November 8, 2022: Leading NCATS into the Future
In April 2021, I stepped in to serve as NCATS acting director. Now, I am honored to take on the NCATS director role.
I’m a huge baseball fan, so during the last 18 months I embraced the well-known baseball adage of “run until they tag me.” With support from the NCATS staff and the broader community, I laid out my vision, goals, and priorities for the Center. I’m ready to keep running for my next at bat, and I’m excited about the work we will do together to deliver more treatments to all people more quickly.
NCATS’ culture is unmatched. We value innovation, collaboration, and acceleration, and our patient-driven focus is ever-present. We support a vast range of research, yet it all centers on one mission: turning research advances into health solutions faster. Our programs are nimble and can pivot quickly to address public health emergencies. We are creative in how we leverage our resources to address high-level needs across all diseases. And because the needs far exceed the scope of any one organization, we employ team science to share ideas, knowledge, and expertise.
We were there to help fight Ebola, Zika, and even oil spills. We are here now tackling rare diseases, COVID-19, and the opioid crisis. We will be there for whatever comes next.
I know our hill to climb is steep. NCATS is addressing deep-rooted barriers to biomedical progress — from high failure rates in the therapy development pipeline to inequities in clinical outcomes. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we will need your engagement and help.
My initial efforts will focus on:
- Mapping the path forward for NCATS’ audacious goals.
- Finding ways to leverage our COVID-19 activities to address rare diseases, health disparities, and ways to turn data science into knowledge.
- Fostering an equitable and welcoming environment for all.
- Engaging our stakeholder community to increase understanding of NCATS and its role in improving health.
The NCATS community is strong and mighty. I thank our staff for their extraordinary dedication and the translational science community for their continued commitment. I’m incredibly proud to be your partner in leading NCATS into the future. We’re going to knock it out of the park!
Your partner in science and health,
Joni L. Rutter, Ph.D.
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences