NIH Awards Support Innovative Biomedical Research

The National Institutes of Health presented grants to 88 innovative biomedical researchers.

The High-Risk, High-Reward Research program recently awarded 88 grants to scientists who have bold approaches to various challenges in the field of biomedical research.

These challenges include research such as engineering immune cells producing drugs at the site of diseased tissue, creating a sensor that detects antibiotic resistance, understanding how parasites prevent detection by changing surface proteins, and creating implants that run off of electricity from the heart, according to a press release from the program supported by the National Institutes of Health’s Common Fund.

Although the National Institutes of Health does not traditionally support individual scientists, this program seeks to provide funding for those with ideas that could have a significant impact, but may be too early to do well in the peer review process.

The new awards encourage creative thinkers to conduct innovative biomedical research, according to the press release.

The Common Fund supports multiple high-impact programs, which pursue gaps in biomedical research that no single facet of the National Institutes of Health could fix.

The High-Risk, High-Reward program manages multiple awards including:

  • The Pioneer Award challenges scientists to pursue new research directions and create new approaches to biomedical or behavioral science.
  • The New Innovator Award supports innovate research conducted by early career scientists who are within 10 years of their degree or clinical residency, according to the press release.
  • The Transformative Research Award encourages cross-cutting, interdisciplinary approaches that could potentially change create new or challenge paradigms.
  • The Early Independence Award allows junior scientists to skip post-doctoral training and immediately start independent research.

This year, the National Institutes of Health presented 12 Pioneer awards, 48 New Innovator awards, 12 Transformative Research awards, and 16 Early Independence awards, which all total approximately $127 million.

“The program continues to support high-caliber investigators whose ideas stretch the boundaries of our scientific knowledge,” said National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. “We welcome the newest cohort of outstanding scientists to the program and look forward to their valuable contributions.”