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Program Snapshot

Part of the Common Fund's High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the New Innovator Award supports exceptionally creative, early-career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects with no preliminary data required.

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Reinforcing the Circadian Clock to Gate Immune Response

Nicolas Buchler, a 2011 New Innovator, published a paper in Nature describing how two biological clocks work together to help plants maintain daily activities while dealing with intermittent demands, such as infections. The researchers further identified the gene NPR1 that links the two clocks, allowing them to work together.
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Accelerating Wound Healing

Dino Di Carlo, a 2010 New Innovator, published a paper in Nature Materials showing accelerated wound healing with the use of an injectable, interconnected microporous gel scaffold from annealed microgel building blocks whose chemical and physical properties can be tailored to fit the needs of the tissue and provides a scaffold for tissue regrowth and regeneration.
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Resetting the Brain to Cure Developmental Disorders

Sunil Gandhi, a 2013 New Innovator, published a paper in Neuron demonstrating a new method to reactivate plasticity in the adult brain to correct earlier developmental disorders through transplantation of embryonic inhibitory neurons. Using this method, Gandhi was able to correct amblyopia (lazy eye) in adult mice. The method will be a powerful investigative tool for understanding brain disorders and could lead to therapies for diseases like epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism. It could also assist with conditions such as spinal cord injury or strokes.
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Application Information

•  Early stage investigator with no R01 or equivalent NIH grant
•  Within 10 years of doctoral degree or medical internship/residency
•  No preliminary data required
•  Awards up to $300K per year for up to 5 years
•  More information
Application Status
FY 2016 RFA-RM-13-007
Due October 16, 2015


Notice of Modification to RFA-RM-13-007 (Biographical Sketch & Research Strategy)


Biomarkers and Questionnaires Predict Suicide Risk


The research of Alexander Niculescu, a 2010 awardee, is featured in NIH Research Matters. Niculescu identified several genes in the blood whose activity is related to suicidal thoughts and actions in men with psychiatric disorders. Combined with app-based questionnaires measuring risk factors for suicide, researchers could predict serious suicidal thoughts in male psychiatric patients with 92% accuracy. Together, the genetic findings and questionnaires could enable clinicians to predict which patients are likely to attempt suicide.

Narrowing in on Pituitary Tumors


Nathalie Agar, a 2010 awardee, discusses her work in Health Canal Exit Disclaimer on a new strategy using a visualization technique (MALDI MSI) that can analyze specific hormones, including growth hormone and prolactin, in tissue to determine the hormone composition in a pituitary sample in less than 30 minutes. This could give surgeons critical information to help distinguish tumor from healthy gland tissue.

Curious about Tuberculosis


Bree Aldridge, a 2013 awardee, is featured in a video on the NIH Director's Blog talking about her research, career, and work-life balance.

Kjersti Aagaard Honored with 2015 DeBakey Research Award


Kjersti Aagaard, a 2007 awardee, was honored with the Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Award Exit Disclaimer by the Baylor College of Medicine. The award recognizes faculty members with significant scientific contributions to clinical or basic research.

Pardis Sabeti Listed in "The 100 Most Influential People" in Time Magazine


2009 awardee Pardis Sabeti Exit Disclaimer was recognized for her dangerous and crucial work during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Sabeti led a team of scientists in sequencing viral samples from infected patients to show the virus was spreading human to human. The team was eventually able to identify a single animal to human transmission that was responsible for the devastating Ebola epidemic throughout Africa.

Andrea Armani Named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum


2010 awardee Andrea Armani was named a Young Global Leader Exit Disclaimer by the World Economic Forum. The competition spans all fields, including business, social science, politics, engineering, and traditional sciences. Young Global Leaders are described as the planet’s top young leaders under the age of 40, who are “bold, brave, action-oriented and entrepreneurial…[who] commit both their time and talent to make the world a better place.”

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   Agenda  •  Abstracts  •  Photos Exit Disclaimer  •  Videocasts from Day 1Day 2, and Day 3

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