Recent scientific and technological developments offer especially promising opportunities to prevent disease, manage and treat illness, and promote resilience. These wide-ranging developments include, but are not limited to, new gene editing techniques that could safely treat and prevent heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) diseases, “smart” tools that could monitor and adjust biological processes, techniques that modulate stem cell or immune system signaling to reduce disease risk, and advances in materials science that could yield vastly improved implant devices. Other technologies and bioengineering developments may further facilitate diagnostic capabilities, and new lifestyle interventions may improve the maintenance of continued health and wellness and facilitate behavioral modification to prevent disease. Many of these advances, which are the results of past investments in basic research, are critical to developing and optimizing novel diagnostics and therapeutics strategies.
Envision a future in which we are able to...
- Develop surgical grafts (using stem cells, 3-D printing, and nanotechnologies) for children born with heart defects, such that the grafts grow as the child grows into adulthood, thereby avoiding multiple operations.
- Transform the safety and availability of the nation’s blood supply by using genetically engineered stem cells to eliminate histo-incompatibility antigens and generate universal donor red blood cells that are available off the shelf by a high-throughput process.
Last Updated: August 10, 2016