Philip Brooks, PhD, acting director for the Division of Rare Diseases Research Innovation at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will be the afternoon plenary speaker at the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) Annual Meeting on September 16. He will present on the Impact of Collaborative Translational Research and Funding Opportunities – Getting Beyond “One Disease at a Time.”
Brooks received his doctorate in neurobiology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at The Rockefeller University, he became an investigator in the intramural program conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, where he developed an internationally recognized research program focused on the molecular basis of alcohol-related cancer and rare neurologic diseases resulting from defective DNA.
Brooks’ research on rare genetic diseases allowed him to meet with patients and their families, which had a powerful impact on his view of the importance of translational science in rare diseases. He is interested in accelerating clinical trials in rare diseases by moving beyond “one disease at a time” approaches. Examples include the development of therapeutics that target shared molecular mechanisms underlying multiple rare diseases and the implementation of platform vector gene therapy trials.
Prior to his tenure in the division, Brooks worked in NCATS’ Division of Clinical Innovation, where he was the lead program director for the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program designed to fund projects that will result in novel and creative approaches to overcoming roadblocks in translational science. He recently was elected as the chair of the Interdisciplinary Scientific Committee of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium.
This year’s Indiana CTSI annual meeting will be held in a hybrid format with in-person and virtual participation options, featuring keynote speaker Adrian Krainer, PhD, and two panel discussions.