Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Developing Methods and Metrics for T4 Outcomes and Impact

How can methods and metrics capable of conducting high quality T4 research be developed to accurately capture outcomes and the overall impact new T4 knowledge has on population health for heart, lung, blood, sleep diseases and disorders?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

High quality T4 research methods and metrics are needed to move the field of T4 translation research forward while linking large data sets from different sources.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Demand for high quality methods, metric and evaluation of T4 translation research interest is growing and needs to be addressed immediately to move the field forward.

Recent IOM/NRC studies recommended that the NIH and other research funding agencies support the development of more refined analytic methods and study designs for cross-national health research. These methods should include innovative study designs, creative uses of existing data, and novel analytical approaches to better elucidate the complex causal pathways. The T4 field has some specific metrics including acceptability, reach, adoption, appropriateness, feasibility, fidelity, cost, penetration, and sustainability, each with its standard measurement approach. In addition to a rigorous study design, including these metrics along with population level impact direct measures (e.g., morbidity, mortality) and intermediate measures (e.g. blood pressure reduction) will be critical to assess what has been accomplished and to define success. Finally, measuring the overall impact of new knowledge generated from T4 research is challenging because publication bibliometrics of high impact scholarly journals may not fully capture it.

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

Funding for synthesis and screening of potentially therapeutic molecules

Currently, there are limited, if none, funding resources to synthesize and screen potentially therapeutic molecules, based on supportive findings in cells, biopsy tissues from the patients with the disease in question, and the preliminary data to support the development of a series of compounds to screen them for their pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, toxicity and use in clinically-relevant large animal models.

Submitted by (@dkagr0)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Although NHLBI-NIH and other institutes emphasize on mechanistic approach, to my knowledge, translation of the findings into the development of novel molecules is rarely pursued in a multi-disciplinary manner. this could have a significant impact on developing better therapeutic and/or management approaches of various diseases.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

In the past, NIH has come up with many RFAs related to this issue. However, one of the major challenges has been the screening of the compounds in a model relevant to human disease. For example, in cardiovascular diseases, about 99% studies are done in mouse models. From genetic studies point of view, this is acceptable, even though now large animals are used for knock-in and knock out gene studies. However, from the screening point of view, an emphasis must be placed on clinically-relevant model, for example, swine, where most of the findings, if not all, could translated to human disease.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Devendra K. Agrawal, PhD

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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Advancing the preservation of cellular therapies

Cell therapies are produced in specialized facilities and the viability/function of the cells must be retained in order to permit transportation to the site of use, coordination with patient care, etc. Current options for preserving cells are limited. Conventional methods of cryopreservation may result in poor post thaw function and are difficult to use at the point of care. Liquid storage of cells is typically limited ...more »

Submitted by (@hubel001)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Recent analyses suggest that the pool of patients who could benefit from stem cell-based therapies could be as high as 100 million. The actual number of patients receiving stem cell therapies is actually substantially lower than that (< 500,000). it has been postulated that one reason for the gap between the potential patient pool and the actual patient pool has resulted from poor methods of preservation. The failure of recent clinical trials using mesenchymal stem cells support that hypothesis.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

When developing a cellular therapy, supply chain issues (e.g. preservation) is frequently ignored until the failure of a clinical trial. If preservation issues are addressed concurrently with the development of a cellular therapy, the feasibility of addressing the issue is high.

 

There are two critical challenges to addressing this critical challenge: (1) preservation studies are not considered 'sexy' and therefore score poorly in conventional study sections; and (2) organizations developing a cellular therapy do not have a team member with expertise in preservation.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Allison Hubel

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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Genome Editing and Gene Therapy

There is a critical need for the establishment of strategies that will determine the efficacy, safety, and toxicity of genome editing techniques specifically in hematologic diseases.

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Inherited monogenic hematologic diseases such as hemophilia, beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease are prime targets for future application of genome editing technology. However, studies are still needed to advance our understanding of the biology of genome editing as well as determine which other disorders are amenable to genome editing correction. Emphasis on preclinical research that focuses on determining the accuracy, safety and efficiency of this technology in order to help minimize off-target mutations and reduce toxicity, is essential for effective translation of this technology into the clinic. Once preclinical efficacy is established, support will be needed for clinical vector production, toxicity testing of the vectors/reagents used, and the performance of clinical trials. The gene correction strategies developed for inherited disorders will also be attractive for other hematologic diseases, and autoimmune disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type I diabetes). There is also a critical need for supporting preclinical validation studies, scale-up and GMP cell manufacturing, all of which could be shared infrastructures across multiple diseases in the NHLBI portfolio.

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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Strategic Goal: Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

The relationship between genetic variation and disease mechanisms

What is the contribution of individual differences in RNA processing to disease causation, disease modification, disease susceptibility, and positive or negative responses to therapies? Studies using genome sequencing combined with RNA-seq have determined that genetic variation affects regulation of RNA processing as frequently as transcriptional regulation. While transcriptional networks are well defined in heart development ...more »

Submitted by (@tcooper)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

There are two areas of impact. First is to develop a better understanding between the effect of genetic variation on RNA processing and how individual differences in RNA processing translate into "phenotype" such as disease causation, disease modification, disease susceptibility, and positive or negative responses to therapies. Genes are filled with cis acting elements that are required for specific patterns of RNA processing. Variation that affects these cis elements are now known to produce different splice variants or mRNAs with different stabilities between individuals. This mechanism translating genotype to phenotype has not been explored. Second is to understand the RNA processing networks as well as we understand transcriptional networks during heart development and in heart disease. This understanding is very likely to provide previously unknown therapeutic approaches and targets.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The high through put approaches available to compare genome and transcriptome sequences,computational approaches to predict the cis elements for RNA processing, high throughput analysis for RNA binding proteins and RNA structure have provided the tools necessary to perform genome-transcriptome comparisons as a starting point. Current exome/genome analysis ignores the influence of genetic variation in RNA processing. The tools are available. The first challenge is to decide on the question and there are two areas: One- what is the role of RNA processing in heart disease/how can RNA processing be used as a therapeutic target and Two - how much does differences in RNA processing (in addition to transcription) contribute to individual phenotypic differences relevant to disease?

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Tom Cooper

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Strategic Goal: 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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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

T4 Translation Research Informing Early Stage Translational Research

There is a need to utilize insights gained from T4 translation research and implementation science to inform the design and execution of early-stage translational research and 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 :

• Assure that early stage translation research will be suitable for implementation in real world setting

• Aligns the research interventions from T1-T3 research to those appropriate to T4 research

• Potential to focus early stage research in key high burden areas

• Provides research community an understanding of the connections from early stage to late stage translation research which will potentially refine research strategies and directions at all levels

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

• Promote the importance of translation to population of heart, lung, blood, and sleep researcher to broader research community

• Potential for more T4 research contributions for guiding investment into translation research from T1-T3

• Provide avenues for T1-T3 investigators to translate their ideas into positive outcomes for population health

• Successful T4 research will stimulate feedback loop and identify opportunities for early translation research

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

Need to train and nurture more "translators"!

One of the major challenges in translating from bench-to-bedside and back is communication: the ability of basic and clinical scientists to understand each other's scientific language to be able to appreciate the importance of the other’s research questions and findings.

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 :

Having an increased number of researchers able to connect dots across the continuum of translational research should increase overall success of translation of ideas into health.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

This requires "rearranging" of already existing elements. Within 5-10 years of running specifically designed re/cross -training programs, the effects might be widely visible.

Basic scientists usually do not keep up with the latest outcomes of important clinical studies, and thus might miss important starting points for new basic research (e.g., negative trials that suggest the need for new hypotheses). The great majority of clinical scientists do not attend basic scientific sessions because are turned off by the specialized (dense/obscure) scientific terms used. Those who are interested in being translators have a hard time integrating and surviving in the "opposite camp" (i.e., at many medical schools, basic scientists are expected to bring in all their salary in a clinical department, and clinicians get little protected time for basic research)

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

Interventions to Eliminate Health Inequities

There is a need to identify effective interventions for heart, lung, blood, and sleep diseases that could have a transformative population level impact on health inequities if expanded at the national level.

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 :

• Provide new knowledge for implementing strategies that will tackle inequities

• Provides opportunity to create multidiscipline research communities focused on health inequities

• Will gain momentum from federal and national implementation institutions to promote effective interventions to address health inequities

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

• Capitalizing on new methods, metrics and tapping big data could provide a promising platform to use systems science to better understand the barriers to eliminating health inequities in a short timeframe

• Identifying barriers will allow investigators to devise innovative implementation strategies that can reduce health inequities

• NHLBI could encourage communities of researchers to use team science to both identify barriers and link with other teams to implement strategies to reduce and eliminate barriers

• Established NHLBI health inequities Think Tank and space for developing innovative strategies to address health inequities.

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

Enhance funding for population and public health research

Many challenges posted here focus on increasing translation and development of interdisciplinary teams. Diverse backgrounds and epidemiological training makes population and public health scientists ideal candidates to connect teams in different areas of research around translation to human health. While funding exists specifically for career development of physician and pre-clinical scientists, none exists for epidemiologists. ...more »

Submitted by (@mmongrawchaffin)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

NHLBI is currently investing heavily in training epidemiologists at the PhD and postdoctoral level, but may be losing those researchers during the transition to independence and mid-career stages. Compared to those with clinical backgrounds or basic science skills, PhD epidemiologists rarely have alternative resources to fall back on when NIH funding is reduced and may have less interest in joining industry if their primary research interest is improving public health at the population level. This may make epidemiologists particularly vulnerable to leaving the field of health research. Dedicated funding that prioritizes human studies and population level research would help retain well-trained epidemiologists whose primary dedication is to improving chronic disease outcomes.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

While the current level of funding is a challenge to everyone working in science right now, adding funding mechanisms specifically for epidemiology like those that already exist for clinician scientists and pre-clinical research could play an essential role in maintaining the pace of innovation and implementation of research.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Morgana Mongraw-Chaffin

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Strategic Goal: Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Training Mentors and Protégés to create a T4 translation pipeline

How can training of investigators (both mentors and trainees) be supported to create a T4 translation research pipeline?

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 :

A robust global T4 translation research community would be developed that would help translate proven-effective interventions for use in populations for a positive health impact

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The NHLBI Global Health and Health Inequities Think Tanks identified T4 translation research as an important area that needs development in the very near future.

 

However, conducting high quality T4 research requires a research community focused in this area. Currently, very few researchers are working in this area. The T4 research community needs to be identified so capacity can be established for conducting T4 research. Incentives would need to be developed to maintain a robust global T4 research community.

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

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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