Two Stanford-led research teams receive Collaborative Innovation Awards

Axel Brunger

Two teams of scientists led by Stanford professors have received Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Collaborative Innovation Awards to carry out potentially transformative research over the next four years.

One of the teams is led by AXEL BRUNGER, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and of neurology and neurological sciences. His team received a $6 million award to develop new methods of sample delivery, data collection and analysis to study structures of nanometer- or micron-scaled crystals of biological molecules using the Linac Coherent Light Source at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Brunger’s collaborators include WILLIAM WEIS, a professor of structural biology and of molecular and cellular physiology and of photon science at Stanford, as well as scientists at UC-Berkeley, UCLA and the California Institute of Technology.

Liqun Luo

Also receiving a $6 million award is a group led by LIQUN LUO, a professor of biology. Luo’s team plans to develop a suite of tools for mapping neuronal connections in the complete mouse brain. They will then use those tools to study the organization of neural circuits and how they are affected by specific neurotransmitters, to ultimately better understand how sensory perception works.

Luo collaborates on this project with KARL DEISSEROTH, a professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, as well as an HHMI Early Career Scientist winner. Collaborators also include scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences and Hebrew University.