Skip to main content
Strategy and Development

Faculty Innovation Award Winners


Since 1999, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has leveraged limited endowment funds to provide small internal grants to junior faculty. The primary objective of the School’s Faculty Innovation Fund (FIF) awards program is to support early-stage investigators in piloting innovative methods or generating preliminary data for future grant applications. Many highly successful faculty describe these awards as their first source of independent funding, followed by careers that have contributed impactful work in a breadth of areas. Further, a quick review of prior award recipients identifies many School and national leaders.

The process for the selection and awarding of FIF awards has remained constant over the past two decades. An annual call for applications prompts faculty to complete a brief application written to a general academic audience, followed by a selection of awardees by a multidisciplinary review group of senior School faculty. Faculty are eligible to receive an award only once. The maximum award is $35,000 and there are generally 2 to 4 awarded annually. Application submissions are due each year in the spring. Past awardees are listed below. 


2023 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Dana Sarnak, Population, Family and Reproductive Health
“Individual, dyadic, and health system factors that influence postpartum trajectories of women in Ethiopia: A sequence analysis”

Yash Chhabra, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Yang Award) 
“Growth hormone receptor signaling promotes melanoma progression and immune evasion”

Aki Nishimura, Biostatistics  (Brewster Award) 
“Driving precision medicine forward: Large-scale Bayesian analytics of multi-institutional health data via ontologically-informed hierarchical model”              

Michael Desjardins, Epidemiology (Gelb Award) 
“Evaluating the impact of geographic accessibility on gynecologic cancer outcomes in the United States”


2022 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Sachini Bandara, Mental Health
Evaluating state policies that restrict SNAP for people with prior drug convictions

Zabir Hasan, International Health
Upstream Factors for Integration: Investigating the Functions of Institutions, Politics, Organizations, and Governance on Integrated Health Service Delivery Response against Covid-19 in Low and Middle-Income Countries"

Utthara Nayar, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Yang Award) 
Molecular mechanisms of resistance to novel ER-targeted therapies in metastatic breast cancer


2021 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Yeeli Mui, International  Health 
“Intersectoral and Intersectional: Community health planning at the nexus of people, place, and policy”

Vito W Rebecca, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Yang Award) 
“Molecular Mechanisms Promoting Progression and Therapy Resistance in Acral Melanoma"

Weiqiang Zhou, Biostatistics 
“Deep learning methods for single-cell multi-omics data analysis”

Lorraine T Dean, Epidemiology (Martin Award) 
“Assessing the Role of New Products and COVID-19 on PrEP Retention at the Pharmacy Point-of-Sale"


2020 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Mark Kohr, Environmental Health and Engineering
“Source and toxicity of endogenous formaldehyde in the heart”

Chanee Fabius, Health Policy and Management
“Surveying Direct Care Agencies in Maryland to Examine the Quality of Life of Older Medicaid Home and Community-Based Service Recipients.”


2019 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Zoé Hendrickson, Health, Behavior and Society (Martin Award) 
Developing and piloting a mobile platform to connect mobile female sex workers as part of a community empowerment-based intervention in Iringa, Tanzania"

Monica Mugnier, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
“Dissecting the B cell response to the variant surface glycoproteins of Trypanosoma brucei”

Fenna Sillé, Environmental Health and Engineering (Yang Award)
“Investigating how heavy metals alter macrophages and contribute to a tumor-promoting microenvironment”

Allison West, Population, Family and Reproductive Health
“Evidence-based home visiting for parents with intellectual disabilities”


2018 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Kimberly Davis, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
"Heterogeneity in virulence factor expression in Staphylococcus aureus"

Johnathon Ehsani, Health Policy and Management
"Preparing adolescent drivers for the last mile: crash avoidance training"

Matthew Eisenberg, Health Policy and Management
"Disparities in the impact of consumer-directed health plans on financial strain"

Haneefa Saleem, International Health (Martin Award) 
The role of social networks in improving HIV care engagement among women who inject drugs in Tanzania: A formative research study "


2017 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Will S. Beckham, Health, Behavior and Society (Martin Award) 
Operationalizing a new policy of immediate ART initiation for FSWs in Iringa, Tanzania: Identifying barriers to and facilitators of optimal implementation "

Tonia Poteat & Lorraine Dean, Epidemiology
"A mixed-methods approach to identify intervenable factors associated with breast cancer screening and follow-up for Black sexual minority women"

Ni Zhao, Biostatistics
"Statistical methods for human microbiome data from 16s rRNA sequencing in longitudinal studies"

Li Liu, Population, Family & Reproductive Health (Brewster Award)
"Reproductive trajectory, neighborhood dynamics and preterm birth"


2016 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Jennifer Kavran, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Yang Award)
"Molecular mechanisms regulating Hippo pathway signaling"

Beth McGinty, Health Policy & Management
"Research-Policy Translation Initiative: studying strategies to improve the use of research evidence in public health policy formation and implementation"

Rashelle Musci, Mental Health (Brewster Award)
"Modeling autism symptomatology across development in early life; the impact of changing measures"

Daniela Rodriguez, International Health (Martin Award) 
Understanding the barriers to evidence-informed HIV prevention policies in the Dominican Republic "


2015 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Meghan Davis, Environmental Health Sciences
"Do household reservoirs cause recurrent MRSA colonization and infection in people?"

Mara McAdams DeMarco, Epidemiology
"Feasibility and efficacy of hemodialysis-based interventions to preserve cognitive function"

Roland Thorpe, Health, Behavior & Society (Yang award)
"Black men health project"

2014 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Kasper Hansen, Biostatistics
“Statistical methods for analysis of metabolomics data generated from a LC-MS instrument”

Phil Jordan, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (Yang Award)
“PLK4 is essential for ensuring accurate X-Y chromosome segregation during meiosis”

Wietse Tol, Mental Health
“Building a stepped care model for maternal mental disorders in post-conflict settings”

Junya Zhu, Health Policy & Management (HPM Award)
“Longitudinal profiling of hospital performance on patient experience of care: Applications to value-based purchasing”

2013 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Hadi Kharrazi, Health Policy and Management (HPM Award)
"Utilizing Maryland's HIE to develop and evaluate an inter-provider hospital readmission risk detection and notification system"

Anthony Leung, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (Yang Award)
"Circulating RNAs as transgenerational gene regulators and disease biomarkers"

Tianjing Li, Epidemiology
"Assessing feasibility of tele-rehabilitation in low vision patients"


2012 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Lori Erby, Health Behavior & Society (Yang Award)
"Exploration of attitudes and experiences of Maryland Hispanics with regard to a cancer-related biobank"

Sameera Talegawkar, International Health
“Neighborhood environments, dietary patterns and risk for cardiovascular disease in African American"

Fengyi Wan, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Yang Award)
"Role of RPS3 in ultraviolet radiation-induced activation of NF-kB"

Winnie Wan-yee Tang, Environmental Health Sciences
"Epigenetic modulations of lung mesenchymal stem cells in mice exposed to house-dust mites"

Robert Wojciechowski, Epidemiology
"Characterizating the human ocular bacterial microbiome using high-throughout sequencing"


2011 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Alain Labrique, International Health
“Wireless Public Health Technologies to Prevent Drowning"

Steven Bowman, Health Policy & Management (HPM award)
“Rural Prehospital Emergency Medical Services for Children”

Zhibin Wang, Environmental Health Sciences (Yang Award)
"Explore the Functional Roles of Two Long Non-coding RNA's in Stem Cell Differentiation, Chromatic Structure and Gene Expression, and Lung Cancer Biology"

Mary Elizabeth Hughes, Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health (Martin Award)
"Foundations for Studying the Well-being of Elders in Rural Uganda"


2010 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Cheryl Anderson, Epidemiology
“Tests of a New Biomarker for High Fructose Corn Syrup Intake in Humans"

Scott Bailey, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (Yang Award)
“Structural Studies of V(D)J Recombination”

Jeffrey Leek, Biostatistics
"Statistical and Computational Methods for RNA-seq"

Keshia Pollack, Health Policy & Management (HPM award)
"Using Research to Advance the Role of Health Impact Assessments in Policymaking"

Jiou Wang, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
"Identifying Key Genes Underlying Age-dependent Neurodegenerative Diseases in Caenorhabditis elegans Models"


2009 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Jurgen Bosch, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
“Nanobodies as crystallization chaperones for essential Malaria parasite proteins leading to structure guided drug design"

Gypsamber D'Souza, Epidemiology (Gelb Award)
“Oral Human Papillomavirus (HPV) transmission in cancer patients – associated oropharyngeal cancer and their partners”

Adam Spira, Mental Health
“Sleep Disturbance in Older African Americans in Baltimore City: Functional Correlates and the Impact of Volunteering”


2008 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

John Bridges, Health Policy & Management (HPM Award)
"Assessing Women's preferences for cervical cancer screening using conjoint analysis"

Tamar Mendelson, Mental Health
"Affective and physiological effects of experimentally-induced social status"

Laura Murray-Kolb, International Health
"Iron status and daily functioning in young women of reproductive age"


2007 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Sining Chen, Environmental Health Sciences & Biostatistics
"Validation of DIGE Analysis Software DeCyder and Improved Analysis of DIGE Experiments"

DeLisa Fairweather, Environmental Health Sciences
"A Coxsackievirus-induced model of Atherosclerosis"

Michelle J. Hindin, Population and Reproductive Health
"Sex, Mood and Settings: Using Experience Sampling Methods and PDA's in Cebu, Philippines"

Sabra L. Klein, Microbiology & Immunology
"Sex and susceptibility to Influenza"

Maria Merritt, International Health
"Ancillary Care in Public Health Intervention Research in Resource-Limited Settings: Researchers' Practices and Decision-Making"

Holly Taylor, Health Policy & Management
"Ancillary Care in Public Health Intervention Research in Resource-Limited Settings: Researchers' Practices and Decision-Making"

Elizabeth A. Stuart, Mental Health
"Sensitivity of Instrumental Variables and Propensity Score Methods when Dealing wiht Noncompliance"


2006 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Dina L.G. Borzekowski, Population & Family Health Sciences 
“Bagging the Nag Factor: An Interview Study” 

Frank C. Curriero, Environmental Health Sciences 
“Kriging with non-Standard Measures of Distance:  Application to Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Assessment” 

Roger D. Peng, Biostatistics 
“Hierarchical Bayesian Distributed Lag Models for Air Pollution and Health” 

Jason L. Rasgon, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology 
“Development of a transformation system for Wolbachia endosymbionts” 

Youfa Wang, International Health 
“Determinants of Early Adiposity Rebound” 


2005 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Jay Bream, International Health (Yang Award)  
“Single nucleotide polymorphisms and in vivo human IL-10 regulation:  Characterization of a transgenic mouse model” 

Ciprian Crainiceanu, Biostatistics 
“Accounting for Model Uncertainty in Epidemiology”  

Egbert Hoiczyk, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology 
“CAMP-dependent regulation of type III secretion of Yersinia Enterocolitica” 

Gregory D. Kirk, Epidemiology (Martin Award) 
“Identifying Proteomic Patterns Associated with Loss of T-cell Homeostasis in HIV-1 Infection” 

Clea A. McNeely, Population, Family & Reproductive Health 
“Feeling Loved or Unloved:  A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Parent-Adolescent Relationships and Adolescent Health Risk Behavior” 

Katherine Clegg-Smith, Health Policy & Management (Gelb Award)  
“New Media Coverage of Progress in Cancer Science and Treatment" 


2004 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Brad Astor, Epidemiology 
“Moderate Kidney Dysfunction, Anemia and Coronary Calcification in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)” 

Isabelle Coppens, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology 
“Analysis of Cholesterol Homeostasis in Toxoplasma-infected cells” 

George Dimopoluos, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology 
“Development of an Anopheles Gambiae / Plasmodium Berghei Microarray” 

Leslyn Hanakahi, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Yang Award) 
“The Molecular Mechanism of DNA Repair by Ku-Dependent Non-Homologous End-Joining in Mammals:  A Target for Anti-Cancer Agents” 

Zhiqiang Tan, Biostatistics 
“New Methods of Estimation and Sensitivity Analysis for Causal Inferences in Observational Studies” 

Yin Yao, Epidemiology (Gelb Award)  
“Segregation Analysis of NPC” 


2003 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients

Gary L. Darmstadt, International Health 
“Impact of Topical Therapy with Neucream on Skin Barrier Function in Preterm Infants” 

Patti Gravitt, Epidemiology (Yang Award)
“Development and Validation of Assays to Measure HPV 16 Gene Expression from Human Exfoliated Cervical Cells” 

Eric Grote, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 
“Identification of the Molecular Machinery for Cell Fusion” 

Linda Kao, Epidemiology 
“Studying Genetic Susceptibility to Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Chronic Kidney Disease in Multi-Ethnic Representation Sample of the US Adult Population” 

Clara Keilkopf, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 
“Unusual U2A Features for RNA trans-Splicing: A Novel Target of Anti-Parasitic Drugs”


2002 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients 

Brian Caffo, Biostatistics 
“Monte Carlo and Markov chain Monte Carlo Algorithms for Conditional and Random Effect Models for Categorical Data” 

Rolf Halden, Environmental Health Sciences 
“Environmental Sources, Occurrence and Biodegradation of the Biocide Triclosan” 

William Latimer, Mental Health (Martin Award) 
“Prevention of HIV Among Russian Injection Drug Users” 

Cynthia Minkovitz, Population and Family Health Sciences 
“Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Children’s Use of Health Care Services: A Pilot Study” 

Ingo Ruczinski, Biostatistics 
“Using All-atom Potentials to Improve Ab Initio Protein Structure Prediction Study” 

Clarke G. Tankersley, Environmental Health Sciences 
“A Novel Strategy Linking Variation in Gene Structure and Expression to Physiological Diversity” 

Yin Yao, Epidemiology 
“Selecting High Risk Families to Detect Modifier Genes in FAP Patients” 


2001 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients 

Karl W. Broman, Biostatistics 
“Applications of Tree-Based Models to Identify Epistatic Interactions between QTLs in Model Organisms” 

Anna P. Durbin, International Health 
“Development of the SCID-hu Thy/Liv mouse as a novel animal model for dengue infection/dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome” 

Daniele Fallin, Epidemiology 
“Linkage Disequilibrium between Microsatellites versus Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms: Feasibility of SNP-based Genetic Association Studies” 

Thaddeus K. Graczyk, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology 
“Development of Database Information for Assessment of the Effects” 

Eliseo Guallar, Epidemiology 
“Heavy Metal and Cardiovascular Risk in the Clue” 

William Moss, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (Martin Award)
“Mechanisms of Measles Virus Suppression of HIV Replication” 


2000 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients 

Janice Evans, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 
“Signaling Mechanisms that Control Oocyte Development” 

Constantine Frangakis, Biostatistics (Yang Award)  
“Designs and Analyses to Address Deviations from Protocol in Studies for Cancer and Other Outcomes on Public Health” 

Pamela Lein, Environmental Health Sciences 
“Molecular Mechanisms by which Environmental Toxins Disrupt Neuronal Morphogenesis” 

Alan Lyles, Health Policy & Management 
“Errors in Ambulatory Medication Use: Risk Factors and Implications” 

Douglas Norris, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology 
“Genetic Heterogeneity among Populations of Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens in Baltimore, Maryland” 

Elizabeth Platz, Epidemiology (Gelb Award) 
“Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness and Survival” 

Ellen Smit, Epidemiology 
“Soy and Hot Flushes: A Double-Blind, Randomized Dietary Supplementation Feasibility Study” 


1999 Faculty Innovation Fund Recipients 

David Bishai, International Health (Gelb Award)  
“What State Policies Help Youth Avoid Risky Behavior” 

Ann C. Klassen, Health Policy & Management (Yang Award) 
“Cancer Control Needs of New Immigrant Populations in Maryland” 

Rafael A. Irizarry, Biostatistics 
“Applications of Modern Times Series Techniques in the Biomedical Sciences” 

Vern Carruthers, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology 
“Characterization of an Adhesive Protein from Toxoplasma Gondii Using Gene Synthesis and Mammalian Cell Express” 

Debra Mekos, Population & Family Health Sciences 
“Youth Wisdom Study”  

Pamela J. Lein, Environmental Health Sciences 

Michael J. Matunis, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 
“SUMO-1 Modification and Regulation of Nucleocytoplasmic Transport”