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The Director’s Challenge Innovation Award Program

The NIH Director¹s Challenge Innovation Award Program aims to encourage trans-NIH collaborations, and to provide seed money for innovative and high-impact research. The goal is to stimulate new and even risky research projects, rather than to expand ongoing efforts. Every two years, the Office of Intramural Research will request applications from intramural researchers. Applications must include a collaboration of tenured or tenure-track principal investigators from two or more Institutes/Centers.

Proposals are reviewed by a panel of senior intramural investigators.

Preference is given to projects in research areas chosen for that year's competition.

In fiscal year 2009, the program made eight 2-year awards, ranging in amount from $75,000 to $250,000 per year. The preferred topics this year included Biomarkers and Personalized Medicine, Epigenetics and Gene Expression, and Stem Cells. The next competition will be held in FY2011.

The currently funded projects, project leaders, and collaborating Institute/Centers are:

  • Chemical profiling of drug sensitivity in P. falciparum malarial strains, Chris Austin (NHGRI, NIAID)
  • Function and mechanisms of gene movement in living cells, Ranjen Sen (NIA, NCI)
  • Early biomarkers of nephropathy in type 2 diabetes, Frank Gonzalez (NCI, NIDDK)
  • The methylome in health and disease: survey of unmethylated CpGs, Lutz Birnbaumer (NIEHS, NIDDK)
  • Subcellular microdissection for the identification of organelle proteins, Sanford Markey (NIMH, NICHD)
  • Epigenomic regulation of mammalian development and differentiation, Vittorio Sartorelli (NIAMS, NEI, NCI, NHLBI)
  • Sequence-based investigation of MRSA Infection, Julie Segre (NHGRI, CC, NIAID, NCI)
  • Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for the study of human disorder, Heiner Westphal (NICHD, NHGRI, NIDA, NIAMS)

The FY2009 - 2010 Request for Applications can be viewed here.

For more information, contact Dr. Charles Dearolf, Assistant Director for Intramural Research.

The page was last updated on Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 10:36am