Far too often, coronary heart disease (CHD) strikes without warning. What if we could identify when a patient starts to deviate from wellness, years before a major cardiac event?
One Brave Idea (OBI) is trying to understand the molecular events surrounding the earliest transition from wellness to disease in coronary heart disease (CHD). Like preventing and detecting sparks that can lead to a fire, understanding the earliest abnormalities in the development of CHD could help prevent its serious manifestations down the road, such as heart attacks and heart failure. Currently, the approach to prevention and treatment relies largely on detecting cardiac risk factors that become abnormal in middle age (e.g., high blood pressure, elevated blood lipids, diabetes). Similarly, traditional research often compares people with advanced CHD to “healthy controls” to understand the biological changes of CHD.
OBI is turning its focus upstream and seeking out earlier changes in the development of CHD. These have been challenging to study using traditional research and funding approaches. OBI will tackle this challenge through an agile approach that takes advantage of its multidisciplinary team, unique organizational structure, and wide-ranging expertise and support of its major funding partners (American Heart Association, Verily, AstraZeneca, and Quest Diagnostics).