Awards First Eureka Grants for
Exceptionally Innovative Research
National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $42.2 million
38 exceptionally innovative research projects that could have
an extraordinarily significant impact on many areas of science.
The grants, the first made in a new program called EUREKA (for
Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration),
help investigators test novel, often unconventional hypotheses
or tackle major methodological or technical challenges.
projects promise remarkable outcomes that could revolutionize
science," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "The
program reflects NIH’s commitment to supporting potentially
transformative research, even if it carries a greater than
usual degree of scientific risk."
will receive direct costs of approximately $200,000 per year
for up to four years, subject to the availability of appropriations.
Among the new grants are projects that seek to:
adult cells to resemble embryonic stem cells using a new approach,
enabling scientists to create patient-specific cells for treating
a variety of degenerative diseases without the risk of inducing
cancer. Tanja Dominko, Ph.D., Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
RNA-based strategy for getting material into the brain without
the need for a direct injection. Beverly
L. Davidson, Ph.D., University of Iowa,
entirely new way of studying cells and organisms using light
and a light-sensitive molecule to instantly degrade proteins.
Russell N. Van Gelder, M.D., Ph.D., University of Washington
Medical Center, Seattle
is an experiment in how to attract, identify, and support particularly
creative approaches that, if successful, could move science forward dramatically," said
Jeremy M. Berg, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of General Medical
Sciences (NIGMS), which led the development of the EUREKA program.
way EUREKA does this is through a specialized application and
review process focusing on the significance and innovation
of the proposal."
to NIGMS, the other NIH components funding EUREKA projects
are the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,
the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute
on Drug Abuse.