ABOUT
ONE
BRAVE
IDEA


The One Brave Idea team is comprised of leading scientists from multiple disciplines working together to understand the earliest stages of coronary heart disease. They are exploring how CHD develops and how we can stop it from leading to heart attacks and strokes. Over the past several decades, we have learned a lot – but it’s not enough. Research has become too incremental, conducted by teams that were too narrow and lacking the powerhouse funding to bring together the best and brightest minds. Our team is changing that by pairing a unique model of science with a new funding approach and a never-before-seen level of cross-enterprise collaboration.
In addition to the $75 million, the three funding organizations are providing expertise and additional in-kind resources including access to the American Heart Association’s medical and scientific networks, Verily’s data analysis capabilities and AstraZeneca’s cardiovascular research data.

Our approach:

We want to understand what are the very earliest forms of coronary disease. We seek answers to questions such as what is different about the people that end up having plaque buildup and those who don’t? We know that diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol typically become abnormal decades after the CHD sets in, so we will investigate further upstream for approaches that can delay or prevent onset. We will also look for novel lifestyle and behavioral modification approaches that can be difference-makers.

These are lofty goals and they wouldn’t be possible without challenging current research funding paradigms and embracing new ways to do science. Our aim is to create a nimble, entrepreneurial structure, similar to that of a start-up company. Our investigators know they will likely come to dead ends. That’s OK. Every effort will provide meaningful information – even if the answer is to look somewhere else.

  • 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.

About the Team:

Led by Calum MacRae, chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the One Brave idea team is comprised of world-renowned investigators from a wide variety of specialties like engineering and data scientists from institutions including MIT and Stanford.  Each has experience breaking down boundaries and working outside the constraints of traditional biomedical science. 

The team will work out of The One Brave Idea Science Innovation Center in Boston to facilitate new techniques in a clinical context. Here they will have access to a national consortium of translational scientists, engineering expertise of MIT and the clinical device expertise of BWH’s Next Generation Phenotyping Center.