Collaborations and Conclusions


The synergy among the four SFRN centers sparked important research collaborations that enabled 12 fellows to do critical work with scientists in and out of their fields.

Early on, the centers at Northwestern University and Vanderbilt University applied for additional funding to build on their shared research interests. The centers received a National Institutes of Health grant to bring sodium MRI to Northwestern, which is now using it in research studies

“Their ability to expand the work that was supported by the AHA was one of the tremendous successes of this network,” said Dr. Alan Go, chair of the Prevention SFRN Oversight Advisory Committee.

At UT Southwestern Medical Center, the SFRN collaboration “enlivened and broadened” how scientists thought about studying HFpEF, Hill said. Research started under the SFRN has continued under an NIH Program Project Grant focused on identifying mechanisms of exercise intolerance in people with HFpEF and exercise programs that can improve heart function.

Ambarish Pandey, MBBS, a fellow at UT Southwestern Medical Center from 2014 to 2016, seized the opportunity to work with scientists outside his institution. He connected his interest in HFpEF to Northwestern University center’s research on lifestyle factors that impact heart failure. This work resulted in multiple crosscenter publications. Pandey was awarded Northwestern’s 2017 Cardiovascular Young Investigator Award

Northwestern Center Director Dr. Philip Greenland credited the SFRN with creating a unique opportunity for his group to explore topics of interest from multiple angles.

“With these centers, you can look at a theme area in broader detail than you can with a single grant focus,” Greenland said. “Each individual project will have an output, but what you hope is that one plus one plus one is greater than three.”

Narrative Report Prevention Circle of Logos


Bringing together basic, clinical and population scientists from across four institutions can advance cardiovascular prevention research and train a new generation of cardiovascular scientists in ways that multiply what one center or one field can do alone.

Since the first SFRN in 2014, the AHA has created 10 more. They focus on Hypertension, Disparities, Heart Disease in Women, Heart Failure, Obesity, Children, Vascular Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmias & Sudden Cardiac Death, and Cardiometabolic Health with a focus on Type 2 Diabetes.

Dr. Alan Go said the centers provide opportunities to build on the AHA’s support, further extend their work and improve patient outcomes

“What we learned from our experience with the Prevention SFRN has been used to expand training and cross collaboration in the SFRNs that came after it,” Go added. “The AHA should be credited for launching this funding model to answer really important research questions.”