A key component of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, the Pioneer Award supports exceptionally creative scientists who take innovative approaches to major challenges in biomedical research. The award gives recipients the intellectual freedom to pursue groundbreaking new research directions that could have significant impact if successful but that, due to their novelty or other factors, also have inherently high risks of failure.
"The scientists we recognize with Pioneer Awards have far-ranging ideas that hold the potential to make truly extraordinary contributions to many fields of medical research," said Zerhouni. "The recipients reflect the talent and diversity of the impressive group of scientists who competed for the award. The strength of this group, and the willingness of a number of NIH components to contribute funds to the program, led us to make nearly twice as many awards as we originally planned. This speaks volumes about the exciting opportunities that lie ahead, and we look forward to seeing where the visionary concepts of our Pioneer Awardees lead."
The 2005 awardees work in diverse areas, including neuroscience, genetics, epidemiology, chemistry, stem cell biology, behavioral science, infectious diseases, and technology development. Six of the 13 are women and more than half are at relatively early stages of their careers (the associate professor level or below).
The new awardees, who will receive $500,000 in direct costs per year for five years, are: