Petra Kaufmann Joins NCATS as Clinical Innovation Director

Petra Kaufmann, M.D., M.Sc., will head the NCATS Division of Clinical Innovation beginning May 4, 2014. Her new role will include overseeing the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program with the aim of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the process of translation from scientific discovery through clinical research to improved health outcomes. Kaufmann currently serves as director of the Office of Clinical Research at NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

"Following a comprehensive national search, I am delighted that Petra is joining the NCATS leadership team,” said NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D. “Her record of expertise and accomplishment across the translational sciences — from basic research to clinical studies — makes her ideally suited to lead our clinical innovation efforts."

Prior to joining NINDS in 2009, Kaufmann was a tenured associate professor of neurology at Columbia University in New York, where she worked in the neuromuscular division, electromyography laboratories and pediatric neuromuscular clinic. At Columbia, she gained experience with the CTSA program by serving on several committees within the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, including the Clinical Research Resource Advisory Committee.

At NINDS, Kaufmann recognized the need for clinical research infrastructure and established NeuroNEXT, an academic research trial network for Phase II clinical trials across a wide range of neurological diseases, as well as StrokeNET, a Phase II and III clinical trial network for stroke. These networks aim to accelerate clinical research by including a central institutional review board and pre-negotiated master trials agreements. They also foster public-private partnerships by engaging industry and patient groups. Kaufmann also led efforts at NINDS to engage patients earlier in the clinical research process by soliciting their active input in protocol development as well as in the implementation and safety oversight of clinical trials.

"I enjoyed my work in the lab and the clinic,” Kauffman said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to work in the translational sciences field that aims to bridge these disciplines for the greater good of patients in need."

Kaufmann will maintain her current adjunct academic appointment at Columbia University, privileges at the NIH Clinical Center and patient care at the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic at Children's National Medical Center. She earned her M.D. from the University of Bonn in Germany and her M.Sc. in biostatistics from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, and she trained in neurology at Columbia University.


Posted April 2014