A couple of recent notices from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) worth passing along. It’s easy for me to think NCATS is a wholly new creation, but it is a new combination of (mostly) pre-existing programs. But I think these two examples highlight what the new center is trying to do.
In what could be seen as approaching the links between drugs and diseases from the opposite direction of Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules, NCATS recently released a notice for its Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases Program. Think of it as a program to guide research across a pharmaceutical ‘valley of death’ between promising research leads and clinical trials.
On the education front (H/T The Scientist), NCATS just started a two-week pilot educational program for graduate students. These future researchers will have the opportunity to learn more about what it takes to be a translational researcher, including exposure to ethical and regulatory review processes, and best practices in clinical trial design and implementation. Hopefully the pilot is scaled up quickly.
For more news on what NCATS is doing, follow them on Twitter (@ncats_nih_gov)