Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Training of Clinical & Translational Scientists

Although the NCRR and NIGMS used to have a mechanism to train new generation of clinical & translational scientists, this program was stopped. Why?

What is the possibility of other institutes to come up with the priority of funding resources in this regard?

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 :

In view of the health care models, strong control of insurance companies in determining the remuneration, lack of protective time for qualified clinicians to continue their research, no incentive to the institute for promoting such activities, lack of available tenure-track jobs, pool of effective and well-trained clinical & translational researchers is decreasing rapidly. Even though NIH invests resources to train MD-PhD students, a very minor pool of these graduates continue curiosity and passion in advancing new knowledge and discovering newer approaches.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

1. Additional resources must be developed by NHLBI, NIAID, NIDDK and other major institutes to support this endeavor.

2. Institutes/medical schools who provide protective time to their faculty to continue their efforts in clinical & translational research, must be acknowledged and incentivized.

3. There has been no effective way of measuring outcomes from such investments. All of us must take ownership in utilizing the resources more effectively and more productively.

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

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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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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

pre-SBIR grant mechanism

SBIR STTR programs currently offer funds to support phase 1 and phase 2 development of translation with corporate involvement. Several here have pointed out that there is need for additional NIH support of investigator initiated translation, and I concur. There is indeed need for early stage and pre-IND support. Such a program would support relatively small grants for proof-of-principle studies, pre-clinical work needed ...more »

Submitted by (@wjones7)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

This program would support investigator initiated translational work by supporting pre-clinical proof of principle data before involvement of a company. This would allow for better development of IP, and better developed projects would be more attractive to industry. The work would have to involve some support for project development, so access to regulatory and pharmacological resources and/or consultants to develop the idea could be supported. These could be reviewed by existing SBIR/STTR study sections and funded by the set aside funds.

 

 

 

 

 

A pipeline for investigato-initiated translational science

http://nhlbistrategicvisioning.ideascale.com/a/dtd/74967-32287

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

This might be considered a "phase 0" SBIR/STTR and as such would not need to be a large grant (say $150K). These could be used to supplement institutional grants for entrepreneur activity (which are not usually sufficient) for synergy. We have the perfect study sections that already review SBIR/STTRs and funding some of these might impact the SBIR/STTR funding levels, which are fairly generous, but not by much. Would be filling one missing link in the process of funding translation form NIH funded research.

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

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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Bridge “translational gap”

Provide resources and training to improve the ability of scientists to bridge the “translational gap”. Continue and expand the VITA program.

Submitted by (@societyforvascularsurgery)

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 : Society for Vascular Surgery

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5 net votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Improving Drug Safety through Precompetitive Research

The lack of transparency in Pharma clinical studies and the incomplete knowledge of the effect of genetic profiles and pharmacological factors on drug toxicities are challenges in decreasing drug development costs and increasing drug safety.

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 :

Precompetitive research and collaborations directed at improving our understanding of the factors underlying adverse patient responses to investigational heart, lung, blood, sleep drugs will help to expedite the drug development process, increase probabilities of success and reduce product development costs.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Several public-private initiatives such as The Predictive Safety Testing Consortium and the Cardiac Safety Research Consortium are underway that address components of this problem. NHLBI can join existing initiatives or formulate its own. In either case, NHLBI’s participation as either an honest broker or a funding source will enable substantive progress on several fronts over a 5-10 year period.

Clinical safety complications and chronic exposure toxicities are a major cause of drug trial failures and recalls and thereby contribute to the high cost of pharmaceutical product development and the rising prices of commercial medicines. Safety problems can usually be attributed to the off-target biological effects of drug compounds or their metabolites. Reducing the safety risks associated with drug development will therefore require us to expand our knowledge around the pharmacological and pharmacogenomic factors underlying adverse safety events. Furthermore, adverse events that occur during clinical studies that are conducted by pharmaceutical companies are not usually shared publicly. This lack of transparency contributes to unnecessary inefficiencies and costs in the drug development process.

Mechanisms for minimizing safety hurdles in drug development include funding precompetitive applied research and promoting collaborations among companies to encourage sharing of clinical failure data.

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

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Accelerating Translational Research

NHLBI should define a strategy to promote collaborative research between clinician-scientists who perform patient-oriented research, and basic scientists who focus on the preclinical realm. There is not enough cross-talk between these two groups, and yet much to be gained from increasing interactions between the two (e.g. accelerating the translation of bench science findings into the clinic). In particular, funding strategies ...more »

Submitted by (@golan0)

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

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Translational Research for HIV/AIDS and HLB Health and Diseases

What are the best inroads for the NHLBI to support innovative approaches in the next 5-10 years, especially blood cell therapies based on hematopoietic stem cell and novel gene therapy approaches to control or even cure HIV infection?

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 :

HIV control or possibly even HIV cure could result from developing novel cell therapies, especially hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants, and might also result from early use of antiretroviral therapy in acutely HIV-infected individuals.

• Transplantation of HSC including engineered cells has the potential to eradicate HIV reservoirs for HIV cure: the Berlin patient treated with HSC transplant remains free of HIV and is still the only patient cured of HIV infection as of today;

• Identification of acute HIV infections through routine blood donor screening and early anti-retroviral therapy for identified HIV-infected donors can limit or even prevent the establishment of HIV reservoirs.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

• The Berlin patient has provided the proof of concept that HIV infection can be eradicated, that is, sterilizing cure can be achieved, through HSC transplantation in combination with other therapies;

• Recent studies have shown that early identification of HIV infection and treatment of infected individuals with anti-retroviral therapy as soon as possible can significantly limit the size of the HIV reservoirs even if such early treatment may not be able to completely prevent the establishment of HIV reservoirs; routine blood donor screening for both anti-HIV antibodies and HIV RNA among blood donors offers unique opportunities to identify acute HIV infections.

 

 

For HIV cure, the challenges include:

 

• Generation of HIV-resistant HSCs in adequate quantity for transplantation;

 

• Efficiency of homing and expansion of HIV-resistant HSC transplants;

 

• Efficiency in replacing HIV-infected cells, including CD4+ resting cells as the major HIV reservoirs, with HIV-resistant HSCs following transplantation;

 

• Efficiency in immune reconstitution by HSC transplants;

 

• Safety of HSC transplantation with needed GVHD to eliminate HIV-infected resting T cells while avoiding irreversible damage to the host.

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

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15 up votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Infrastructure for human translational research

With the reduction in NCAT support for human translational research, infrastructure support will need to come from the NHLBI. This will increase the cost of most human, mechanistic based RO1 studies by 20-30%. This will exceed the current cap of $500K in many circumstances. The cap will need to be raised or NHLBI and other institutes need to determine how NIH can continue to provide this critical infrastructure.

Submitted by (@gwilliams)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

With the pending loss of infrastructure support by NCAT for human translational, mechanistic studies, a contiued decline in resources to support this critical resources for N of 1 studies. With appropriate support there will be increased capacity to determine which pre-clinical data is applicable to humans and to design more percise, mechanism based clinical trials to increase the likelihood of precision, personalized medicine for many of NHLBI's targeted diseases, e.g, hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease with diabetes and hypertension, asthma, and sleep apnea.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The template for addressing this challenge is already available. The specific funding mechanism(s) will need to be addressed.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Gordon Williams, Gail Adler, Charles Czeisler, Ellen Seely, Lindsey Baden

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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Transformative Impact of Proteomics

The proteomics field has dramatically progressed over the past 20 years, with advancements and improvements in experimental designs and sample preparation protocols, as well as mass spectrometry equipment, approaches, and analysis. This has resulted in substantial forward progress towards a proteomic pipeline to establish cause and effect mechanisms of cardiovascular disease. There is a need for CV proteomics that resolve ...more »

Submitted by (@mllindsey)

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 necessary tools have been assembled, and managing implementation will reduce the time required for completion of larger scale projects.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

high feasibility; the challenge will be managing communication across groups to maximize impact

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Merry Lindsey

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196 net votes
234 up votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Translational research supporting stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease

Translational research supporting stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease, including: core laboratories for preclinical IND-enabling studies (e.g., PACT), and clinical trials networks for evaluating promising new treatments (e.g., CCTRN).

Submitted by (@judith.l.bettencourt)

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 most cost effective scientific procedure ever utilized to answer the risk benefit question posed by a new intervention to be used in humans is a clinical trial. Major clinical trials are their most effective when planted in controversial ground (MRFIT, CAST, ALLHAT). Like these studies, which were caught in a controversial dynamic of uncertainties and disparate sets of expectations, a clinical trial network to assess cell therapy is precisely what is needed.

Experienced researchers recognize the current inimical environment of cell therapy. Now - as before - some forces argue that new therapy offers no benefits, while other equally vehement constituents contend that the benefits of therapy are so great, and the risks so small, that the treatment requires little if any regulation and should be available at once to the US public. Each side provides thunder, but little light.

It is precisely in this contentious environment where passions argue beyond the data that clinical trials are required. Their construction of the most objective view of the strengths and weaknesses of the intervention comes at a cost, but the answers these well designed and concordantly executed studies provide is the clearest illuminations of the benefits and risks of human cell therapy.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Based on the unmet clinical needs in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and the compelling early evidence for the promise of cell therapy, NHLBI created the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network in 2007. Now in its ninth year, the Network has completed three major clinical trials in cell therapy. It has published 35 manuscripts in prestigious clinical journals including JAMA, Circ, and Circ Research. Its biorepository has published two manuscripts relating baseline phenotype findings to measures of left ventricular function. A fourth clinical trial is underway assessing the effect of cell therapy on peripheral vascular disease. The Network is also proceeding with the largest effort to assess the effect of CSC cells in patients with heart failure - the first clinical trial that will assess the effect of combined cell therapy in heart failure patients. In addition, CCTRN will study the effect of allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells in patients with anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy. Each of these protocols is NHLBI and FDA approved.

CCTRN’s reputation of conducting and then promulgating the results of high quality clinical trials makes it the most effective mechanism to assess the benefits of cell therapy in cardiovascular disease. It is important to continue to fund the infrastructure already in place to ensure its continued high quality operation and its place as the cornerstone of cardiovascular clinical cell therapy research in the United States.

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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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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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18 up votes
9 down votes
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