Three UC San Diego researchers receive top honors with NIH Director’s Awards

October 9, 2019

Three University of California San Diego researchers recently received prestigious awards through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program, including the Pioneer Award, the program’s top honor.

These awards, supported by the NIH Common Fund, were created to support unconventional approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. The awards are given to exceptionally creative scientists proposing high-risk, high-impact research at all career stages.

Rob Knight, Ph.D., was awarded the Pioneer Award to support his research into developing new approaches to support healthy microbiomes. Knight is a professor of pediatrics in the UC San Diego School of Medicine, a professor of bioengineering and computer science and engineering in the Jacobs School of Engineering and the director of the UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation. 

The Pioneer Award was established in 2004 to encourage researchers at all career levels “to pursue new research directions and develop groundbreaking, high-impact approaches” to broaden their field and explore new research opportunities. Knight is one of 11 visionary researchers to receive this award in 2019.  

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