Catalyst Award in Digestive Diseases, Liver, Nutrition, and Obesity Research

September 2019 Council

Lead Division/Office


Point(s) of Contact

David Saslowsky, Ph.D.

Executive Summary

Currently, the vast majority of NIDDK’s funded awards consist of hypothesis-driven R01-based research that is submitted and reviewed by standard study sections in CSR and NIDDK. Grant applications that lack extensive preliminary data or challenge current paradigms do not typically fare well in traditional NIH review panels. In some instances, this can be a barrier to achieving field-disrupting advances. The success of the Common Fund High Risk High Reward (HRHR) initiatives, including the Pioneer, New Innovator, and Transformative Research Award programs, demonstrates the creative potential of the research community and the considerable scientific impact of HRHR research at the NIH. The intent of this Catalyst concept is to create an opportunity for highly creative investigators to perform Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition (DDDN) mission-specific research that accepts risk in order to achieve innovative at the highest level. The results of such research may ultimately lead to improved preventive interventions or therapies, creative new strategies for disease detection, novel approaches to improve disease outcomes, and creative approaches leading to the eradication or prevention of diseases within the DDDN mandate.