Strategically Focused Research Programs

Strategically Focused Research Networks

Starting in 2014-2015, the American Heart Association began funding two Strategically Focused Research Networks (SFRN) each year. Each Network will be comprised of three to five institutions working on three projects each that will be focused on one area strategic to AHA's Mission.

Bugher Foundation Centers for Excellence in Stroke Research

In 2011, the Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation committed $9.24 million to create a new network of three centers for excellence in stroke collaborative research for a period of four years. This initiative will support the collaboration of researchers from different specialties, whose collective efforts will lead to new approaches to prevent and treat stroke. Efforts will expand upon previous Bugher initiatives by exploring research on recovery after a stroke, including the areas of repair, regeneration, neuroplasticity and rehabilitation. The Centers were funded on April 1, 2014

AHA / Allen Initiative in Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment

The AHA and the Allen Frontiers Group, together with additional contributors, including the Oskar Fischer Project and Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation, have committed over $43 million to disrupt the incremental trajectory of brain health science and open new frontiers of discovery.

Research Partnered Awards

The AHA continues to establish research funding partnerships with organizations that share a common interest in developing targeted fields related to cardiovascular disease and stroke

Past Initiatives

In 2009, with support from the Jon Holden DeHaan Foundation, investigators began efforts to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying development and specification of cardiac myocytes. The insights gained from these studies will benefit patients with cardiac injury. Since their inception, the AHA/Jon Holden DeHaan Cardiac Myogenesis Research Centers have hosted multiple conferences, scientific retreats and collaborations with members of the science community to move the field closer to a clinical trial. The Centers completed their projects in March 2013 and have reported more than $40 million dollars in new research funding leveraged from their individual AHA/DeHaan grants.  Read more about the Jon Holden DeHaan Foundation.

In 2008, with a $14.5 million contribution from the American Heart Association Pharmaceutical Roundtable and a generous gift from American Heart Association board member David Spina and his wife, Stevie, the AHA funded four centers for cardiovascular and stroke outcomes research. These centers have made strides to determine what interventions, environments, patient factors and other issues most influence improvements in healthcare outcomes for heart disease and stroke patients. Over the past four years, the AHA/PRT-Spina Outcomes Research Centers have trained more than 20 postdoctoral fellows in outcomes research, 15 of whom have moved into faculty positions as a result of their time with the PRT Centers. More than 300 publications have resulted from the outstanding work of participants in the network.  Read more about the Pharmaceutical Roundtable.