Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

The Future of Fibrosis Research

A critical challenge in the area of fibrosis research (including heart, lung and other organs) is the absence of a central system to act as air traffic control for progress, innovations and gaps in the science. Like the area of cancer research was 30 years ago, the fibrosis research area is fragmented and disconnected. The answer in the cancer effort to creating a centralized, focused system was with the National Cancer Institute. A center for Fibrotic Research, which could be created, developed and managed by the NHLBI, is needed to create a clear path forward and strategic vision for fibrotic research efforts.

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC

By addressing the issues related to stalled or slow progress in deadly fibrotic diseases which are on the increase worldwide and account for one in four deaths in the industrialized world, NHLBI can become part of the solution of this global crisis. A system that incorporates all research outcomes to date (failed and successful research projects and clinical trials included) as well as a centralized IT-based system to monitor research efforts globally and a method for matchmaking researchers with similar mindsets and efforts that will result in exponential, not incremental change in fibrotic research efforts.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

The model of a centralized system of research in a disease area is clearly the model that is the National Cancer Institute. A National Center for Fibrotic Research will allow for similar progress and innovation in the fibrotic disease space. Challenges would include only any limitations in vision from leadership at NHLBI. The expectation and hope is that NHLBI will see the Future of Fibrosis, Embrace it and Own it.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Teresa Barnes and Dolly Kervitsky

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Idea No. 921