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NIH Office of the Director (OD)

For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 24, 2009


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NIH Announces 115 Awards to Encourage High-Risk Research and Innovation
Recovery Act Funds Contribute to Increase

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that it is awarding $348 million to encourage investigators to explore bold ideas that have the potential to catapult fields forward and speed the translation of research into improved health.

The full complement of awards is granted under three innovative research programs supported by the NIH Common Fundís Roadmap for Medical Research: the NIH Directorís Transformative R01 (T-R01) Awards, Pioneer Awards, and New Innovator Awards. The Common Fund, enacted into law by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act, supports cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs with a particular emphasis on innovation and risk taking. A portion of these New Innovator Awards is also supported by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"The appeal of the Pioneer, New Innovator, and now the T-R01 programs, is that investigators are encouraged to challenge the status quo with innovative ideas, while being given the necessary resources to test them," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "The fact that we continue to receive such strong proposals for funding through the programs reflects the wealth of creative ideas in science today."

Accelerating the current pace of discovery through the support of highly innovative research is an ongoing effort at the NIH, but the NIH Director's T-R01 Program is new this year. Named for the standard investigator-initiated research project that the NIH supports, the R01, the T-R01s provide a new opportunity for scientists that is unmatched by any other NIH program. Since no budget cap is imposed and preliminary results are not required, scientists are free to propose new, bold ideas that may require significant resources to pursue. They are also given the flexibility to work in large, complex teams if the complexity of the research problem demands it.

This year, the NIH is granting 115 NIH Director's High-Risk Research Awards: 42 T-R01 Awards, 18 Pioneer Awards, and 55 New Innovator Awards for early-stage investigators.

The NIH expects to make competing awards of $30 million to T-R01 awardees, $13.5 million to Pioneer awardees, and approximately $131 million to New Innovators in Fiscal Year 2009. The total funding provided to this competing cohort over a five-year period is estimated to be $348 million. The New Innovator total includes $23 million in funds through the Recovery Act.

This year's awards make the largest number of Pioneer and New Innovator awards in the programsí history. Investigators funded via the 2004 cohort, the first year of the Pioneer Awards, have completed their projects. Details on the progress made by these awardees are available at http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/pioneer/Profiles04/index.aspx .

The 2009 recipients' names and institutions are listed below. More information on the Transformative R01 Award is at http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/T-R01. For descriptions of the 2009 recipients' research plans, see http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/T-R01/Recipients09.asp Information on the Pioneer Award is at http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/pioneer, including information on this year's awardees http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/pioneer/Recipients09.aspx and the two-day NIH Director's Pioneer Award Symposium which begins on Thursday, September 24, 2009, and is free and open to the public.

More information on the New Innovator Award is at http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/newinnovator. For descriptions of the 2009 recipientsí research plans, see http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/newinnovator/Recipients09.asp.

The NIH Common Fund encourages collaboration and supports a series of exceptionally high impact, trans-NIH programs known collectively as the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. The NIH Director's Transformative R01, Pioneer, and New Innovator Award programs are part of the NIH Roadmap. They are funded through the Common Fund and managed by the NIH Office of the Director and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, respectively. The Roadmap is a series of initiatives designed to pursue major opportunities and gaps in biomedical research that no single NIH institute could tackle alone, but that the agency as a whole can address to make the biggest impact possible on the progress of medical research. Additional information about the NIH Roadmap can be found at www.nihroadmap.nih.gov.

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at http://www.nih.gov/icd/od/.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
Some activities described in this release are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). More information about NIH's ARRA grant funding opportunities can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/recovery/. To track the progress of HHS activities funded through the ARRA, visit www.hhs.gov/recovery. To track all federal funds provided through the ARRA, visit www.recovery.gov.

2009 NIH Director's Transformative R01 Award Recipients

  • Frederick M. Ausubel, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School
  • Sylvie Breton, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • Julio A. Camarero, Ph.D., University of Southern California School of Pharmacy
  • Pinchas Cohen, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles
  • Benjamin F. Cravatt, Ph.D. and Thomas Kodadek, Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute
  • Michael P. Czech, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Gaudenz Danuser, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School; and Klaus M. Hahn, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Joshua T. Dubnau, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • David A. Fidock, Ph.D., Columbia University Health Sciences
  • Linda G. Griffith, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Calvin Kuo, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Andrew R. Hoffman, M.D., VA Palo Alto Health Care System / Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Ravi Iyengar, Ph.D., John Cijiang He, M.D., Ph.D. and Susana Neves, Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine; James C. Hone, Ph.D., Columbia University; and Leslie M. Loew, Ph.D., University of Connecticut Health Center
  • Samie R. Jaffrey, M.D., Ph.D., Weill Medical College, Cornell University
  • Ru-Rong Ji, Ph.D. and Charles N. Serhan, Ph.D., Brigham & Womenís Hospital /Harvard Medical School
  • Shohei Koide, Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • Eric Lagasse, Pharm.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Brendan Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
  • Frank S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Kim Lewis, Ph.D., Northeastern University
  • Long-Cheng Li, M.D. and Hao Li, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • John T. Lis, Ph.D., Harold G. Craighead, Ph.D., and Moonsoo Jin, Sc.D., Cornell University
  • Jaroslaw P. Maciejewski, M.D., Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic
  • Peter A. Margolis, Ph.D. and Michael Seid, Ph.D., Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • David M. Markovitz, M.D., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • Sanford Markowitz, M.D., Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Wallace Marshall, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
  • Partha P. Mitra, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • Deborah G. Murdock, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
  • Sheila T. Murphy, Ph.D., Annenberg School for Communication; Lourdes Baezconde Garbanati, Ph.D., M.P.H, Keck School of Medicine; Sandra Ball-Rokeach, Ph.D., and Robert Haile, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Kevin Niswender, M.D., Ph.D., Tennessee Valley Healthcare System and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Aurelio Galli, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Julie Parsonnet, M.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Gerald H. Pollack, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Charles M. Rice, Ph.D., Rockefeller University; Sangeeta Bhatia, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Richard W. Roberts, Ph.D., University of Southern California; Hyongsok (Tom) Soh, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Bela Suki, Ph.D., Boston University
  • Muneesh Tewari, M.D., Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Loren D. Walensky, M.D., Ph.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Robert B. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Joseph C. Wu, M.D. Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Xiaoliang S. Xie, Ph.D., Harvard University
  • Mark J. Zylka, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2009 NIH Directorís Pioneer Award Recipients

  • Ivor J. Benjamin, M.D., University of Utah School of Medicine
  • Ajay Chawla, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Chang-Zheng Chen, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Hilde Cheroutre, Ph.D., La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
  • Markus W. Covert, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Joseph M. DeSimone, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / North Carolina State University
  • Sylvia M. Evans, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
  • Joseph R. Fetcho, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Timothy E. Holy, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine
  • Tannishtha Reya, Ph.D., Duke University
  • Gene E. Robinson, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Susan M. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
  • Leona D. Samson, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Nirao M. Shah, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • Krishna V. Shenoy, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Sarah A. Tishkoff, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Alexander J. Travis, V.M.D., Ph.D., Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Jin Zhang, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

2009 NIH Directorís New Innovator Award Recipients

  • Mark W. Albers, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Adah Almutairi, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
  • Euan A. Ashley, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Michel Bagnat, Ph.D., Duke University School of Medicine
  • Gábor Balázsi, Ph.D., University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Ipsita Banerjee, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • Edward B. Brown III, Ph.D., University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Fernando Camargo, Ph.D., Children's Hospital Boston
  • Nikolaos Chronis, Ph.D., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • Ted Cohen, M.D., M.P.H., D.P.H., Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Elva D. Diaz, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, School of Medicine
  • Kathy DeRiemer, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, School of Medicine
  • Adam J. Engler, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
  • Alla Grishok, Ph.D., Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Ira M. Hall, Ph.D., University of Virginia
  • Sarah Heilshorn, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • K.C. Huang, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Sanjay K. Jain, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Kevin A. Janes, Ph.D., University of Virginia
  • Melissa Lambeth Kemp, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Gabriel Kreiman, Ph.D., Children's Hospital Boston / Harvard Medical School
  • Christopher Kristich, Ph.D., Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Siavash K. Kurdistani, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine
  • Naa Oyo A. Kwate, Ph.D., Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Kibum Lee, Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
  • Daniel A. Lim, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • Stavros Lomvardas, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • Andre G. Machado, M.D., Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine-CWRU
  • David Masopust, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Medical School
  • J. Rodrigo Mora, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School
  • Alysson R. Muotri, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine
  • Sunitha Nagrath, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School
  • Vikas Nanda, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Medical School / University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
  • Diane Joyce Ordway, Ph.D., Colorado State University
  • Aydogan Ozcan, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
  • Christine K. Payne, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Anna A. Penn, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
  • John S. Pezaris, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Patrick L. Purdon, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School
  • Shu-Bing Qian, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Wei-Jun Qian, Ph.D., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Leon Reijmers, Ph.D., Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Theresa M. Reineke, Ph.D., Virginia Tech
  • John L. Rinn, Ph.D. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center / Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
  • Pardis Christine Sabeti, M.D., D.Phil., Harvard University
  • Magali Saint-Geniez, Ph.D., Schepens Eye Research Institute/Harvard Medical School
  • Wenying Shou, Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Justin L. Sonnenburg, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Sohail Tavazoie, M.D., Ph.D., Rockefeller University
  • Jerilyn A. Timlin, Ph.D., Sandia National Laboratories
  • Cho-Lea Tso, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
  • Erik M. Ullian, Ph.D., University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
  • Vaiva Vezys, Ph.D, University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Leor S. Weinberger, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
  • Chun-Li Zhang, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

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