The One Brave Idea™ Science Innovation Center opens in Boston to host renowned investigators working on “early warning system” to prevent coronary heart disease and its consequences

October 03, 2017 Categories: Program News

Boston, MA, October 3, 2017 — The American Heart Association, Verily and AstraZeneca, today announced the opening of the One Brave Idea™ Science Innovation Center located on Longwood Avenue in Boston. The Center will be home to Calum MacRae, MD, PhD, chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and the Cardiovascular Medicine Innovation team who, leveraging the latest technologies and scientific advances, will continue their ground-breaking work for One Brave Idea, the $75 million research enterprise charged with bringing an end to coronary heart disease and its consequences.

The state-of-the-art Science Innovation Center will provide an environment where world-renowned investigators can work quickly and collaboratively to discover new ways to identify the earliest markers of heart disease and develop strategies to stop the disease before an emergency happens. At the Innovation Center, they will have access to hospitals and clinics for real-world implementation, the engineering expertise of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the clinical device expertise of BWH’s Next Generation Phenotyping Center and the tech and medical innovation ecosystem in Cambridge and Boston. 

The One Brave Idea team represents a wide variety of specialties, including engineering and data science, and hails from institutions including BWH, MIT and Stanford.  They are working to create a coronary heart disease “early warning system” by examining what happens 10-20 years before risk factors typically appear.

Facilitating collaboration among scientists is a cornerstone strategy for the American Heart Association and this team of multi-disciplinary scientists aims to understand the earliest stages of the disease, figure out how it develops to prevent it from ever leading to heart attack and stroke,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “Through Verily’s informatic capabilities, AstraZeneca’s proprietary data and our evolving ecosystem of patient centered research and scientific networks, the One Brave Idea research team will translate their findings into new prevention and treatment strategies.” 

“One Brave Idea provides an opportunity to come together and focus on improving the lives of people at risk of coronary heart disease,” said Jessica Mega, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Verily. "Our goal is to provide the resources and support to take on this critical issue. This model allows our investigators to hit roadblocks, reevaluate, and move on quickly. Every effort will provide meaningful information – even if the answer is to look somewhere else."

“Leveraging existing and novel datasets, the One Brave Idea team will analyze data in new ways to understand how our biology is affected by environmental perturbations,” said Gregory Keenan, MD, Vice President and head of US Medical Affairs of AstraZeneca. “We truly believe that the team’s strategy to define specific subsets of coronary heart disease and drive toward new biological understanding of how the disease arises and progresses is the research of the future.”

“I’m immensely proud to lead this diverse team of investigators, who are committed to exploring and identifying the potential opportunities to prevent the development of heart disease. Creating multidisciplinary research teams to attack a problem from many angles is a model that we believe will ultimately have a significant impact on cardiovascular health,” says Calum MacRae, MD, PhD, leader of One Brave Idea, and the Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Visit One Brave Idea to stay up-to-date on the ground-breaking science and progress.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries:

Webb.Bierbrier@heart.org, American Heart Association

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org