Staff Profile: G. Sitta Sittampalam

G. Sitta Sittampalam
G. Sitta Sittampalam, Ph.D.

Senior Advisor to the Director

Office of the Director

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

National Institutes of Health

Email G. Sitta Sittampalam


G. Sitta Sittampalam is a senior advisor to the NCATS director. In this position, he works closely with the director and senior administrators on identifying and implementing public-private partnerships with academia, government and industry, both nationally and internationally. Sittampalam joined NCATS in 2011 as a project manager for the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program. Previously, he spent four years as a professor of pharmacology, toxicology and therapeutics at the University of Kansas Medical Center, investigating tumor tissue engineering technologies for drug discovery. During this period, Sittampalam also served as the deputy director of the Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation, focusing on moving basic biomedical research into therapeutic development for commercialization. He was the president of and a director at the Society for Biomolecular Screening (currently the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening) from 1997 to 2000. His professional experience also includes 23 years in the discovery and development of biotherapeutics and small-molecule drugs at Eli Lilly and Company. Sittampalam has served on scientific review panels at NIH and other organizations, evaluating grant applications for drug discovery and stem cell research. Sittampalam is the past editor-in-chief of The Assay Guidance Manual (NLM/NCBI eBook) and has served on the scientific advisory board of Science Translational Medicine. He is an ad hoc reviewer for several scientific journals and has served on the scientific advisory boards of several biotechnology companies.

Sittampalam received his Ph.D. in chemistry and his postdoctoral training in immunoanalytical chemistry at The University of Arizona. He has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications; conducted more than 300 scientific seminars and short courses in biochemical pharmacology; led assay development for high-throughput screening and lead optimization; and chaired technical sessions for national and international scientific conferences. He also has received several NCATS Director’s Awards.

Professional Interests

Having worked in the areas of drug discovery and development for more than 35 years, Sittampalam’s current interests are in teaching and consulting in preclinical pharmacology and in developing state-of-the-art bioanalytical technologies, automated medicinal chemistry, and synthetic biology applications in drug discovery. He also is interested in open-source approaches to drug repurposing and repositioning in rare and neglected diseases through international collaboration.

Selected Publications

  1. Mapping Biologically Active Chemical Space to Accelerate Drug Discovery
  2. Small-Molecule Screens: A Gateway to Cancer Therapeutic Agents with Case Studies of Food and Drug Administration-Approved Drugs
  3. Novel Phenotypic Outcomes Identified for a Public Collection of Approved Drugs from a Publicly Accessible Panel of Assays
  4. A High-Throughput Screening Assay for Determining Cellular Levels of Total Tau Protein
  5. Impact of High-Throughput Screening in Biomedical Research