One Brave Idea: Seeking a Cure for Coronary Heart Disease And Its Devastating Consequences

DALLAS, TX —The American Heart Association (AHA) and Verily, (formerly Google Life Sciences) announced today that AstraZeneca (AZ) has joined them in a bold new approach to find a cure for coronary heart disease and improve cardiovascular health. With a commitment of $75 million dollars over at least a five year period, the three organizations have initiated the single largest research project funding one leader and team in the fight to cure coronary heart disease. The application period for this new research enterprise officially opens today at 5:00 PM ET at:

The three organizations have joined forces to find one brave idea from a visionary leader. This person and their team will be awarded the opportunity and challenge to make a difference for the millions of people directly affected by coronary heart disease. Their goal: prevent or reverse coronary heart disease and its consequences, therein restoring cardiovascular health. Launched as One Brave Idea™, this research model will provide a specialized team of interdisciplinary experts with the stability and support needed for at least five years of well-funded research. This model is also designed to accelerate discovery by removing the barriers and the silos that plague the traditional research process.

“We are trying to do something disruptive here,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association. “This is our moonshot – it’s an unprecedented opportunity for the world’s best and brightest to address a leading health threat. It all starts with the search for a leader and a vision to end coronary heart disease.”

Cardiovascular diseases are the No. 1 cause of death globally, accounting annually for approximately 17 million deaths, or about one of every three deaths.  Coronary heart disease itself is responsible for more than 7 million deaths annually.

“We want to create a model for experts from different disciplines to come together and focus on a problem,” said Andrew Conrad, Chief Executive Officer of Verily. “Our aim is to provide the resources and support necessary to study coronary heart disease over a number of years with the most advanced tools available. We’re looking for a team that can gain new understanding, prove new treatments, and – ultimately – prevent or reverse this challenging disease.”

The selected leader and their team will have resources beyond the financial investment of the organizations by combining the AHA’s medical and scientific expertise, Verily’s technical prowess, and scientific insights and mentoring from AstraZeneca. A Joint Leadership Group comprised of 2-3 leaders from each funding organization will guide, advise and resource the selected leader and the new research enterprise. 

 “AstraZeneca is continually looking for new ways to enable cross sector collaboration amongst individuals, organizations and communities who share our passion for patients,” said Gregory Keenan, MD, Vice President and Head of US Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca. “This research allows us to combine resources to improve cardiovascular health – and take a truly innovative approach to solving issues of cardiovascular disease in a multidisciplinary way.”

Submissions are accepted only at and are due by 11:59 pm CT on February 14, 2016.



Media Inquiries:


American Heart Association


Jennifer Pratt, 716-432-3307, [email protected] or Amit Chitre, [email protected]


Jacquelyn Miller, [email protected]


Michele Meixell, 302-885-6351


Donna Huang, 302-885-6396


Members of the One Brave Idea™ Joint Leadership Group:


Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association; Robert Harrington, MD, Stanford University and AHA Board member; Joseph Loscalzo, MD PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Chairman of the AHA’s Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine; Andrew Conrad, PhD,  Chief Executive Officer, Verily; Jessica Mega, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Verily; Michael V. McConnell, MD, MSEE, Head, Cardiovascular Health Innovations, Verily; Gregory Keenan, MD, Vice President & Head of US Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca; Bruce Cooper, MD, Vice President & Head of Global Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca.


About the American Heart Association


The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


About Verily


Verily, formerly Google Life Sciences, is focused on helping to move healthcare from reactive to proactive. Combining expertise from the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, electrical engineering and computer science, we’re developing new technology tools for physicians that can integrate easily into daily life and help transform the detection, prevention, and management of disease.


About AstraZeneca


AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit