Christopher P. Austin, M.D.
Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
In September 2012, Christopher P. Austin, M.D., was appointed the first permanent director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) by NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Austin, who served as director of the NCATS Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation since the creation of the Center in December 2011, is leading NCATS in its mission to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that will enhance the development, testing and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. Currently, many costly, time-consuming bottlenecks exist in the translational process. Austin is applying his experience across the spectrum of the research pipeline to develop, demonstrate, and disseminate innovative technologies and paradigms that increase the efficiency of translation, and thus speed the discovery and delivery of interventions that improve human health.
Austin came to NIH in 2002 from Merck, where his work focused on genome-based discovery of novel targets and drugs. He began his NIH career as the senior advisor to the director for translational research at the National Human Genome Research Institute, where he initiated the Knockout Mouse Project and the Molecular Libraries Roadmap Initiative. Other NIH roles have included serving as director of the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program as well as the NIH Chemical Genomics Center and as scientific director of the NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics.
Austin earned an A.B. summa cum laude in biology from Princeton University and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed clinical training in internal medicine and neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a research fellowship in genetics at Harvard.