U prof receives $1.5 million for New Innovator Award

The National Institutes of Health announced Monday that Christy Haynes, an assistant chemistry professor at the University, is a recipient of the organizationâÄôs 2008 New Innovator Award. The award will provide $1.5 million over five years for HayneâÄôs research . With the money, Haynes said she plans to build a cell-by-cell human immune system to identify possible therapeutic approaches for treating asthma and allergic reactions. âÄúThe University of Minnesota is a great place to do this kind of research,âÄù she said. âÄúThe department is really supportive that I am not necessarily doing traditional chemistry.âÄù Only early-career investigators who have not held a NIH grant are eligible for the New Innovator Award, according to a NIH press release. Rhonda Zurn, spokeswoman for the Institute of Technology, said this is the second year of the NIH New Innovator Award, but the first time it has been awarded to a University faculty member. âÄúIt is really to jumpstart the careers of a promising new researcher,âÄù she said. âÄúIt shows that we have state-of-the-art research facilities and researchers here at the University.âÄù HaynesâÄô research group plans to use the UniversityâÄôs Nanofabrication Center to build a model of a human immune system and then measure how the cells communicate with each other when exposed to allergens.