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Vol. LXI, No. 19
September 18, 2009
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Ten Reasons to Attend the Pioneer Award Symposium, Sept. 24-25 in Masur

On Sept. 24-25, dozens of the nation’s most innovative and imaginative researchers will converge on campus to share their research aims and results at the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award Symposium. The fifth annual conference, to be held in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10, will showcase scientific creativity in a broad array of areas.

The Pioneer Award supports scientists who take bold—and often unconventional—approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. The symposium will also feature recipients of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, a similar program that focuses on investigators in the early stages of their careers. Both programs are part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research and complement other NIH efforts to fund potentially transformative research and early career scientists.

Here are 10 reasons to attend this special event:

  • Snapshots from the Labs. The symposium will feature a fast-paced series of talks by last year’s Pioneer Award recipients about the progress they have made on their ambitious projects.

  • Commencement Celebration. Beginning a new tradition this year, the first “graduating class” of Pioneers—
    nine researchers who received the 5-year, $2.5 million grants in 2004—will share what they have accomplished with their awards.

  • Keynote on Innovation. Dr. Arthur P. Molella will speak about the “habits and habitats” of inventive people. As founding director of the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Molella has focused on innovative science, technology and culture in his numerous exhibitions, interdisciplinary programs, books and articles.

  • Varied Topics. Since the awardees hail from many different scientific disciplines, the symposium promises to offer exciting updates in areas as wide-ranging as nanomedicine and “bio-barcodes,” stem cell differentiation, how the immune system protects some people from HIV/AIDS and computer simulations of how perception arises in the human brain.

  • Thematic Sessions. Talks are grouped by topic, so you can choose to attend all sections or only the sessions that interest you the most.

  • Posters and Receptions. In the afternoons, informal receptions will accompany poster presentations by Pioneers and New Innovators.

  • Meet and Mingle. Several scheduled breaks will give you more opportunities to interact with symposium participants.

  • New Awardees. The meeting will kick off with the announcement of the 2009 Pioneer and New Innovator Award recipients.

  • Roundtable Discussion. A 45-minute roundtable discussion will focus on the interplay between technology and hypothesis-driven research.

  • Easy to Attend (or Watch). The symposium is free, open to the public and does not require registration. The agenda is at http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/pioneer/ Symposium2009/index.aspx and the talks will be videocast live and archived at http://videocast.nih.gov/.—Stephanie Dutchen NIHRecord Icon

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