News Release

New data grants awarded to clinical and population researchers, computer engineers and computational biologists

Grant and Award Announcement

American Heart Association

DALLAS, NOVEMBER 8, 2017 - The American Heart Association Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced 13 grants awarded to scientists who are transforming a one-size-fits-all healthcare into a system that focuses on an individual's unique needs through precision medicine. The competitive grants and fellowships total $2 million and are awarded to scientists with backgrounds in data science and computer engineering.

Grant recipients received credits to conduct computational analysis and store research data on the American Heart Association Precision Medicine Platform--a data marketplace that houses vast, diverse and previously siloed information, powered by the AWS cloud. The platform provides scientists from around the world easy access to store, share and analyze large datasets with the power of cloud computing to find new answers to accelerate breakthroughs in prevention, treatment and cures for heart disease and stroke.

The awards include data mining grants, methods validation grants, innovative development grants and cross-disciplinary fellowship awards.

The awardees for data mining grants are:

  • David Kao, M.D., University of Colorado, Denver, Project: Aggregating Data to Accelerate Personalization of the Treatment of Heart Failure (ADAPT-HF)

  • Jyotishman Pathak, Ph.D, Cornell University, Project: Data Element Mapping Recommender Service for Cardiovascular Disease Research Studies

  • Mintu Turakhia, M.D., MAS, Stanford University and VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Project: Machine and Deep Learning of Dense Patient Data to Improve Stroke Risk Stratification in Atrial Fibrillation

  • Hua Xu, Ph.D, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Project: Developing a data discovery index to facilitate precision medicine research in cardiovascular diseases

    The awardees for innovative development grants are:

  • Simon Lin, M.D., MBA, Nationwide Children's, Project: CardioGenomics eXchange commons: A cloud-based collaboration platform for the analysis /exchange of genome sequencing data

  • Brahmajee Nallamothu, M.D., University of Michigan, Project: AngioAid: A Fully Automated Computer-Based Platform for Interpreting Coronary Angiograms

    The awardees for the data mining pilot grants are:

  • Westyn Branch-Elliman, M.D., Veterans Affairs, Boston, Project: Application of Advanced Medical Informatics to Improve Arrhythmia Care through Reduction of Cardiac Device Infections

  • Iftikhar Kullo, M.D., Mayo Clinic, Project: Using Big Data Analytics to Discover Pleiotropic Effects of Genes Regulating Lipid Metabolism

    The fellowship awardees are:

  • Spiros Denaxas, Ph.D, University College London, Project: Using machine learning in large-scale EHR and genomics data to define and characterize heart failure phenotypes

  • James Cimino, M.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, Project: Institutional Data Fellowship for translational and population based medicine

    The awardees for methods validation grants are:

  • Rima Arnaout, M.D., UC San Francisco, Project: Deep Learning as a New Method for Echocardiographic Data Harmonization in the Cloud

  • Stacey Knight, Ph.D, Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute / Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Project: Pedigree Identification and Genetic Analysis Pipeline for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine: The PeGAsis Pipeline

  • Nina Paynter, Ph.D, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Project: Flexible Framework for Cardiovascular Risk Prediction in a Clinical Setting

"The American Heart Association's mission to help cure cardiovascular disease through precision medicine is truly inspiring. I'm so excited that these worthy researchers will be able to take advantage of the immense computational and analytical power of the cloud to find specialized solutions to the number one cause of death worldwide," said Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Amazon Web Services Worldwide Public Sector. "We are proud that AWS provides the technological foundation and high-performance computing necessary to facilitate AHA's research projects and ultimately improve the lives of so many across the globe."

"The collaboration between the Association and Amazon Web Services unites the global research community to accelerate discovery in cardiovascular and brain health and usher in a new era of tailored prevention and treatment that will help patients and lessen the global burden of cardiovascular disease," said Jennifer Hall, Ph.D, Chief of the AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine. "We are excited by the possibilities from the awardees' work as research and technology come together to deliver new insights."

For more information on the Precision Medicine Platform, visit


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - two of the leading causes of death in the world. 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 one of the world's oldest and largest voluntary organizations dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About The American Heart Association's Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine

The American Heart Association's Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine aims to advance the science and practice of personalized medicine to improve the cardiovascular health of individuals and populations. The Institute is working to create products and services that integrate research with more precise approaches to reverse and prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke. To further advance our mission and Institute's goals, we offer funding opportunities to scientists of all fields. To learn more or to get involved, visit

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