Perspectives from NCATS Intramural Research Fellows

The NCATS Division of Preclinical Innovation (DPI) provides an extraordinary variety of innovative, interdisciplinary training opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral level trainees. NCATS fellows at every level work closely with DPI scientists to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the translation process and to streamline how scientific discoveries become clinical interventions. NCATS training delivers a unique combination of translational science skills, technologies and approaches that have launched and accelerated the successful careers of a diverse group of intramural research fellows.

In the following testimonials, past and present NCATS fellows share their training experiences, their career goals and how their time as valued members of the NCATS family reshaped their futures.

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Meet a Fellow

Olive Jung

Olive Jung is a predoctoral fellow in DPI’s Early Translation Branch, with a focus on advancing the search for therapies targeting central nervous disorders. As an M.D./Ph.D. candidate, she has worked at NCATS to develop 3-D models of the blood–brain barrier and the human lung to sharpen clinical predictability when promising drug compounds move from the laboratory into human trials. Intramural collaboration between NCATS and other NIH Institutes and Centers drew Olive to NCATS for her graduate research work. In this video, she explains how NCATS’ translational science training will help her bridge translational research and clinical practice later in her medical career. Learn more about the Graduate Partnerships Program.

Posted November 23, 2021

Vukasin Jovanovic, Ph.D.

Vukasin Jovanovic, Ph.D., is a senior postdoctoral fellow in DPI’s Stem Cell Translation Laboratory, with a focus on developing human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) for clinical applications. His NCATS research led to a new method that turns iPSCs faster and more efficiently into astrocytes faster and more efficiently. Astrocytes are a key brain cell type implicated in such diseases as autism, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. In this video, Vukasin explains how NCATS’ translational science training, cutting-edge technology and team-based approach are advancing his career goals and accelerating his mission to find solutions for unmet medical needs. Learn more about postdoctoral training in NCATS research groups.

Posted November 23, 2021

See more videos about translational science in our I Am Translational Science series.

Stories from NCATS Fellows

Profiles of Translational Science Interagency Fellows

Fellows in the TSIF program are matched with an NCATS–U.S. Food and Drug Administration mentor pair to work on a specific project. Read about the 2021 fellows and their research:

  • Elia Lopez, Ph.D., Translational Research in Developing Predictive Toxicology for Antisense Oligonucleotides
  • Xinh-Xinh Nguyen, Ph.D., A Microphysiological Skin Model of Atopic Dermatitis for Screening Immunomodulatory Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapies
  • Keyla Tumas, Ph.D., Repurposing for Neglected Infectious Diseases: Project Lifecycle from Bench to Translational to Regulatory Science