NIH Announces 115 Awards to Encourage High-Risk Research and Innovation. 2009 New Innovator Award Recipients: Mark W. Albers, Massachusetts General Hospital - The Olfactory Neural Circuit as a Systems Level Model of Neurodegenerative Disease

Publication Date: 
Thu, 09/24/2009

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that it is awarding $348 million to encourage investigators to explore bold ideas that have the potentail to catapult fields forward and speed the translation of research into improved heatlh.

The full complement of awards is granted under three innovative reserach programs supported by the NIH Common Fund's Roadmap for Medical Research:  The NIH Director's Transformative R01 (T-01) Awards, Pioneer Awards, and New Innovator Awards. The Common Fund, enacted into law by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act, supports cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs with a particular emphasis on innovation and risk-taking. A portion of these New Innovator Awards is also supported by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"The appeal of the Pioneer, New Innovator, and now the T-R01 programs, is that investigators are encouraged to challenge the status quo with innovative ideas, while being given the necessary resources to test them," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. "The fact that we continue to receive such strong proposals for funding through the programs reflects the wealth of creative ideas in science today."