ADST in Action

At NCATS, the experts in the ADST program work to optimize assays requested or submitted by the biomedical research community for high-throughput small-molecule screening. Read the latest news about this program below.

August 2021

NCATS Researchers’ New Approach to Measure Gene Activity Could Speed the Search for Rare Disease Therapies
NCATS scientists design an innovative test to find potential treatments for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), one of the most common inherited neurological diseases.

October 2020

NCATS Team’s Rapid Test Finds Promising Therapies for Myositis
The incidence of myositis, a rare muscle disease with no effective treatments, is increasing in the United States. NCATS researchers screened thousands of compounds and drugs and discovered several promising options that were almost 100 percent effective at blocking the inflammatory pathway associated with myositis.

July 2019

An Itch to Scratch: NCATS, NIDCR Scientists Identify Potential New Approach to Chronic Problem
Few effective therapies exist for chronic itch, but blocking a receptor found on spinal cord neurons could be the key. A team from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research identified a receptor on mice neurons for a protein associated with itch, and NCATS researchers screened compounds in human cells and identified candidates for blocking the receptor.

May 2019

New Method Could Help Find Potential Treatments for Rare Diseases
Scientists in NCATS’ Assay Development and Screening Technology program are developing new methods for screening small molecules that could help researchers test possible drugs and develop new treatments for many diseases.

December 2018

Charting a New Path: NCATS Internship Helps Promising Student Soar
NCATS trains summer interns through an NIH-wide program designed to strengthen students’ skills across research disciplines and help prepare them for successful scientific careers. The program also helps increase diversity in the pool of translational scientists, including individuals from underrepresented groups and geographic areas. Meet Bryan Queme, who completed an NCATS summer internship.

April 2017

International Scientific Teams Find Potential Approach Against Parasites
Research teams from the National Institutes of Health and abroad have identified the first inhibitor of an enzyme long thought to be a potential drug target for fighting disease-causing parasites and bacteria. The teams, led by NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and University of Tokyo scientists, sorted through more than 1 trillion small protein fragments called cyclic peptides to uncover two that could shut down the enzyme. 

June 2015

Partnering with Disease Foundations to Speed Drug Discovery
When scientists who specialize in drug development have a promising idea for a new disease treatment, they often start by designing biological tests called assays. By using high-throughput (robotically assisted) screening, researchers use the assays to evaluate hundreds of thousands of compounds with the potential to become new treatments. This complex process requires teamwork to involve the right types of expertise and perspectives in the research project team.

November 2014

NCATS Screening Technologies Enable Identification of Potential Treatment Target for Neurological Disorder
A collaboration involving a patient advocacy group, pharmaceutical companies, academic researchers and ADST program experts culminated in an innovative advance in drug discovery technology, enabling the group to identify a potential new drug target for one of the most common forms of an inherited neurological disorder called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. (See July 2012.)

July 2014

Michael J. Fox Foundation Funds Research Project that Leverages NCATS Chemical Screening Approach and Resources
With support from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, experts at NCATS and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are leading a project that showcases how NCATS’ chemical screening resources can advance development of potential therapeutics for a broad range of diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.

August 2013

NCATS and Johns Hopkins Researchers Identify New Therapeutic Strategy for Eye Diseases
Scientists from NCATS and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine collaborated on several specialized techniques to find molecular targets that could lead to more effective treatments for glaucoma. The researchers identified a compound that increased the survival of retinal ganglion cells — the neurons that, when damaged in glaucoma, lead to vision loss.

November 2012

A New Method to Help Scientists Better Identify Drug Candidates
ADST program researchers designed a novel method that increases the odds of identifying candidate compounds with true activity against biological or disease targets, an advance that will better equip scientists to understand diseases and develop effective therapeutics.

July 2012

Collaboration May Help Uncover Treatments for Rare Neurologic Disease
A research collaboration including scientists from the ADST program and the University of Wisconsin–Madison helped identify three promising molecular compounds from a collection of approved drugs to pursue as potential treatments for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a genetic neurological disease for which there are currently no treatments.