Ohio State: Gallego-Perez earns NIH high risk, high rewards research grant

Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Daniel Gallego-Perez has won a National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award, the university announced.
The NIH recently announced 89 research grants from its High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program. This award supports exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects.

The program catalyzes scientific discovery by supporting compelling, high-risk biomedical research proposals that may struggle in the traditional peer review process despite their transformative potential. Program applicants are encouraged to think outside-the-box and to pursue creative, trailblazing ideas in any area of research relevant to the NIH mission.

Gallego-Perez, BMES member, will use $2.3 million in total funding to build on earlier studies that demonstrated how tissue nanotransfection (TNT) can convert skin cells into blood vessels and nerve cells, according to the announcement. Results of that regenerative medicine study appeared in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The novel approach under development may be used to repair injured tissue or restore function of aging tissue, including organs, blood vessels and nerve cells.

“This New Innovator Award will allow us to focus on developing TNT-driven restorative therapies for neurodegenerative disorders,” said Gallego-Perez, also an assistant professor of general surgery at Ohio State's College of Medicine. “Our initial goal is to study its implementation in the repair of lesions or defects at the central and peripheral nervous system levels.”

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