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Mike's Blog December 2021


By: Michael G. Kurilla, M.D., Ph.D., NCATS Director of the Division of Clinical Innovation

COVID continues to prove itself remarkably tenacious and provided a Thanksgiving surprise with a new variant of concern, omicron. For those keeping track, we’re now about two-thirds of the way through the Greek alphabet. If we run out of Greek letters, WHO has considered using constellations which means the possibility of having an Andromeda strain (Andromeda is one of the 48 original Ptolemaic constellations) which will be a great example of life imitating art.

As discussed last month, I described many of the factors that have led to the CTSA FOA overhaul which included addressing some long-standing issues as well as placing the program on a more sustainable framework for the future. This month, I’ll attempt to discuss our thought processes regarding the FOA evolution and its implementation that has involved reconciling what we have heard from the community with our internal assessment from both programmatic as well as administrative perspectives.

Continue reading here > 


Top 10 Takeaways of the Fall 2021 CTSA Program Annual Meeting

Top 10 Trophy

The CTSA Consortium gathered virtually for a tremendous meeting December 1-3, 2021 attended by 741 members of the CTSA consortium, including investigators, scholars, trainees, administrators, and many others. Thank you to all the speakers, presenters, session leads, the planning committee, and attendees for making this meeting a great success. Please stay tuned for upcoming communications with links to materials from the meeting and reflections on the valuable discussions.


10. Catalyze change; disrupt the roadmap

9. Advance frontiers of science at speed and scale with ‘secret sauce’ for convergence

8. Common connectors across opportunities for disruptive innovation: multi-level collaboration, communication, inclusion, training

7. Climate-related health outcomes present an in-road to address the multidimensional problem of climate change, requiring interdisciplinary and creative partnerships

6.Unintentionally intentional disruption - harness the momentum of unintentional disruptions to transform the learning ecosystem in more intentional ways

5. Clinical trial innovation and disruptive technologies are highly impactful in enhancing the effectiveness of clinical research

4. Supporting the whole clinical and translational science workforce starts with supporting the whole translational scientist

3. Innovating on innovation - infusing urgency toward implementation, value, and equity will advance our impact more deeply

2. Data equity for health equity - data belongs to the community

1. The CTSA consortium is a tremendous resource!


New Year, New Ansible

Coming soon: A user-friendly facelift, exciting new content, and a new arrival day! Keep an eye out for our improved new format!

NCATS SBIR CTSA Panel with Melax Tech

Register for the NCATS SBIR CTSA Panel with Melax Tech - January 13, 2022 1-2 PM ET

Save the date: NCATS SBIR CTSA Panel with Melax Tech. January 13, 2021 1pm - 2pm EDT.

Join NCATS SBIR/STTR and CTSA awardee company Melax Tech for a panel discussion on January 13th! Panel Discussion with CTSA Program Awardee Who Successfully Leveraged an SBIR Grant will be hosted by Lili Portilla, M.P.A., featuring:

  • Hua Xu, Ph.D., Founder of Melax Tech
  • Frank Manion, Ph.D., VP for Innovation at Melax Tech
  • Pablo Cure, M.D., M.P.H., the Program Officer for the SBIR grant

Learn how Melax Tech successfully leveraged the SBIR grant in the development of their natural language processing technology with additional support from the CTSA program.

Updates & Reminders from NIH

NEW: Please visit the NCATS CTSA Funding page for current Funding Opportunities, and the latest important Notices and Guidance from NIH for the CTSA community.

CTSA Program News & Updates

Working Group Applications

The next round of Working Group Application submissions will open on January 1st and will run through January 31st. Learn more >


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