The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a strong tradition of supporting new approaches for diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease. Despite significant progress, we still lack treatments for many conditions, including conditions affecting the brain and nervous system. One challenge is that the therapeutics development pipeline contains bottlenecks that reduce efficiency and increase costs. To advance the discipline of translational science, NIH has announced plans to create a new center to study the process of therapeutics development, identify bottlenecks that might be re-engineered, and experiment with innovative methods to streamline the process. This presentation will set forth the rationale for establishing the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and discuss how NIH-supported research will benefit people suffering from neurological conditions.
Francis S. Collins is an American physician-geneticist, noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project (HGP) and described by the Endocrine Society as “one of the most accomplished scientists of our time”. He currently serves as Director of the National Institutes of Health. Collins has written a book about his Christian faith. He founded and was president of the BioLogos Foundation before accepting the nomination to lead the NIH. On October 14, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Francis Collins to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.