Skip to main content

Dynamic Adaptation and Successes Precede Transformational Change

In our 2022 Impact Report, I wrote that “it is ongoing adaptation that will enable us to flourish in the future.” As you will read throughout this year’s Report, NUCATS embraced change in 2023, seizing new opportunities for success. So too, did our NUCATS partners — the University’s schools, Northwestern Medicine, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab — as each continued to collaborate on groundbreaking discoveries. I’m so proud of all NUCATS has done in concert with these partners this year. I remain convinced that our dynamism will keep our impact growing in 2024.

Download Impact Report

As one of more than 60 NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA)-funded hubs, the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) is changing our mandate. The critical resources for clinical and translational research that NUCATS has built over the years must be sustained — with ongoing strong and generous institutional support from Northwestern. Now, however, CTSA hubs must do more: learn generalizable knowledge about how to best accelerate new ideas and interventions into impact that improves health for all. NCATS calls this new charge conducting “clinical and translational science,” distinguishing it from our earlier charge to provide resources for all clinical and translational research. 2023 saw a major emphasis on our planning for this transition that resulted in what I believe are transformational initiatives focused on learning how to:

  • Enhance inclusive excellence for all research participants and workforce members
  • Identify and evolve best practices for accelerating academic innovation
  • Leverage Northwestern’s nation-leading strengths in dissemination and implementation science to ensure research results quickly lead to healthcare quality improvement and public health impact

We’ve had many accomplishments since launching in 2008, and last year helped principal investigators on many of Northwestern’s more than 6,600 clinical trials. This Impact Report details some of our accomplishments over the past year, which include:

  • Making a national impact in social determinants of health research
  • Providing robust support for compliance
  • Expanding participation in NUCATS-supported mentoring workshops
  • Amplifying and supporting women academic innovators through successful collaboration in launching the FoundHer Series
  • Advancing thoughtful community engagement through our Center for Community Health and Team Science Program
  • Recognizing the importance of open science in collaboration with Galter Library

In 2024, we will begin enacting many plans and initiatives developed in 2023. We will continue critically evaluating them as we go, optimizing them to keep pace with our fast-moving environment. After reading this report, I hope you are energized. I welcome every idea you may have about how we can accelerate better health for all in this ever-changing world through clinical and translational science.

Written by Richard D'Aquila, NUCATS Director

Follow NUCATS on

Participating Institutions: