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Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) is one of 27 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was established in 2012 “to transform the translational science process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster” (

One of the core initiatives of NCATS is innovation in pre-clinical testing to improve the human predictability of drug and toxicity testing (

NCATS participates in the US Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and is currently soliciting proposals for the following research priority topic (one of many topics): “Phenotypic assay development, including stem cell technology platforms for human ‘disease-in-a-dish’ applications and the evaluation of toxicity” ( The next submission deadline for SBIR proposals is January 5, 2016.

NCATS is also accepting comments on its draft 5-year strategic plan until January 8, 2016.