Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Preventing or reversing myocardial fibrosis

Conduct proof-of-concept studies and explore whether strategies to reverse or prevent fibrosis are feasible.

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 challenge will lead to early studies of potential therapeutics for arrhythmias and heart failure. If successful, this would have huge impact.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

Recent studies have identified some compelling signaling pathways that activate fibrosis so it is feasible to test them through creative experimentation.
Fibrosis and fibrogenesis in the myocardium are clear indications that heart function is either declining or progressing towards decline. Although much of the current research continues to focus on unraveling mechanisms that lead to fibrosis and activation of fibrogenesis, there is as yet less focus on potential mechanisms to prevent or reverse fibrosis. This was in part due to insufficient understanding of major causes of fibrosis and mechanisms that activate fibrogenesis. However, findings from recent studies show that there are several compelling therapeutic targets that are ready to be tested to see whether fibrosis can be reversed or prevented.
May need strategies on how to best to succeed in implementing the research - e.g., what research mechanisms, what kind of teams, what kind of expertise, etc. To fine tune this, a focused workshop for advice may be helpful.

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

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Idea No. 314