Last updated: 02-02-2023

A Translational Approach to Addressing COVID‑19

The process of developing new therapies and getting them to patients is long and difficult. During public health emergencies, science — and the process of turning observations into new therapies — must move faster than ever. That is where translational science comes in.

Translational science is focused on streamlining the process of moving (“translating”) lab findings into medical practice and treatments to improve health and well-being. NCATS is focused on advancing the science of translation.

NCATS is supporting research activities spanning the translational science spectrum to address the novel coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes (COVID‑19). With the aim of accelerating translational research across all diseases, NCATS has developed research tools, technologies, expertise and collaborative networks that can quickly pivot to address urgent public health issues.

In addition, by using its networks to draw together experts with necessary and complementary skills, knowledge and experience, NCATS is enabling projects to cut through operational roadblocks.


NCATS staff members joined leaders from NIH and partner organizations to co-author a Science Policy Forum on the NIH-led research response to COVID-19, key milestones and lessons learned.

Learn More


Watch this video for a behind the scenes look at how a collaborative NIH study to measure undetected coronavirus cases came together.

A version of this video with audio description is available.

Research Activities

Additional Resources


I Am Translational Science

This video series shares the stories of people working in translational science during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Watch the series.



Open NCATS opportunities: NCATS has issued several notices of special interest that highlight the urgent need for research on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID‑19. See all open NCATS funding opportunities.

Resources from the NIH Office of Extramural Research: COVID‑19 information for NIH applicants and recipients of NIH funding


Updates from Grantees and Partners

NCATS-supported researchers are actively working on a variety of efforts to address the pandemic.
See all grantee and partner updates.


COVID‑19 Resources from NIH and Other Federal Agencies

Banner Image Caption: Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (purple) infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (yellow), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID