NINDS names Dr. Amir Tamiz as director of the Division of Translational Research

NINDS names Dr. Amir Tamiz as director of the Division of Translational Research

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has announced the selection of Amir Tamiz, Ph.D., as the Institute’s director of the Division of Translational Research (DTR). As director, Dr. Tamiz will lead the DTR on its mission to accelerate the development of preclinical discoveries to new treatments for neurological disorders.

“Dr. Tamiz has shown that he has the experience and vision to guide the translation of cutting-edge research from the bench to the bedside,” said Walter Koroshetz, M.D., NINDS Director. “Throughout his career, he has been passionate about working closely with academic researchers, patient advocates, industry partners, and capital companies to develop and advance viable therapeutics for patients.”

DTR leads NINDS’ preclinical translational activities for all diseases within the institute’s mission. Currently, DTR supports more than 150 projects including the development of new treatments for stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury. The staff helps scientists advance their projects to the stages of investigational FDA approval or transfer to a commercial partner. Notable successes include advancing the development of preclinical drug, gene and cell therapy projects for treating Parkinson’s disease, Batten disease, muscular dystrophy, stroke, and other disorders.

Dr. Tamiz has been part of the NINDS DTR since 2012. In addition to overseeing several drug discovery and development projects and contracts, he became the director of the NIH’s Blueprint Neurotherapuetics Network in 2014, a trans-NIH program that provides grant funding and resources to support small molecule drug development projects, from hit-to-lead chemistry through Phase I clinical testing. He also founded and led the Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts (IGNITE) program, a suite of funding opportunities designed to facilitate the discovery of neurotherapeutics, including assay and model systems development, pharmacodynamics, and in vivo efficacy testing.

Dr. Tamiz has experience working on many facets of translational research and a successful track record developing therapeutics at Corvas International, CovX Pharmaceuticals, and Alba Therapeutics.  He led preclinical discovery and development projects to advance multiple treatment modalities into clinical trials including small molecule, peptide, and antibody therapeutics.

Dr. Tamiz earned his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in Eugene where he studied the use of NMDA receptor antagonists as a potential treatment for various neurological disorders and then completed a research fellowship at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., investigating serotonin and dopamine transporter inhibitors to combat drug addiction.

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The NINDS (http://www.ninds.nih.gov) is the nation’s leading funder of research on the brain and nervous system. The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

Amir Tamiz, Ph.D., Director of NINDS’ Division of Translational Research

Amir Tamiz, Ph.D., Director of NINDS’ Division of Translational Research Courtesy of the NINDS