The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Names Recipients of the 2024 Charles A. Sanders, MD, Partnership Award

NORTH BETHESDA, Md., June 18, 2024 – The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) will award the 2024 Charles A. Sanders, MD, Partnership Award to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), AbbVie, and Robert and Sarah Newcomb. The Partnership Award recognizes persons or organizations that have made significant contributions to the FNIH’s work in support of the mission of the NIH.

“We are grateful to work with these outstanding partners and celebrate their many contributions to our research programs,” said FNIH President and CEO Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH. “Their dedication to advancing medical breakthroughs and their commitment to excellence underpin our success.”

NINDS, one of the NIH’s 27 Institutes and Centers, has partnered with the FNIH on a diverse range of public-private projects. NINDS is the NIH lead for the recently launched Accelerating Medicines Partnership® (AMP®) for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, AMP Parkinson’s Disease, and the Neurofilament as a Fluid Biomarker of Neurodegeneration in Familial Frontotemporal Degeneration project. NINDS supports future and early-career doctors and scholars with its participation in the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Foundation’s Getch Scholars program for neurosurgeons and its partnership in a summer internship program for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. Additionally, the FNIH works with NINDS on endowments focused on funding research for muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis and supporting an annual lecture.

For the past 13 years, AbbVie has participated in more than 20 FNIH-managed projects across a broad range of therapeutic areas. As a longstanding partner of the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium, AbbVie has helped accelerate and advance discovery and development for biomarkers that support new drug therapeutics, preventive medicine and diagnostics in areas such as osteoarthritis, multiple myeloma and acute myeloid leukemia. AbbVie also has been a partner in several AMP programs, including those focused on Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematous. Additionally, the company has participated in the Convening Experts in Oncology to Address Children’s Health (COACH) project, which seeks to advance therapeutic developments in childhood cancers, and the Lung Cancer Master Protocol (Lung-MAP), a precision medicine trial in non-small cell lung cancer.

Robert and Sarah Newcomb are longstanding partners of the FNIH. In 2001 they established a memorial fund to honor their late son, Robert Whitney Newcomb, PhD, and further his work on brain research and the chemical basis of stroke and aging at NINDS. Dr. Newcomb began research at NIH when in high school and continued later with a postdoctoral NIH grant. The Robert Whitney Newcomb Memorial Fund has provided substantial support in training and educational opportunities at the Institute. This contribution has funded 21 annual lectures on neurobiology and 27 high school internships in the laboratory of Susan Wray PhD, of the Cellular and Developmental Biology Section, and post-baccalaureate fellowships. Family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Newcomb have generously contributed to the Fund, with the commitment to continue supporting educational opportunities at NINDS.

The Charles A. Sanders, MD, Partnership Award is named for the former Chairman of the FNIH Board of Directors. The recipients will be awarded at the 12th Annual FNIH Awards Ceremony on the evening of October 29, 2024, in Washington, D.C. The FNIH 2024 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences and the 2024 Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists also will be presented during the Awards Ceremony. 

The FNIH gratefully acknowledges its Annual Awards Ceremony Premier Sponsors, Fred and Donna Seigel, and our Visionary Sponsors, Paul and Sandra Montrone, Dr. Gilbert S. Omenn and Ms. Martha A. Darling, and Steven and Jann Paul, MD. 

For more information about the Partnership Award, click here.

About the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) builds public-private partnerships that connect leading biomedical scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with their counterparts in life sciences companies, academia, patient organizations, foundations, and regulatory agencies (including the Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency). Through team science, the FNIH solves complex health challenges and accelerates breakthroughs for patients, regardless of who they are or what health threats they face. The FNIH contributes to the development of new therapies, diagnostics, and potential cures; advances global health and equity in care; and celebrates and helps train the next generations of scientists. Established by Congress in 1990 to support the mission of the NIH, the FNIH is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information about the FNIH, please visit

Follow us on social media: LinkedIn, X, Facebook.