Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Immunologic Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies

How can the use of CAR T-cell and checkpoint blockade strategies be optimized in order to cure hematologic diseases?

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

As the body of evidence continues to grow on the potential applications for advanced immunotherapies, next-generation research must focus on addressing the possible curative effects that checkpoint blockades or adoptive CAR T-cell strategies can have for blood diseases including hematologic cancers. This will require specific research programs to fully understand the optimal role for these therapies within the continuum of care. To optimize these strategies for treatment of hematologic diseases, studies are needed to decipher specific hematologic diseases and circumstances under which these checkpoint blockers and CAR T-cell therapies may be employed as frontline approaches. Furthermore, while the optimal approach for these therapies is unclear, advanced studies are needed to elucidate the potential benefit in combining these promising approaches and whether patients can be better identified a priori for these therapies.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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13 net votes
28 up votes
15 down votes
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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Epigenetics and Genomics

There is a need to target epigenetic mechanisms as new treatment options for hematologic disorders.

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Advances in the field of epigenetics and the understanding of various epigenetic mechanisms has provided a completely new ensemble of therapeutic targets for treating hematologic disorders – both non-malignant and malignant. These mechanisms have enormous implications for understanding the molecular underpinnings of the normal orderly development of hematologic disorders. Although one of the greatest challenges in effectively treating hematologic disorders is the diversity of molecular abnormalities that underlie a disease, there are a number of common threads emerging, including alterations in proteins that function through epigenetic mechanisms. Additional research focusing on epigenetic alterations and emerging targets is needed to identify the role of such proteins in the development of hematologic disorders in order to design potential targeted treatments to counter their effects. This research will further lay the groundwork for precision medicine, and will help to provide more insight on potentially critical determinants of responsiveness to therapeutic regimens.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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-2 net votes
13 up votes
15 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Lack of Collaboration Across NIH Institutes

There are many significant questions in CVD prevention that cross the disciplines represented by the different institutes. For example, the obesity epidemic, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity are relevant to CVD, neurological disease, diabetes, and cancer. Tobacco use is directly relevant to cancer and CVD. Social determinants and disparities affect multiple diseases and outcomes. Reducing obesity will require interventions ...more »

Submitted by (@stephen.fortmann)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Two or more collaborating NIH Institutes could afford to fund creative projects that neither institute can afford alone.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

NIH Institutes have a long history of isolation from one another. This has undoubtedly suppressed creativity and interdisciplinary research. It is inherently bureaucratic and reflects poorly on science. As an outsider I can only speculate about how to address this issue, but it would be well worth some attention at the highest levels.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Stephen P. Fortmann

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6 net votes
7 up votes
1 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Leveraging big data for T4 translation research

What approaches can help leverage the emerging big data in health and health care for observational and interventional implementation research in heart, lung, blood, sleep diseases?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

• Integration of big data analytics into T4 research study design and interventions development

• Innovative linkages across multiple health and non-health sector data

• Innovative methods to analyze big data linked across sectors

• Various communities are using big data analytics to understand population health data (e.g. electronic medical records s) and opportunities exist for consolidation of these efforts and standardization of methodologies

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

• NIH now has focus on big data in its formative stages

• Significant amount of NIH’s budget is/will be dedicated to big data research

• NHLBI can leverage NIH’s investment by foster research in D&I big data analytics and systems science

• Future investment in big data should yield opportunities and focus efforts

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

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0 net votes
16 up votes
16 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Leveraging PEPFAR infrastructure for CVDs

How do we go about leveraging existing infrastructure, such as PEPFAR, to reduce the risk of HLBS diseases among HIV patients and other vulnerable populations? • Common goals and deliverables between NHLBI and partners will need to be identified • The best return on investment of NHLBI funds will need to be determined • Feasible T4 translation interventions in PEPFAR funded studies utilizing HIV populations with HLBS ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

• Decrease the burden of heart, lung, blood, and sleep diseases in studies funded by PEPFAR in HIV populations

• Lessons learned could be expanded to HIV populations outside of Africa

• T4 translation interventions in these populations could help reduce risk factors for heart, lung, blood, and sleep diseases leading to better health outcomes

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

• PEPFAR has identified and recruited existing HIV populations in Africa which can be leveraged by NHLBI for heart, lung, blood, and sleep chronic disease research

• Infrastructure that has received PEPFAR investments can also be leveraged to undertake T4 translation interventions

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

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-1 net votes
7 up votes
8 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Fibrosis Across Organs: Bringing Together Investigators of Fibrosis of the Heart, Lungs and Bone Marrow

Fibrosis can affect essentially any tissue or organ, including the heart, lungs and bone marrow. Effective anti-fibrotic therapy has long been elusive, and transplantation has been the only therapy capable of restoring patient function as fibrotic diseases progress to organ failure. Although these diseases present clinically with organ-specific manifestations, they are now thought to share many common pathogenetic mechanisms. ...more »

Submitted by (@amtager)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

In the aggregate, diseases characterized by fibrosis have been estimated to account for up to 45% of developed world deaths. Fibrotic diseases addressed by the NHLBI include heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and myelofibrosis (MF), among many others. Each fibrotic disease represents an area of great unmet clinical need, as patients suffer and die with no or limited effective disease-modifying therapies. The impact of developing effective therapies for each of these diseases individually would be great; the impact of developing therapies effective for the entire class of fibrotic diseases across organs would truly be enormous. The clinical burden of HFpEF is staggering – more than 650,000 new patients are diagnosed with heart failure in the US each year, half with diastolic dysfunction. Although not as prevalent, IPF and MF are particularly lethal. IPF has a median survival of approximately three years. MF is arguably the most aggressive of the myeloproliferative disorders and is associated with significantly shortened survival. Although agents such as spironolactone have been unable to treat fibrosis in HFpEF as yet, two anti-fibrotic drugs, pirfenidone and nintedanib, have now been shown to slow progression of IPF, and the oral JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib has been shown to improve MF survival. These early successes underscore the great impact that developing effective anti-fibrotic therapies will have.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

This challenge could be addressed by funding research efforts to identify and therapeutically target fundamental pathogenetic mechanisms shared by fibrotic diseases across organs. Although fibrotic diseases present clinically with organ-specific manifestations, there has been a growing appreciation of that these diseases share many aspects of their pathogenesis. Fibrosis In many of these diseases results from recurrent or non-resolving epithelial or endothelial injury, followed by over-exuberant or aberrant mesenchymal cell responses. Across all organs, these processes result in the pathologic accumulation of fibroblasts and extracellular matrix, with distortion of organ architecture and loss of organ function. Core pathways leading to epithelial and endothelial cell injury and senescence, to fibroblast accumulation and persistence, and to altered matrix biochemical and biomechanical properties, are now being identified. Therapeutics developed to target these core pathways could have broad clinical applicability. Funding initiatives aimed at better the characterization of core fibrotic pathways already identified, the identification of new core fibrotic pathways, and the development of therapies to target core fibrotic pathways, could allow the NHLBI to simultaneously and cost-effectively address the great unmet needs of the large patients with any of the many devastating fibrotic diseases that affect the heart, lungs and bone marrow.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Andrew M. Tager

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16 net votes
20 up votes
4 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Genome Profiling

There is a need to facilitate the integration of genomic and epigenomic profiling into drug discovery efforts by using genomic methods to sequence and analyze blood disease subtypes.

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Despite the important information that has been generated from sequencing studies in various blood disorders, for many hematologic disease subtypes, the limited scope of sequencing and the insufficient number of cases sequenced has prevented researchers from gaining truly useful insights. Whole-genome sequencing of large numbers of samples, with an emphasis on poorly studied and rare entities, is required to fully define the landscape of genetic changes underlying the development of blood diseases. Further, genetic and epigenetic alterations that drive hematologic diseases and the extent to which normal cells are distinct from malignant cells needs to be more broadly elucidated since many blood diseases, including hematopoietic cancers, disturb epigenetic regulators. The knowledge gained from understanding these processes and integrating genomic and epigenomic profiles could provide additional precision medicine opportunities and guide drug discovery efforts.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology

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0 net votes
16 up votes
16 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Genome Profiling

How can proper infrastructure be designed to host sequencing data from hematologic diseases so as to enable its efficient interpretation and use in clinical care?

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Accurate and consistent analysis of genetic data is crucial for both basic research and clinical applications, however, the complexity of sequence mutations in several blood disorders as well as the immense amounts of raw data produced during the sequencing and analysis process, make accurate bioinformatics analysis a challenge. Furthermore, the lack of consistency in the analysis of the non-coding genome and variations in correlating this information with transcriptional and epigenetic data pose an additional challenge in obtaining a comprehensive portrait of various hematologic diseases. To overcome these challenges, content-rich portals that can offer cost-effective and regulated access to raw genomic data for interrogating and sharing sequencing results without compromising patient privacy must be designed. Also, the biologic and clinical relevance of genetic alterations found in these portals must be reliable and sufficiently comprehensive in order to foster proper interpretation.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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-8 net votes
10 up votes
18 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Systems approaches to understand the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases, combined with in vivo validation

Critical Challenge

Submitted by (@yong.zhao)

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

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11 net votes
19 up votes
8 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Stem Cell Biology

There is a need to develop an artificial and functional hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche that allows for the expansion of repopulating HSCs.

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Methods to expand hematopoietic stem cells have continued to be examined extensively because stem cell numbers in the graft are important for clinical outcomes following transplantation. These numbers are particularly relevant in umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplantation, where low numbers of stem cells are directly related to delayed hematopoietic and immune reconstitution. Improved HSC expansion strategies may significantly impact transplantation outcome, enabling broader applications beyond UCB transplantation. Furthermore, these strategies are also needed to realize the full therapeutic potential of genome editing technologies to correct hematopoietic stem cells derived from patients with hematologic disorders. Since efforts to expand HSCs in cytokine-supported liquid cultures have been largely unsuccessful, efficient expansion will require an appropriate context that is provided by the hematopoietic stem cell niche. Future studies must also evaluate how niche signals regulate stem cell function to optimize cell expansion, and proper humanized mouse models must be developed to help predict stem cell function and regulation by the niche.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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28 net votes
46 up votes
18 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Identification of autoantigens that elicit pathogenic immune responses in cardiovascular diseases

Pathogenic immune responses participate in the pathogenesis of many cardiovascular diseases. However, the autoantigens and foreign antigens that elicit the pathogenic immune responses have been poorly identified. Currently, the regulatory mechanisms on immune responses associated with diseases got some attentions. But, without detailed characterizations of this wide spectrum of autoantigens and foreign antigens in patients ...more »

Submitted by (@xfyang)

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

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

1) use peptide/protein based microarray to antibody autoimmune responses associated with each major cardiovascular diseases;

2) use MHC tetra-mers or similar techniques to characterize T cell autoimmune responses associated with each major cardiovascular diseases;

3) determine autoantigen repertoire changes in patients' responses to current therapies, especially therapies with immune modulating effects;

4) develop autoantigens-based immune therapies for clinical trials

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Professor Xiaofeng Yang, MD, PhD, Professor Hong Wang, MD, PhD, Professor Klaus Ley, MD

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26 net votes
28 up votes
2 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

What about the impact of regulation of genes in response to external stimulation on human health

We are focusing a lot on the genes that may be protective or harmful to our lives. But what about the regulation of genes in response to external stimulations, such as psychosocial and/or environmental, that are probably more accountable for whether we live healthier or not.

Submitted by (@jiang001)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Rationale: Years of research in the mind-heart field have set examples that looking at changes during dynamic stimulations (chronic, acute, and acute superimposed on chronic) are more meaningful for us to better understand how the body truly works. Therefore, research design in mimicking real dynamic process is necessary to truly capture the healthy or harmful phenotypes driven by genotypes. I suggest the NHLBI to establish a platform gathering resources to promote more sophisticated research from basic to clinical to better understand the underlying mechanisms of psychosocial impact on cardiovascular diseases that has come to a sizable problem for the human being in US and world wide.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

We have performed researches that allow us to identify phenotypes that are only appearing under emotional stress testing. Currently we are examining whether certain intervention may modify these kinds of changes. Even our studies fail to demonstrate changes with intervention, the findings support future studies focusing on testing dynamic changes under stress that reflects daily living. Resting data obtained in laboratory does not truly represent what human beings experiences.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Wei Jiang from Duke University

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-4 net votes
5 up votes
9 down votes
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