Christopher O. Barnes receives a grant for research that “holds exceptional promise for revealing new pathways to advance human health.”
Barnes is among five early-career biomedical scientists who were selected for the honor because their research holds exceptional promise for revealing new pathways to advance human health, according to a press release from the foundation.
“I am honored to be chosen by the Rita Allen Foundation as one of five recipients of this year’s award, and am grateful to my mentors, mentees, and colleagues who have contributed to my career growth since I first step foot in a lab 15 years ago,” said Barnes, who is also a scholar at the Sarafan ChEM-H Institute.
The Barnes Lab blends aspects of medicine, foundational science, microscopy, and engineering to investigate viruses and the hosts they infect. With this research, Barnes aims to pave the way for new therapies and vaccines for emerging and reemerging viruses that are transmitted between animals and humans, such as HIV-1 and coronaviruses.
The Rita Allen Foundation was established in 1976 to support science focused on discovery. In particular, the foundation supports risk-taking research by early career scientists whose research aims to advance our understanding of human biology. Since 1976, the foundation has supported approximately 200 researchers studying topics related to cancer, immunology, and neuroscience. Scholars in the 2022 class will receive grants of up to $110,000 per year for a maximum of five years.
“We are delighted to welcome a new class of remarkable scientists seeking novel solutions to complex problems at the frontier of biological knowledge,” said Elizabeth Good Christopherson, president and chief executive officer of the foundation, in the press release. “The COVID-19 pandemic made even clearer the importance of decades of biomedical research. The fundamental research these scientists are leading will lay the groundwork for tomorrow’s transformative medicine.”
“I am thrilled to join this vibrant community that has recognized exemplary early-career biomedical scientists, whose research has advanced human health and influenced my own scholarship,” Barnes said. “Funding from the Rita Allen Foundation will provide additional support for my group to pursue research on novel approaches to HIV-1 vaccine design and immunotherapies, establishing the basis for future pre-clinical research.”