American Heart Association Awarded $19.6 Million Grant From NIH-FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Program

September 19, 2013

Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2013 The American Heart Association will receive $19.6 million in funding from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health today as part of an ongoing interagency partnership. The association is one of 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS), which are receiving a total of up to $53 million for tobacco-related research in fiscal year 2013.


The grant will be awarded over a five-year period to the American Heart Association’s Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center and will be used to support multidisciplinary research that will inform the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products as they are regulated by the FDA. 


“Because tobacco use continues to be the number one cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, more research on its impact is absolutely essential,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. “The American Heart Association is committed to advancing this research and welcomes this unprecedented opportunity to work with the NIH and FDA and the other funded Centers. Together, we can strengthen our understanding of the health risks of tobacco products that can inform, shape and support meaningful regulation and protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death.”


The American Heart Association’s Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center is a virtual research center that will consist of a network of consortia between the association and several leading academic institutions. Among them are the Boston University Medical Center, Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Northwestern University, the University of Louisville and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. 


The grant will fund three projects examining the cardiovascular toxicity of tobacco products, cardiovascular injury due to tobacco use, and the perception of tobacco use in vulnerable populations, leading to more effective communications campaigns. Federal support will also be used to assist in the development of the next generation of basic, clinical and translational investigators in tobacco-related cardiovascular medicine and policy. Additionally, the center will serve as a catalyst to promote new ideas through pilot research projects.


The TCORS program brings together investigators from across the country to aid in the development and evaluation of tobacco product regulations. Each TCORS application identified a targeted research goal. Taken together, the TCORS sites will increase knowledge across the full spectrum of basic and applied research on tobacco and addiction. The program also provides young investigators with training opportunities to ensure the development of the next generation of tobacco regulatory scientists.


Comprised of scientists with expertise in fields including epidemiology, behavior, biology, medicine, economics, chemistry, toxicology, addictions, public health, communications, and marketing, the TCORS program is the centerpiece of the FDA/NIH collaboration to foster research relevant to tobacco regulatory science. New research from TCORS will help inform and assess the impact of FDA’s prior, ongoing and potential future tobacco regulatory activities implemented by the Center for Tobacco Products under the direction of Mitch Zeller, J.D.  In addition, the TCORS investigators will have the flexibility and capacity to begin new research to address issues raised in today’s rapidly evolving tobacco marketplace.




Contact: Retha Sherrod