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Program Snapshot

Part of the Common Fund's High-Risk, High-Reward Program, the NIH Director's New Innovator Award supports exceptionally creative, early-career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects with no preliminary data required.
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Monitoring the Progress of Stem Cells after Transplantation into Brain

Active NeuronJin Hyung Lee, a 2010 awardee, developed a technique to monitor the progress of stem cells after transplantation in the brain. The ability to detect successful engraftment, integration, and function of human cell transplantation in the brain could hasten the clinical use of stem-cell therapies in central nervous system disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
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Manipulating Gene Regulation

Charles Gersbach, a 2011 awardee, developed a new tool for manipulating gene regulation by creating a programmable CRISPR-Cas9-based-acetyltransferase to activate transcription of target genes from promoters and proximal and distal enhancers. The tool enables direct manipulation of the epigenome and downstream regulation with the potential of precisely controlling cell phenotypes.
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HIV Latency Confers Evolutionary Advantage

HIVLeor Weinberger, 2013 Pioneer and 2009 New Innovator Awardee, published back-to-back papers in Cell that demonstrate HIV latency is caused by the virus itself, rather than by the immune cells as was previously thought. His work suggests latency is a naturally selected tactic employed by the virus to increase infection rates and provides important information about how and why latency is established and maintained. Weinberg’s work on latency opens the door to novel therapeutic approaches to treat HIV infection.
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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 2015 Applications Under Review
FY 2016 RFA-RM-13-007
Due October 16, 2015


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


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.”

   Agenda  •  Abstracts  •  Videocasts from Day 1Day 2, and Day 3

Save the date for the 2015 High-Risk, High-Reward Research Symposium on December 7-9 at Natcher Conference Center, NIH, Bethesda, MD!
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