Dr. Buck Samuel, assistant professor in the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research at Baylor College of Medicine, is a recipient of the New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health. Part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, supported by the NIH Common Fund, the award funds unusually innovative research from early career investigators who are within 10 years of their final degree or clinical residency and have not yet received a research project grant or equivalent NIH grant.
“I continually point to this program as an example of the creative and revolutionary research NIH supports,” said NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins. “The quality of the investigators and the impact their research has on the biomedical field is extraordinary.”
“It is incredible and humbling to receive this award,” said Samuel, who is with the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor. “The principle of the innovator award itself promotes outside-of-the-box thinking and creativity, and this is precisely the type of environment that our lab seeks to foster.”
Samuel, who joined Baylor in 2015, will use his $1.5 million, five-year grant to examine how the microbes that live within us, known as the ‘microbiome,’ can exert influence on so many aspects of our physiology.
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