Guided by its Strategic Vision, the NHLBI advances scientific knowledge toward discovery, improves health, and saves lives. 

For 75 years, NHLBI-funded research programs have helped improve the length and quality of life for people in the United States and around the world. 

In 2016, the NHLBI implemented a new Strategic Vision following significant constituent input.

The challenge then, as it is today, is to continue to imagine a world where we can stop heart, lung, and blood diseases and sleep disorders before they start and give people the right treatments at the right time. The updated Strategic Vision will help accelerate new discoveries in heart, lung, blood, and sleep research for years to come.

The NHLBI 2016 Strategic Vision

The 2016 Strategic Vision has four goals, eight objectives, and 132 research priorities. It includes a broad portfolio of scientific ideas spanning basic science through implementation science. 

Strategic Vision Goals and Objectives
Long Description

Refresh Focus Areas

The NHLBI is considering compelling questions (CQs) and critical challenges (CCs) to address topics that have come up as priorities over the past five years. This refresh will adhere to the NHLBI’s commitment to scientific stewardship and accountability and will focus on seeking input on novel research needs and approaches in the following focus areas:

  1. Harnessing data science and new technologies to drive scientific discovery and precision health.
  2. Using novel approaches for addressing health disparities and tackling their biological underpinnings for heart, lung, blood diseases, and sleep disorders.
  3. Leveraging the power of community and patient engagement
  4. Furthering the science on the importance of lifestyle.
  5. Supporting women’s health through the lifespan.
  6. Addressing and reducing the impact of “place” (geography, climate, rural/urban, neighborhood) on heart, lung, blood, and sleep health.

How We Collected Input

By design, the NHLBI Strategic Vision is dynamic and revisited regularly with input from those at the leading edge of health and science. 

Inputs that were shared will help NHLBI identify scientific priorities, make decisions, and allocate resources.

Our diverse community— including scientists, trainees, medical professionals, policymakers, patients and their families, and professional and patient interest groups—  participated in the following ways:

  • Responded to a request for information (RFI) by December 15, 2023. 
  • Attended and watched recordings of the “Refreshing the NHLBI Strategic Vision” webinars that were held from Oct. 30-Nov. 6, 2023. 
  • Visited our exhibit booth at professional and scientific meetings.

Please check this page regularly for updates or follow #NHLBIVisionRefresh on social media.


  • October 30-November 6: “Refreshing the NHLBI Strategic Vision” Webinar Series
  • December 15: RFI Response Deadline
  • Winter 2023/2024: Response Analysis 
  • Spring 2024: Development of Potential New CQs and CCs
  • Summer 2024: Refreshed Strategic Vision Published

*The timeline is subject to change and may be updated.

If you have questions about the NHLBI Strategic Vision refresh, please email