Types of Research

Updated:Jun 4,2014

Applied Research seeks the specific knowledge necessary to improve the treatment of a particular disease.

Basic Biomedical Research is conducted to increase understanding of fundamental life processes, such as discovering the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) — one-half of the genetic code of life — or investigating the genetics of lipid disease. The AHA funds this type of research.

Basic Research is a synonym for fundamental research, which is the study of life processes that are universal in their application to scientific knowledge.

Clinical Research addresses important questions of normal function and disease using human subjects.

Directed Research is conducted by an investigator in response to an outside request to explore a specific scientific area or question. Corporate or foundation donations tagged for research allow the AHA to sponsor such projects as the ASA-Bugher Foundation Centers for Stroke Prevention Research and the AHA-Jon Holden DeHaan Foundation Myogenesis Research Centers.

Fundamental Research studies life processes that are universal in their application to scientific knowledge.

Investigator-Initiated Research investigates a question or hypothesis that the researcher has defined. The AHA's publicly donated dollars are used to support this type of research.

Outcomes Research focuses upon the end results of health care, the tangible and quantifiable manifestations of disease upon patients and society and the determinants of these outcomes.

Population Health Research is the science and art of studying the distribution and determinants of health status as influenced by social, economic and physical environments, human biology, health policy and services and of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health at the population levels.

Strategically Focused Research focuses on science areas that the association has determined are important to achieving its mission and strategic objectives.

Targeted Research is a synonym for directed research.

Translational Research takes a result from basic or fundamental science and studies its applicability in the clinical or human situation.  Another type of translational research addresses the adoption of prevention and treatment strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective through clinical research in the care of patients and in population-based prevention of conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

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2012-2013 Research Facts (PDF)
2012-2013 Pediatric Research Facts (PDF)

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