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Salk scientists score National Institutes of Health New Innovator Awards

Björn F. Lillemeier, and Axel Nimmerjahn

Left to right: Björn F. Lillemeier, and Axel Nimmerjahn

Salk researchers Björn F. Lillemeier and Axel Nimmerjahn have been named recipients of the prestigious 2012 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award.

The NIH Director's New Innovator Award is a highly selective program drawing hundreds of applicants from the nation's top scientific institutions. Established in 2007, it addresses two primary goals: stimulating innovative research and supporting promising new investigators. It supports exceptionally creative young scientists who propose innovative projects with the potential for extraordinary impact. Only 51 scientists received the honor this year.

Lillemeier and Nimmerjahn will each receive $1.5 million over five years, part of a group of young investigators who have been awarded approximately $155 million to pursue visionary science with the potential to transform scientific fields and speed the translation of research into improved health.

"It is extremely rare that a scientist would re ceive such an honor in his career, and even more exciting that an institute is fortunate enough to have two recipients selected for an NIH Director's New Innovator Award at the same time," said William R. Brody, Salk president. "We are very proud of Björn and Axel and grateful for NIH's support of young researchers who pursue innovative and bold science."