American Heart Association and Google Life Sciences to collaborate on US$50 million research project


The American Heart Association (AHA) and Google Life Sciences (GLS) will invest US$25 million each over roughly five years to support a research collaboration targeting coronary heart disease and its consequences. The investment will be directed towards research one team.

This research project is the largest one-time research investment in AHA’s history. A team leader will be selected to run the project by a Joint Leadership Group made up of individuals from AHA and Google Life Sciences, in early 2016.

This team leader, who may be a cardiologist but could come from any background or area of expertise, will receive the full US$50 million in funding over roughly five years to design a program, assemble a cross-functional group of investigators, and lead all efforts towards further finding new causes and drivers of coronary heart disease. The team will have support across many important areas, including clinical research, engineering, and data analysis, as well as ongoing strategic counsel, oversight and access to resources from the Joint Leadership Group.

American Heart Association CEO, Nancy Brown, says, “By working together, AHA and Google Life Sciences will be able to serve as the catalyst for change and transformation in reducing the impact of coronary heart disease on people’s lives and alleviating this global burden.”

Technology has a critical role to play. The collaboration will provide the scientific community with channels to technical capabilities and insights offered by Google Life Sciences. With the opportunity to access such resources, the collaboration will expand research pathways and empower researchers to conceptualise and test new approaches, according to a press release. AHA will contribute its scientific and medical resources, resulting in the application of both technical and scientific knowledge to the search for new cardiovascular solutions.

“This is a fundamentally different kind of model for funding innovation,” said Andy Conrad, CEO of Google Life Sciences. “The team leader will be able to bring together clinicians, engineers, designers, basic researchers and other experts to think in new ways about the causes of coronary heart disease.”