NIH names 2013 High Risk-High Reward research award winners

Seventy-eight grants are being awarded to scientists proposing highly innovative approaches to major contemporary challenges in biomedical research, under the High Risk-High Reward program supported by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund (Bethesda, MD).

NIH director Francis S. Collins, MD, Ph.D., explains that the awards program allows researchers to propose highly creative research projects across a broad range of biomedical research areas that involve inherent risk, but have the potential for high rewards.

In 2013, NIH is awarding 12 Pioneer Awards, 41 New Innovator Awards, 10 Transformative Research Awards, and 15 Early Independence Awards. The total funding, which represents contributions from the NIH Common Fund and multiple NIH institutes and centers, is approximately $123 million.

2013 NIH Pioneer Award recipients

  • Amy F. T. Arnsten, Ph.D., Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  • Edward S. Boyden, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA)
  • Vadim N. Gladyshev, Ph.D., Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, MA)
  • Baljit Khakh, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles (UCLA; Los Angeles, CA)
  • Michael Z. Lin, MD, Ph.D., Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
  • Jay Ashok Shendure, MD, Ph.D., University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
  • Natalia A. Trayanova, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
  • Fan Wang, Ph.D., Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • Leor S. Weinberger, Ph.D., Gladstone Institutes (San Francisco, CA)
  • Xiaoliang Sunney Xie, Ph.D., Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • Rafael M. Yuste, MD, Ph.D., Columbia University New York Morningside (New York, NY)
  • Mark J. Zylka, Ph.D., University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC)

2013 NIH Director's New Innovator Award recipients

  • Hillel Adesnik, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • Jennifer Ahern, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • Sara J. Aton, Ph.D., University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Bree Beardsley Aldridge, Ph.D., Tufts University (Boston, MA)
  • Catherine A Blish, MD, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Jason Michael Crawford, Ph.D., Yale University
  • Arvin Dar, Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York, NY)
  • Rahul Chandrakant Deo, MD, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
  • Maximilian Diehn, MD, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Jeffrey D. Dvorin, MD, Ph.D., Boston Children's Hospital (Boston, MA)
  • Aaron Palmer Esser-Kahn, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine (Irvine, CA)
  • Scott E. Evans, MD, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX)
  • Dorothea Fiedler, Ph.D., Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  • Adam Frost, MD, Ph.D., University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Sunil Gandhi, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
  • Zev Jordan Gartner, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • Robert D. Gregg, Ph.D., University of Texas, Dallas (Dallas, TX)
  • Scott B. Hansen, Ph.D., Scripps (Jupiter, FL)
  • Tracey Jane Lamb, Ph.D., Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
  • Julius Beau Lucks, Ph.D., Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • Linsey Marr, Ph.D., Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
  • Houra Merrikh, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Seyed Ali Mortazavi, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
  • Ryan O'Connell, Ph.D., University of Utah
  • Jukka-Pekka Onnela, D.Sc., Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, MA)
  • Christian Petersen, Ph.D., Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  • Shelly R. Peyton, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Amherst, MA)
  • Vanessa Ruta, Ph.D., Rockefeller University (New York, NY)
  • Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D., Columbia University
  • Shomyseh Sanjabi, Ph.D., Gladstone Institutes
  • Elizabeth Susan Sattely, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • David Frank Savage, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • Marco Seandel, MD, Ph.D., Weill Medical College of Cornell University (New York, NY)
  • Sivaraj Sivaramakrishnan, Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • Derek James Taylor, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)
  • Anna DeGraff Tischler, Ph.D., University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Kay Maxine Tye, Ph.D., MIT
  • Viviana Gradinaru, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
  • Richard Mark White, MD, Ph.D., Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research (New York, NY)
  • Wilson Wong, Ph.D., Boston University (Charles River Campus)
  • Ying Zheng, Ph.D., University of Washington

2013 NIH Transformative Research Award recipients

  • Peng Yin, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA)
  • Molly L. Carnes, MD; Patricia G. Devine, Ph.D.; and Cecilia E. Ford, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI)
  • Konrad P. Kording, Ph.D., Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL); Edward S. Boyden, Ph.D., MIT; and George M. Church, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
  • Gail Mandel, Ph.D., John P. Adelman, Ph.D., and Paul Brehm, Ph.D., Oregon Health and Science University (Portland, OR); and Joshua J.C. Rosenthal, Ph.D., University of Puerto Rico, San Juan
  • Augusto C. Ochoa, MD, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (New Orleans, LA)
  • David Arnold Relman, MD, Palo Alto Institute for Research and Education, Inc. (Palo Alto, CA); and Susan P. Holmes, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Alice Y. Ting, Ph.D., MIT
  • Lihong Wang, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  • Tony Wyss-Coray, Ph.D., and Thomas A. Rando, MD, Ph.D., Palo Alto Institute for Research and Education Inc. and Stanford University
  • Demetri Yannopoulos, MD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

2013 NIH Director's Early Independence Award recipients

  • Gregory M. Alushin, Ph.D., National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (Bethesda, MD)
  • Isabelle Rhyssa Joe Eduria Baconguis, Ph.D., Oregon Health and Science University
  • Hans Tomas Bjornsson, MD, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University
  • Meredith M. Bruening, Ph.D., Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
  • Hannah Kathryn Carter, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego (San Diego, CA)
  • Christine Ann Denny, Ph.D., Columbia University Health Sciences
  • Elaine Hsiao, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
  • Anupam Bapu Jena, MD, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
  • Sebastian Lourido, Ph.D., Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (Cambridge, MA)
  • Jonathan F. Lovell, Ph.D., State University of New York, Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo; Buffalo, NY)
  • William Ludington, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • David Pincus, Ph.D., Whitehead Institute For Biomedical Research
  • Lei Stanley Qi, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • Eric T. Wang, Ph.D., MIT
  • David Eric Weinberg, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco

For more information, please visit


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