Very soon after the COVID-19 pandemic began, the research community recognized that people who have certain underlying heart, lung, and blood diseases and conditions are at higher risk for serious health problems from infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition, research quickly showed that COVID-19 can have potentially life-threatening effects on the heart, lungs, blood, and blood vessels.
The NHLBI’s multi-pronged research strategy aims to better our understanding of the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and to identify therapies that will slow or halt disease progression and speed recovery.
Those with underlying health conditions, such as chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and sickle cell disease, appear to be at higher risk for severe COVID-19–associated disease.
The NHLBI has designed an adaptive, responsive research strategy with short- and-long-term goals. These goals include:
NHLBI’s research response to the COVID-19 crisis has been a rapid, collaborative, and strategic effort.
Visit our 2021 report on the impact of COVID-19 on heart, lung, and blood systems to learn more about our research response strategy and COVID-19 research efforts.
We continue to develop new initiatives and funding opportunities, and share our findings as part of our ongoing research response strategy.
NHLBI COVID-19 research response
Teams helping to design and implement the COVID response span subject areas such as preclinical studies, clinical trials, longitudinal cohort studies, community-based interventions, data mining and resources, and communications.
- Pre-clinical Studies
- Clinical Trials
- Longitudinal/Cohort Studies
- Data Mining and Resources
- Community-based Interventions
- Community-engaged Research
The NHLBI is working with NIH and HHS in collaboration to end the pandemic.
Much of NHLBI staff are part of trans-NIH efforts that include community-based interventions to work with vulnerable populations, data coordination, and collaboration with industry.
- ACTIV Partnership Preclinical Therapeutics Discovery, Mechanistic
- RADx Initiative
Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics
- Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities
- CARING for Children with COVID
- Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER)
- NIH Clinical Trial Networks
- GWAS (Longitudinal/Cohort Studies)
- Data Coordination & Warehouse (Data Mining and Resources)
At an HHS level, the NHLBI works closely with our government partners, including the FDA and CDC, and participates in working groups, such as the medical countermeasures and clinical working group. We engage in an exchange of information with patient groups to learn about their needs. The information they share helps us set our research agenda.
- HHS Clinical Working Group
- HHS MCM Working Group