Early Translational Research (ETR)

Provides support for the early development of therapeutics, diagnostics, devices, and digital health by researchers at UCSF and CTSI affiliate institutions through research funding, expert consultation, resource identification, and team building.


  • Catalyst Awards link investigators to the industry expertise around us to turn discoveries into improvements in health.
    June H. Lee, MD, FACCP; Director
    To support and enable promising early translational research through research funding and essential expert consultation;
  • To develop infrastructure and resources to facilitate early translational research;
  • To facilitate collaborative research and partnerships through the identification of complementary expertise and team building;
  • To provide educational resources to faculty and students on early translational research.


Catalyst Awards: This competitive program provides funds and essential consultation to support early development of therapeutics, diagnostics, and devices. The award includes:

  • Up to $100,000 toward critical experiments that increase the commercial and clinical viability of promising innovations;
  • Critical research proposal review and feedback by a panel of experienced industry and academic experts;
  • Customized one-on-one consultation with industry experts to address issues related to product development, technology management, commercialization, and funding/partnership strategy.

View previous Catalyst awardees
View Catalyst Award Advisors (including by area of expertise)

Catalyst Awards Internship Program: Opportunity for students to learn about early translational research and the process of translating academic discoveries into valuable products.

LaunchPad: Designed to highlight the experiences and accomplishments of UCSF’s translational researchers, and to support them in their efforts to develop beneficial medical products. This online resource features videos of investigators, administrators and industry experts sharing their experiences working through five keys to successful translational research—unmet needs, target product profile, collaboration, development plan and organizational support—as well as other resources for researchers.

Preclinical CRO Vendor Program: This program facilitates access to a number of pre-selected Contract Research Organizations (CRO’s) to investigators looking to tap into CRO expertise and conduct studies externally. Services offered by CRO’s include ADME/PK/Tox testing, selection of preclinical disease models, bio/analytical services, medicinal chemistry and custom synthesis, GMP manufacturing and more. Request more information from Irina Gitlin, PhD or call 415-514-8510.

Pre-clinical Development Consultation Service: This program provides expert advice to investigators in the area of early-phase product development, including high-throughput screening, medicinal and synthetic chemistry, and pre-clinical safety and efficacy evaluation of therapeutics and devices. Request a consultation.