Amir Tamiz, PhD
Dr. Tamiz is the Director of the Division of Translational Research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Prior to that he was a program director overseeing the NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics network (BPN) and Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts (IGNITE). Blueprint Neurotherapeutics network is a collaborative effort among 15 of the agency’s institutes and centers, leveraging their resources to offer neuroscience researchers grant funding for drug discovery and development activities to confront major, cross-cutting challenges in neuroscience. The program was established as a pipeline between academic and industry drug development research and offers neuroscience researchers a “virtual pharma” to develop promising hit compounds from chemical optimization through Phase I clinical testing. Principal Investigators receive grant funding and in kind discovery and development resources such as medicinal chemistry, API synthesis and manufacture, formulation and drug product manufacture, IND enabling studies, and clinical trial capabilities. Launched in December 2014, IGNITE program is intended to create a more contiguous source of support from discovery to preclinical development. The first two programs include: 1) Assay Development and Therapeutic Agent Identification and Characterization to Support Therapeutic Discovery (PAR-15-070) and 2) Pharmacodynamics and In vivo Efficacy Studies for Small Molecules and Biologics/Biotechnology Products (PAR-15-071). Prior to joining NIH in 2012, Dr. Tamiz had held scientific and management positions in research and development of therapeutic programs at Corvas International (acquired by Dendreon), CovX (now part of Pfizer), and Alba Therapeutics. Dr. Tamiz received his Ph.D. at University of Oregon and conducted postdoctoral research at the Department of Neuroscience at Georgetown University Medical Center.