Basic Research
Basic research involves scientific exploration that can reveal fundamental mechanisms of biology, disease or behavior. Every stage of the translational research spectrum builds upon and informs basic research. NCATS scientists typically do not conduct basic research; however, insights gained from the Center’s studies along the translational spectrum can inform basic research.
Pre-Clinical Research
Pre-clinical research connects the basic science of disease with human medicine. During this stage, scientists develop model interventions to further understand the basis of a disease or disorder and find ways to treat it. Testing is carried out using cell or animal models of disease; samples of human or animal tissues; or computer-assisted simulations of drug, device or diagnostic interactions within living systems.
Clinical Research
Clinical research includes studies to better understand a disease in humans and relate this knowledge to findings in cell or animal models; testing and refinement of new technologies in people; testing of interventions for safety and effectiveness in those with or without disease; behavioral and observational studies; and outcomes and health services research. The goal of many clinical trials is to obtain data to support regulatory approval for an intervention.
Clinical Implementation
The clinical implementation stage of translation involves the adoption of interventions that have been demonstrated to be useful in a research environment into routine clinical care for the general population. This stage also includes implementation research to evaluate the results of clinical trials and to identify new clinical questions and gaps in care.
Public Health
In this stage of translation, researchers study health outcomes at the population level to determine the effects of diseases and efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat them. Findings help guide scientists working to assess the effects of current interventions and to develop new ones.
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CTSI-CN Leadership Statement

The CTSI-CN offers our heartfelt condolences to the family of George Floyd and all victims of racism and prejudice. Our mission is to advance the health and well-being of our community, including its minority and underserved populations.

We will listen, we will learn, and we will think creatively about how research initiatives can help move us towards solutions.

Most importantly, we will not turn away. We will be present to support our researchers and our communities through this difficult time in our city and our nation.

  • Dec
    Tue, 12/07/2021 - 12:30 to 17:00

    This December, NCATS marks 10 years of harnessing the power of translational science to speed solutions for many diseases at a time. Our mission is to remove or bypass scientific and operational obstacles that stand in the way of getting more treatments to more people more quickly. We do this by advancing translational science.

  • Dec
    Thu, 12/16/2021 - 14:00 to 15:30

    The George Washington University (GW) is committed to fostering a research environment guided by the highest standards of research ethics and integrity. Conducting research responsibly is crucial in obtaining objective results and maintaining the public’s trust as stewards of research funds. GW encourages all of its faculty and students to be familiar with general professional and ethical standards of academic research as well as those in their disciplines. Continuous Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training is a critical part of these efforts. 

  • Dec
    Thu, 12/16/2021 - 15:00 to 16:00

    Responsible Conduct of research at Children's National Hospital: Ethical Conundrums in Modern Genetics with Dr. Marshall Summar and Dr. Eric Vilain

  • Apr
    Mon, 04/04/2022 (All day) to Fri, 04/08/2022 (All day)

    Celebrating 12 years of scholarly achievements of our faculty, staff and trainees, and the opening of the Children's National Research & Innovation Campus.

  • Apr
    Mon, 04/11/2022 (All day) to Thu, 04/14/2022 (All day)

    GW Research Showcase 2022 will be held virtually over the week of April 11-14th.  Stay tuned for more details coming this Fall.

  • November 22nd, 2021

    The GW SMHS Center for Faculty Excellence in collaboration with the leadership at Children’s National Hospital is offering a pilot professional development program designed to help faculty meet their personal writing and scholarly career goals.  The pilot program, called “The Writing Institute, has 3 options for participation

  • November 16th, 2021

    How researchers have expanded COVID-19 vaccine studies to include kids. Dr. Widermann is the PI for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months - 11 years of age. 

  • November 2nd, 2021

    Open to single PIs and/or research teams led by one PI are eligible. At least one member of the team should hold a Faculty appointment at Children's National Hospital/George Washington University. Funds and support are available for “shovel-ready” projects aimed at translating discovery to improved health, with special attention to issues related to achieving health equity. This opportunity has a quick turnaround and limited funding period (~4.5 months), therefore projects should be designed to utilize existing data and/or resources, including biorepositories, to positively impact decision-making by healthcare professionals, patients, parents, and the communities served by our institutions. Qualitative or focus group studies that can be completed within the short timeline of this award would also be acceptable.

  • October 29th, 2021

    Are you an in the informatics field? Read about strategies and lessons learned from informatics experts in the Center for Leading Innovation and Collaboration’s blog post. Then check out webcasts 5-12 in the Insights to Inspire series!

  • September 10th, 2021

    I-ACT for Children, an independent, non-profit organization that works with research sites and industry to assure that studies are designed to generate sufficient data to allow safe and effective use of new medications and devices in pediatric populations has announced that it is accepting applications for the 2021 I-ACT for Children Educational Grant Program. The grant is designed specifically to support attendance at and/or participation in a research conference or course by early-stage investigators, study nurses or coordinators and research administration staff who support pediatric clinical trials. Apply by September 24, 2021!


  • September 9th, 2021

    Now accepting applications for the 2022-2023 Academic Year! The Global Health Initiative at Childrens National Hospital seeks to foster and encourage the development of research that addresses key pediatric global health challenges, improves health outcomes in resource-limited settings, and favorably positions faculty to obtain extramural funding in pediatric global health research. Projects to be considered must be conducted in a low or middle-income country (LMIC) on a pediatric topic of importance to that country and/or have direct relevance to emerging global threats. Proposals to study a health issue in a developing country that could be studied using a US population are not encouraged and will receive a lower score.

  • August 17th, 2021

    Join leading experts in Health Promotion, Disease and Injury Prevention, Workforce Innovation, Health Care Transformation, and Population Health. Currently accepting applicatons for a November 2021 appointment!

  • August 10th, 2021

    MGNet, a NIH-funded Rare Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (RDCRC) in partnership with the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America and Conquer MG, is seeking proposals for highly innovative investigations in early stages of development.

  • August 10th, 2021

    Life course research embraces the complexity of health and disease development, tackling the extensive interactions between genetics and the environment over a lifetime. Recent advances in computational analytics, computer science, and data collection allow for the integration of a “life course” theoretical framework and complexity science for understanding health and development across the lifespan.

  • August 10th, 2021

    There is a critical need for investigators prepared to conduct clinical and translational research in myasthenia gravis (MG). The MGNet Scholar Program provides individualized training and mentorship in one of two tracks, Clinical Research or Biomarker Development Research.

  • July 26th, 2021

    NIH-funded multi-year study will look at impacts on children’s physical health and quality of life

  • July 20th, 2021

    "Re-engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise in Response to COVID-19: The CTSA Experience" 
    The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the greatest global public health crises of our lifetime. Across the country, institutions in the CTSA Program responded quickly to it, pivoting research and creating new programs to respond to the outbreak. This special theme issue of the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS) reflects on these changes, shares lessons learned and discusses which practices can continue in the future to advance translational science.

  • July 13th, 2021

    By Kolaleh Eskandanian, PhD, MBA, PMP - Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Children’s National Hospital

  • June 8th, 2021

    Are you interested in translational science? Are you looking to further develop your career and network with peers? Join the Center for Leading Innovation and Collaboration (CLIC) Career Development Community!

  • June 8th, 2021

    Thank you for attending this year's 4th Annual Children's National - NIAID Symposium virtually. Your engagement contributed to the success of the symposium!

CTSI-CN HealthEquity Funding Opportunity: APPLY BY DEC 1 at 5pm | 

CTSI-CN is offering awards of up to $10,000 for “shovel-ready” research projects aimed at translating discovery to improved health, with special attention to issues related to achieving health equity. This opportunity has a quick turnaround and limited funding period, so interested investigators and research teams should read the RFA for full details. Learn more