Published online 26 November 2008 | Nature 456, 435 (2008) | doi:10.1038/456435e

News in Brief

Unique collaborations at Howard Hughes institute

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase, Maryland, has launched a pilot programme that will see HHMI money flowing directly to non-institute scientists for the first time.

Through four-year Collaborative Innovation Awards, the HHMI will spend US$40 million to fund eight teams of three to six scientists, headed by current HHMI investigators, which will tackle novel biological problems.

One of the projects aims to combat glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, by developing a miniature, implantable wireless sensor that continuously monitors pressure within the eye. Another will try to identify a drug that can clear out the brain proteins thought to cause neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The institute expects to expand the programme in coming years. 

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