Director, Division of Clinical Innovation
Petra Kaufmann, M.D., M.Sc., is Director of the Division of Clinical Innovation at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). In this capacity, she oversees the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program, which supports a national consortium of medical research institutions working to transform the way biomedical research is conducted. The program is designed to help accelerate the translation of laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, train a new generation of clinical and translational researchers, and engage communities in clinical research efforts. In partnership with other NIH Institutes and Centers, government agencies, patient groups, nonprofits, and industry, the CTSA program supports progress across a broad range of diseases and conditions, including cancer, neurological disorders, heart disease and multiple rare diseases.
Before joining NCATS, Kaufmann was the director of the Office of Clinical Research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), where she worked with investigators to plan and execute a large portfolio of clinical research studies and trials in neurological disorders, many of them in rare diseases. Prior to joining NINDS, Dr. Kaufmann was a tenured associate professor of neurology at Columbia University in New York City. A native of Germany, she studied in Bonn, London and Paris before earning her medical degree from the University of Bonn, Germany, and a master of science degree in biostatistics from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. She completed an internship in medicine at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, and trained in neurology and clinical neurophysiology at Columbia University.
Dr. Kaufmann is board-certified in neurology, clinical neurophysiology, neuromuscular medicine, and electrodiagnostic medicine.She did a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology of mitochondrial diseases at Columbia’s H. Houston Merritt Center for Muscular Dystrophy and Related Diseases. While on the faculty of Columbia University, she worked clinically in the neuromuscular division, the electromyography laboratories, and the pediatric neuromuscular clinic. She currently sees patients in the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Her research focus is on the clinical investigation of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and mitochondrial diseases.
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