Christopher P. Austin, M.D.
Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health
Catalyzing Translational Innovation
The multi-stage and multifaceted translational spectrum is poorly understood, and the current research ecosystem is operationally not well suited to the distinct needs of translation. As a result, biomedical science is in an era of unprecedented accomplishment without a concomitant improvement in meaningful health outcomes, and this is creating pressures that extend from the scientific to the societal and political. To meet the opportunities and needs of translational science, NCATS was created as NIH’s newest component in December 2011, via a concatenation of extant NIH programs previously resident in other components of NIH. NCATS focuses on disease-agnostic issues by acting as a catalyst and bringing together the collaborative teams necessary to develop new technologies and paradigms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. This talk will focus on several programs in the NCATS portfolio that are proving to be successful new models in navigating the translational landscape. The presentation will highlight systems toxicology and preclinical development efforts with a focus on the Tissue Chips for Drug Screening Program and the Tox21 Consortium.