Cara Purdy is a scientific project analyst in NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation, where she assists the project managers in the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program, as well as the Helping to End Addiction Long-term℠ Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative℠. In this capacity, she supports the preclinical drug development process from molecule discovery and testing through Phase 1 clinical trials.
Prior to joining NCATS in 2021, Purdy worked as a clinical trial coordinator in the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Children’s National Hospital. In addition, she was a founding member of the department’s pediatric lung transplant initiative and quality improvement team, which earned the hospital its Certificate of Need, enabling it to initiate a pediatric lung transplant program in 2020.
Purdy received her Bachelor of Science in bioengineering from the University of Maryland with an Honors Citation for her work on utilizing bacteriophages as a disinfectant against Listeria monocytogenes biofilms. She received her Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC®) certification in 2020.
Purdy’s professional interests include bioethics, health equity and synthetic biology.
Purdy’s research interests are focused on rare disease biology and genetics. Her previous work focuses on cystic fibrosis pulmonary exacerbations, the airway microbiome and sleep-disordered breathing.