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NIDA-funded Yale program announces 23 scientists accepted to inaugural 'Innovation to Impact' training bootcamp

April 17, 2018

Innovation to Impact, a national program funded by The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and hosted at Yale University, has announced the selection of 23 scientists, representing 17 institutions, to comprise the inaugural class of trainees in entrepreneurship to enable rapid deployment of their discoveries into life-saving products to aid Americans suffering from addiction.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 20.8 million Americans have a substance use disorder. Treating and preventing these disorders carries a cost of $193 billion to the public annually. Much of this funding goes to researchers to develop scientific innovations to fight drug addiction. But these innovations do not always advance beyond the lab.

The inaugural class represents 17 institutions, and is strikingly diverse, being 63% female and 23% people of color. Trainees come from 13 different U.S. States/Territories, and an overwhelming majority (77%) have a doctoral-level (PhD, MD) degree.

Their backgrounds are in psychology (50%), medicine (9%), neuroscience (14%), pharmacology (9%) and other scientific fields. They range from graduate students to advanced faculty and even include a professor emeritus, and most have spent decades building their research programs. Their innovations focus on diagnostics (prevention service management and treatment) and pharmaceuticals. More than half of the innovations involve software development.

“The interest from such a talented and skilled group of participants who are making this commitment is further evidence of the broad-based interest in bringing new innovations to help combat these difficult healthcare problems.” said Seth Feuerstein, MD, JD, Lecturer in Psychiatry at Yale; Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Medical Officer of Medical and Digital Innovation at Magellan Healthcare; and Principal Investigator/Program Director of Innovation to Impact.

“People are suffering and we have products that work,” said Patricia Simon, PhD, Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry at Yale and Program Director of Innovation to Impact. “We have to get these effective products to the public as quickly as possible. This program will help scientists do that.”

On April 23rd, the selected innovators will arrive at Yale with five days of entrepreneurial training ahead of them. The curriculum will include training and lectures from entrepreneurs and educators who are skilled in advancing early technologies to the market, and will prepare students for independent advancement with on-going mentorship post-training.

For more information on the scientists and Innovation to Impact Bootcamp Training visit

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on April 17, 2018