Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Developing tools/algorithms for objective evaluation of sleep health

What are the best tools/algorithms for robust and objective evaluations of sleep health biomarkers?

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 :

Sleep deficiency is pervasive in today’s society and associated with an array of threats to health and public safety. The availability of a biomarker(s) for sleep health would turn-the-curve on developing practical and feasible ways to identify individuals at risk for sleep deficiency and prevent/manage associated risks to health and public safety on a large-scale.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Sleep and circadian regulation is coupled to an array of behavioral, physiological and molecular/genetic processes to leverage in the development of biomarkers for sleep health.

Untreated sleep disorders and sleep deficiency pose a significant burden on health and public safety. There is currently no biomarker, or point-of-care technology available to objectively measure an individual’s level of sleep deficiency or susceptibility, a significant barrier to prevention and management.

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

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124 net votes
162 up votes
38 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Enhanced Pain Research in Sickle Cell Disease

There is a need for more enhanced pain research in order to help improve sickle cell disease patient outcomes and quality of life.

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Pain is the most common clinical manifestation of sickle cell disease (SCD) and accounts for a large proportion of emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Due to its impact on the patients’ quality of life, there is a need for more basic and clinical research studies focused on understanding the mechanisms of different pain syndromes as well as the role of neurotransmitters and inflammation in acute and chronic SCD pain. Also, comparative effectiveness studies in the management of chronic pain will be crucial in helping to improve the patients’ overall quality of life.

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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39 net votes
58 up votes
19 down votes
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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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31 net votes
38 up votes
7 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Making R01 funding work for the Medical Sciences

We need to spread R01 funding around more to ensure that the best science has funding adequate to move forward. To do this I believe changing how we think about R01 funding and expenditures can be used to put the NIH funds to better use. Too often successful researchers have the majority of their salaries on R01s and the institutions have little skin in the game. PI salaries can be a large part of the escalating budget ...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 :

The impact of spreading the funding would be to improve funding rates, improve funding of new investigators, and supporting more diverse science. Negative impacts would include reduced funding some large labs. In my experience, in some cases, this would be a good thing. There could be special programs and exceptions for large labs that make significant important contributions and serve as resources to reduce negative impact. Review of grants should include information on manuscript retractions and large labs with many retractions should be carefully scrutinized for defunding.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Such changes would have to be made incrementally over time since this will require states and institutions to pick up some of the cost of science and therefore must be phased in to allow for time to adjust the workforce in specific places to align with budgetary constraints. Institutions might be encouraged to do more fundraising to actually support science to fill gaps.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Keith Jones with major input from Pieter de Tombe

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28 net votes
44 up votes
16 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Translational training programs

The strategic vision to enhance translation and to enhance the workforce both require training that spans the scope of basic science, pre-clinical development, clinical trials. We lack coherent mechanisms for training the next generation of translational researchers, some of whom may be MDs, and some PhDs. A program should provide cross-training of Clinical Fellows and Postdocs to reflect the needed interactions between ...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 :

The impact will trainees with more comprehensive exposure and involvement in translation of science from the bench to bedside. MDs will spend more time in labs or involved in pre-clinical work, PhDs will become CITI certified and assist with enrollment of clinical trials and trial design. Journal clubs will span the sciences, the clinical practice and the translational realm including regulatory and industry considerations. Trainees can use this background whether they go on in medicine, science, translation, or industry to fit and contribute to an increasingly translational medical bioscience field.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Feasibility must include a academic medicine environment active in translational biomedical science such that the mentors can include scientists, physicians and physician/scientists, some of whom are translators. Some of the scientists should be from industry and perhaps projects and funding can involve industry/Pharm as well these will benefit from an educated workforce. Challenges involve individuals at the sites putting the right teams together, but many Universities are doing this with incubators and translational units at present. This will further the clinical involvement to include Fellows in Fellowship programs in Cardiology, Medicine and Surgery.

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

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27 net votes
38 up votes
11 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Improving patient-clinician communication and decision-making for patients wiith serious heart, lung or blood diseases

How can we ensure that patients with serious heart, lung, or blood diseases fully understand their prognosis, treatment options, and the risks and benefits of those options and help them make decisions that fully incorporate their own personal values, goals, and treatment preferneces?

Submitted by (@jrc000)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Patients with serious heart, lung and blood diseases are often faced with dificult treatment decisions that involve tradeoffs and long-term consequences without adequate understanding of their prognosis and the risks and benefits of treatment. There is emerging consensus that a shared decision-making approach provides the best support for patients and their families in this situcation, but there is evidence that this is not happening and there is inadequate data to guide the best approach to ensuring it does happen. Dramatic advances in treatment technologies make treatment choices ever more complex and often make the tradeoffs more difficult to fully understand. Advances in our ability to help patients and their families through this decision-making process have not kept up with these advances in treatment options.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Incorporation of palliative care approaches, decision aides, and improvements in clinician-patient communication provide the opportunity to make important advances in this area, but have not been fully developed or incorporated. There is an opportunity to advance the communication, decision-making, and implementation science to have a dramatic impact on enhancing healthcare and quality of life for patients and thier families.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH

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27 net votes
33 up votes
6 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

RFA on EC-cardiomyocyte interactions in the mechanisms and treatments of cardiovascular diseases

Often under recognized, the cardiac endothelial cells are highly abundant in the heart, and may have important roles in modulating cardiac function, besides simply serving as structural component of blood vessels. Evidences of ours and others have indicated an emerging role of cardiac endothelial cells signaling to cardiomyocytes to mediate important pathophysiological responses. Nonetheless, detailed mechanisms of ...more »

Submitted by (@hcai00)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Successfully addressing this question would no double reveal novel mechanisms and ways of monitoring treatment responses of cardiovascular disease, ultimately leading to novel drug targets, valuable biomarkers and extended new directions of basic research as well.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Tools of studying these cells are mostly available. Both adult cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells from the heart can be isolated and cultured, although cardiomyotyes need to used within 24 hrs and cannot be passaged. However successful preparation of these cells from WT and transgenic animals would permit co-culture experiments and mechanistic studies. These cells can also be studied using in-situ techniques either detecting molecular changes/events or dynamic interactions. Potential challenges would side in selective targeting of these cells, for example, either ECs or cardiomyocytes, once a potential therapeutic is in the testing. Nonetheless, PECAM-ab conjugated techniques have been employed to specifically deliver proteins to endothelial cells, so I am confident most of the challenges can be worked out, particularly within a RFA awardees group with frequent exchanges of ideas.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Hua Linda Cai, University of California Los Angeles

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27 net votes
30 up votes
3 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Develop common-sense standards for obesity research

Obesity research is riddled with methodological problems that are rarely challenged, leading to the perpetuation of misinformation and interventions that do harm. Given the two-thirds of the population who are classified as higher weight and thus subject to these interventions, it is past time to clean up the basic scientific flaws in this research area. For a quick summary of a couple of these issues, see Poodle Science: ...more »

Submitted by (@dbdb00)

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 subject really is both CG and CC. The CQ aspect is to see past the weight bias and stigma we are all subject to in order to see diversity of weight as normal, even as people across the weight spectrum suffer health insults from sources that are rarely investigated within the medical model (cf social determinants of health). The CC aspect is the enormous economic and cultural pressures to maintain the valuing of some bodies over others in order to sell products and create a group of people who have fewer ways to defend themselves from oppression.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Several key areas could make a big difference and they are quite feasible.

1. Require researchers to have studied weight bias and stigma so they are more aware of their own potential proclivities to frame research questions or results according to the status quo.

2. Require any study that claims a weight loss finding to have, report, and publish followup data on all participants at least 2-5 years post-intervention.

3. Require any study claiming a health issue related to weight to compare not higher and lower weight people, but rather higher weight people who have pursued weight loss and higher weight people who have not, since there is no way for higher weight people to be always-been-thinner.

4. Require weight/health research to control for obvious confounders such as weight cycling, SES, exposure to weight stigma, exposure to weight discrimination, exposure to racism, exposure to stress, lack of access to unbiased medical care, etc.

5. Require that journals allowing statements in the abstract or discussion or conclusions that generalize beyond the data be accountable, and that journals provide an accurate translation of the findings for journalists complete with statements about limitations of findings and possible alternative interpretations.

6. Fund projects which are about listening, especially to people who are rarely asked about their lived experience, in order to generate better research that actually improves quality of life for higher-weight people.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Deb Burgard, PhD

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24 net votes
44 up votes
20 down votes
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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Evaluation of large-scale regulatory efforts in the US and elsewhere

A number of cities(e.g Berkeley), states and countries (e.g Mexico's SSB tax, Chiles SSB and soon marketing controls and food package front of package label) will go into effect. Rigorous evaluations of the efforts will provide some sense of their potential to effect food purchase and dietary pattern and ultimately cardiometaboiic changes. Serious rigorous independent evaluations are needed to learn if these options--pushed ...more »

Submitted by (@popkin)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

We must learn what we can from the natural experiments not only in the US but globally about both the effects of these efforts on food industry behavior as well as household and individual food purchases and dietary patterns and subsequently their effects on obesity and key cardiometabolic outcomes. This requires serious rigorous teams of scholars to utilize a combination of commercial data sets on food purchases, individual diet, body composition measures of obesity and fat composition and biomarkers.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

These efforts are occurring and will be accelerating across many countries in Asia and Latin America. At the same time many cities or states in the US are moving to implement limited sets of key changes. There is a pressing need to learn if these efforts truly will matter and what changes would be needed to enhance their impact, if any. Finding large-scale regulatory ways to reduce improve our diets, prevent/reduce the prevalence of obesity and all the diet and obesity-related NCD's is critical.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Barry Popkin

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22 net votes
42 up votes
20 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Improving cardiorespiratory fitness prior to hematopoietic cell transplantation

Can cardiorespiratory fitness prior to hematopoietic cell transplantation be improved and will this limit morbidity and mortality following transplantation?

Submitted by (@wawood)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

HCT is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality from transplant-related complications. Reduction in transplant-related mortality would lead to more favorable risk/benefit assessments for the ability of transplant to cure life-threatening hematologic disorders including non-malignant conditions. Comorbidity and patient-reported functional status impairment are known to increase the risk for transplant-related mortality. Single institution studies suggest that cardiorespiratory fitness may serve a similar role as a predictive pre-transplant variable. Unlike comorbidity, cardiorespiratory fitness is potentially modifiable. However, the optimal way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness through pre-transplant exercise and lifestyle interventions is not known. Understanding how to improve cardiorespiratory fitness through a short term intervention would also benefit other health conditions relevant to the NHLBI in which future treatment is intensive and associated with significant risk.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Understanding how to improve cardiorespiratory fitness in a short period of time will require a research agenda that addresses the following challenges: how to measure cardiorespiratory fitness in a generalized and scalable way, which may or may not require maximal exercise testing for all participants; how to design intensive exercise interventions that are at least partially home-based, in order to minimize resource burden on patients and centers; and how to personalize intervention delivery and testing in a way that is tailored to the baseline fitness levels and capabilities of each participant. Meeting these challenges will enable large-scale, personalized exercise testing and intervention delivery in other non-transplant populations.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : William Wood, Thomas Shea

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21 net votes
42 up votes
21 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Shall we increase the transparency of the grant review process to prevent potential biases?

Financial and intellectual conflict(s) of interest are common in academic medical sciences. Those conflicts could potentially bias decisions of study section members and change grant application outcomes. During the grant review process, financial and/or intellectual conflict(s) of interest disclosures of the study section members are not readily available to the grant applicants or the public. Should the NHBI increase ...more »

Submitted by (@escalante.patricio)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Increased transparency in the grant review process will provide a more plain level field for all applications, including new investigators with novel ideas.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Public disclosure of financial (more than intellectual) conflict(s) of interest are becoming the standard in medical societies and scientific publications.

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18 net votes
24 up votes
6 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Palliative and hospice care for COPD patients

Does palliative care and/or hospice care as practiced across communities improve end-of-life care for COPD – specifically, does it reduce the burden of symptoms, improve HRQoL and satisfaction, reduce utilization in last 6 months of life (i.e. hospital visits, cost, invasive ventilation use, etc), improve the end-of-life experience, and increase the concordance of place of death to expressed patient preferences?

Submitted by (@k.willard)

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

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12 net votes
16 up votes
4 down votes
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