FNIH Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists

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2019 FNIH Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists

Overview

In 2018, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) launched the FNIH Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists (Trailblazer Prize), which recognizes the outstanding contributions of early career clinician-scientists whose work has the potential to or has led to innovations in patient care. This $10,000 honorarium and prize celebrates the transformational work of clinician-scientists, whose research translates basic scientific observations into new paradigm-shifting approaches for diagnosing, preventing, treating or curing disease and disability. The Trailblazer Prize is made possible by a generous donation from John I. Gallin, M.D., and Elaine Gallin, Ph.D., to the FNIH. 

The FNIH recognizes the unique and critical role that clinician-scientists play in the evolution of medical practice. As noted in the 2014 NIH Physician-Scientist Workforce Report, these individuals play a vital role in ensuring that biomedical advances ultimately benefit patients and improve public health.

2019 Recipient

James Kochenderfer, M.D., Investigator, Surgery Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI was selected as the recipient for the 2019 FNIH Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists for developing immunotherapies that leverage chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells to treat blood cancers, including lymphoma and multiple myeloma. The prize was presented at the FNIH Annual Fall Board Dinner on October 23, 2019 in Bethesda, MD.

The finalists for the 2019 Trailblazer Prize included:

  • Dr. Ami S. Bhatt, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Genetics School of Medicine, Stanford University, for developing genomic and metabolomic tools to track how the microbiome affects the clinical outcomes of cancer patients.
  • Dr. James Kochenderfer, Investigator, Surgery Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, for developing immunotherapies that leverage chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells to treat blood cancers, including lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
  • Dr. Evan Macosko, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, for developing Drop-seq and Slide-seq technologies that analyze genes expressed at the single-cell level and provide a deeper understanding of the molecular and cellular biology of the brain and other organs.
  • Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School for developing orally administered delivery systems of medications that reside in the gastric cavity for prolonged periods, as well as systems that enable the delivery of biologics, like insulin, orally.

The four finalists spoke at an event held by the FNIH at the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, D.C. on October 23, 2019 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress and their staff to hear presentations from each of the finalists and to learn more about the role of clinician-scientists in advancing public health. 

2018 Recipient

Michael Fox, M.D., Ph.D., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School was selected as the recipient of the inaugural FNIH Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists for developing innovative techniques to map human brain connectivity that can be translated into new treatments for neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and depression. The inaugural prize was presented at the FNIH Annual Fall Board Dinner on October 24, 2018 in Bethesda, MD.

The finalists for the 2018 Trailblazer Prize included:

  • Dr. Daniel Bauer, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Harvard Medical School, for pioneering research on genetic editing that can be translated into therapies for blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia.  
  • Dr. Jaehyuk Choi, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Dermatology, and of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (BMG), Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, for using genomics to identify mutations in skin cells that can lead to autoinflammatory diseases and cancer, and inspiring novel therapeutic approaches for these diseases.  
  • Dr. Michael Fox, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, for developing innovative techniques to map human brain connectivity that can be translated into new treatments for neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and depression.  

(Daniel Bauer, M.D., Ph.D., Jaehyuk Choi, M.D., Ph.D., Michael Fox, M.D., Ph.D., Steven M. Paul, M.D.)

 

Media

FNIH Press Release (October 23, 2019): Foundation for the NIH Awards 2019 Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists to Dr. James Kochenderfer

FNIH Press Release (September 4, 2019): Foundation for the NIH Names Finalists of the 2019 Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists

FNIH Press Release (October 25, 2018): Foundation for the NIH Bestows the Inaugural Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists to Dr. Michael Fox

FNIH Announcement (July 31, 2018): Foundation for the NIH Selects 3 Finalists for the Inaugural Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists

Partners

The Trailblazer Prize is supported by John I. Gallin, M.D., and Elaine Gallin, Ph.D.

Contact

Please email TrailblazerPrize@fnih.org with questions.