Staff Profile: Passley Hargrove-Grimes

Passley Hargrove-Grimes
Passley Hargrove-Grimes, Ph.D.

Program Officer

Office of Special Initiatives

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

National Institutes of Health

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Passley Hargrove-Grimes is a program officer in NCATS' Office of Special Initiatives, where she oversees the NIH-wide Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program. In this capacity, she serves as a liaison between funded investigators, NIH administrative and program management staff, and external stakeholders. These stakeholders include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, representatives from the pharmaceutical industry, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and other HHS agencies, such as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the Department of Veterans Affairs. She manages more than 20 teams in both the Tissue Chips for Disease Modeling and Efficacy Testing initiative and the Clinical Trials on a Chip program, under the direction of Danilo A. Tagle, Ph.D., M.S. Her work focuses on translating NIH-funded basic research into the development of potentially transformative tissue-chip technology to counter the systematic challenges in drug development.

Hargrove-Grimes joined NIH in 2012 as a graduate student in The George Washington University Partnership Program with NIH. She performed research at the National Eye Institute (NEI) under the guidance of Anand Swaroop, Ph.D., in the Neurobiology Neurodegeneration and Repair Laboratory, where she focused on developing mouse models to study the cellular mechanisms that underlie retinal degenerative disease pathogenesis. Hargrove-Grimes’ research enumerated the significance of the intertwined endocytic and autophagic pathways in mammalian photoreceptor development and function. After earning her doctorate in molecular medicine with a concentration in neuroscience from The George Washington University in 2018, Hargrove-Grimes continued to study molecular mechanisms of retinal degenerative diseases as a postdoctoral research fellow at NEI.

During her postdoctoral training, she heard former NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D., speak about the importance of translating basic scientific discoveries into medical interventions and decided to dedicate her career to supporting translational science and accelerating the drug development pipeline. From October 2019 to September 2021, Hargrove-Grimes worked as a scientific program manager for the NIH Tissue Chip Program in the Office of Special Initiatives. Prior to that, she worked as a scientific project leader for Translational Oncology Solutions at Champions Oncology, where she was responsible for managing an array of preclinical drug development studies in patient-derived xenograft mouse models of human cancers.

Research Topics

Hargrove-Grimes serves as a liaison between public and private scientific entities to promote the use and regulation of tissue chips as an important technological tool to accelerate drug development. As a neuroscientist, she is particularly interested in using the “Brain-on-a-Chip” and “Retina-on-a-Chip” technologies to help accelerate newer and faster treatments for neurological disorders and retinopathies.