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‘One Brave Idea’ Science Innovation Center Opens in Boston

October 5, 2017
by David Raths
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Researchers seek ‘early warning system’ for coronary heart disease

One Brave Idea is a $75 million research enterprise bringing together scientists from multiple disciplines to to better understand the earliest stages of coronary heart disease. The effort, funded by the American Heart Association, Verily and AstraZeneca, has opened a Science Innovation Center in Boston.

The center will be home to Calum MacRae, M.D., Ph.D., chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Cardiovascular Medicine Innovation team working on One Brave Idea.

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 to 20 years before risk factors typically appear.

Researchers at the center will have access to hospitals and clinics for real-world implementation, the engineering expertise of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the clinical device expertise of Brigham and Women’s Next Generation Phenotyping Center. 

 “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

 “Through Verily’s informatics 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,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association, in a statement. (Verily is Google parent Alphabet Inc.'s research organization devoted to the study of life sciences.)

MacRae said he believes that creating multidisciplinary research teams to attack a problem from many angles is a model that will ultimately have a significant impact on cardiovascular health.


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