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Our Research


The purview of our research is broad, encompassing investigations into the basic principles of molecular, cellular, and organ-level biology and their relationship to disease.  Some current areas of fundamental interest include single molecule structure; protein assembly; molecular and cell biology; cell signaling and motility; membrane trafficking; physiology; systems biology; engineering and technology development. Insights into disease mechanisms derived from basic studies form the basis for translational research into new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

DIR investigators also conduct concept-based clinical studies in the areas of interventional and surgical cardiology; pulmonary medicine; sickle cell anemia; bone marrow transplant; and hematologic disorders. The DIR recruits patients from across the U.S. to enroll in innovative clinical trials at no cost to them.

Principal Investigators
The NHLBI DIR is home to over 60 basic, translational and clinical principal investigators who work independently and collaboratively to make new discoveries, translate findings, develop novel technologies, and conduct clinical research.

Scientific Focus Areas
Principal Investigators in the DIR are pursuing a variety of basic and clinical research to understand better both fundamental biology and clinical pathology. Their research comprises a number of intersecting subject areas at the forefront of biomedicine.

Core Facilities
Core Facilities provide scientific resources, cutting-edge technologies and novel approaches to support DIR scientists. Availability of specialized expertise creates a robust environment for conducting a wide range of studies and accelerates the pace at which scientific discovery can take place.

Programs & Initiatives
The Office of the Scientific Director has established several programs and initiatives centered around a particular modality or disease, with the goal of speeding research discoveries towards clinical application. Current DIR programs focus on medical imaging, cardiothoracic surgery, and sickle cell disease.

DIR News
August 28, 2014
Biophysical Society Names 2015 Award RecipientsExternal link Disclaimer
July 16, 2014
We are genetically linked to our friendsExternal link Disclaimer
July 11, 2014
NHLBI funds development of a bioresorbable scaffold for pediatric pulmonary artery stenosisExternal link Disclaimer
June 13, 2014
NIH scientists take totally tubular journey through brain cells

View all DIR News
Featured Principal Investigator
investigator thumbnail image

James R. Sellers, Ph.D.


Laboratory of Molecular Physiology

Named a 2015 Biophysical Society Fellow
More about James R. Sellers, Ph.D.
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