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Dana Pe’er
Dana Pe’er: Decoding
Genetic Variations and Regulatory Networks

Sept. 20, 2007

Three Columbia Scientists Receive Prestigious NIH
Awards for Biomedical and Behavioral Research

Two leading scientists at Columbia University, Dana Pe’er, a computational biologist, and Frances Champagne, a neurobiologist, are among 29 researchers selected from more than 2,100 applicants to receive the 2007 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovators Awards. The awards recognize the promising work of scientists who are in the early years of their career and who have not previously received an NIH regular research, or R01, grant.

The New Innovator Awards acknowledge that many scientists at the start of their career are faced with the Herculean task of finding funding while simultaneously advancing their research.

Frances Champagne
Frances Champagne:
Understanding the Mechanisms Mediating the Inheritance of Reproductive Behavior

“It is a classic chicken-or-the-egg scenario: In order to do your work, you need funding, but it’s difficult to get funding if you cannot yet show results for your work,” said Pe’er, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Columbia.

NIH Names Bearman
a Pioneer

Peter Bearman

The NIH Pioneer Award, now in its fourth year, recognizes exceptionally creative scientists who are at any stage in their career and propose ground-breaking approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. Columbia’s Peter Bearman has been selected as one of this year’s awardees for his proposal, "Social Determinants of the Autism Epidemic." The Pioneer Award is also part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research initiative. More

Pe’er and Champagne, an assistant professor of neurobiology and behavior in the Department of Psychology, feel that their NIH awards will help further the University’s contributions to the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

“That two Columbia scientists were chosen from a pool of more than 2,100 applications to receive this award demonstrates the University’s commitment to biomedical research,” said Champagne.

The New Innovator Awards was launched to support the efforts of new investigators who demonstrate exceptional creativity and promise in their approaches to solving significant questions of biomedical and behavioral impact. The New Innovators Awards is an initiative of the Roadmap for Medical Research, established by NIH Director, Elias A. Zerhouni, to facilitate and expand medical research and its application to direct patient care.

– Written by Clare Oh.