The mission of the Fertility and Infertility Branch (FIB) of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is to encourage, enable and support scientific research aimed at expanding our knowledge of the processes underlying the success or failure of human reproduction with the ultimate goal of improving human reproductive health and quality of life. To help achieve its mission, the FIB supports a National network of centers through a program called the National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility (NCTRI).
Created in 1998, the NCTRI is a research-based centers program designed to promote multidisciplinary interactions between basic and clinical scientists so that breakthroughs in our fundamental understanding of key reproductive processes are translated into clinical practice, and that questions arising in the clinic may be expeditiously addressed in the laboratory. To ensure efficient transfer of knowledge between the clinic and laboratory, the NCTRI is administered through a P50 centers program.
Overall research coordination of the NCTRI program is performed by its Project Scientist, Dr. Stuart Moss (FIB, NICHD). As a means of maximizing inter-center collaborations and translational efficiency, Research Focus Groups (RFGs) have been established in four high emphasis reproductive science areas: 1) Steroids, Metabolism, and Female Reproduction, 2) Ovarian Follicular and Oocyte Health, 3) Endometrium, Endometriosis and Implantation/Placentation, and 4) Male Fertility and Infertility. In addition, the NICHD through the NCTRI, provides multiyear funding to support several research resources that are accessible to all NIH-supported investigators. These resources include the endometrium, and placental tissue banks, and a ligand analysis and assay core. In addition, a number of online supported databases are available to all investigators world-wide including the Ovarian Kaleidoscope Database. All centers are required to have an Outreach/Education core; funds are provided to support activities related to community outreach and education.