Translational Research

Welcome to the NINDS Division of Translational Research (DTR). Our mission is to accelerate the preclinical discovery and development of new therapeutic interventions for neurological disorders.  DTR helps academic and industry researchers create a bridge through which discoveries made in the lab lead to new and improved medical treatments and options for patient care.  To facilitate this process, DTR provides many funding opportunities to accelerate leading-edge preclinical research and technology for neurological disorders. 

DTR provides funding and resources (approximately $100 million annually) through grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to academic and industry researchers to advance early-stage neurological technologies, devices, and therapeutic programs to industry adoption (i.e., investor funding and corporate partnerships).  DTR offers a variety of programs that support the design, implementation, and management of research activities critical to translational challenges in the treatment of neurological disease.

Active Projects for Partnering

Translational Success Stories

Staff Publications about Programs

Initial Translational Efforts

Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts (IGNITE) Program

Contact:  Mary Ann Pelleymounter, Ph.D.
A suite of funding opportunity announcements to enable grantees to build on their innovative basic science findings and initiate preclinical drug discovery and development.
Learn more about IGNITE


High Throughput Screening    

High Throughput Screening (HTS) to Discover Chemical Probes

Contact:  Pascal Laeng, Ph.D.
Research grant funding (R01) to encourage investigators to form collaborations with an established academic, nonprofit, or commercial high throughput screening (HTS) facility that has the requisite expertise and experience to implement HTS-ready assays for the discovery and development of small molecule chemical probes.
Learn more about HTS

Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program     

Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP)

Contact:  John Kehne, Ph.D.
Resources for compound-screening service to identify candidate therapeutics to ameliorate the epilepsies. Current efforts emphasize unmet medical needs in epilepsy, including treatments for refractory epilepsies, epileptogenesis, and disease progression.
Learn more about ETSP


Small Molecule Therapeutics    

Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN) Program    

Contact: Charles Cywin, Ph.D.
Cooperative agreement and SBIR Fast-Track award programs support small molecule drug discovery and development.  These programs are designed to maintain the grantees’ intellectual property while providing non-dilutive funding. 
Learn more about BPN


Biologics and Biotechnology Products    

Cooperative Research to Enable and Advance Translational Enterprises (CREATE Bio)    

Contact: Chris Boshoff, Ph.D. 
Cooperative agreement and SBIR Fast-Track award programs support the discovery and development of therapeutic Biotechnology Products and Biologics (e.g. peptides, proteins, oligonucleotides, gene therapies, and cell therapies) for disorders that fall under the NINDS mission. 
Learn more about CREATE Bio


Therapeutic Devices

Cooperative Research to Enable and Advance Translational Enterprises (CREATE Devices)    

Contact:  Stephanie Fertig, MBA
Funding to support development, validation and verification, and early clinical studies of therapeutic devices to treat neurological disorders. 
Learn more about CREATE Devices


Small Business Program   

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)    

Contact:  Stephanie Fertig, MBA
Funding program to allow small business concerns to conduct innovative neuroscience research at different stages of development, including applied bench research, translational research, and early-stage clinical trials.
Learn more about Small Business programs


Therapeutics for Treating Chemical Injuries   

NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT)    

Contact: David Jett, Ph.D.
The mission of the NIH CounterACT Program is to understand fundamental mechanisms of toxicity caused by chemical threat agents and the application of this knowledge to develop promising therapeutics for reducing mortality and morbidity caused by these agents. CounterACT is a trans-NIH effort lead by NINDS which funds small and large grants, supportive contract facilities, and interagency agreements with the Department of Defense.
Learn more about CounterACT



Neurotherapeutics Discovery and Development

Short course to introduce academic researchers to the principles of neurotherapeutic drug discovery and development.  Participants who have attended the short course program will have ongoing access to senior faculty who will assist the trainee to achieve success in their individual drug development projects. 
Learn more about Neurotherapeutics


Therapeutic synthesis, formulation, pharmacokinetic and toxicology expertise and resources

Bridging Interventional Development Gaps (BrIDGs)

The BrIDGs program assists researchers in advancing promising therapeutic agents through late-stage pre-clinical development toward an Investigational New Drug (IND) application and clinical testing. Investigators do not receive grant funds through this program. Instead, selected researchers partner with NCATS experts to generate pre-clinical data and clinical-grade material through government contracts for use in IND applications. 
Learn more about BrIDGs


Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases

Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND)

The TRND program supports pre-clinical development of therapeutic candidates intended to treat rare or neglected disorders, with the goal of enabling an Investigational New Drug (IND) application.  The objective is to “de-risk” therapeutic development efforts and facilitate collaborations by outside business partners to bring these treatments to patients.
Learn more about TRND