National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

Scientific Director: Matthew Hall, Ph.D.

As an innovator that challenges the current foundational knowledge of translational science, NCATS develops, demonstrates and disseminates solutions that have the potential to turn basic scientific discoveries into improvements in human health. Its goal is to transform the translational process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster.

By studying translation on a system-wide level as a scientific and operational problem, NCATS finds innovative ways to overcome costly and time-consuming bottlenecks in the translational research pipeline. NCATS is unique in its approach: Rather than targeting a particular disease or fundamental science, NCATS focuses on what is common across diseases and the translational science spectrum.

Intramural researchers in the NCATS Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation (DPI) are uniquely positioned to develop systems approaches that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process, such as advancing new technologies to make pre-clinical research more predictive and efficient or de-risking potential drug targets or research projects to make them more attractive for commercial investment.

DPI senior scientists lead multidisciplinary teams, functioning in a way that is unlike the traditional Principal Investigator role. Rather than leading independent research programs, our senior scientists engage in cross-disciplinary scientific inquiry that attracts collaborators who would otherwise work independently or as co-investigators to become come part of collaborative centers or groups. This allows our teams’ research to transform preclinical science by exploring novel detection chemistries and techniques, assays and devices for diagnostics, assay miniaturization, and novel approaches to screening and therapeutic development.

Within DPI all scientists have the scientific and operational freedom to leverage state-of-the-art laboratories and collaborative relationships among government, industry, academia, and patient and rare disease communities to develop and test more robust translational science systems. This flexible approach enables the Center’s scientists to pivot quickly to investigate unanticipated translational problems such as emerging infectious diseases.

With this combination of a highly skilled translational science workforce, state-of-the-art facilities and informatics capabilities, a strong commitment to team science, and innovative partnerships, NCATS can help its research partners accelerate science, maximize efficiency and preserve limited resources.

Learn more about NCATS’ intramural research expertise and resources as well as how to collaborate with our team.

This page was last updated on Monday, January 29, 2024