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Organization and Background


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) was officially established in fiscal year 2012. The Center strives to develop innovations to reduce, remove or bypass costly and time-consuming bottlenecks in the translational research pipeline in an effort to speed the delivery of new drugs, diagnostics and medical devices to patients. The NCATS Fact Sheet provides additional insight into the Center’s vision and its innovative initiatives.


To carry out its mission, NCATS has established an organizational structure consisting of diverse representation, including those from disease advocacy organizations and private equity firms, along with renowned scholars in translational science and regulatory review. Guided by a national advisory council and a Cures Acceleration Network Review Board, NCATS and its leaders receive expert advice on how best to use budgeted resources and set policies.

This strategic guidance, coupled with input from the NCATS director and from scientific advisory groups, steers the Center toward achieving its goals, such as:

  • Using science advances to overcome translational pipeline barriers.
  • Testing pipeline innovations with promising research projects.
  • Cultivating strong partnerships.
  • Increasing collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • Supporting an innovative and collaborative training program.


A full staff in the areas of administration, research, policy, communications and strategic alliances ensures that NCATS carries out its mission. Learn more about each of the major divisions and offices that comprise NCATS. To join this dynamic team, view current NCATS job opportunities.

Organizational Chart

Organizational chart for NCATS

Other Advisory Bodies

Several NIH advisory groups provided guidance and strategic counsel during the formation of NCATS.

ACD-NCATS Working Group

Composed of leading independent experts, this working group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) has provided input on how NCATS might partner with the private sector as well as contribute to the translational research enterprise as a whole. View the September 21, 2011, Report.  

NIH CTSA/NCATS Integration Working Group

Composed of NIH leadership, this group made recommendations to the NIH Director on how Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) would be integrated into NCATS. View the September 27, 2011, Report.

ICD-NCATS Working Group

Composed of NIH Institute and Center Directors (ICD), this group has made recommendations to the NIH Director about the mission, functions and organization of NCATS.


NIH’s Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) recommended that NIH create a new translational medicine and therapeutics center. View the December 2010 Report on Translational Medicine and Therapeutics.

Contact NCATS Staff

For more information about NCATS and its programs, please view the NCATS Fact Sheet or contact us.

Vision for NCATS

Science Translational Medicine

NIH’s vision for NCATS was published July 6, 2011, in Science Translational Medicine.