Passley Hargrove-Grimes is a scientific program manager for the trans-NIH Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program, for which she serves as a liaison between funded investigators, NIH administrative and program management staff, and external stakeholders, including the Food and Drug Administration and members of the pharmaceutical industry. She manages more than 15 teams in both the Tissue Chips for Disease Modeling and Efficacy Testing and “Clinical Trials” on a Chip initiatives, 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 the NIH. She performed research at the National Eye Institute under the guidance of Anand Swaroop, Ph.D., in the Neurobiology Neurodegeneration and Repair Laboratory, and 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 receiving her doctorate in molecular medicine from The George Washington University in 2018—with a concentration in neuroscience—Hargrove-Grimes continued to study photoreceptor degeneration disease mechanisms as a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Eye Institute.
During her postdoctoral training, she heard NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D., speak about the importance of translating scientific discoveries into medical interventions and decided to dedicate her career to supporting translational science and accelerating the drug-development pipeline. In her most recent position, 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.
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, Hargrove-Grimes is particularly interested in using the “Brain-on-a-Chip” and “Retina-on-a-Chip” technologies to help provide new and faster treatments for neurological disorders and retinopathies.