- Early Translation
- Late-Stage Translation
- Training and Education
- Collaborate on Other Intramural Projects
NCATS aims to address scientific and operational challenges that slow the development of new interventions to improve human health. Center researchers strive to make translational science more efficient, less expensive and less risky.
Experts in NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation actively seek collaborators on various research projects. As a research collaborator, NCATS provides a highly skilled translational science workforce, state-of-the-art facilities and informatics capabilities, a strong commitment to team science, and access to innovative partnerships. Through this relationship, NCATS can help its research partners accelerate science, maximize efficiency and conserve limited resources.
Find out how to collaborate with our intramural research team and learn more about the expertise and resources they can offer. Below are some of the ways and areas researchers can collaborate with NCATS.
Using quantitative high-throughput screening, NCATS experts identify promising compounds to engage novel targets. The Center’s medicinal chemists work to improve potency, selectivity and pharmacokinetic properties needed for an in vitro/in vivo pharmacological probe of each novel target. NCATS experts then test these probes using induced pluripotent stem cells or 3-D bioprinting platforms, or in animal efficacy models. Early translation capabilities include:
- 3-D Tissue Bioprinting: NCATS experts are applying the techniques of 3-D bioprinting to develop tissue models that mimic the organization and physiology of cells in the tissues of living organisms, in a microplate format for drug screening. Contact Marc Ferrer, Ph.D., or Sam Michael to learn more about collaboration opportunities.
- Analytical Chemistry: Analytical chemistry experts support research throughout the Center, across NIH and with other partners. Primarily focused on small molecule analysis and purification, their state-of-the-art laboratory has a wide variety of instrumentation for medicinal, synthetic and analytical chemistry to support early-stage chemical development. Contact Chris LeClair, Ph.D., for more information.
- Assay Development and Screening Technology (ADST): ADST experts work to advance therapeutic development through research and development of innovative assay designs and chemical library screening methods. Find out more and contact Nicole Spears to get started.
- Automation: NCATS automation experts maintain, operate and continuously improve a full range of laboratory instrumentation and processes, and support activities in high-throughput screening and assay development and optimization. Contact Sam Michael for more information.
- Chemistry Technology: Chemistry technology experts at NCATS develop small molecules and screening approaches that other scientists can use to pursue innovations in therapeutic development. NCATS supports innovative chemistry technology projects ranging from novel library design to inventive bioanalysis techniques. Contact Nicole Spears to learn more about how to access program experts and resources.
- Compound Management: These experts provide follow-up and dose-response library-plating services for NCATS screening activities. Screening access to NCATS’ compound libraries is provided through collaboration. Requests for new collaborations should be directed to Paul Shinn.
- Early Translation Branch (ETB): ETB program staff offer biomedical researchers access to large-scale screening capacity and medicinal chemistry and informatics expertise to develop chemical probe molecules. These resources can help scientists study the functions of genes, cells and biochemical pathways. Collaborators also have access to assay development and high-throughput screening, chemistry and chemistry technology, automation, and informatics. To learn more and to obtain ETB probe molecules, contact Matthew D. Hall, Ph.D.
- Functional Genomics Lab: The Functional Genomics Lab, administered by staff in NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation, is designed to help NIH investigators use the latest functional genomics technology to advance drug discovery and scientific knowledge about health and disease. NIH investigators can submit proposals to the Functional Genomics Lab. Contact Ken Cheng, Ph.D. for additional information.
- Informatics: NCATS informatics experts aim to transform raw numeric data obtained from large-scale experiments into actionable decisions in chemistry and biology by developing algorithms and software to disseminate research results to the broader community. Contact Noel Southall, Ph.D., to learn more.
- Stem Cell Translation Laboratory (SCTL): Through the SCTL, NCATS provides researchers across various disciplines and organizations with the ability to establish collaborations to advance the translation of regenerative medicine applications. NCATS seeks stem cell research collaborators from the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and NIH intramural and extramural communities on an ongoing basis. Proposal receipt dates are July 1, November 1 and March 1. To learn more, contact Ilyas Singeç, M.D., Ph.D.
- Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21): The goal of Tox21 is to develop more efficient and less time-consuming approaches to predict how chemicals may affect human health. Any investigator may propose the development of in vitro assays with toxicological relevance for high-throughput screening. Proposed assays must be compatible with the high-throughput screening guidelines described in the assay guidance criteria. To suggest an assay, submit a nomination form (PDF - 25KB) to Menghang Xia, Ph.D.
NCATS staff can provide expertise that enables and accelerates Investigational New Drug (IND) applications. Investigators or companies who have identified promising small molecules, biologics or gene therapies can form joint project teams with NCATS’ Therapeutic Development Branch staff — including Bridging Interventional Development Gaps (BrIDGs) and Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) scientists — to develop IND-ready therapies for consideration by the Food and Drug Administration for clinical testing. Late-stage translation capabilities include:
- BrIDGs: NCATS assists researchers in advancing promising therapeutic agents through late-stage preclinical development toward Investigational New Drug applications and clinical testing. To discuss a potential collaboration with BrIDGs scientists, contact askTDB@nih.gov.
- TRND: Through this program, NCATS provides collaborators with access to significant in-kind resources and expertise in the preclinical and early clinical development of new therapeutics for rare conditions and neglected tropical diseases. To discuss a potential collaboration with TRND scientists, contact askTDB@nih.gov to learn more.
NCATS aims to increase awareness and understanding of translational science through the development, demonstration and dissemination of educational and training resources to the larger biomedical research community. It also fosters a highly skilled, creative and diverse translational science workforce by developing and supporting innovative translational science training methods and programs. Access some of these resources:
- Assay Guidance Manual: Through this initiative, NCATS provides best practices and training resources devoted to the successful development of robust, early-stage drug discovery assays. Contact G. Sitta Sittampalam, Ph.D. to learn more.
- Translational Science Training at NCATS: NCATS provides a variety of onsite training opportunities for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral trainees. For more information, contact Jessica Faupel-Badger.
For more information on how to collaborate with NCATS on other intramural research topics, contact Ann Knebel, Ph.D., RN.
To view existing project collaborations, visit the NIH Intramural Database and select “National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)” in the “Select Institute or Center to search” drop-down menu.