High risk NIH grants announced

Forty-seven researchers -- including 31 early career investigators -- will split a pot of $138 million dollars for research recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as bold and potentially transformative. The NIH Director's Pioneer and New Innovator Awards aim to fund high risk-high reward projects that tend to get passed over during the linkurl:peer-review selection;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54893/ for NIH R01 grants. "There's a tendency for investment early in

Jennifer Evans
Sep 21, 2008
Forty-seven researchers -- including 31 early career investigators -- will split a pot of $138 million dollars for research recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as bold and potentially transformative. The NIH Director's Pioneer and New Innovator Awards aim to fund high risk-high reward projects that tend to get passed over during the linkurl:peer-review selection;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54893/ for NIH R01 grants. "There's a tendency for investment early in career to be very conservative ... and there's some wisdom in the generic advice about not being too bold, to establish [one's career]," said Jeremy Berg, director of National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the institute overseeing the two grants. "[With these awards] we are trying to ... give innovative young scientists a chance to do their thing." Pioneer Awards were open to scientists at all career levels, while New Innovator Awards were reserved for researchers who have not yet received...
Institutes of Health (NIH) as bold and potentially transformative. The NIH Director's Pioneer and New Innovator Awards aim to fund high risk-high reward projects that tend to get passed over during the linkurl:peer-review selection;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54893/ for NIH R01 grants. "There's a tendency for investment early in career to be very conservative ... and there's some wisdom in the generic advice about not being too bold, to establish [one's career]," said Jeremy Berg, director of National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the institute overseeing the two grants. "[With these awards] we are trying to ... give innovative young scientists a chance to do their thing." Pioneer Awards were open to scientists at all career levels, while New Innovator Awards were reserved for researchers who have not yet received R01 or equivalent NIH grants and fall within 10 years of the completion of doctorate or clinical training, Berg explained. Pioneer Award winners will receive each $2.5 million in direct costs over five years and New Innovators will receive $1.5 million over the same time period. Please click following links for a list of recent linkurl:Pioneer;http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/pioneer/Recipients08.aspx and linkurl:New Innovator Award;http://grants.nih.gov/grants/new_investigators/innovator_award/fy2008_awards.htm recipients. "It is a real concern of all of us at NIH that early stage investment tends to suffer more when linkurl:budgets get constrained,";http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/49077/ Berg said. linkurl:Christy Haynes,;http://www.chem.umn.edu/groups/haynes/index.html assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Minnesota and recipient of a New Innovator Award, said she will use her grant money to create an in vitro model of the immune system using a microfluidic chip. "I think the NIH recognizes if you take a risk on a small number of people, you could get a big pay-off," she said. Other award recipients included: linkurl:Aaron Gitler,;http://gitlerlab.googlepages.com/ an assistant professor of cell and developmental biology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and New Innovator Award recipient, studies protein misfolding in the yeast model system Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Gitler plans to use this model to study the mechanisms contributing to protein misfolding in neurodegenerative diseases. linkurl:Bruce Hay,;http://www.its.caltech.edu/~haylab/ associate professor of biology at the California Institute of Technology and Pioneer Award Recipient, works with genetic methods to manipulate genetics of wild populations. Hay plans to develop malaria-resistant mosquitoes capable of replicating quickly in the wild. September 22: This post has been updated from a previous version.

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