Richa Lomash is a scientific project manager in the Therapeutic Development Branch within NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation. In this capacity, she manages multiple projects in the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) portfolio. Her duties involve reviewing scientific merit, gap analysis, project kick-off, research plan development, project execution, contracting research studies and project closeout. She also provides scientific and management support to the program’s translational science initiatives.
Richa is trained as a cell biologist, working primarily in the field of cellular machinery and intracellular transport mechanisms. Prior to joining NCATS, Richa was an intramural research fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She discovered and characterized a novel GTPase in the mammalian brain, called neurolastin, and correlated its function to stress-induced morphological alterations in mitochondria and the function of excitatory synapses. Her work also shed more light on the role of auxiliary subunits in the transport of glutamate receptors to synapses during neurotransmission.
Richa received her doctorate in cell biology from the National Institute of Immunology in India, studying the overarching theme of intracellular transport. She delineated different mechanisms devised by intracellular pathogens for hijacking the host cellular transport machinery to establish infection within the immune cells.
Richa has a keen interest in advancing translational science, with the aim of benefitting human health. Within the TRND portfolio, Richa’s research projects span an array of therapeutic modalities, including small molecules, peptides and gene therapy, that are being applied to areas ranging from infectious diseases to metabolic, neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. Additionally, she collaborates with different partners to support NCATS’ mission to develop resources and research platforms that benefit future gene therapy clinical trials for extremely rare diseases. She also continually explores new technologies and approaches for streamlining management strategies and operational processes within the program.