2017.07.14 CTSA Program Update


July 14, 2017





The next CTSA Program meeting will be held on October 26, 2017, from approximately 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. The CTSA Program Steering Committee pod leaders will be reaching out to CTSA Program hub PI(s) this month to hear what topics you would like to see featured at the meeting.  Please remember that your travel expenses should be charged to your existing CTSA Program. NCATS looks forward to another great meeting!

For more information and to register now, click here!




The Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) is adopting an Open Science (OS) policy that will be enacted by the Tanenbaum Open Science Institute (TOSI). The aim is to accelerate the generation of knowledge and novel effective treatments for brain disorders by freeing science.

Diseases of the brain are one of the most compelling unmet medical needs of our time. The World Health Organization estimates that one billion people are affected by neurological disorders, and that 6.8 million die every year from these illnesses. As our population ages, these numbers are rising dramatically, placing additional burdens on health services and causing untold human suffering in developed and developing nations around the world. Contrary to cancer and heart disease where remarkable advances have been made over the last decades, we still have no disease modifying treatments for debilitating neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism and Parkinson’s.

While neuroscience is thriving, our understanding and management of mental and brain disorders has changed little over the last few decades. Neuroscientists are working to understand the basic biological mechanisms of neurological diseases, yet with billions of neurones and trillions of connections, a complex anatomy, and limited access to tissue, we are still at the dawn of understanding the workings of our brain. Without a more complete knowledge of the brain and its diseases, the development of targeted treatments remains slow and is frequently empiric. The pace of progress is too slow for those afflicted with a disease of the brain. Hence, there is an urgency and an ethical obligation to act now if we are to find the cures that will reduce the burden of neurological illnesses for the next generation. To speed up the process of discovery, we need to better share data and reagents, avoid duplication/triplication of efforts, by allowing the free flow of information.

Openness and collaboration form the cornerstones of form the cornerstones of TOSI, the MNI’s new initiative – which as the objective to expand the impact of brain research and accelerate the discovery of novel therapies for patients suffering from neurological diseases.

TOSI is designed to accelerate discovery, innovation and research impact by encouraging rapid, collaborative and public sharing of data, samples, scientific tools, as well as OS policies. TOSI is implementing OS principles at the MNI along five spheres of activity supported by structural pillars:

  • Open Access, by creating an MNI Open Publishing Portal with international OS publishing partners to publish research results, including negative results, without restriction.
  • Open Data, by sharing experimental data freely and meaningfully with institutions around the world using a robust cyberinfrastructure platform.
  • Open IP, by refraining from pursuing patents on MNI-generated discoveries at large and developing new collaborative models with industry through our Open Drug Discovery Platform.
  • Open sharing of biological samples and other resources collected through the MNI’s Clinical Biological Imaging and Genetic Repository (C-BIGR), within the limits of supply and respecting patient confidentiality.
  • Open Commercialization, by developing new business models and initiatives to bring open science discoveries to the marketplace, including new medicines.

The MNI’s position is that research is not an end in itself, but rather a way to fulfill our ultimate mission: delivering discoveries for the benefit of patients and their families, while making the best use of public resources. With that perspective, OS is an attractive and promising new way of doing research to spur innovation and accelerate knowledge discovery and exchange.


Questions? Contact Samantha Jonson.




CTSA Program hubs have until August 30, 2017, to enter their 2016 Common Metric values and update their Turn-the-Curve (TTC) plans for the first three metrics: Careers in Clinical and Translational Research, IRB Duration, and Pilot Funding and Publications. Updating your TTC plan includes describing any changes to underlying factors, the progress you have made by implementing selected strategies, and the results of any additional measures you are using to track progress with these strategies.


Questions? Contact Samantha Jonson.



REMINDER: collaboration/Engagement dtf Dissemination & Implementation Workgroup Survey

The Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) Workgroup of the CTSA Program Collaboration/Engagement Domain Task Force created a survey to identify D&I resources, programs, and scientific projects that are directly and indirectly funded and supported by the local CTSA Program hub. To date, 27 hubs responded to the initial survey request. The WG is asking for more hubs to fill out the survey to create a meaningful report for the Steering Committee on what D&I activities and science are supported by (or outside) the CTSA Program. Results will be shared with the Steering Committee on a future call this fall. The brief survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Complete the survey here!


Questions? Contact Laura Mae Baldwin.




Upcoming NCATS Events
Event Date Location
CTSA Program Steering Committee Webinar 8/14, 9/11, 11/13, 12/11/2017

Second Monday of the month;

2:30 – 4 p.m. ET

CTSA Program PI Webinar 7/26, 8/23, 9/27, 11/22, 12/27/2017

Fourth Wednesday of the month;

2 – 3 p.m. ET

NCATS Advisory Board and Cures Acceleration Network Review Board 9/7/2017 Bethesda, MD








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