Surgical Innovation Through Engineering

Home » Seminar Series » Annual Symposium

Annual Symposium

Vanderbilt Institute in Surgery and Engineering  5th Annual Surgery, Intervention, and Engineering Symposium

keynote delivered by

Christopher P. Austin, MD,
Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Science
at the National Institutes of Health

photo of Christopher P. Austin

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
Catalyzing Translational Innovation
Vanderbilt University Light Hall


The process by which observations in the laboratory or the clinic are transformed into demonstrably useful interventions that tangibly improve human health is frequently termed “translation.” This multi-stage and multifaceted process is poorly understood scientifically, and the current research ecosystem is operationally not well suited to the distinct needs of translation. As a result, biomedical science is in an era of unprecedented accomplishment without a concomitant improvement in meaningful health outcomes, and this is creating pressures that extend from the scientific to the societal and political. To meet the opportunities and needs in translational science, NCATS was created as NIH’s newest component in December 2011, via a concatenation of extant NIH programs previously resident in other components of NIH. NCATS is scientifically and organizationally different from other NIH Institutes and Centers. It focuses on what is common to diseases and the translational process, and acts a catalyst to bring together the collaborative teams necessary to develop new technologies and paradigms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process, from target validation through intervention development to demonstration of public health impact. This talk will provide an overview of NCATS mission, programs, and deliverables, with a view toward future developments.

Christopher P. Austin, M.D.
Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health

Christopher Austin is director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NCATS’ mission is to enhance the development, testing and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. The Center collaborates with other government agencies, industry, academia and the nonprofit community. Before joining NIH in 2002, Austin directed research and drug development programs at Merck, with a focus on schizophrenia. His earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and a research fellowship in genetics at Harvard.

View the symposium program by clicking here.