for treating non-malignant blood diseases

Can new advances in allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation (BMT) make the procedure a safe and universally available therapeutic strategy for treating non-malignant blood and immune disorders such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, aplastic anemia, and severe combined immune deficiency?

Submitted by (@rjjones)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The ability of allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation (BMT) to cure diverse non-malignant diseases is well-documented. However, widespread use in diseases such as sickle cell anemia that cause substantial morbidity and shorten life but are not immediately life-threatening, has been limited by transplant-related toxicity and mortality especially in the majority of these patients who lack HLA-matched donors. Several new therapeutic approaches now exist that are promising strategies, separately or in combination, for addressing issues of donor availability, graft rejection, organ toxicity and acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease more effectively. Evaluation and refinement of these therapeutic strategies in both preclinical and Phase I-III clinical trials now offers a real possibility that allogeneic BMT could be applied early in the course of these diseases, allowing normal growth, development, quality of life and lifespan. If successful, allogeneic BMT offers a major advantage over gene therapy approaches even if such approaches become possible in the future; i.e., allogeneic BMT can be done with low-dose, non-toxic conditioning while gene therapy requires high-dose myeloablative therapy which not only can be toxic/fatal to these patients who often have end-organ dysfunction but also universally induces infertility, a major concern of patient groups who usually survive beyond child-bearing years.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

There are now single institution and registry (CIBMTR) data showing that related haploidentical allogeneic BMT using post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) produces results similar to those seen with HLA-matched sibling donors. Accordingly, every patient in need of allogeneic BMT now can safely undergo the procedure, including those ethnic groups (such as African-Americans and Hispanics) who are unlikely to find a donor in unrelated registries. Combining PTCy with other approaches for preventing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) can even eliminate GVHD and transplant-related mortality. Although recurrence of malignant diseases remains an issue, especially as GVHD is eliminated, relapse is not a concern for non-malignant diseases after successful allogeneic engraftment. Moreover, the average cost of allogeneic BMT, about $150K, is a cost-savings over the long-term management of many of these diseases. The NHLBI-funded BMT Clinical Trials Network (CTN) has developed the infrastructure to rapidly and efficiently carry out large multi-institutional BMT trials. Over the last 15 year, thousands of patients have been entered on BMT CTN trials. Of note, African-Americans and Hispanics remarkably represent 30% of the accruals on one such trial, CTN1101, studying unrelated umbilical cord and related haploidentical allogeneic BMT. However, funding for the infrastructure for continuing this work remains problematic, since BMT trials generally lack corporate funding.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Rick Jones

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164 net votes
214 up votes
50 down votes
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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Deriving Cardiac Elements from Pluripotent Human embryonic Stem Cells for Heart Reconstitution

to date, the existing markets lack a clinically-suitable human cardiomyocyte source with adequate myocardium regenerative potential, which has been the major setback in developing safe and effective cell-based therapies for regenerating the damaged human heart in cardiovascular disease.

Submitted by (@xuejunparsons)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Given the limited capacity of the heart for self-repair or renewal, cell-based therapy represents a promising therapeutic approach closest to provide a cure to restore normal heart tissue and function for CVD. There is no evidence that adult stem/precursor/progenitor cells derived from mature tissues, such as bone marrow, cord blood, umbilical cord, mesenchymal stem cells, patients’ heart tissue, placenta, or fat tissue, are able to give rise to the contractile heart muscle cells following transplantation into the heart. Despite numerous reports about cell populations expressing stem/precursor/progenitor cell markers identified in the adult hearts, the minuscule quantities and growing evidences indicating that they are not genuine heart cells and that they give rise predominantly to non-functional smooth muscle cells rather than functional contractile cardiomyocytes have caused skepticism if they can potentially be harnessed for cardiac repair. In recent years, reprogrammed or trans-differentiated adult cells, as a result of being backed by excess sum of government and private funding, have been rekindled as the adult alternates. However, major drawbacks such as abnormal gene expression, accelerated aging, immune rejection, not graftable, and extremely low efficiencies, have severely impaired the utility of reprogrammed or trans-differentiated somatic cells as viable therapeutic approaches.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Opportunity: Derivation of pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) from the IVF leftover embryos has brought a new era of cellular medicine for the heart. The intrinsic ability of a hESC for both unlimited self-renewal and differentiation into clinically-relevant lineages makes it a practically inexhaustible source of replacement cells for human tissue and function restoration. Therefore, it has been regarded as an ideal source to provide a large supply of functional human cells to heal the damaged or lost tissues that have naturally limited capacity for renewal, such as the human heart and the human brain. Although a vast sum of NHLBI funding has been spent on looking for adult alternates, such as reprogramming and trans-differentiation of fibroblasts or mature tissues, so far, only human cardiac stem/precursor/progenitor cells derived from embryo-originated hESCs have shown such cellular pharmacologic utility and capacity adequate for myocardium regeneration in pharmaceutical development of stem cell therapy for the damaged human heart.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Xuejun Parsons

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-33 net votes
10 up votes
43 down votes
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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Halt the Epidemic of Atrial Fibrillation

Effective approaches are needed to halt the epidemic of atrial fibrillation (AF) and its associated morbidity.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Reduce the almost epidemic increase in the occurrence of AF in the aging U.S. population. This is a critical need for which basic science and clinical tools presently exist to address and resolve into a means to reduce the clinical consequences of AF.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

To accomplish this goal the following approaches could be taken:

GENETIC: Investigate genetic factors that drive susceptibility to atrial fibrillation in various disease states and “lone” AF.

BASIC: Investigate the principles underlying electrical and structural remodeling which facilitate and perpetuate atrial fibrillation. Use a systems approach to aid the understanding of the role of neurohormonal and other organ system influences on human cardiac electromechanical activity. Develop new imaging modalities to better characterize conduction abnormalities in three dimensions. Investigate the nature of chamber-specific channels as potential targets for AF therapies. Encourage the development of new thrombin inhibitors and other potent but safe anticoagulants.

TRANSLATIONAL: Investigate promising pharmacologic or other interventions designed to reduce the incidence of atrial fibrillation in animal models with spontaneously occurring atrial fibrillation. Create the infrastructure for a “dynamic repository” of clinically obtained fresh human cardiac tissue for the study of AF.

CLINICAL: Improve the collection of atrial fibrillation as an endpoint in large phenotyped cohorts. Evaluate the safety and efficacy of ablative procedures relative to appropriate pharmacologic therapies. Evaluate interventions which may prevent first development and recurrence of AF (statins, ACE-I/ARB, beta blockers). Investigate the use of new antiplatelet thienopyridines for stroke prevention in AF.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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3 net votes
13 up votes
10 down votes
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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

High cost, high risk and unclear benefits of current COPD care

Challenge the unspoken of high cost, high risk and unclear benefits of current COPD care a. PRCT of lung transplantation vs. optimized medical care b. Noninvasive ventilation for treatment of chronic severe respiratory failure c. Chronic combined vs. de-escalation of chronic bronchodilator therapy to as needed for GOLD stages III-IV d. Self management programs in COPD e. Telemedicine in outpatient management of severe ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : American Thoracic Society member

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2 net votes
2 up votes
0 down votes
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