National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, has announced that Christopher P. Austin, MD, will serve as director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The announcement was made at the inaugural meetings of the NCATS Advisory Council and Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) Review Board. Starting Sept. 23, 2012, Dr. Austin will succeed Thomas Insel, MD, who has been serving as NCATS Acting Director.
Dr. Austin earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his undergraduate degree in biology from Princeton University. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine and neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in genetics at Harvard University.
A developmental neurogeneticist by training, Dr. 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 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 NIH's Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) effort and NIH's Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC), and as scientific director of the Center for Translational Therapeutics. Most recently, Dr. Austin had been serving as director of NCATS Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation since the NCATS launch in December 2011.
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