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Office of Translational Initiatives and Program Innovations (OTIPI)

What We Do:

The Office provides leadership for the vigorous pursuit of excellence in basic research translation and utilization of innovative programs to speed the application of research discoveries in the prevention, detection, and treatment of drug abuse and addiction.  OTIPI specifically aims at taking basic discoveries into candidate health applications.

The Office has five major strategic objectives:

  • Coordination and management of NIDA Small Business Innovation Research /Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Programs
  • Utilization of novel funding authorities (Prizes and Open Competitions) and development of strategic Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs)
  • Inter-NIDA Programmatic Coordination and Integration in translation phase 1 (T1) area, which jump-starts the translation of bench research to the patient bedside.
  • Translational Strategic Alliances and Partnerships, including inter-agency (NIH, FDA, NAS).
  • Internal and external education events and programs in translational research, complementary to existing career development programs.

To achieve these objectives, OTIPI

  • Identifies translational opportunities, particularly, in areas of  medication development and drug discovery-enabling activities;
  • Recognizes and leverages existing efforts, capitalizes on synergies, enhances communication and coordination between existing programs with specific goal of enhancing NIDA’s translational efforts, develops and coordinates strategic initiatives and FOAs; in addition, OTIPI assist in cooperation between DBNBR and DPMCDA.
  • Facilitates programmatic integration across NIDA, other NIH ICs, government agencies (e.g., FDA), and private organizations to effectively exploit the results of NIDA-sponsored basic science discoveries;
  • Pioneers “team matrix” and other progressive staffing approaches to allow interested NIDA personnel to detail in the Office to meet short- and long-term goals of their respective Divisions;
  • Creatively facilitates knowledge exchange opportunities for NIDA researchers and end-users of research to discuss the issues of research applicability, relevance, and utility to inform future research needs and opportunities through knowledge networks and other strategies;
  • Identifies knowledge gaps (“discovery – access”)  that should be addressed by future  research and pursues  the excellence of that research through creative initiatives;
  • Establishes knowledge networks, internal and external education programs in T1, conferences, and symposia, provides opportunities for multidirectional communication and collaboration among NIDA Divisions, extra- and intramural researchers, patients, and the general public.
  • Conducts data analysis to inform program planning and its iterative improvements, evaluates the impact of previous FOA/RFA activities in translational research;
  • Specifically uses SBIR/STTR mechanisms, prize authority, innovative FOAs and strategic alliances to advance NIDA mission

Who We Are:

Elena Koustova, Ph. D., MBA

Elena Koustova earned her Ph. D. degree at Moscow State University. She completed her postdoctoral studies at the Laboratory of Neuroscience at NIDDK, NIH, where she was involved in developing the animal models of neuro-AIDS and behavioral phenotyping of genetically manipulated animals. Later, she held a professorship at The F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine (Bethesda, MD), and served as an R&D Director at DOV Pharmaceutical Inc. (Somerset, NJ). She pioneered research in posttranslational and epigenetic regulation in hypovolemic/full body ischemia states, and participated in development of clotting/hemostatic agents for US military. At DOV, Elena directed preclinical discovery and development of triple reuptake inhibitors, securing the progression of two compounds into clinical trials. Elena then pursued formal business education and earned an MBA degree from Gallup (Princeton, NJ), specializing in Organizational Innovation and Executive Leadership. Elena’s research led to filing of the provisional patent applications, which, due to the change of employment, were since abandoned. Her research is described in more than 70 articles and book chapters and public press.  Elena led NIDA’s Medication Initiative for Tobacco Dependence Public-Private Partnership Initiative, directs NIDA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/STTR) Program, and engages in NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network activities.  She also serves as NIDA Challenge Manager, and is responsible for managing and coordinating the implementation of a prize authority at NIDA.

Contact Information:

Elena Koustova, Ph.D, MBA
Director, Office of Translational Initiatives and Program Innovations (OTIPI),
NIDA SBIR/STTR Coordinator,
NIDA Challenge Manager
Phone: (301) 496-8768
Fax: (301) 594-6043
Email: elena.koustova@nih.gov

Mailing Address:

Office of Translational Initiatives and Program Innovations (OTIPI)
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6001 Executive Blvd., Room 4286 MSC 9555
Bethesda, MD 20892-9555
Rockville, MD 20852 (For express/courier service)

This page was last updated July 2014

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