Allen Family Foundation Announces Inaugural Distinguished Investigator Awards

The Seattle-based Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has announced the first round of grants awarded through its Allen Distinguished Investigator Awards program, which aims to help advance neuroscience and cellular engineering research.

The grants, which range from $600,000 to $2 million and total $9.4 million, will be distributed to seven researchers over the next three years. Award winners include Edward S. Boyden at MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Mark Schnitzer at Stanford University, Tony Zador at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Michael Dickinson and Jennifer Nemhauser at the University of Washington, and David Anderson and Christof Koch at the California Institute of Technology.

Projects supported by the grants include efforts to identify specific classes of neurons that control emotional behaviors in mice; devising a new kind of probe to record the activity of neurons distributed in multiple sites in the brain; and developing new technology for measuring complex behavior with the ease, reliability, and power of approaches used to sequence and manipulate genomes.

"One of the foundation's goals is to support projects that create new knowledge about ourselves and our universe," said Allen Family Foundation vice president Susan M. Coliton. "Making investments in early stage, cutting-edge research leverages both our funding and the intellectual capital of talented scientists. We couldn't be more thrilled about the potential of this inaugural group of Allen Distinguished Investigators."

"First Allen Distinguished Investigators Named." Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Press Release 11/18/2010.