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


Calum A. MacRae, MD, PhD

Calum A. MacRae, MD, PhD

One Brave Idea Leader
Vice Chair for Scientific Innovation, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

On October 5, 2016, the American Heart Association, Verily Life Sciences LLC and AstraZeneca announced Dr. Calum MacRae as the leader of our One Brave Idea initiative. He beat out hundreds of other applicants from around the world to receive this landmark award that will provide support over a five-year period for a research project focused on uncovering the causes of heart disease, including previously unrecognized signals marking the transition from wellness to the earliest, yet still largely invisible stages of disease.

Dr. Calum MacRae is a cardiologist, geneticist and developmental biologist who graduated from Edinburgh and London before coming to Boston in 1991. After postdoctoral fellowships in human genetics with Drs. Christine and Jon Seidman and developmental biology with Dr. Mark Fishman, as well as additional clinical training in internal medicine and cardiology, he joined the Division of Cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2001. His research is focused on understanding the genetic contribution to common cardiovascular disease using human studies and complementary high-throughput biology in the zebrafish.

Dr. MacRae is also theVice Chair for Scientific Innovation, Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. His clinical interests include the management of inherited heart disease and cardiac involvement in systemic diseases.

In addition, Dr. MacRae is a leading investigator at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Genomics Center, a principal faculty member at the Cardiovascular Research Center and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and an associated member at the Broad Institute.


Led by Calum MacRae, Vice Chair for Scientific Innovation, Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School, the One Brave idea team is comprised of a team of investigators from a wide variety of specialties like engineering and data scientists and 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.

Diverse Focus, Diverse Team

To do something different, we must think differently. This means bringing together people from diverse backgrounds, diverse trainings and diverse viewpoints. We encourage everyone – especially women and minorities – to discuss employment or collaboration opportunities. Together, we can achieve this important mission.

Executive Management and Operations

Scientific Team

Joint Leadership Group

One Brave Idea is governed by a Joint Leadership Group comprised of the funding organizations – American Heart Association, Verily and AstraZeneca. An important business goal of One Brave Idea is to create an evergreen pooled Research Fund with selected partners to drive shared value, and to create a long term positive impact within society globally as we strive to create a healthier future for all.

American Heart Association (AHA)