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2012 Director’s Messages

Select a 2012 message from the list below:


April 24, 2012: Acting Director’s Message

Welcome to the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the NIH. Our mission is to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that enhance the development, testing, and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. Advances in these areas will enable others in both the public and private sectors to develop drugs and diagnostics more efficiently for any number of human diseases — ultimately accelerating the pace in which new therapeutics are delivered to the patients who need them.

In establishing the Center, NIH involved internal and external stakeholders to guide its research agenda and pinpoint priorities. A group of NIH Institute and Center directors, including those most involved in translational research, emphasized the need for a translational focus that would provide tools and resources to facilitate research across NIH. Additionally, a working group of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director, comprised of experts from industry, private equity firms, nonprofit organizations and academia, identified a need to streamline translational sciences. Priority areas included:

  • Research on biomarkers.
  • Predictive toxicity.
  • Target validation.
  • Regulatory science.
  • De-risking the therapeutic pipeline.

Through this guidance, NCATS is ensuring that its research efforts are not duplicating the efforts of others at NIH or competing with industry. As such, our highest priority is to reduce, remove or bypass significant hurdles across the continuum of translational research, particularly in the priority areas indicated above by our stakeholders. As a result, the NCATS research agenda reflects this goal, and our current budget request is aligned with these priorities.

All of us at NCATS are excited about the opportunities on the horizon to advance translational sciences. As you explore our new website, check back often to learn about the Center’s latest news, like us on Facebook and join our Twitter feed. As always, we welcome your feedback on ways to improve the site.

Thomas R. Insel, M.D.
Acting Director
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences


Aug. 21, 2012: Acting Director’s Message

Welcome to the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at NIH. Our mission is to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that enhance the development, testing, and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. Advances in these areas will enable others in the public and private sectors to develop drugs and diagnostics more efficiently for any number of diseases — ultimately accelerating the pace at which new treatments are delivered to the patients who need them.

Already, NCATS has become a hub of innovation for translational sciences. Since its creation in December 2011, the Center has launched several major research initiatives, cultivated promising strategic partnerships, and established a presence at NIH and in the community — all while standing up a brand new center.

Several of these early accomplishments emphasize the Center’s research priorities, including:

  • Issuing a funding opportunity to support a national network of clinical and translational research institutions
  • Creating new tools for predicting drug toxicity
  • Developing innovative partnerships to find new uses for existing medications

All of us at NCATS are excited about the opportunities on the horizon to advance translational sciences. Check back often to learn about the Center’s latest news and accomplishments, like us on Facebook and join our Twitter feed. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Thomas R. Insel, M.D.
Acting Director
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences


Sept. 24, 2012: Director’s Message

Welcome to the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences ― NIH’s newest Center. As NCATS’ new director, I am excited to lead the Center on its mission to catalyze innovations aimed at enhancing the development, testing and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. Advances in these areas will enable others in the public and private sectors to develop drugs and diagnostics more efficiently for any number of diseases, ultimately accelerating the pace at which new treatments are delivered to the patients who need them.

It is an exciting time for science. Today, we know so much about the molecular basis of disease and by pairing this knowledge with advances in technology and with expert partners, we can transform the translational research process into an efficient and collaborative enterprise. By focusing on commonalities across diseases and organ systems, we can complement the work of other NIH Institutes and Centers as well as that of our pharmaceutical, foundation and advocacy partners.

Already, NCATS has become a hub of innovation for translational sciences. Since December 2011, the Center has launched several major research initiatives, cultivated promising strategic partnerships, and established a presence at NIH and in the community — all while standing up a brand new center. These milestones include:

  • Establishing a formal NCATS Advisory Council and Cures Acceleration Network Review Board and holding inaugural meetings;
  • Supporting a national network of clinical and translational research institutions;
  • Granting awards to scientists to create new tools for predicting drug toxicity, such as 3-D human tissue chips; and
  • Developing innovative partnerships to find new uses for existing medications.

These accomplishments would not have been possible without extraordinary leadership from my predecessor, Thomas R. Insel, M.D., who has been serving as the NCATS acting director since our launch. He established a strong foundation on which to build, and I look forward to working with a tremendously talented and supportive team to continue advancing our translational medicine programs and initiatives.

Check back often to learn about the Center’s latest news and accomplishments, like us on Facebook, join our Twitter feed, and subscribe to our e-newsletter. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Christopher P. Austin, M.D.
Director
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences


Dec. 14, 2012: Director’s Message

As NIH’s newest Center, NCATS is moving boldly toward establishing a strategic vision that will transform the translational process for the benefit of science and patients. We are establishing an organization that emphasizes innovation and deliverables and relies on the power of data to develop, demonstrate and disseminate improvements in translational science.

Recently, I have been connecting with a wide spectrum of those in the research ecosystem who are important to NCATS’ mission. In addition to scientists and other staff throughout NCATS, I am talking with each of my 26 fellow NIH Institute and Center directors as well as representatives from patient advocacy organizations, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, foundations, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies.

In October, I had the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with investigators from the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program during their national consortium meetings, and I’ve also been visiting a number of CTSA sites throughout the country. In November, I joined our partners at FasterCures to discuss the need for teamwork in translation (see video below). In December, I engaged in discussions with many of NCATS’ stakeholders at the center’s first policy workshop as a way for us to better understand how policy research and analysis can inform translational research.

In all of these conversations, I am seeking advice on NCATS’ priorities, that is, the most urgent and pervasive roadblocks in the translation of fundamental scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for human health. Using this input, I am formulating NCATS’ initial strategic priorities and directions, which are focused on making the translational research process more efficient, science-based and predictive. I have been tremendously gratified by the outpouring of goodwill, offers of collaboration and ideas provided. I look forward to continuing these frank and productive conversations in the near future.

Please check our website often to learn about NCATS’ latest news and accomplishments. Stay informed by subscribing to our e-newsletter and listserv, like us on Facebook, join our Twitter feed, and share your feedback.

Christopher P. Austin, M.D.
Director
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

Last updated: 08-22-2017
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