Skip all navigation and go to page content
NN/LM Home About PSR | Contact PSR | Feedback |Site Map | Help | Bookmark and Share

Archive for the ‘Translational Science’ Category

NCATS Announces the Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) Data Challenge 2014 Competition

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has announced the Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) Data Challenge 2014 competition.
The goal of the challenge is to crowdsource data analysis by independent researchers in order to develop computational models that can better predict chemical toxicity. It is designed to improve current toxicity assessment methods, which are often slow and costly. The model submission deadline is November 14, 2014. NCATS will showcase the winning models in January 2015. Registration for the challenge and more information is available on the web site.

Tox21 scientists are currently testing a library of more than 10,000 chemical compounds in NCATS’s high-throughput robotic screening system. To date, the team has produced nearly 50 million data points from screening the chemical library against cell-based assays. Data generated from twelve of these assays form the basis of the 2014 challenge. For more information on the Tox21 Modeling Challenge and Tox21 Program, contact Anna Rossoshek.

Federal Pain Research Database Launched: Interagency Pain Research Portfolio

The Interagency Pain Research Portfolio website. Users can search the database for information about federally funded pain research projects.The Interagency Pain Research Portfolio (IPRP), a database that provides information about pain research and training activities supported by the federal government, has been launched by six federal agencies. Pain is a symptom of many disorders; chronic pain can present as a disease in of itself. The economic cost of pain is estimated to be hundreds of billions of dollars annually in lost wages and productivity.

Users of the database easily can search over 1,200 research projects in a multi-tiered system. In Tier 1, grants are organized as basic, translational (research that can be applied to diseases), or clinical research projects. In Tier 2, grants are sorted among 29 scientific topic areas related to pain, such as biobehavioral and psychosocial mechanisms, chronic overlapping conditions, and neurobiological mechanisms. The Tier 2 categories are also organized into nine research themes: pain mechanisms, basic to clinical, disparities, training and education, tools and instruments, risk factors and causes, surveillance and human trials, overlapping conditions, and use of services, treatments, and interventions.

The database was developed by NIH staff and members of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC). The IPRCC is a federal advisory committee formed to increase understanding of pain and improve treatment strategies by expanding pain research efforts and encouraging collaboration across the government. Four of the agencies that played a role in developing the IPRP are part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration. The other two agencies are the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.

NIH announces 15 Clinical and Translational Science Awards!

The National Institute of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has announced awards of more than $79 million in fiscal year 2013 funding to support 15 Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs). The CTSA program catalyzes improvements across the entire spectrum of translational research through efforts to broadly develop, demonstrate, and disseminate health interventions. It serves as a connector to engage key partners including other NIH institutes and centers, patient groups, communities, health care providers, industry, and regulatory organizations. Currently, 62 medical research institutions are active members of the CTSA Consortium. The 2013 awards expand consortium representation to New Hampshire with an award to Dartmouth, extending the network to 31 states and the District of Columbia. These institutions receiving five-year awards include two locations in NN/LM PSR:

  • Albert  Einstein College of Medicine, New York City
  • Dartmouth  College, Hanover, N.H.
  • Duke  University, Durham, N.C.
  • Harvard  Medical School, Boston
  • Indiana  University, Indianapolis
  • Johns  Hopkins University, Baltimore
  • Ohio  State University, Columbus
  • Scripps  Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif.
  • Stanford  University, Stanford, Calif.
  • Tufts  University, Boston
  • University  of Colorado, Denver
  • University  of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University  of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • University  of Utah, Salt Lake City

A complete list of descriptions is available for all CTSA-funded institutions. To learn more about how CTSA-supported investigators are translating basic discoveries into improved health, visit the NCATS website.

NCATS Announces New CTSA Funding Opportunity!

The National Institutes of Health, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), has released a new Funding Opportunity Announcement, RFA-TR-006, for Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs). These integrated academic homes for the clinical and translational science continue to focus on enhancing the quality, safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness of translational research, as well as training the translational research workforce.

NCATS, which administers the CTSA program, will also host a Technical Assistance Webinar on July 23, 2012, 11:00am – 12:30pm PDT. All potential applicants are encouraged to register for the webinar by July 20. However, participants may join the event anytime through its conclusion.

Key CTSA FOA submission dates are as follows:

  • Letter of Intent Due: December 10, 2012
  • Application Due: January 8, 2013
  • NIH Peer Review: February/March 2013
  • NCATS Advisory Council Review: May 2013
  • Earliest Award Start: July 1, 2013

For more information, please refer to the CTSA FAQ, and visit the related CTSA web page. Anyone with additional questions after reading the FOA and FAQ may send inquiries to CTSA FOA Questions.

PCORI Seeks Applications to Fund $120 Million in Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Research in 2012

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) released its first primary research funding announcements to support comparative clinical effectiveness research that will give patients and those who care for them the ability to make better-informed health care decisions. PCORI will award $120 million this year for innovative projects that effectively incorporate patients and stakeholders in research teams and address the areas of focus of PCORI’s National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda. PCORI previously announced the approval of 50 Pilot Project Program awards, totaling $30 million over two years, to researchers in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Four funding announcements, involving up to $96 million in funding, correspond to the first four areas of focus outlined in PCORI’s National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda:

  • Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options – for projects that address critical decisions that patients, their caregivers and clinicians face with too little information
  • Improving Healthcare Systems – for projects that address critical decisions that face health care systems, the patients and caregivers who rely on them, and the clinicians who work within them
  • Communication and Dissemination – for projects that address critical elements in the communication and dissemination process among patients, their caregivers and clinicians
  • Addressing Disparities – for projects that will inform the choice of strategies to eliminate disparities

A fifth PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA) on Accelerating Patient-Centered and Methodological Research, involving up to $24 million in funding, will be issued during the summer. All application materials can be downloaded from the “Funding Opportunities” section of PCORI’s website. The deadline for Letters of Intent is June 15, 2012.

NIH Establishes National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

In a move to re-engineer the process of translating scientific discoveries into new drugs, diagnostics, and devices, the National Institutes of Health has established the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The action was made possible by Congress’ approval of a fiscal year 2012 spending bill and the president’s signing of the bill, which includes the establishment of NCATS with a budget of $575 million. NCATS will serve as the nation’s hub for catalyzing innovations in translational science. Working closely with partners in the regulatory, academic, nonprofit, and private sectors, NCATS will strive to identify and overcome hurdles that slow the development of effective treatments and cures.

A prime example of the type of innovative project that will be led by NCATS is the new initiative between NIH, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop cutting-edge chip technology. This new technology will allow researchers to screen for safe and effective drugs far more swiftly and efficiently than current methods. A great deal of time and money can be saved testing drug safety and effectiveness much earlier in the process.

To meet the goals of NCATS, NIH is reorganizing a wide range of preclinical and clinical translational science capabilities within NIH into an integrated scientific enterprise with new leadership and a bold new agenda. While the effort to recruit an NCATS director continues, organizational changes and realignment of resources will move forward under the leadership of Acting Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D., and Acting Deputy Director Kathy Hudson, Ph.D. Dr. Insel is the director of the National Institutes of Mental Health and Dr. Hudson is the deputy director for science, outreach, and policy at the National Institutes of Health.

The following programs will comprise NCATS:

  • Bridging Interventional Development Gaps, which makes available critical resources needed for the development of new therapeutic agents
  • Clinical and Translational Science Awards, which fund a national consortium of medical research institutions working together to improve the way clinical and translational research is conducted nationwide
  • Cures Acceleration Network, which enables NCATS to fund research in new and innovative ways
  • FDA-NIH Regulatory Science, which is an interagency partnership that aims to accelerate the development and use of better tools, standards and approaches for developing and evaluating diagnostic and therapeutic products
  • Office of Rare Diseases Research, which coordinates and supports rare diseases research
  • Components of the Molecular Libraries, which is an initiative that provides researchers with access to the large-scale screening capacity necessary to identify compounds that can be used as chemical probes to validate new therapeutic targets
  • Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases, which is a program to encourage and speed the development of new drugs for rare and neglected diseases

The formation of NCATS has been a methodical process highlighted by the recommendation of the NIH Scientific Management Review Board in December 2010 to create a new center dedicated to advancing translational science. This recommendation was followed by a year of intensive feedback and expert insight from all sectors of translational science through advisory meetings and extensive public consultation.