Three from MIT receive National Health Institute Awards | MIT News

A few MIT faculty members have been picked out to acquire the New Innovators Award from the Countrywide Institutes of Wellness (NIH) as aspect of its Significant-Chance, Significant-Reward Analysis plan.

Michael Birnbaum and Anders Hansen, both assistant professors of the Section of Organic Engineering, and Tami Lieberman, an assistant professor of the Section of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will every acquire the award.

“The flexibility offered by this award will allow for my young lab to pursue the most intriguing and significant prospects we uncover as we construct new genomic applications to understand human microbiomes. It suggests a whole lot to acquire this recognition as an innovator,” Lieberman suggests.

The NIH Frequent Fund supports a collection of extremely higher-affect courses that cross NIH institutes and facilities. Frequent Fund courses pursue important prospects and gaps in biomedical research that need trans-NIH collaboration to do well. Just about every award recipient will acquire $one.5 million in direct charge funding, budgeted for 5 many years but provided up front to allow for the recipients to use as they see healthy.

The Significant-Chance, Significant-Reward Analysis plan catalyzes scientific discovery by supporting research proposals that, due to their inherent danger, could battle in the conventional peer-critique approach regardless of their transformative possible. Software candidates are inspired to imagine “outside the box” and to pursue trailblazing ideas in any place of research related to the NIH’s mission to progress know-how and enhance wellbeing.

The New Innovator Award, established in 2007, supports unusually ground breaking research from early vocation investigators who are in just 10 many years of their last degree or scientific residency and have not nevertheless received a research undertaking grant or equivalent NIH grant.

Birnbaum is affiliated with the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Analysis at MIT. The Birnbaum Lab focuses on comprehending and manipulating immune responses in the context of most cancers and HIV infection by using protein biochemistry, protein engineering, following-era sequencing, and bioinformatics.

Birnbaum received a BA in chemical and physical biology at Harvard University in 2008. He went on to Stanford University, exactly where he done his PhD in immunology in 2014. Continuing at Stanford for his postdoc, he labored in Professor Carla Shatz’s laboratory, studying novel roles for immune receptors expressed by neurons in neural growth and neurodegenerative ailment. 

Birnbaum was a new recipient of the Michelson Prize 2020.

Hansen joined MIT as an assistant professor of biological engineering in February 2020. His lab explores 3D genome composition and function in time and house. Particularly, the Hansen Lab is creating new super-resolution and one-molecule microscopy methods to stick to chromatin looping and gene regulation from “delivery-to-loss of life” inside living cells. 

Hansen received his undergraduate and master’s degree in chemistry at Oxford University in 2010. He received his PhD in chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard University in 2015. For his postdoc at the University of California at Berkeley, Anders designed new imaging methods for dissecting 3D genome organization dynamics with one-molecule resolution in living cells. 

A computational and mathematical biologist, Lieberman, the Hermann L. F. von Helmholtz Career Development Professor, is also a member of the main faculty at the Institute for Health-related Engineering and Science (IMES), and the Harvard-MIT Software in Wellness Sciences and Technological innovation (HST). She is also an affiliate member of both the Wide and Ragon institutes. Her lab research how germs mutate and evolve for the duration of wellbeing, with a important concentrate on human skin microbiomes. Her lab works by using mutations as a device to uncover mechanistic comprehending of bacterial behavior in vivo, toward the lengthy-term purpose of enabling the exact manipulations of microbiomes in the clinic and the surroundings. Her lab works by using experimental, computational and modeling methods.

Lieberman experienced in molecular biology and arithmetic at Northwestern University, exactly where she performed research in the laboratory of Jon Widom and was funded by a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. She then attained a PhD in systems biology from Harvard University, exactly where she performed research in Roy Kishony’s laboratory. For the duration of her graduate research, Lieberman designed new genomic methods for comprehending how germs evolve for the duration of infections of person people, and designed new experimental applications for dissecting the evolution of antibiotic resistance. As a postdoc in Eric Alm’s lab at MIT, she more designed and utilized these genomic methods to understand the microbes that colonize us for the duration of wellbeing.