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2 neuroscientists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory awarded 'transformative' NIH grants

Cold Spring Harbor, NY -- Two neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) are among an elite group of only 42 researchers nationwide named by the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to receive special five-year grants for "transformative" research projects.

Professor Partha Mitra, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Josh Dubnau, Ph.D., were informed of their selection -- announced by the NIH today -- in letters addressed to them by Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., the new leader of the nation's medical research agency, which is composed of 27 institutes and centers.

"This is wonderful news for Partha and Josh, whose work deserves to be recognized for its freshness and potential to change our way of understanding how the brain works," commented Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., CSHL's president. "It's also a reflection of the continuing role played by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in bringing together scientists of the highest caliber who are given the freedom in a nurturing environment to tackle biology's most important problems."

This is the first year the NIH has offered the type of grant awarded to Mitra and Dubnau, called "transformative R01" grants, or T-R01s in NIH shorthand. They were devised by NIH with the bold purpose of encouraging "exceptionally innovative, high-risk, original and/or unconventional research that has the potential to create new or challenge existing scientific paradigms," according to the NIH office administering the grants.

Mitra: "Mouse Brain Architecture" project

Mitra's T-R01 project addresses a problem that he calls "fundamental." Even after decades of applying our most sophisticated technologies to study of the mammalian brain, "we still know comparatively little about how it is connected," he observes. Mitra and colleagues, including Professor Harvey Karten of the University of California, San Diego, will use their "transformative" grant to produce the first

Contact: Peter Tarr
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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