2020 Director's Messages Director's Messages

NCATS quickly pivoted many of its existing platforms, technologies and programs to address COVID-19 in March. The translational science approaches to COVID-19 similarly can speed solutions for many diseases and future pandemics.

NCATS is coordinating the ACTIV-1 Immune Modulator Phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate if temporarily suppressing the COVID-19 cytokine response as a result of COVID-19 can reduce the severity of disease, shorten hospital stays and save lives.

NCATS’ CTSA Program is supporting NIH’s Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID-19 Disparities (CEAL) initiative and RADx Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program to reduce disparities in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

Two recent examples of NCATS’ innovative approach to clinical trials are the convalescent plasma trials for COVID-19 and the new tissue chips program, “Clinical Trials on a Chip.”

NCATS initiated a collaborative effort with researchers at NIH and beyond to understand the spread of COVID-19 especially among people who were unknowingly infected. Read about the many ways NCATS helped enable this study.

NCATS will continue to prioritize innovative thinking and approaches to help address health disparities racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved populations face in the United States.

To share COVID-19-related data in a quick and secure manner, NCATS launched and supported the creation of multiple data sharing platforms that harness the power of crowdsourcing, such as OpenData Portal, CURE ID and N3C.

New COVID-19 data integration projects show the power of data sharing to address a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. NCATS’ new online resources describe NCATS work that brings a translational science approach to addressing COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for translational science. In the preclinical and clinical realms, NCATS researchers and partners have initiated numerous projects to explore therapeutic options for COVID-19.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves, NCATS is providing maximum flexibility to address funding, reporting and deadline issues for grantees, and harnessing the might of the CTSA Program, NTU program and more to help address the pandemic.​

The Director of NCATS shares how an unexpected exchange helped spur the creation of the NCATS Pharmaceutical Collection, a compilation of every drug approved for human use by major regulatory agencies worldwide.

Christopher P. Austin, M.D., shares how his encounter with an end-stage ALS patient shaped his understanding of the personal and public health benefits of translating scientific discoveries into new treatments for people with rare diseases