NCATS Announces Joni Rutter as New Deputy Director

NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D., announced the selection of Joni L. Rutter, Ph.D., as the Center’s new deputy director. Rutter is slated to join NCATS in early 2019.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Rutter is joining the NCATS leadership team,” Austin said. “I look forward to working with her to advance the translational science that will get more treatments to more patients more quickly.”

Joni Rutter, Ph.D.

Joni Rutter, Ph.D.

Rutter is currently serving as director of scientific programs at the NIH All of Us Research Program, which she helped to build successfully from the ground up. She leads All of Us scientific, programmatic development and implementation efforts to build a national research cohort of 1 million or more U.S. participants to advance precision medicine. All of Us aims to build the most diverse biomedical data resource of its kind to help researchers gain better insights into the biological, environmental and behavioral factors that influence health. 

As deputy director of NCATS, Rutter will be responsible for planning, executing and assessing the Center’s complex and multifaceted preclinical and clinical programs, and will be a key national spokesperson for translational science. She will also help guide NCATS’ Advisory Council and Cures Acceleration Network Review Board activities, and serve as the Center’s scientific liaison to All of Us, helping to establish more robust interactions with NCATS programs.

Prior to joining All of Us, Rutter was the division director of neuroscience and behavior at the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). There, she led integrated research on basic and clinical neuroscience, brain and behavioral development, genetics, epigenetics, computational neuroscience, bioinformatics and drug discovery. She also coordinated the NIDA Genetics Consortium and biospecimen repository.

Rutter is internationally recognized for her work in basic and clinical research in human genetics and in the study of genetic and environmental risk factors focusing on the fields of cancer and addiction. She earned her Ph.D. from Dartmouth Medical School and completed a fellowship at the NIH National Cancer Institute.

“I am excited to join Dr. Austin and the entire NCATS team,” Rutter said. “Translational science is vital for enhancing the diagnostics and treatment in all areas of health and disease, and I look forward to adding to NCATS’ deep experience and palpable passion for innovation throughout its intramural and national research programs.”