The Division of Blood Diseases and Resources (DBDR) is a leader in research on the causes, prevention, and treatment of non-neoplastic blood diseases. DBDR assumes a major responsibility in ensuring the adequacy and safety of the nation’s blood supply. It also supports scientific advances in stem cell biology and new gene and cell-based therapies developed to repair and regenerate human tissues and organs.
Blood diseases affect millions of people each year in the United States. These congenital and acquired diseases, including the anemias, venous thromboembolism, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders, impact the normal biology of red and white blood cells, platelets, bone marrow, vascular endothelium, and plasma proteins. They also manifest a wide range of symptoms, generating the need for preventive, therapeutic, and curative approaches to restoring health.
The DBDR is divided into three branches that are structured to facilitate team science in priority areas of blood science. Together, the branches foster the training of the next generation of blood scientists, coordinate blood research activities, and promote communication across the Division, the NHLBI, the NIH, and partner federal agencies.
With a particular focus on understanding how blood diseases impact diverse populations, research within the DBDR has affected how physicians diagnose, assess, and treat across the spectrum of blood disorders. The research supporting these discoveries spans discovery, translational, and clinical science and includes these key aspects:
The NHLBI seeks to enable early translational research as a means of facilitating and accelerating the development of new clinical interventions. The NHLBI currently supports three research resource programs that provide regulatory, pharmacology and toxicology, and manufacturing services to NHLBI investigators:
The DBDR and other NHLBI divisions are involved with NHLBI’s Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program, which will support the Institute’s larger precision medicine activities and complement the NIH All of Us Research Program. TOPMed will collect and couple whole-genome sequencing and other –omics data, such as DNA methylation signatures and RNA expression profiles, with molecular, behavioral, imaging, environmental, and clinical data from studies focused on heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. The TOPMed Program will provide more opportunities for the NHLBI community to pursue research that will further the understanding and improve the care of people with blood disorders.
The Blood Epidemiology and Clinical Therapeutics Branch provides oversight, support, and stimulation of epidemiologic, clinical, and implementation research throughout the spectrum of blood science. This spectrum includes benign blood diseases, as well as cell therapies such as hematopoietic stem cell transplants, transfusion products, and novel cell therapies. This branch also helps develop and disseminate data science resources in patient-reported outcomes. View funding information for the Blood Epidemiology and Clinical Therapeutics Branch.
The Molecular, Cellular, and Systems Blood Science Branch seeks to advance discovery science focused on explaining the physiology and pathophysiology of blood, bone marrow, and blood vessels. This Branch promotes a systems biology approach to understanding the critical role of blood, bone marrow, and vascular endothelium in animal and human organs and organisms. It also applies fundamental genetic, proteomic, and metabolomic tools to better understand hematologic physiology and pathophysiology. View funding information for the Molecular Cellular and Systems Blood Science Branch.
The Translational Blood Science and Resources Branch supports the creation of blood-focused therapeutics development and manufacturing, the facilitation and promotion of discovery science from bench to first-in-human studies, and the coordination of workforce development and opportunities for small-business programs. This emphasis includes the oversight, support, and stimulation of post-discovery science, preclinical research, early phase clinical studies and trials, and commercialization initiatives (the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs) in blood sciences. This Branch also administers and serves as liaison for NHLBI resources related to translational research. View funding information for the Translational Blood Science and Resources Branch.
The Office of the Director oversees all Divisional activities. This includes planning and coordinating the activities of all Branches responsible for supporting and managing discovery, translational, and clinical research programs across the blood sciences; continuously assessing the Institute's national and international health programs related to all blood science disciplines and resources; fostering and coordinating interdivisional, trans-NHLBI, trans-NIH and interagency collaborative and cooperative research arrangements; developing and maintaining the necessary scientific management capability in the Division to foster and guide effective programs in blood sciences and resources management; planning, coordinating, and directing special activities that transcend program lines, including minority, small business, and education research programs; providing program analysis and administrative support services for the Division; and overseeing Divisional programs to support the workforce in nonmalignant hematology.