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About NCATS

Collaborating with NCATS

Working together to solve challenges in biomedical science is essential to accelerating the discovery process. As a result, NCATS encourages collaboration across all sectors and disciplines. Below are frequently asked questions about working with NCATS researchers and its programs. Learn how to connect with appropriate staff and how best to work with NCATS on research collaborations.

Collaborating with NCATS

Accessing Resources

Licensing Opportunities

Small Business Opportunities

Collaborating with NCATS

How do I access resources and collaborate with Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) institutions and their partners?

Institutions supported by CTSAs provide an array of resources for research collaborators. Each CTSA is led by a principal investigator (PI), who is an established clinical scientist. View a complete list of CTSA-funded institutions, including information on the lead institution, its PI, contact information and location.

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How do I collaborate with the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program?

The Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program offers collaborative opportunities to access rare and neglected disease drug development capabilities, expertise and clinical/regulatory resources. Its goal is to move promising therapeutics into human clinical trials. 

Selected applicants can partner with TRND staff on a joint project plan and implement a drug development program. Applicant investigators provide the drug project starting points and ongoing biological/disease expertise throughout the project. A collaboration agreement (e.g., NIH Collaborative Research Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding, etc.) is established between TRND and successful applicants. For questions, contact TRND.

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How do I collaborate with the Bridging Interventional Development Gaps (BrIDGs) program?

Formerly called the NIH-RAID (Rapid Access to Interventional Development) program, the Bridging Interventional Development Gaps (BrIDGs) program advances promising therapies into the clinic by providing contract services to overcome barriers faced in late-stage preclinical therapy development.

BrIDGs maintains these resources but offers a faster application and approval process than NIH-RAID provided. Contact Tony Jackson with questions about BrIDGs.

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How do I collaborate with other groups at the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC)?

Chemistry Technology Group

The Chemistry Technology Group at NCGC is involved in ongoing collaborations within the broad disciplines of medicinal chemistry, chemical biology and drug discovery. Individuals interested in working with the group can contact Craig Thomas, Ph.D.

Assay Development Group

The Assay Development Group at NCGC advises potential collaborators on assay development strategies and finds that consultation early in the process is most efficient. If you are a potential assay collaborator, please consult the review on assay technologies (Nat Chem Biol 3:466, 2007) and view the Assay Guidance Manual. If you have additional questions about assay development, contact Jim Inglese, Ph.D.

Chemistry Group

Collaborations in chemistry typically focus on novel chemical libraries, synthesis or analysis methodologies, or derivatives of probes for biochemical and target identification studies. For those interested in chemistry collaborations, contact John McKew, Ph.D.

Informatics Group

Informatics collaborations may focus on compound descriptor/SAR, individual or combined assay data analysis paradigms or novel visualization and integration methods. For more information about informatics collaborations, contact Ajit Jadhav.

Automation Group

Projects in automation and detection work to operationalize new methods and robotics to expand the reach or efficiency of screening and chemistry. For inquiries related to automation at NCGC, contact Sam Michael.

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How can I learn more about collaborating on rare diseases research projects?

For more information about how to collaborate on rare diseases research projects, visit NCATS’ rare diseases research opportunities. To learn more about specific rare diseases, contact the Office of Rare Diseases Research.

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Accessing Resources

How can I learn more about NCATS tools and resources?

NCATS offers scientists a variety of tools and resources in the areas of clinical and translational research, pre-clinical research, and technology transfer.

What rare diseases research resources does NCATS offer?

The NCATS Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR) supports the Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center, which provides comprehensive information on rare and/or genetic diseases in English and Spanish to patients, their families, health care providers, researchers and the public. In collaboration with GARD, ORDR maintains a database of rare diseases information.

How do I create an assay for high-throughput screening?

The Assay Development Group at the NIH Chemical Genomics Center advises potential collaborators on assay development strategies and finds that consultation early in the process is most efficient. If you are a potential assay collaborator, please consult the review on assay technologies (Nat Chem Biol 3:466, 2007) and view the Assay Guidance Manual. If you have additional questions about assay development, contact Jim Inglese, Ph.D.

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How do I access the NCATS Pharmaceutical Collection?

Given the cost and limited quantities of the medicines in the physical NCATS Pharmaceutical Collection (NPC), NCATS evaluates each partnership to screen the NPC based on the quality of each disease-related assay and its scientific merit. Disease foundations, industry and academic investigators can collaborate with NCATS to have their disease-relevant assays screened against the approved drug collection. To see if your project qualifies, contact Chris Austin, M.D. For all other inquiries about the NPC database, contact Ruili Huang, Ph.D.

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How do I propose a toxicity assay for use in the Toxicology in the 21st Century initiative?

For the Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) program, the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC) is continually developing, validating and integrating in vitro toxicity assays into the quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) platform. NCGC actively solicits assay proposals from investigators in all areas, both within and outside of the government..

To propose an assay, investigators should submit an assay nomination form to Menghang Xia, Ph.D. Proposed assays should be compatible with the qHTS guidelines as described in the assay guidance criteria. The Tox21 Assay Work Group evaluates submitted proposals on an ongoing basis.

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How do I obtain probe molecules from the NIH Chemical Genomics Center?

The NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC) offers biomedical researchers access to large-scale screening capacity, along with the medicinal chemistry and informatics necessary to identify chemical probe molecules and to study the functions of genes, cells and biochemical pathways. To obtain NCGC probe molecules, contact Ajit Jadhav.

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How do I collaborate to perform an RNAi screen via the Trans-NIH RNAi initiative?

Gene silencing through RNAi has emerged as a powerful tool for understanding gene function. The Trans-NIH RNAi initiative administered by NCATS is an intramural NIH resource providing state-of-the-art high-throughput RNAi genome-wide screens for both humans and mice. The program is actively looking for collaborators. Those interested in performing a high-throughput RNAi screen can read the Screening Guide and Application and contact Scott Martin, Ph.D. for more information.

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Licensing Opportunities

How can I learn more about technology transfer, patents, licensing or partnerships with NCATS researchers?

The NCATS Strategic Alliances office makes it easy for industry and academia to interact and partner with NCATS laboratories and scientists. The office provides a complete array of services to support NCATS technology development and partnership activities. Activities include the day-to-day negotiations of transactional agreements between NCATS and outside parties, including universities, pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies.

For technology transfer and partnerships questions, contact the Strategic Alliances office or call 301-217-4679.

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Small Business Opportunities

How can I learn more about small business opportunities offered by NCATS?

Learn more about ways in which small businesses can work with NCATS, view current grant solicitations and SBIR and STTR Topics of Interest, or contact Lili Portilla, M.P.A. for more information.

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Learn More About NCATS Research

Research projects at NCATS focus on addressing scientific and technical challenges to reduce, remove or bypass bottlenecks in the development of new treatments and tests that will ultimately improve human health. Learn more about NCATS research

Visit NCATS' Strategic Alliances for Technology Transfer page for details on technology development, licensing and partnership opportunities.