Director of National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to deliver Research Week keynote, May 1

The keynote “The next 10 years: NCATS’ audacious goals” will be delivered by Joni L. Rutter, Ph.D., director at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, or NCATS, at Research Week 2023. The talk takes place Monday, May 1, noon-1 p.m.

The translational process develops observations made in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public — from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioral changes.

“Since my appointment in 2022, we have established a set of audacious goals — more treatments to all people more quickly,” said Rutter. “And most importantly, all aspects of the biomedical research enterprise should reflect the diversity of our country.”

NCATS is one of 27 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, and was established to transform the translational process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be developed more quickly and delivered to patients faster.

Over the next decade, Rutter intends for NCATS to overcome an array of roadblocks in the translational pipeline. At each step along the way — from training and career development, preclinical research and drug development, to clinical trials and implementation — diversity and equity will be included with a new intentionality.

NCATS is also developing programs and initiatives to tackle health disparities in all areas they support, while also building an organizational culture within NCATS that supports diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.

The translational research institute at OHSU, the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, or OCTRI (pronounced oak-tree), supports investigators, regional partners and members of study teams in the critical stages of clinical and translational research. Several teams are on hand to help the translational research community remove barriers, apply best practices and translate biomedical advances into treatments. OCTRI is funded by the NIH through the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program, which is run by NCATS.

Before joining NCATS, Rutter served as the director of Scientific Programs within the All of Us Research Program of the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative, and prior to that as director of the Division of Neuroscience and Behavior at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.