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Program Snapshot

Part of the Common Fund's High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the Pioneer Award supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity, who propose pioneering and transforming approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.

 

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Highlights

Treating Mitochondrial Disease with Hypoxia

Vamsi Mootha (2011 Transformative Researcher) and Feng Zhang (2010 and 2015 Transformative Researcher and 2012 Pioneer) found low levels of oxygen is an effective therapy for mitochondrial diseases, which are debilitating and largely untreatable. Zebrafish and mouse models showed fewer symptoms and had a dramatically longer life span when raised in a low oxygen environment.

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Uncovering RNA Structure

Pehr Harbury, a 2005 Pioneer, developed a method that reveals structural and ensemble properties of RNAs and RNA-protein complexes, providing information necessary to understand, predict, and engineer the behavior and function of RNAs and their protein complexes.
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Tracing Free-Floating DNA Back to Its Source

Jay Shendure, a 2013 Pioneer, developed a method capable of identifying the source of free-floating DNA circulating in blood plasma by identifying the "footprints" of transcription factors and matching them to the cells of origin. The method opens the possibility of being able to identify and trace the source of cancers and improve the diagnosis, treatment, and management of a vast array of health conditions.

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Application Information

•  Open to all career stages
•  Reference Letters required
•  Minimum of 51% research effort
•  Awards up to $700K per year for up to 5 years
•  More information
 
Application Status
FY 2016 Under Review
FY 2017

RFA-RM-16-005
Due September 2, 2016

Announcements

Complex Solutions to Inflammation

 

Hao Wu, a 2015 Pioneer, is featured in the NIH Director's Blog for her work developing small molecules or altered proteins that could be delivered to immune cells to prevent runaway inflammation.

Tracing Free-Floating DNA Back to Its Source

 

Jay Shendure, a 2013 Pioneer, is featured in the NIH Director's Blog for developing a new tool that can trace free-floating DNA back to its original source. The method opens the possibility of being able to identify cancers and improve the diagnosis, treatment, and management of a vast array of health conditions all with a simple blood draw.



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


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 Sciences.

New Technology Promises Fast, Accurate Stroke Diagnosis

 

Alexander Travis (2009 Pioneer) is featured in Science Daily for his work developing technology to diagnose strokes. Enzymes attached to nanoparticles are used to detect stroke biomarker molecules and convert the detection into light.


View Awardee Bios  •  Read Press Release

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