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Director's Message

Thomas Insel

As NIH’s newest Center, NCATS is moving boldly toward establishing a strategic vision that will transform the translational process for the benefit of science and patients. We are establishing an organization that emphasizes innovation and deliverables and relies on the power of data to develop, demonstrate and disseminate improvements in translational science.

Recently, I have been connecting with a wide spectrum of those in the research ecosystem who are important to NCATS' mission. In addition to scientists and other staff throughout NCATS, I am talking with each of my 26 fellow NIH Institute and Center directors as well as representatives from patient advocacy organizations, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, foundations, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies. 

In October, I had the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with investigators from the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program during their national consortium meetings, and I’ve also been visiting a number of CTSA sites throughout the country. In November, I joined our partners at FasterCures to discuss the need for teamwork in translation (see video below). In December, I engaged in discussions with many of NCATS' stakeholders at the center’s first policy workshop as a way for us to better understand how policy research and analysis can inform translational research.

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In all of these conversations, I am seeking advice on NCATS' priorities, that is, the most urgent and pervasive roadblocks in the translation of fundamental scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for human health. Using this input, I am formulating NCATS' initial strategic priorities and directions, which are focused on making the translational research process more efficient, science-based and predictive. I have been tremendously gratified by the outpouring of goodwill, offers of collaboration and ideas provided. I look forward to continuing these frank and productive conversations in the near future.

Please check our website often to learn about NCATS' latest news and accomplishments. Stay informed by subscribing to our e-newsletter and listserv, like us on Facebook, join our Twitter feed, and share your feedback.

Christopher P. Austin, M.D.
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

Read more about Dr. Austin