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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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Highlights

Developing an Auto-Focusing Contact Lens Modeled after Fish

Hongrui Jiang, a 2011 New Innovator, designed extremely small, super light-sensitive sensors inspired by the highly effective light-gathering retina of elephant nose fish. The work is a step towards creating a contact lens that autofocuses within milliseconds that can be used to treat presbyopia, a stiffening of the eye's lens that makes it difficult to focus on close objects.

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Crossing the Blood-Brain Barrier to Deliver Genes

Viviana Gradinaru, a 2013 New Innovator, modified a virus so it is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier to deliver genes to nervous system cells. The virus could help researchers map the brain and deliver therapeutics.

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Using Gene Editing to Treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Amy Wagers (2008 New Innovator), George Church (2013 Transformative Researcher), and Feng Zhang (2012 Pioneer; 2010 & 2015 Transformative Researcher) published back-to-back Science papers on using the CRISPR-Cas9 system to edit the genome of a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and improving muscle function. Their work was featured in The New York Times Exit Disclaimer and Science News Exit Disclaimer.

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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 Under Review
FY 2017

RFA-RM-16-004
Due September 9, 2016

Announcements

Developing an Auto-Focusing Contact Lens Modeled after Fish

 

Hongrui Jiang, a 2011 New Innovator, designed extremely small, super light-sensitive sensors inspired by the retina of an elephant nose fish. The work is a step towards creating a contact lens that autofocuses within milliseconds that can be used to treat presbyopia. Jiang's work is featured in an NIH press release and on Discovery News Exit Disclaimer.

President Obama Announces Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers

 

Hillel Adesnik, Viviana Gradinaru, and Kay Tye (all 2013 New Innovators) were named by President Obama as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Ming Hammond's Research is Science Signaling's 2015 Signaling Breakthrough of the Year

 

Research by Ming Hammond, a 2011 New Innovator, was highlighted as a 2015 Signaling Breakthrough of the Year Exit Disclaimer by Science Signaling for the discovery of a natural riboswitch sensor for the bacterial signaling molecule cAG. More about her research is featured on UC Berkeley's website Exit Disclaimer.



Program Booklet  •  Abstracts  •  Photos Exit Disclaimer  •  Videocasts for Day 1Day 2, and Day 3


Keeping Worms Young

 

Michael Petrascheck, a 2011 New Innovator, was featured in The Guardian Exit Disclaimer and IFL Science! Exit Disclaimer for his use of an antidepressant drug to prolong life in roundworms by extending young adulthood. The drug fights against transcriptional drift and raises the possibility of using drugs to delay the onset of age-related disease.

Edward Boyden and Karl Deisseroth Receive 2016 Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize

 

Edward Boyden (2007 New Innovator, 2012 and 2013 Transformative Research, and 2013 Pioneer awardee) and Karl Deisseroth (2005 Pioneer and 2012 Transformative Research awardee) were awarded $3 million each for the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life SciencesExit Disclaimer

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