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Christopher Austin is director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NCATS’ mission is to enhance the development, testing and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. The Center collaborates with other government agencies, industry, academia and the nonprofit community. Before joining NIH in 2002, Austin directed research and drug development programs at Merck, with a focus on schizophrenia. In 2016, Dr. Austin was elected chair of the International Rare Disease Research Consortium (IRDiRC). He earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and a research fellowship in genetics at Harvard.