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MMRF » Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research [HVP]

Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research — $150K Prizes for Young Investigators awarded via the Human Vaccines Project

Grantee Year Issue Initiative
Michelson Prizes | Human Vaccines Project [Logo] 2018 A new approach to vaccination is needed which will identify and understand common elements of the human immune system across populations and harness the collective knowledge of scientists across the world in order to prevent and control of infectious diseases and cancer. Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research
2019 Information about the 2019 Michelson Prize Application Process will be made available in the fall of 2018.
Grantee Michelson Prizes | Human Vaccines Project [Logo]
Year Issue Initiative
2018 A new approach to vaccination is needed which will identify and understand common elements of the human immune system across populations and harness the collective knowledge of scientists across the world in order to prevent and control of infectious diseases and cancer. Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research
2019 Information about the 2019 Michelson Prize Application Process will be made available in the fall of 2018.
Grantee Michelson Prizes | Human Vaccines Project [Logo]
Year 2018 2019
Issue A new approach to vaccination is needed which will identify and understand common elements of the human immune system across populations and harness the collective knowledge of scientists across the world in order to prevent and control of infectious diseases and cancer. Information about the 2019 Michelson Prize Application Process will be made available in the fall of 2018.
Initiative Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research
Grantee Michelson Prizes | Human Vaccines Project [Logo]
Year 2018 2019
Issue A new approach to vaccination is needed which will identify and understand common elements of the human immune system across populations and harness the collective knowledge of scientists across the world in order to prevent and control of infectious diseases and cancer. Information about the 2019 Michelson Prize Application Process will be made available in the fall of 2018.
Initiative Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research

A new approach to vaccination is needed which will identify and understand common elements of the human immune system across populations and harness the collective knowledge of scientists across the world in order to prevent and control of infectious diseases and cancer. The Michelson Medical Research Foundation [MMRF] and its founder, Dr. Gary K. Michelson, have partnered with the Human Vaccines Project in order to achieve this. Together, they have established the The Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research, which will help facilitate the development of future vaccines and therapies.

Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research

December 13, 2017 | Los Angeles and New York

The Michelson Medical Research Foundation [MMRF] has funded a $20 million initiative with the Human Vaccines Project to support young investigators applying innovative research concepts and disruptive technologies to defeat major global diseases by significantly advancing the development of future vaccines and therapies.

Michelson Prizes | Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D., founder of the Michelson Medical Research Foundation.

Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D., founder of the Michelson Medical Research Foundation: The prizes give young scientists the freedom to think outside-of-the box and explore disruptive technologies… Our collaboration with the Human Vaccines Project in establishing the Michelson Prizes will help unravel the complexity of the human immune system to accelerate development of vaccines and therapies for some of the world’s most threatening diseases.

A rigorous and competitive search will be undertaken, globally, to identify the most innovative projects by young scientists across a broad spectrum of scientific fields. Proposals will be reviewed and winners selected by a distinguished committee of internationally-recognized, independent scientists.

Wayne Koff, PhD, President and CEO of the Human Vaccines Project (Credit: MIT Sloan School of Management Kendall Square, Cambridge MA)

Wayne Koff, PhD, President and CEO of the Human Vaccines Project

Most of the discoveries in science have been made by individuals in the early stages of the careers in science… one of the issues that the young investigators are facing now is that it’s very difficult to get their initial grant…[and] it’s very difficult to get support for ideas that are outside of the box, where there isn’t a lot of preliminary data, where there’s a potential to really have a disruptive impact.

When Gary Michelson and I had a discussion about this, we each agreed that if we could create a mechanism to identify individuals who are really thinking outside the box, who are not looking to do incremental science but are looking to do transformative science – would we be able to identify the needle in the haystack.

High risk, high reward scientific advancements require long-term flexible funding with a clear focus on transformative discoveries and approaches. The next generation of scientists are often the ones bringing innovative ideas and ground-breaking approaches that have the potential to impact the future of human health. Yet these young researchers often have to wait their turn as more experienced colleagues secure sought-after funding for established research.

The Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research was founded to support these young investigators who are applying innovative research concepts and disruptive technologies to their work to significantly advance the development of future vaccines and therapies.

2018 Prize Recipients

Update | June 29, 2018

The Michelson Medical Research Foundation and the Human Vaccines Project are announcing the three cutting edge researchers under the age of 35 that were selected as the award’s first recipients (and 2018 prize winners) from a global competition that included over a hundred applications spanning 12 countries. Each of the three 2018 prize winners below will be awarded a $150,000 Prize to fund specific aspects of their research.

Winners were selected via a rigorous, global competition and will receive their awards at the 1st annual conference on the ‘The Future of Vaccine Development’ at the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience at the University of Southern California on June 27, 2018. They’ll also be recognized at an awards gala that evening.

2018 Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research Winner Patricia Therese Illing, PhD

Dr. Patricia Therese Illing
[Tribute Video]

Dr. Patricia Therese Illing – A research fellow at Monash University, was the first to identify spliced peptides during a viral infection.

This work involves an innovative new approach for identifying influenza specific peptide antigens with implications for the development of vaccines against both seasonal and pandemic influenza strains.

The Prize money will provide greater resources to expand understanding of how a viral antigen is recognized by the human immune system.

2018 Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research Winner Ansuman Satpathy, MD, PhD

Dr. Ansuman Satpathy
[Tribute Video]

Dr. Ansuman Satpathy – An instructor in pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine, is focused on combining disciplines of genomics and human immunology.

His research will identify key gene regulatory mechanisms that trigger protective immunity following vaccination using novel epigenomic sequencing technologies applied directly to patient samples.

The Prize will allow him to greatly accelerate his work, advancing both 3D and single-cell epigenetic technologies to human immunology and vaccine research.

2018 Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research Winner Laura Kate Mackay, PhD

Dr. Laura Kate Mackay
[Tribute Video]

Dr. Laura Kate Mackay – A laboratory head and senior lecturer at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

She is studying a recently described subset of immune cells called tissue resident memory T cells, which combat various viral infections and cancer.

The research that will be funded by the Prize will examine immune responses by tissue resident memory T cells to harness their protective functions to improve vaccines and immunotherapies.

The Prize Details

  • Information about the 2019 Michelson Prize Application Process will be made available in the fall of 2018
  • Two investigators under the age of 35 will each be awarded a $150,000 prize
  • The two prizes will be awarded as part of a conference on the Future of Vaccine Development hosted at the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience at the University of Southern California
  • Awardees will be expected to give an oral presentation of their awarded program at this conference

Eligibility and Application Criteria

  • Applicants must be under the age of 35 (born on or after February 12, 1983) and affiliated with a research organization in the academic, nonprofit, industry or public sector
  • To be considered, applicants need to show how he or she is going beyond conventional approaches in their field and clearly articulate how the contribution will make a lasting impact on human immunology and vaccine research
  • While the Michelson Prizes are focused on research outcomes in the fields of human immunology and vaccinology, early career scientists across a wide array of disciplines, including clinical research, biomedicine, bioengineering, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and nanotechnology, are encouraged to apply
  • International applicants are encouraged
  • Applicants may submit only one application per year
  • Prizes will be awarded to individuals, not institutions

How To Apply

About The Human Vaccines Project

The Human Vaccines Project is a nonprofit public-private partnership with a mission to decode the human immune system to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against major infectious diseases and cancers. The Project brings together leading academic research centers, industrial partners, nonprofits and governments to address the primary scientific barriers to developing new vaccines and immunotherapies.

Support and funding for the Project includes the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation, GSK, MedImmune, Illumina, Sanofi Pasteur, Johnson and Johnson/Janssen, Pfizer, Moderna, Boehringer Ingelheim, Aeras, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of California San Diego, The Scripps Research Institute, J. Craig Venter Institute and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.

Michelson Prizes: Young Scientists (Credit: Pressmaster/Envato Elements)While the Michelson Prizes are focused on research outcomes in the fields of human immunology and vaccinology, early career scientists across a wide array of disciplines, including clinical research, biomedicine, bioengineering, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and nanotechnology, are encouraged to apply.
Michelson Prizes | Human Vaccines Project - Wayne Koff, PhD, President and CEO of the Human Vaccines ProjectWayne Koff, PhD, President and CEO of the Human Vaccines Project: “The Michelson Prizes support the missions of both MMRF and the Human Vaccines Project, with the ultimate goal of broadening our understanding of the human immune system to give the scientific community new tools to help prevent and control disease, potentially saving millions of lives across the world… We are honored to be collaborating with the Michelson Medical Research Foundation to implement the visionary commitment of Gary and Alya Michelson of supporting the next generation of scientific leaders on the frontiers of human immunology and vaccine research.”

Image Credit

Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. and Alya Michelson from the Michelson Medical Research Foundation are proud sponsors of the Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research, in partnership with the Human Vaccines Project, which supports young investigators applying innovative research concepts and disruptive technologies to defeat major global diseases by significantly advancing the development of future vaccines and therapies.

Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. and Alya Michelson from the Michelson Medical Research Foundation are proud sponsors of the Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research, in partnership with the Human Vaccines Project, which supports young investigators applying innovative research concepts and disruptive technologies to defeat major global diseases by significantly advancing the development of future vaccines and therapies.

Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. and Alya Michelson from the Michelson Medical Research Foundation are proud sponsors of the Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research, in partnership with the Human Vaccines Project, which supports young investigators applying innovative research concepts and disruptive technologies to defeat major global diseases by significantly advancing the development of future vaccines and therapies.

Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. and Alya Michelson from the Michelson Medical Research Foundation are proud sponsors of the Michelson Prizes for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research, in partnership with the Human Vaccines Project, which supports young investigators applying innovative research concepts and disruptive technologies to defeat major global diseases by significantly advancing the development of future vaccines and therapies.

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