FROM THE ARCHIVES: On the Fast Track: NCRR Dissolved / NCATS Created by October 2011 (February 7, 2011)

In celebration of COSSA’s 40th anniversary, we are diving into the decades of Washington Update archives to share articles from years past that resonate with today’s news.

On January 14, Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent letters to [Congressional leaders] apprising them of her intent to establish the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) per the recommendation of NIH director Francis Collins and based on the recommendations from the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB). Sebelius also indicated that the “relevant NCRR functions and programs,” as appropriate, would be transferred to NCATS in FY 2011. Accordingly, noted Sebelius, NCRR [the National Center for Research Resources] “is no longer required”[…]

According to the Secretary:

“NIH has the potential to play a critical and catalytic role in advancing the translational sciences. The agency is expertly equipped to leverage its extant and emerging programs and resources to promote progress in this area. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, NIH is even better poised to deploy these resources. The provisions of the Act that authorize the NIH to establish a Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) equip the agency with flexibility to carry out therapeutic development projects. This underscores the expectation by Congress and the American public that NIH is to play a leading role in realizing the promise of translational medicine and advancing human health. . . Funding for this new organization is intended to come from existing resources of the programs that would move to NCATS. NIH will provide details of this reorganization once they have been finalized. NIH seeks to implement its plan at the beginning of FY 2012 in October 2011.”[…]

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