Lilly and NIH Collaborate to Advance Science

Alan Palkowitz headshot 234x293Today’s guest post comes from Alan Palkowitz, Ph.D., vice president of discovery chemistry research and technologies at Lilly. Palkowitz has been appointed to two prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) committees.

Science is what I do, but it’s also part of who I am. As a scientist, I know firsthand how easy it is to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of our work and keeping pace with the scientific and patent literature. Here at Lilly, we must also strive to see the bigger picture, keeping the patient at the center of everything we do.

I have accepted an opportunity that allows me to share not only my scientific and industry expertise but also my patient-first mindset. It’s an honor to take on a four-year appointment to two prestigious NIH committees: the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Advisory Council and NCATS’ Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) Review Board.

NCATS strives to develop innovations that reduce, remove or bypass costly and time-consuming bottlenecks in medical research to speed the delivery of new drugs, diagnostics and medical devices to patients. In other words, NCATS’ mission is to get more treatments to more patients more quickly. Authorized to reduce significant barriers to successful translation and accelerate the development of high-need cures, CAN provides NCATS with flexibility in how it funds projects.

Recent NCATS-supported research advances have included drug screening for Zika treatment, a new ultrasensitive diagnostic test development, an app to improve medication adherence and more.

During my tenure, I’ll be attending joint NCATS Advisory Council/CAN Review Board meetings to discuss and give guidance on pivotal health-related topics and programs aimed at targeting global health issues.

Collaboration between the NIH and companies like Lilly is paramount to discovering and developing innovative medicines. NCATS works across all disease areas as a catalyst for government agencies, universities and private companies, helping to make or identify medical discoveries and then moving those along to a place where patients can benefit.

My appointment to the NCATS Advisory Council and CAN Review Board allows me to expand on the work currently being done here at Lilly. Every day, Lilly scientists strive to discover and develop medicines we hope will treat some of the world’s most devastating diseases, all with the shared goal of making life better for people. Science is our passion. And I look forward to representing that passion on behalf of Lilly and our industry through collaboration with my colleagues at NCATS over the next four years—and beyond.