January 06, 2012

NIH Establishes NCATS, Eliminates NCRR, Publishes Implementation Plans

The National Institutes of Health has established a new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). NCATS is intended to “re-engineer the process of translating scientific discoveries into new drugs, diagnostics, and devices” and help “identify and overcome hurdles that slow the development of effective treatments and cures.” The establishment of NCATS was included in the federal Fiscal Year 2012 Omnibus Appropriations bill, signed into law December 23, 2011.

With the establishment of NCATS, the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) has been dissolved, and NCRR programs are being transferred to other NIH Institutes and Centers.

NIH posted two NIH Guide Notices on January 6, 2012, one on the implementation of NCATS and the second on the plans to transfer all NCRR programs, awards, and applications. The NCRR web site has a list of the programs being transferred. The NIH Guide Notice on NCRR provides implementation information and states that “over the next few weeks Project Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) and institutional officials will receive multiple e-mails from NIH explaining where their NCRR applications and awards will be administered and identifying the appropriate NIH contact person for addressing questions.”