Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Implementation of Evidence-based Guidelines in LMICs

How can implementation strategies be tested in low and middle income countries for contextually and culturally adapted evidence-based clinical care guidelines with a focus on prevalent non-communicable diseases with large burdens such as sickle cell disease, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, asthma, and COPD?

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 :

Evidence-based guidelines for heart, lung, and blood diseases, developed within high income countries are challenging to implement within low and middle income countries because delivery capacity and health care infrastructure is often limited. Contextually, culturally and language adapted guidelines implementable within low and middle income countries can impart substantial benefit while distributing more evenly global knowledge of proven effective interventions while improving health equity. Proven effective interventions would get delivered in an effective manner across low and middle income countries which will improve heart, lung, and blood health outcomes.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The NHLBI Global Health Think Tank recommended research on implementation of contextually, culturally and language-adapted clinical care guidelines in low and middle income countries and encouraged addressing this issue in the near future.

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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Incentivizing Earlier Investment in NHLBI-Funded Technologies

How might NHLBI assist its awardees to attract private sector funding or partnerships earlier in the product development process to help bridge the gap between academic discoveries and product commercialization?

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 :

Attracting private sector support earlier in the development pipeline would help fill an important funding gap between academic discoveries and product commercialization, enabling products to reach patients more quickly, and improving the return on NHLBI’s investments in basic research.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Some existing initiatives such as the SBIR Phase IIB Bridge and Small Market Awards encourage non-federal investors to invest earlier in NHLBI-funded technologies. In addition, the NCAI is designed to support critical feasibility studies and business case development to de-risk earlier investment by the private sector. These efforts are showing early signs of success, but impact only a small proportion of NHLBI-funded basic research discoveries.

Estimates for the cost of developing a new drug or device range from the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars and 10-15 years to get from the lab to the patient. The NHLBI cannot fully support that development, so private sector support is critical for biomedical technologies to be commercialized. Overall private capital investment in the life sciences is increasing, but it is not being targeted at heart, lung, blood, and sleep technologies or at the seed stage of development. Venture capital investment in heart, lung, blood, and sleep technologies has declined or remained stagnant since 2008 (http://graphics.wsj.com/venture-capital-and-the-human-body/) and seed stage investment from the private sector for early stage high-risk projects is in short supply (PWC Moneytree: https://www.pwcmoneytree.com/HistoricTrends/CustomQueryHistoricTrend).

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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

R01 funding

Unless we fix and increase the R01 funding rate, which most basic scientists depend upon, we will continue to lose outstanding scientists of all ages and not have the next generation of scientists or the numbers of currently outstanding scientists to answer any of these compelling questions and critical challenges. Related to this, much has been written about the significant failure rate of clinical trials in part due ...more »

Submitted by (@parise)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Survival of the enterprise and maintaining US competitiveness.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

NIGMS has some interesting approaches that help their funding rates. Can any of these approaches be adopted more readily by NHLBI?

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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Behavioral and Clinical Researcher Interactions

A critical challenge is the need to bring together basic behavioral scientists interested in understanding human behavior at a fundamental level, including how and why people become motivated and capable of undertaking behavioral changes, with clinical researchers interested in developing and testing new strategies for tackling resistant behavioral problems such as obesity and non-adherence.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Obesity and non-adherence are two of the most important yet challenging behavioral problems contributing to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. One way to address this challenge is to fund a network of “behavior change labs,” each of which bring together teams of basic behavioral scientists who are investigating the bases of behavior and behavior change with clinical researchers interested in designing, optimizing and testing novel ideas for tackling the difficult behavior problems of obesity and non-adherence to cardiac medications.

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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

A Program of Research in the Prevention of Chronic Heart Failure

There is a need to address chronic heart failure (HF) through improved identification of patients at risk for HF and of patients with pathological ventricular remodeling who have minimal evidence of clinical HF, and more focused and individualized pharmacologic and lifestyle treatments and monitoring of patients with HF risk. Approaches would include big data collection, omics, statistical modeling, and focused clinical ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Substantially reduce the age-adjusted incidence and population burden of chronic heart failure.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The big data and omics revolutions have made it feasible to collect and analyze a variety of data in large numbers of persons within a relatively short time. A very large sample size provides excellent statistical power. Also, the public health and economic magnitude of the problem create the urgency needed to address the critical challenge expeditiously.

Chronic heart failure (HF) is easily the most common and growing cardiovascular cause of hospitalization and impaired functional status and quality of life in the U.S. and much of the world. This is the case despite improved pharmacologic and lifestyle treatment of HF, as well as improved control of blood pressure in the general population. While some HF in the very elderly may reflect the aging process, the epidemiology suggests that most incident cases could be prevented or postponed for years. Also, there are major ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the incidence of HF.

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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Suipport new research using the R21 mechanism

The decision by NHLBI to not support the R21 mechanism may be stifling new and innovative research, partcularly by young investigators who do not have a track record of R01 funding. The critical challenge is to keep funding new ideas from younger investigators to keep their careers viable while they obtain the data and publications necessary for further R01-level funding.

Submitted by (@georgeporter)

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 state of NHLBI funding rates for R01s are so low that we are undoubtedly loosing many young researchers as the fail to obtain adequate support for their research. Funding R21 grants will allow new, innovative, and perhps risky projects to proceed, while keeping less established researchers in the field. Re-establishing R21 funding may prevent the impression that NHLBI is more interested in supporting established labs and not advocating for and supporting new investigators.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Given the limited budget of R21s, they will not have as large an impact on the overall budget of NHLBI as the equivalent number of funded R01 grants. Therefore, this change is feasible from a financial standpoint. Obviously, funding R21s will decrease funding for other mechanisms. Finally, it is possible that many of these grants will not lead to advances in the field, but it is my understanding that studies show the same thing about R01s.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : George Porter

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Strategic Goal: Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Shift from NHLBI guided research to individual investigator initiative

NHLBI directed research should be abandoned and switched to investigator initiated research. I respectfully suggest read the following assay by Brown and Goldstein, Science 2012; 338: 1033-1034 The best way to run the science sponsored by the NIH (or NHLBI) is not to guide it (analogy to running science from ivory tower) but let the investigators decide what is worth pursuing. Get rid of NHLBI-directed research initiative ...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 : AJ Marian

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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

The Investigator's Catch-22: How Can NHLBI Help?

The Critical Challenge is to determine how NHLBI can continue to foster the translational research necessary to allow our researchers to further develop their NHLBI-funded basic science discoveries. Researchers can't readily get a "typical" grant to perform the preclinical and early clinical translational IND-enabling research, and also can't yet attract private sector support without having done the work to "de-risk" ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Ensuring that NHLBI-funded researchers have the means to further develop promising research discoveries will ensure that NHLBI continues to fulfill its Mission. Providing funding or resources to move basic science discoveries from the lab towards the clinic can expand the research environments, opportunities, and collaborations available to NHLBI investigators and lead to potential new therapies for heart, lung, and blood diseases.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Just as research project itself can take years, if not decades, to accomplish, so too can a cultural shift in our extramural research community. While one may have a different understanding of what constitutes "translational" research depending upon his or her vantage point, in reality it is bi-directional (from bench to bedside and back to bench) and offers possibilities for a wide range of researchers. Engaging established basic scientists in translational research can open new opportunities to them, and younger researchers are likely more familiar and well-poised for new research paradigms and collaborative efforts such as those afforded by the translational development process.

Basic discovery science is appropriately the backbone of the NHLBI extramural research program. But, for any basic science discovery to have a meaningful impact on human health, it must be "translated from the bench to the bedside." These next steps in translation involve a tremendous amount of research that is not amenable to hypothesis-driven grant mechanisms like an R01 or P01. Without access to funding support for early-stage translational work, investigators can be stymied and NHLBI-funded basic science discoveries can languish.

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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Animal Models for Translational Research and Drug Development

There is a need to identify and develop suitable animal models (e.g. larger, non-primate animal models) that faithfully predict the outcomes of new medicines and treatments in heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) disorders prior to human clinical trials.

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 :

If animal models can faithfully predict the outcomes in human clinical trials of new medicines and treatments, it will reduce the economic burden for the failure of drug development.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Identification of current available animal models;

Development of new animal models with recent advances in mammalian genome projects and gene targeting technologies could be done over the next 5-10 years

Medical research, especially in basic discovery, has benefited significantly from the use of various animal models, such as gene-targeted and transgenic mouse models. However, many discoveries from animal models (e.g. mouse models) failed to translate into human applications.

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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Promoting Translational Research training using the R03 mechanism

We in Wisconsin have developed a robust training program for mixed MD and PhD postdocs in a clinical dept and yet their future in research is blocked by few faculty positions, poor funding and over complicated NIH applications. One of the simplest grants is the R03 and we have already had graduates with only a few years postdoc experience succeed in gaining R03 funding. The R03 is a very simple very flexible mechanism. ...more »

Submitted by (@ianbird)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

More MD and PhD Postdoc trainees will spend more time focused on work and less writing grants - and the efficiency of expenditures by NIH would go up in terms of paper generated per dollar. MDs who may have a desire to dip in and out of funded research as their clinical path demands would be able to do that. R03 funding does not at any time change your status as a new or early career investigator. Its perfectly reasonable to hold more than one even without a faculty title but as a PhD scientist or practicing clinciian.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Its easy to do - just decide to do it. Also writing an R03 is the best possible training for writing an R01. I run a T32 for predocs and I mentor K12 postdocs. I know what NIH INTENDS in its training grants. But also recognize just to take on the longer and longer and more demanding K application after already being well trained is a real disincentive to everyone, even if those pages in training plan are well intentioned. IF omeone has not had the chance to train or is cross training to a new area then a K99 is perfect. But someone who is well trained, may stay in their area and has already proven themselves needs a fast submission fast review process to get funding NOW that may be the difference between continued employment though this funding crisis or not. This could provide that for them. Especially with expedited review!

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Ian Bird

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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Community Trials for Cardiovascular Health Enhancement

There is a need to initiate innovative community trials that are: theory-based; are integrated multi-component, multi-setting, and multi-level (i.e., they target individual, family, community, and built environment); engage community stakeholders; and use community-participatory research principles to enhance cardiovascular health (CVH) in vulnerable and diverse populations.

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 :

Global impact on cardiovascular health.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

There are smaller scale community interventions but none in the literature that focuses on larger-scale multi-level trials as proposed here. This CQ would target vulnerable and diverse populations to reduce health disparities.

NHLBI supported the stroke belt initiative, and the exemplars in community CV health research: (e.g., the Stanford 5 City Project, The Minnesota Heart Health Program, The Pawtucket Heart Health). The next generation of community CVH research should harness the lessons from these studies, findings for the 8 Americas (Chris Murray), and numerous results from NHLBI cohort studies to implement large-scale community trials for cardiovascular health enhancement.

Resources for a large scale study could be a challenge. Ability to motivate a whole community, to prevent contamination, and to sustain interventions would be a challenge.

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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

NIH should promote, rather than deter “fast-track” translational research projects

In the current environment, NIH reviewers actually deter, rather than promote, progress on proposed pre-clinical animal research that is most likely to rapidly translate into clinical breakthroughs in the short term. Scientists should be allowed to focus on critical missing information (roadblocks) needed to accelerate a promising treatment to clinical trials. For instance, at the NHLBI there is currently no study section ...more »

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 :

Yes, large animal studies may often be desirable too. But, the comprehensive information needed can be dramatically accelerated by using small rodents (e.g. by increased “n” and shorter lifespan). Then and if necessary, more focused large animal studies can be used more judiciously before commencing human trials. If a proposed, well-designed, translational study has identified a promising new treatment and the PI seeks to collect critical information to set the stage for clinical trials, he/she should be given the chance to conduct this research instead of being directed toward many years of collecting mechanistic data for something that is ready to move toward clinical study. Later, we can prop our feet on the desk and leisurely design those mechanistic studies knowing that more people are surviving, rather than dying. Rome burns while we play!

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Can be done now by simply fast-tracking studies that may truly accelerate improvements in patient outcomes. Knowing that is works is more important than how it works from the patient standpoint.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Anthony Martin Gerdes

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