NHLBI supports research in a wide variety of areas, advancing our knowledge of health and disease. NHLBI is an integral part of a research ecosystem that includes universities, researchers, private companies, and other government agencies. The knowledge produced by NHLBI-supported research can take many years and pass through many organizations on its pathway toward improving health. Explore this page to look at a few stories of how NHLBI has contributed to important advances, and how these advances have made a difference in our knowledge, our health, and our society.
For more than half a century, the NHLBI has been turning scientific discovery into better health. Through the Institute’s investment in basic and clinical research at universities and medical centers across the nation, its innovative educational programs, and its key role in shaping national and global public health policy, the NHLBI has improved the lives of millions of people affected by once-untreatable heart, lung, and blood diseases. To learn more, read these NHLBI stories of success.
Patients with heart failure sometimes need an external pump to assist the heart in circulating blood throughout the body. With small business research funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), medical device maker Levitronix successfully developed and marketed external blood pumps to provide short-term circulatory support to adult and pediatric heart failure patients. Read More
Dangerous cardiac side effects are a major cause of drug trial failures and recalls of marketed drugs. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has been at the forefront of supporting research on developing novel tests to assess the heart safety of new drug candidates. Read More
Through support from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), AlphaCore Pharma, a Michigan-based biotech company, initiated development of a novel drug that could potentially prevent or slow coronary heart disease (CHD) in certain people. The therapy has shown promising results and is advancing toward clinical trials. Read More
Regenerative medicine offers the promise of harnessing the body’s own resources to heal itself. Stem cells, which can be programmed to grow into a variety of cell types, are at the heart of regenerative medicine. Scientists are working on a variety of methods that involve using stem cells to repair or replace human tissues ravaged by disease. And for a few rare diseases, such as severe combined immunodeficiency, stem cell-based therapies have advanced enough to be considered curative. Read More
HemoShear develops and commercializes research tools for scientists to study the effects of new drugs on normal and diseased human tissues in the laboratory. The company, founded in 2008 by Brian Wamhoff and Brett Blackman, was based on technology invented with NHLBI SBIR support while the founders were working at the University of Virginia. Read More
Scientists have been working for decades to develop better ways to repair or replace blood vessels damaged by disease or trauma. And while they can claim some progress, they concede that many patients needing vascular care still face challenges: long wait times due to a shortage of donor vessels, painful procedures to take blood vessels from the patients’ own limbs, and failure of the synthetic vessels currently on the market to achieve the same outcomes as the patients’ own vessels. Read More