NIH Supports Transformative Research | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: September 25, 2008

NIH Supports Transformative Research

Agency names Director's Pioneer Award and New Innovator Award recipients for 2008
Department: Government & Policy, Science & Technology

The National Institutes of Health announced the 2008 recipients of its Director's Pioneer Awards and New Innovator Awards on Sept. 22. The two programs, which are part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, will provide nearly $140 million in grants to 47 scientists over then next five years.

In its fifth year, the Pioneer Award is given to researchers at any stage in their career to support high-risk, high-impact research. The New Innovator Award is in its second year and is open to early-career scientists who have not yet received a regular NIH research grant such as an R01 grant.

"Nothing is more important to me than stimulating and sustaining deep innovation, especially for early-career investigators and despite challenging budgetary times," NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni said in a statement. "These highly creative researchers are tackling important scientific challenges with bold ideas and inventive technologies that promise to break through barriers and radically shift our understanding."

"Chemists are well represented in both the NIH Director's Pioneer and New Innovator awardees," adds Jeremy M. Berg, director of NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences. "This reflects, in part, the ability of chemists to drive biomedical research through the development of novel molecules, materials, and technologies. Such developments offer the potential for significant impact, making them well suited for support through these programs," he tells C&EN.

The five chemically related researchers who are among the 16 Pioneer awardees are James K. Chen, Stanford University; Charles M. Lieber, Harvard University; Teri W. Odom, Northwestern University; Hongkun Park, Harvard; and Alice Y. Ting, MIT.

Eight of the 31 New Innovator awardees are from chemical fields. They are Timothy J. Cardozo, New York School of Medicine; Karen L. Christman, University of California, San Diego; Xiangfeng Duan, UCLA; David H. Gracias, Johns Hopkins University; Christy L. Haynes, University of Minnesota; Lara K. Mahal, University of Texas, Austin; William M. Shih, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and Lei Wang, Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

 
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