$1.25m award for vaccine research

  • May 4, 2012
$1.25m award for vaccine research

Gates Cambridge alumna Nicole Basta wins major award from the NIH.

A Gates Cambridge alumna has been selected for a prestigious five-year, $1.25 million grant to investigate a meningitis vaccine in Mali.

Nicole Basta is one of the first 10 recipients of the National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award. The grant will support her proposal to evaluate the duration of protection provided by the new MenAfriVac meningococcal meningitis vaccine in Mali. The MenAfriVac vaccine was developed through a partnership between PATH and the WHO, with funding from the Gates Foundation.

The Award is designed to accelerate the entry of outstanding junior investigators into independent researcher positions immediately following completion of their graduate research degree or clinical residency. The NIH says “the EIA programme effectively allows awardees to leapfrog over the traditional post-doctoral training period, capitalising on the creativity, confidence, and energy of young scientists”.

The NIH Common Fund developed the EIA programme in response to an increasing trend in the length of the traditional scientific training period with a corresponding increase in the age at which scientists establish independent research careers. It says: “Although pursuing post-doctoral training is likely to be appropriate for the large majority of newly graduated researchers, there is a pool of young scientists who have the intellect, scientific creativity, drive, and maturity to flourish independently without the need for such training.”

“The Early Independence Award enables outstanding investigators to establish their independent research careers as soon as possible,” says NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “These Early Independence Award recipients have demonstrated exceptional scientific creativity and productivity.”

Nicole completed her MPhil in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge in 2004, where she was funded through a Gates Cambridge scholarship. Having gained her PhD from the University of Washington, she is currently working as an associate research scholar in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University.

For video footage about the award, click here.

Picture: renjith krishnan and www.freedigitalphotos.net

Latest News

Public engagement through children’s stories

An award-winning science communicator and tv presenter who honed his communication skills as a Gates Cambridge Scholar is launching a colourful children’s book about gravity. Dr Niraj Lal’s new children’s book, Henry the Flying Emu, is being launched by well-known science journalist broadcaster Robyn Williams AO, host of the ABC Science Show. The book tells the story of an […]

Affecting change for the Māori community

Self-determination lies at the centre of Māori culture. “It’s a way of life,” says Chris Tooley. That idea is also at the heart of his PhD studies at Cambridge and his subsequent work in Parliament and in the community. Chris grew up with a strong sense of being part of the Māori community. He has ancestral […]

On the COVID frontline

Three Gates Cambridge scholars who have been on the medical frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic will be speaking about their experiences at a virtual event next weekend. The event, organised by the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association, will be moderated by Elizabeth Dzeng, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco in the […]

New game tackles Covid conspiracies

A new online game that puts players in the shoes of a purveyor of fake pandemic news is the latest tactic in the UK Government’s efforts to tackle the deluge of coronavirus misinformation that is misleading many and costing lives across the world. Launched to the public today, the Go Viral! game has been developed by the […]