Objective 5: Develop and optimize novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to prevent, treat, and cure HLBS diseases
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.
- 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.
- Understand normal biological function and resilience
- Investigate newly discovered pathobiological mechanisms important to the onset and progression of HLBS diseases
- Investigate factors that account for differences in health among populations
- Identify factors that account for individual differences in pathobiology and in responses to treatments
- Develop and optimize novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to prevent, treat, and cure HLBS diseases
- Optimize clinical and implementation research to improve health and reduce disease
- Leverage emerging opportunities in data science to open new frontiers in HLBS research
- Further develop, diversify, and sustain a scientific workforce capable of accomplishing the NHLBI’s mission