NIH Director's award
October 12, 2021
On Oct. 5, the National Institutes of Health announced the names of 106 scientists who have been awarded grants through the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program to advance highly innovative biomedical and behavioral research. Seven of the recipients are MIT faculty members.
The High-Risk, High-Reward Research program catalyzes scientific discovery by supporting research proposals that, due to their inherent risk, may struggle in the traditional peer-review process despite their transformative potential. Program applicants are encouraged to pursue trailblazing ideas in any area of research relevant to the NIH’s mission to advance knowledge and enhance health.
Polina Anikeeva received a Pioneer Award, which “challenges investigators at all career levels to pursue new research directions and develop groundbreaking, high-impact approaches to a broad area of biomedical, behavioral, or social science.” Anikeeva is an MIT professor of materials science and engineering, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and a McGovern Institute for Brain Research associate investigator. She has established a research program that uniquely combines materials synthesis, device fabrication, neurophysiology, and animal models of behavior. Her group carries out projects that understand, invent, and design materials from the level of atoms to functional devices with applications in fundamental neuroscience.