The Future of Translational Research at the National Institutes of Health

August 2011 Monthly Message

Parkinson's disease and Parkinsonism: Are they the same thing?
Federal Update: What's Going on in Washington
Branded vs. Generic Medications in Parkinson's Disease: Does it Matter?
Hettie Molvang is a Support Group Champion
The Future of Translational Research at the National Institutes of Health:
    NIH Director Francis Collins Releases Commentary Paper about New Research Center

Parkinson's Action Network Welcomes Former Congressman John Spratt to its Board of Directors
PAN joins the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine
Join us for the 2011 Morris K. Udall Awards Dinner
PAN CEO Amy Comstock Rick Featured on Comcast Newsmakers
Parkinson's in the Media

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The Future of Translational Research at the National Institutes of Health: NIH Director Francis Collins Releases Commentary Paper about New Research Center

The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) has spent a great deal of time over the past few years advocating on the issue of translational research – the process by which basic scientific discoveries are more rapidly "translated" into new ways of diagnosing, preventing, and treating medical conditions -- and the importance of NIH’s role in helping move this important research through the pipeline to get closer to new treatments and cures for Parkinson’s and other diseases and disorders.  PAN’s primary focus in this arena has been, until recently, our successful work to pass legislation to create the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) at NIH.  We are pleased those efforts have evolved into a more comprehensive, global effort at NIH to create a new translational research center called the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), that if funds are appropriated will include CAN.  PAN is extremely supportive of this initiative, which is being steered under the leadership of NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins. In fact, the creation of a translational center at NIH is where we have hoped our advocacy efforts would ultimately lead. 

Dr. Collins recently published commentary in the journal Science Translational Medicine that describes in excellent detail the vision for the new Center, which "will complement, and not compete with, translational research being carried out at NIH and elsewhere in the public and private sectors."

While NCATS cannot be officially established until it is given an appropriation by Congress, NIH is moving ahead to make sure that all the necessary preliminary work has been done so that NCATS can be up and running when the FY 2012 budget is passed. 

We believe you will find Dr. Collins’ paper interesting, as it outlines the critical need for a dedicated translational research center at NIH.  It is important to note in these difficult budgetary times that the new center will be budget-neutral because it reorganizes existing functions at NIH so that they can be more efficient.

Dr. Collins’ paper is here.