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.

American Stroke Association-Bugher Foundation Centers of Excellence in Hemorrhagic Stroke

The Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association announce a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Centers of Excellence in Hemorrhagic Stroke Research comprising at least three (3) Centers and one (1) Centralized Training Center within this Network. More information and the RFA can be found at the link above.

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.

End the Lies: Youth Vaping and Nicotine Research Initiative  

The  rapid  pace  of  e-cigarette  products  entering  the  market  without  provision  of  essential  safety  information  requires  an  equally  rapid,  ambitious,  comprehensive  response  on  the  part  of  the  research/scientific  community. The  AHA  seeks  to  accelerate  desperately  needed  answers  about  the  health  effects  of  e-cigarettes  and  other  novel  nicotine  delivery  devices (ENNDs)  and  how  to  prevent  and/or  reverse  the  developing  epidemic  of  nicotine  addiction,  among  children  and  youth  (defined  as  15-24  years  of  age). To that end, the  AHA  is  committing  up  to  $20  million  to  fund  two or three (2-3)  bold,  ground-breaking  research  projects  focused  on  the  health  impacts  of  nicotine  and  nicotine  delivery  products  in  children  and  youth.

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.