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.
Stuttering Mice Help Study Human Disorder
Timothy Holy, a 2009 Pioneer, engineered mice with the same mutations linked to human stuttering and found the mice mimicked similar vocalization patterns as human stutterers. The mouse model provides opportunities for new research in stuttering and treatments.
Lorna Role, a 2010 Pioneer, found an increased amount of acetylcholine in the amygdala during the formation of a traumatic memory strengthens the memory and makes it last longer, while decreasing acetylcholine during a traumatic experience wipes the memory out. The research offers treatment possibilities for diseases affecting memory and post-traumatic stress disorder.
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.
|• Open to all career stages
• 3 Reference Letters required
• Minimum of 51% research effort
• Awards up to $700K per year for up to 5 years
• More information
|FY 2016||Under Review|
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.
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.