DALLAS, July 18, 2017 The American Heart Association (AHA) Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine announced recipients for new research grants, made possible by support from Bayer, in three critical disease areas: cerebral small vessel disease, chronic kidney disease and heart failure. The AHA-Bayer Innovation and Discovery Grants provide $150,000 to each investigator to better understand and address unmet medical needs in these disease states. This is the second year the AHA and Bayer have collaborated to make the Innovation and Discovery Grants program available to researchers in the U.S.

"Research in each of these areas will help provide individuals not only with better prevention and treatment options, but also to help realize the promise of precision medicine," said AHA Chief Science and Medical Officer, Rose Marie Robertson, M.D., FAHA. "The American Heart Association and Bayer are committed to supporting the next generation of researchers so we can have a deeper understanding of these diseases." 

The awardees are:

John Cole, MSEE, M.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore: cerebral small vessel  disease.

  • Cerebral small vessel disease accounts for approximately 2530 percent of strokes and are a leading cause of age- and hypertension-related cognitive decline and disability. The specific treatments for cerebral small vessel disease are lacking, and therapeutic options for secondary prevention are limited compared to other common causes of stroke.

Xiaonan Wang, M.D., Emory University: chronic kidney disease.

  • Chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease are major health burdens worldwide, affecting an estimated 200 million people. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Quinn Wells, Pharm.D., M.D., Vanderbilt University Medical Center: heart failure.

  • Nearly half of all patients with heart failure have a normal ejection fraction. The prevalence of this syndrome, termed heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, continues to increase in the developed world with the increasing prevalence of common risk factors.

"We believe the future of medicine lies with our ability to better understand how to tailor disease management strategies to meet the individual needs of patients living with these chronic and debilitating diseases," said Karl Ziegelbauer, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Therapeutic Research Groups in Drug Discovery at Bayer. "Bayer and the AHA are aligned in supporting early research, which is at the heart of advancing this approach to scientific knowledge and drug discovery and development."

Each awardee is encouraged to contribute their research data into the AHA Precision Medicine Platform. The AHA Precision Medicine Platform is a data marketplace, powered by the Amazon cloud, that houses vast, diverse and previously siloed data. Through the platform, scientists from around the world can easily access, store, share and analyze large datasets to accelerate breakthroughs in prevention, treatment and cures for heart disease and stroke. For more information on the Precision Medicine Platform and the Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine, visit http://precision.heart.org and http://institute.heart.org.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke two of the 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 one of the world’s oldest and largest voluntary organizations dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, visit http://www.heart.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine

The American Heart Association Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine is the only organization dedicated exclusively to advancing precision medicine in cardiovascular care. The Institute aims to preserve and prolong health by architecting more precise scientific discoveries those that take into account a person’s genetics, environment and lifestyle – for better prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. To learn more, apply for research grants or to get involved, visit http://institute.heart.org. 

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 www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.

Media Contacts:

Jennifer Pratt, 214-706-2229, Jennifer.Pratt@heart.org, American Heart Association, Media Relations

David Patti, 973-452-6793, david.patti@bayer.com, Bayer, U.S., Pharma Product Communications