October 27, 2020

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Three from MIT receive National Health Institute Awards | MIT News

3 MIT faculty members have been picked to receive the New Innovators Award from the Countrywide Institutes of Health and fitness (NIH) as part of its Large-Threat, Large-Reward Investigate system.

Michael Birnbaum and Anders Hansen, each assistant professors of the Division of Biological Engineering, and Tami Lieberman, an assistant professor of the Division of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will each and every receive the award.

“The adaptability provided by this award will enable my young lab to pursue the most appealing and vital leads we uncover as we build new genomic equipment to fully grasp human microbiomes. It suggests a lot to receive this recognition as an innovator,” Lieberman claims.

The NIH Prevalent Fund supports a sequence of extremely significant-impact programs that cross NIH institutes and facilities. Prevalent Fund programs pursue big options and gaps in biomedical investigate that call for trans-NIH collaboration to succeed. Every award receiver will receive $one.5 million in immediate price funding, budgeted for five decades but specified up entrance to enable the recipients to use as they see in good shape.

The Large-Threat, Large-Reward Investigate system catalyzes scientific discovery by supporting investigate proposals that, thanks to their inherent risk, might wrestle in the regular peer-assessment method regardless of their transformative likely. Software candidates are encouraged to assume “outside the box” and to pursue trailblazing tips in any spot of investigate applicable to the NIH’s mission to advance awareness and greatly enhance overall health.

The New Innovator Award, recognized in 2007, supports unusually revolutionary investigate from early vocation investigators who are within just 10 decades of their ultimate degree or scientific residency and have not nonetheless received a investigate project grant or equal NIH grant.

Birnbaum is affiliated with the Koch Institute for Integrative Most cancers Investigate at MIT. The Birnbaum Lab focuses on knowledge and manipulating immune responses in the context of most cancers and HIV infection by using protein biochemistry, protein engineering, future-technology sequencing, and bioinformatics.

Birnbaum received a BA in chemical and bodily biology at Harvard University in 2008. He went on to Stanford University, the place he concluded his PhD in immunology in 2014. Continuing at Stanford for his postdoc, he worked in Professor Carla Shatz’s laboratory, finding out novel roles for immune receptors expressed by neurons in neural improvement and neurodegenerative condition. 

Birnbaum was a latest receiver of the Michelson Prize 2020.

Hansen joined MIT as an assistant professor of organic engineering in February 2020. His lab explores 3D genome composition and perform in time and space. Especially, the Hansen Lab is establishing new super-resolution and one-molecule microscopy techniques to follow chromatin looping and gene regulation from “start-to-death” inside of residing 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 produced new imaging techniques for dissecting 3D genome group dynamics with one-molecule resolution in residing cells. 

A computational and mathematical biologist, Lieberman, the Hermann L. F. von Helmholtz Career Development Professor, is also a member of the core faculty at the Institute for Health-related Engineering and Science (IMES), and the Harvard-MIT Software in Health and fitness Sciences and Engineering (HST). She is also an associate member of each the Wide and Ragon institutes. Her lab experiments how bacteria mutate and evolve for the duration of overall health, with a big concentrate on human skin microbiomes. Her lab takes advantage of mutations as a resource to uncover mechanistic knowledge of bacterial actions in vivo, toward the lengthy-term objective of enabling the exact manipulations of microbiomes in the clinic and the natural environment. Her lab takes advantage of experimental, computational and modeling techniques.

Lieberman experienced in molecular biology and arithmetic at Northwestern University, the place she carried out investigate in the laboratory of Jon Widom and was funded by a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. She then earned a PhD in techniques biology from Harvard University, the place she carried out investigate in Roy Kishony’s laboratory. All through her graduate investigate, Lieberman produced new genomic techniques for knowledge how bacteria evolve for the duration of bacterial infections of unique people today, and produced new experimental equipment for dissecting the evolution of antibiotic resistance. As a postdoc in Eric Alm’s lab at MIT, she additional produced and applied these genomic techniques to fully grasp the microbes that colonize us for the duration of overall health.