Garraway and Johnson receive NIH Innovator Awards
DF/HCC Members Levi Garraway MD, PhD, and Mark Johnson, MD, PhD, were recently announced by the NIH as 2007 recipients of the NIH Director's New Innovator Award.
The New Innovator Award, which was established this year for new investigators who finished their doctoral degrees during the past 10 years and have not received an R01 grant, is part of an NIH Roadmap for Medical Research initiative that tests new approaches to supporting research.
The NIH engaged 262 experts from the scientific community to help identify the most highly competitive individuals in each pool. An advisory committee performed the final review and made recommendations to NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD, based on the evaluations by the outside experts and programmatic considerations. Out of the more than 2,200 applicants, Garraway, Johnson, and 27 other scientists from across the United States were awarded $1.5 million of research support each over five years.
Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a principal investigator in the Center for Cancer Genome Discovery. Garraway's research is focusing on genomics technologies to identify mutations in cancer cell DNA, and to understand how those mutations might make cancer cells vulnerable to new targeted therapies. He will use the New Innovator Award to help support his investigation of a novel genetic and chemical screening approach to identify changes in malignant melanoma tumor cells that could be targets for new treatments.
Mark Johnson, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Johnson is examining the role of decreased synthesis of microRNA, a recently discovered class of molecules, in the development and aggressiveness of human cancer. Johnson will use the New Innovator Award to integrate mass spectrometry proteomics and genome-wide array analyses to investigate the effects of microRNA dysregulation on aggressiveness in brain cancer.