The American Heart Association (AHA), Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google Life Sciences), an Alphabet company, and AstraZeneca, have announced that the One Brave Idea research award will be granted to Dr. Calum MacRae, chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to support his visionary approach to understanding and addressing coronary heart disease (CHD) and its devastating consequences.
“After launching a global search effort earlier this year, we are proud to announce the selection of Dr. Calum MacRae as the leader of our One Brave Idea initiative,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “Dr. MacRae and his newly-formed, world-renowned, multidisciplinary team were selected from among hundreds of applicants throughout 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.”
"The vision for One Brave Idea was to create an innovative model for scientific research by bringing together significant resources and diverse organizations to support a single vision," said Dr. Jessica Mega, chief medical officer of Verily. "With our partners at the American Heart Association and AstraZeneca, we hope this initiative will inspire other new approaches to funding and catalyze meaningful advances for patients living with coronary heart disease and other conditions."
The AHA, Verily and AstraZeneca launched One Brave Idea in January 2016 as the largest one-time award to a single team to find a cure to end CHD and its consequences. In addition to receiving funding, Dr. MacRae and his team will have access to the combined expertise and resources of the three partner organizations, which include the AHA's medical and scientific prowess, Verily's technical expertise in device engineering, data analytics and software development for clinical applications, and AstraZeneca’s scientific insights and mentoring.
“AstraZeneca, AHA and Verily share a common purpose and passion for patients and science. We believe that this collaboration will ignite and inspire ideas, opening the door to find a big, brave solution,” said Dr. Greg Keenan, vice president and head of U.S. Medical Affairs of AstraZeneca. “Dr. MacRae’s research not only has the potential to advance our understanding of coronary heart disease and its underlying consequences, but also allows us to combine resources to take a truly innovative and multidisciplinary approach in addressing cardiovascular disease.”
“I’m grateful to the AHA, Verily and AstraZeneca for believing in my research vision and showing their support by selecting our remarkable team as the recipients of the One Brave Idea award,” said Dr. MacRae. “The earliest indicators of coronary heart disease remain unknown, both on a genetic and molecular level. If we unearth and characterize novel markers in people genetically prone to heart disease or with early stages of the disease, we can potentially screen the broader population at a younger age to identify those same markers and discover preventative or pre-disease interventions that can break the cascade towards disease.”