Notice to Announce NHLBI's Participation in the Human Health Exposure Analysis Resource (HHEAR) Program

Notice Number: NOT-HL-20-753

Key Dates
Release Date: March 5, 2020

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)


Background: The purpose of this Notice is to share information about the Human Health Exposure Analysis Resource (HHEAR), which will provide infrastructure for adding or expanding exposure analysis to advance understanding of the impact of environmental exposures on human health throughout the lifecourse.

HHEAR provides researchers access to a full range of high-quality environmental exposures assessment services, including state of the art laboratory analysis of biological and environmental samples, statistical analysis, and expert consultation on exposure analysis, study design, and data analysis and interpretation. There is no cost to the investigator (apart from shipping costs)Studies funded at least in part by NHLBI extramural funds are eligible for targeted and untargeted analysis of only biological samples.

Eligibility: Original study funded at least in part by NHLBI extramural funds

Research topics of interest to NHLBI include, but are not limited to:

  • Leveraging well-phenotyped banked biospecimens from cohort studies: e.g. MESA, ABCD, NIH-funded children’s asthma cohort study, bronchopulmonary dysplasia to understand the contribution of environmental factors in the development of heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) diseases and disorders
  • Delineating gene x environment interactions leveraging the resources within TOPMed and through the incorporation of transcriptomic/proteomic/metabolomic measures of environmental exposure
  • Understanding the contribution of in-door air quality and/or parental cigarette smoking and their association with exacerbations in asthma, viral lower respiratory tract infections in infancy, cystic fibrosis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, COPD, and sleep apnea
  • Understanding the contribution of environmental exposure and gene x environment interaction in CVD, CHD, asthma, COPD, IPF, sarcoidosis, and sleep apnea
  • Understanding the contribution of environmental exposures on CHD and childhood obesity
  • Quantify specific nutritional biomarkers and their interaction with environmental toxicants in relationship to cardiovascular health and disease
  • Elucidating the environment exposure in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) using banked biospecimens from cohorts such as NHLBI and NCI supported National MDS Study
  • Evaluating the influence of environmental toxicants on red blood cell product storage characteristics as measured through RBC proteomics and metabolomics, and, secondarily, on transfusion safety and efficacy
  • Proposing to use biospecimens collected during early life (postpartum through adults) to assess environmental influences on HLBS health and disease throughout the lifetime
  • Understanding the contribution of environmental exposures to HLBS health and disease or resilience throughout a woman's lifecourse (including pregnancy and postpartum) and in women of different races/ethnicities/origins/heritage groups
  • Examine sex differences in the pathobiology and response to environmental exposures contributing to differential risks to HLBS diseases and disorders in men and women
  • Evaluating the influence of environmental toxicants and pollutants on the etiology and trajectory of pediatric HLBS risks and pathobiology.

Submission Information

This Notice applies to due dates on or after February 28, 2020, and subsequent receipt dates through FY2022. There will be up to six anticipated application cycles per calendar year.

The application process involves multiple steps and will take approximately seven months, from proposal submission to final decision. Information on how to apply for services provided by the HHEAR program can be found here.

Investigators planning to submit an application in response to this Notice are strongly encouraged to contact and discuss their proposed research/aims with an NHLBI Program Officer listed well in advance of the application receipt date.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Michelle Olive, PhD
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Phone 301-443-7933