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 in identifying and implementing public-private partnerships with academia, government and industry, nationally and internationally. Sittampalam joined NCATS in 2011 as project manager for the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program. Previously, he spent four years as 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 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 received his Ph.D. in chemistry and his postdoctoral training in immunoanalytical chemistry at the University of Arizona. He has authored approximately 45 peer-reviewed publications; conducted over 300 scientific seminars, short courses in biochemical pharmacology, assay development for high-throughput screening and lead optimization; and has chaired technical sessions in scientific conferences nationally and internationally. He also has been presented the NCATS Director’s Award several times.

Professional Interests

Sittampalam is currently joint editor-in-chief of the Assay Guidance Manual (NLM/NCBI eBook) and serves on the scientific advisory board of Science Translational Medicine. He is an ad hoc reviewer for several journals and sits on the scientific advisory boards of Science Exchange, Inc.; Organovo Holdings, Inc.; and Stemina Biomarker Discovery, Inc.

Selected Publications

  1. Small-Molecule Screens: A Gateway to Cancer Therapeutic Agents with Case Studies of Food and Drug Administration-Approved Drugs
  2. Novel Phenotypic Outcomes Identified for a Public Collection of Approved Drugs from a Publicly Accessible Panel of Assays
  3. A multicenter pilot study examining the role of circulating tumor cells as a blood-based tumor marker in patients with extensive small-cell lung cancer
  4. A high-throughput screening assay for determining cellular levels of total tau protein
  5. Impact of high-throughput screening in biomedical research