Discovering new pathobiological mechanisms and understanding them is critical for improving heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) health. Such discoveries and research can potentially lead to clinical and implementation studies, which in turn can inform new therapeutic strategies and clinical practice. Important areas to focus on, with the help of emerging technologies such as molecular imaging and nanotechnology, include mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of rare and common diseases, disease-related structural and functional changes, and the clinical significance of these changes. In addition, tracking of disease onset and progression across the lifespan is essential because it has the potential to inform our understanding of the conversion of chronic conditions into acute disease and the effects of early exposures and interventions, including lifestyle changes.
Envision a future in which we are able to...
- Preempt the transition from health to disease and enable primary and secondary prevention through an enhanced understanding of the pathobiological mechanisms underpinning HLBS disorders.
- Leverage deep phenotyping and high-throughput “omic” technologies in NHLBI-supported cohort studies to define the functional significance of gain/loss-of-function genetic variants and gene knockouts on human pathobiology and the clinical outcomes of HLBS disorders.
- Gain new insights into modifier genes and molecular pathways that influence the clinical manifestations and severity of monogenic disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis) as well as structural defects such as congenital heart disease, and thereby catalyze new therapeutic strategies.
Last Updated: August 10, 2016