The 75 Million Dollar Idea

What type of idea is worth $75 million?

One that saves lives.

The American Heart Association (AHA) challenged doctors, dreamers, and innovators alike to design a new plan to cure coronary heart disease. Like thrombosis, coronary heart disease is one of many major concerns related to heart health. According to AHA, heart disease is the number one cause of death in both the world and the United States.

AHA partnered with Verily Life Sciences and AstraZeneca to provide $75 million in funding to someone who could come up with a new and unique idea to tackle this massive health issue. They called this initiative “One Brave Idea.”

“We trust in the potential of ideas and will pursue them, alone and with others, until we have transformed the treatment of disease,” Pascal Soriot, the CEO of AstraZeneca, promises on One Brave Idea’s website.

In October, it was announced that Dr. Calum MacRae, Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, had come up with the best “brave idea.”

Headshot of Calum MacRae

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Dr. MacRae and his team of researchers plan to discover how coronary heart disease begins and how they can use that information to stop it at its source. They will begin their search for answers by tackling areas of research not yet explored, according to an article in the Huffington Post by AHA CEO Nancy Brown.

“Nobody knows,” said Dr. MacRae in the article. “This is about moving the goal posts. We’re no longer going to wait for a patient to show up with complaints or symptoms or something I recognize as a problem. We’re going to actively go out and look for their problems earlier and earlier, and find the most fundamental mechanisms of the disease.”

By exploring new research in unchartered territories, Dr. MacRae’s research could be the key to unlocking the answers to coronary heart disease and beyond. Any new information he discovers could hold the cure to many different types of heart disease, including thrombosis.

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