ISB News

Three Collaborative Projects Announced for ISB’s 2023 Innovator Award Program

ISB kicked off the seventh year of our successful Innovator Award Program by announcing three collaborative projects. This internal program is designed to support novel research ideas that cut across disciplines and research groups. Washington Research Foundation generously pledged $100,000 to fund the 2023 awards. ISB received additional funding from two generous donors — allowing ISB to support three proposals.


In his opening remarks, ISB President Dr. Jim Heath called out the strong outpouring of scientific interest that came from across the organization in support of the Innovator Award Program, and acknowledged everyone’s participation in elevating the program to something that was “really spectacular this year.”

2023 Innovator Awardees

2023 Innovator Award Winner Lead Investigators

The lead investigators of the 2023 Innovator Awardees, pictured left to right: Dr. Samantha Piekos, Research Scientist, Hood-Price Lab; Dr. Hanjun Cheng, Research Scientist, Wei Lab; Dr. Cory Funk, Senior Research Scientist, Hood-Price Lab.

This year’s projects and awardees are:

Title: Evaluation of the impact of wildfire smoke exposure on preterm birth
Lead Investigator: Samantha Piekos, Research Scientist (Hood-Price Lab)
ISB Collaborators: Qi Wei (Hadlock Lab), Chunmei Liu (Wei Lab), Michael Strasser (Huang Lab)
External Collaborators: Ya Lin (Amber) Chen (University of Washington), Tanya Sorenson (Swedish Medical Group)

Title: Engineering a biorthogonal Tn5 transposase for joint profiling of transcription factor bindings, gene expressions, and functional proteins in single cells
Lead Investigator: Hanjun Cheng, Research Scientist (Wei Lab)
ISB Collaborators: Guangrong Qin (Shmulevich Lab), Hui-Yu Chuang (Wei Lab)

Title: Understanding the contribution of endogenous retroviruses in senescence and Alzheimer’s disease
Lead Investigator: Cory Funk, Senior Research Scientist (Hood-Price Lab)
ISB Collaborators: Arian Smit, Chris Lausted, Gwênlyn Glusman (Hood-Price Lab), Eric Deutsch, Tami Leppert, Zhi Sun (Moritz Lab)

Visit the Innovator Award Program landing page to learn more.

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