Shipman receives NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

Seth Shipman, PhD, received the National Institute of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award for his groundbreaking work on mitochondrial DNA, which is mutated in a number of currently incurable diseases.

The award is part of the NIH’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program and is intended for “exceptionally creative early career scientists proposing innovative, high-impact projects.”

Shipman is a faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, and an assistant investigator at the Gladstone Institutes.

Mitochondria are microscopic structures inside of cells that function like the cell’s power plants. Shipman’s lab is developing tools that would enable scientists to directly repair mutations to mitochondrial DNA, opening the door to targeted therapies for a variety of medical conditions as well as research on the biology of mitochondria.

“Most human DNA is found in the cellular nucleus, and gene-editing technologies are on the cusp of treating diseases of nuclear DNA,” Shipman told the Gladstone Institutes. “But that technology can’t reach the DNA inside mitochondria. We need an entirely different set of tools so that people with mitochondrial diseases are not left behind.”

The award provides $1.5 million in research funds over 5 years.

“What keeps me going is the idea that we could create foundational technologies that will ultimately affect people’s lives,” said Shipman.


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3 UCSF Researchers Win NIH New Innovator Awards (UCSF News)

Gladstone Investigator Receives NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (Gladstone Institutes)

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