Center for Contemporary Sciences, Inc

Saving and improving lives by catalyzing the world’s transition to human-specific medical research.

Gaithersburg, MD   |  https://contemporarysciences.org/

Mission

To pioneer a paradigm shift towards innovative, evidence-based research methods by bringing together scientists, policy makers, investors, and entrepreneurs to transform the biomedical sciences. We champion technologies that are better for humans and that replace animal testing.

Ruling year info

2020

President and CEO

Dr. Aysha Akhtar

Main address

9841 Washingtonian Blvd Ste 200

Gaithersburg, MD 20878 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

84-3817744

NTEE code info

Management & Technical Assistance (K02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

CCS is a scientific think thank and bridge builder, advocating and facilitating a paradigm shift toward biomedical research methods that are based on human biology. First, to truly advance human health, we need more predictive and biologically relevant scientific tools for understanding human diseases and developing treatments and cures. Greater and faster adoption and use of human-specific research methods will enable these goals to be attained as soon as possible. These technologies (such as advanced human tissue and organ cultures, bio-printing, and organ- and body-on-a-chip methods) continue to improve and become even more human relevant. Second, animal protection. We are living in a social climate in which many are calling for a more humane world that fosters greater stewardship towards our planet and the animals who share it with us. CCS will help replace the use of animals in research and testing and bring a more humane world closer to reality.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Science and Technology

CCS discovers and builds bridges between scientific research, innovation, funding, and talent gaps across the medical research testing environment. CCS works with the scientific community to:
• Improve adoption of more effective human-based technologies
• Increase the amount of funding for human-specific medical research and testing.
• Build a community of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to enable the formation of more and better companies and research labs.
• Research and publish scientific papers on human-specific methods of testing.
• Build a scientific consensus on ways to improve medical research through human-specific testing methods (ex., through workshops, roadmaps, conferences)
• Help donors, foundations and investors understand the opportunity in human-specific medical research and testing.

Population(s) Served
Adults

CCS Policy advocates for fair and progressive federal and state regulations, legislation, and governmental funding of and investment in human-specific testing methods. The CCS Policy program will:
•Establish dialogue with congressional leaders and federal agencies to participate in briefings and inquiries to highlight the benefits of increasing funding to human-specific methods.
•Partner with federal agencies to provide analytical data that shapes regulations and guidance documents.
•Create a pathway for alternative testing methods and innovative technologies to be developed and accepted as effective research tools.
•Work with agencies to create a program for companies and institutions to validate their new research methods for them to become more widely accepted.

Population(s) Served
Adults

CCS will work with academic institutions to ensure that students in the medical and life sciences or interested in joining the fields are sufficiently educated about human-based research, and to encourage their participation in this field in their careers. CCS Academic Affairs works with academic institutions to:
•Increase the pipeline of PhD, MBA, and JD students to new testing technologies by providing academic centers with student educational resources
•Educate pre-college level students about career opportunities in human-specific medical testing methods.
•Help donors, foundations and investors understand the opportunity in establishing academic centers and programs in human-specific medical research and testing.
•Implement targeted efforts to improve diversity of underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences.

Population(s) Served
Adults

CCS’s Business Innovation Design will help spur further innovation by the following:
• Facilitate workshops, conferences, and help-a-thons to increase knowledge sharing and collaboration that leads to greater market use and expansion of new technologies
• Map the technology landscape to identify the challenges faced by innovators in getting their technologies to market.
• Create an ecosystem for seed through series C investment
• Create business best practice documents to aid new start-ups creating human-specific testing methods and a playbook with value inflection points and path to revenue and exit.
• Securing public funding for research and development by expanding our outreach to governmental, charitable, and other funders of biomedical research
• Establish a CCS-directed funding program of research that has great potential for commercial application, and/or sponsoring Ph.D. scholarships to encourage early-career scientists in the fields of human-specific research methods.
• Establish prize-competitions (or challenge grants) to spur innovation. High-profile competitions with strong financial awards have been shown in other areas such as ecological conservation to garner media attraction, recruit new scientists into the field, and foster collaboration among research groups.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of training workshops

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

Science and Technology

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Breakthroughs: Unlocking the Future of Medicine. CCS is planning a series of scientific workshops to be implemented in 2021 in partnership with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Number of groups brought together in a coalition/alliance/partnership

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Health

Related Program

Business Innovation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CCS is a bridge builder between innovators, researchers, investors and governmental agencies. Strategic partnership meetings: 23, including academic institutions, governmental agencies, and industry.

Number of briefings or presentations held

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Health

Related Program

Science and Technology

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Interviews/media/webinars/podcasts: 28, reaching an audience of more than 200,000. CCS Academic and Scientific Presentations: 7

Number of research studies conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Health

Related Program

Science and Technology

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CCS Publications and Reports: 5

Number of audience members with favorable attitudes towards the issue or interest

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Health

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CCS has a growing online audience. Our platforms are LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Medium.com, and our CCS website.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Goal 1: Create an ecosystem of better and diverse options for innovative human-specific research methods.
We will help spur further innovation by facilitating participation and communication across partners, including innovators, funders and end users. We will continue our workshops and establish conferences to increase knowledge sharing and collaboration. We will continue to expand our outreach to funders of biomedical research and establish CCS-directed funding programs (including challenge grants or prize competitions).

Goal 2: Create increased desire for and recognition of need for human-specific research methods.
Greater knowledge of human-specific methods is key to their greater adoption and use in place of animals. We will increase our programs around knowledge sharing, attracting new scientists to the field, and garnering media attention to achieve this.

Goal 3: Create changed behaviors and demonstrable urgency to replace animal testing with improved methods.
Building on Goal 2, we will “level the playing field’ by working with policy makers and regulators to increase funding for human-based methods, prioritize their use, and expedite and improve their validation process.

1: Establishing CCS as a thought leader in human-specific research methods.
We will be a one-stop shop for information and guidance, collating papers and articles, compiling stakeholder databases, and publishing our own work reviewing and analyzing the field, both in scientific journals and in the media. All this information will be on our website. We will build our scientific team of experts to achieve this, and to be points of contact for consultation and advice.


2. Advancing research, strategic partner participation, and knowledge sharing of human-based research methods.
We will develop and conduct workshops involving diverse partners to improve awareness and investigate how human-based methods can be used to their full potential to answer major research questions. We will produce roadmaps, and act on them, to achieve measurable progress.

3: Collaborating with medical charities and industries/corporations to increase funding of human-specific research methods.
We will establish dialogue with medical research charities and patient advocacy groups to highlight the benefits of shifting their research focus to human-specific methods, advise how this can be achieved, and to encourage them to act. We will also forge relationships and dialogue with governmental agencies and other funders to achieve the same goals.

4: Fostering the next generation of innovators and scientists in human-specific research methods.
We will work with academic institutions to ensure that students in the medical and life sciences are sufficiently educated about human-based research, and to encourage their participation in this field in their careers. We will implement targeted efforts to improve diversity of underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences and increase their leadership in developing human-specific research methods.

5: Creating an inspiring and financially strong workplace.
We will ensure we are as strong as possible to deliver and achieve our goals. We will build a knowledgeable, experienced, motivated, diverse, and happy team, and seek every opportunity to raise funds from many sources to strengthen our financial standing and implement the programs we envision.

CCS envisions its role in building collaboration with diverse partners to spur innovation across the biomedical research field. To attain this intermediate goal, CCS will continue its outreach programs with medical charities and corporations which fund biomedical research to prioritize funding of human-specific testing methods.

For successful development and widespread use of human-specific research methods, there needs to be greater recognition among biomedical scientists about how these methods are needed. CCS will catalyze this by increasing its programs around knowledge sharing, boosting media attention to these technologies, and generating new scientists developing and using these tools.

CCS began with its founder and CEO, Dr. Aysha Akhtar. In May 2020, Damon Isaacs, Chief Operating Officer, joined the team. By September 2020, the team grew to five including Dr. Jarrod Bailey, Director of Science and Technology and Torrey Kraiss, Chief Development Officer.

During the first three months the organization was established and the IRS recognized CCS as a non-profit. The accounting and payroll systems were put into place.

Pentagram Designs (NYC) was hired to develop the brand and develop the new website, P Jones Communications was contracted to develop and execute a public relations campaign. Both the modern website and the public relations campaign were launched in September 2020.

Additionally, CCS has created three stakeholder databases that will be freely available on our website. AT the time no such stakeholder database existed. The three databases will provide a comprehensive overview of: a) Companies (new and established); (b) Academic centers; and (c) Governmental centers that are developing human-specific research methods.

Financials

Center for Contemporary Sciences, Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Center for Contemporary Sciences, Inc

Board of directors
as of 3/24/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Nathan Herschler

New England Anti-Vivisection Society

Term: 2019 -

Pamela Spencer

ANGUS Chemical Company

Warren Casey

The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods

Jessica McDonough

Wyss Institute at Harvard

Aysha Akhtar

Center for Contemporary Sciences

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/02/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Pakistani
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/24/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.