Fiscal Year 2019 Funded Projects and Prizes

With The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative® support, NCATS is providing a suite of translational science resources and expertise to investigators working on opioid and pain research. Learn more about NCATS-supported Initiatives and the funded projects and prizes.

ASPIRE Design Challenges

The goal of the 2018 NCATS ASPIRE Design Challenges is to generate innovative and catalytic approaches toward solving the opioid crisis through the development of next-generation addiction-free analgesics with new chemistries, data-mining, and analytical tools and technologies, as well as biological assays that can revolutionize discovery, development, and preclinical testing of new and safer treatments for pain, opioid use disorder (OUD), and overdose. Read more about the 2018 NCATS ASPIRE Design Challenge Winners and 2020 NCATS ASPIRE Reduction-to-Practice Challenge.

Tissue Chips to Model Nociception, Addiction, and Overdose

This initiative will use human tissue to create microphysiological systems (MPS), also known as tissue chips or “organs-on-chips,” to understand the mechanisms underlying nociception (the nervous system’s response to painful stimuli), pain, addiction, or OUD-like pathophysiologies. The MPS models will then be used to test new therapies to improve pain management and treat opioid addiction. Learn more about the funded projects.

NCATS Trial Innovation Network (TIN)

Pain Management Effectiveness Research Network, a multisite research cooperative program, aims to improve pain care by evaluating the effectiveness of a broad range of therapies to guide clinical practice in real-world settings. The network will leverage the infrastructure of the NCATS’ Trial Innovation Network to support clinical trials that compare the effectiveness of existing non-addictive therapies or of existing or novel approaches for prevention and management of pain. Learn more about the program and view details about the funded projects.