A New Approach to an Old Problem

How a diverse group of scientists are using fresh thoughts, tools and techniques to eradicate the No. 1 killer of Americans

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Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the primary force behind the No. 1 killer in the world, claiming more than 7 million lives each year. That’s like taking out New York City’s population in one fell swoop.

The problem remains out of control because our approach to diagnosing and treating the disease hasn’t kept pace. CHD is often not diagnosed until the late stages and, in many cases, too late.

It’s a mission. It’s a movement. It’s One Brave Idea™.

But what if we knew what triggers CHD long before symptoms and fatal events occur? This would unlock the way to improve treatment and work toward preventing CHD. That’s why the American Heart Association, Verily and AstraZeneca have combined forces to fight this epidemic. Through a $75 million investment in a diverse team of scientists, together with the latest technologies and scientific advances, we have set out to find the weapons and strategies to win the fight against coronary heart disease.

It’s a new way of doing things, it’s a mission, it’s One Brave Idea™.

  • New ways to analyze data

    New ways to analyze data
    Leveraging existing and novel datasets, we will analyze data in new ways to understand how our biology is affected by the environment. Taking another look at these datasets in ways that have not previously been feasible will allow us to define specific subsets of CHD and drive toward new biological understanding of how CHD arises and progresses.

    New Diagnostics

    New Diagnostics
    Through a combination of existing technology or devices and the development of new tools, we aim to monitor the whole body at a molecular and cellular level to understand how the disease first emerges. Imagine if something worn on your shirt or sensors in your car could help uncover how CHD arises: that’s the future we are creating.

    New Prevention and Treatment Strategies

    New Prevention and Treatment Strategies
    All our efforts have one thing in mind: the patient. Through clinical studies and access to an evolving ecosystem of patient-centered research, we will rapidly translate our findings to new prevention and treatment strategies.


Dr. Calum MacRae, Vice Chair for Scientific Innovation in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and his world-class team were selected as the recipients of the One Brave Idea research award.

The One Brave Idea Team