The NCRR Mission:
The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) serves as a "catalyst for discovery" by creating and providing critical research technologies and shared resources. This infrastructure underpins biomedical research and enables advances that improve the health of our Nation's citizens.
Biomedical research investigators supported by the Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health require a broad array of technologies, tools and materials critical to their research efforts. From the models required for research on diseases and disabilities, to the biomedical technology and instrumentation necessary to elucidate cellular and molecular structure, to the clinical settings in which to conduct studies to discern the cause of disease and in which novel clinical trials of new therapies can be developed, biomedical researchers must have access to the necessary resources in order to continue to make progress against human disease and disability.
The NCRR has a unique responsibility at the National Institutes of Health: to develop critical research technologies and to provide cost-effective, multidisciplinary resources to biomedical investigators across the spectrum of research activities supported by the NIH. This has four major facets:
Create resources and develop technologies that are cost-effective, accessible and responsive to the research needs of the biomedical research community. To meet these needs the NCRR must be in the vanguard of evolving trends in basic and clinical research so that resources will be available to facilitate that research. Provide shared clinical, primate and biotechnology resources for use by investigators supported by all the NIH Institutes and Centers. These resources, primarily centers, serve more than 10,000 researchers, supported through well over $1 billion of categorical research resource Institute funds, thus leveraging those funds for more cost-effective and efficient research. Develop quick, flexible approaches to new and emerging biomedical research needs and opportunities. These innovations often involve high-risk research, but the payoffs may be substantial.
Strengthen the nation's biomedical research infrastructure through programs to develop and enhance the capacity of minority institutions and centers of emerging excellence to participate in biomedical research, to increase the exposure of K-12 students and their teachers to the life sciences, to improve the condition of research animal facilities, and to construct or renovate facilities for biomedical and behavioral research.
The NCRR plays a key role in addressing pressing trans-NIH research issues, such as access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and biomedical technologies; containment of the escalating costs of highly sophisticated clinical research; development of appropriate, specialized research models both animal and non-animal; and remedying the shortage of independent clinical investigators and the under-representation of minority investigators. Present and future program directions emphasize "smart," network-connected technologies, computer-aided drug design, development and testing of gene and molecular therapies, bioengineering approaches to decrease health care costs, and enhanced training and career development for patient-oriented research.