ADST Program Goals

The goal of the ADST program is to advance the process of therapeutic development through research and development of innovative assay designs and chemical library screening methods in the context of disease biology.

The program’s primary focus is on “gateway translation,” which involves bridging the gap between breakthroughs in understanding disease mechanisms and the first stages of drug development. This phase of discovery research is particularly important to disease advocacy organizations seeking to pursue therapeutic development for patients. The ADST program model is designed to overcome translational barriers in developing urgently needed treatments for underserved diseases.

Program Objectives

  • Forge collaborative relationships with disease foundations, NIH-funded intramural and extramural investigators, international consortia, and the biopharmaceutical industry to devise strategies for early-stage translation and drug discovery.
  • Conduct methods development research to advance the efficiency of assays and screening, including:
    • Using disease knowledge and advances in molecular biology to develop assays that reproduce inherited mutations.
    • Formulating analysis and progression methods for evaluating approved drugs and investigational compounds.
    • Developing interrogation methods for complex chemical libraries.
  • Provide training, grant support and outreach to strengthen translational research skills in new and established investigators, including:
    • Offering unique postdoctoral training opportunities affiliated with disease foundations.
    • Supplying data packages for grant application support.
    • Conducting outreach to university colloquia and advisory and review panels.