Funding program expands to include climate change and immunity

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#climatechange–Michelson Medical Research Foundation and the Human Vaccines Project are now welcoming applications for the 2021 Michelson Prize: Next Generation Grants. The prestigious $150,000 grants are given annually to support researchers 35 and younger who are advancing human immunology, vaccine, and immunotherapy discovery research on major global diseases.

“Great science is not incremental. Great science leaps!” says Dr. Gary K. Michelson, founder, and co-chair of the Michelson Medical Research Foundation. “More than ever, we need to support young scientists with disruptive ideas to transform our response to major global diseases, including the prevention of future pandemics.”

The Michelson Prize: Next Generation Grants program seeks research proposals that tackle roadblocks in human vaccine development and expand understanding of key immune processes fundamental to vaccine and immunotherapy development.

Previous recipients include Michael Birnbaum of MIT, Danika Hill and Patricia Illing of Monash University, Kamal Mandal and Murad Mamedov of UC San Francisco, Avinash Sahu of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Laura Mackay of Doherty Institute, and Ansuman Satpathy of Stanford University.

Now in its fourth year, the program is adding an award focusing on climate change and human immunology.

“Climate change is not just a future threat. For our global health, it’s already a harmful reality,” explains Wayne C. Koff, president and CEO of the Human Vaccines Project. “This year’s Michelson Prizes will include a research award that expands our understanding of the effects of climate change on immune function, with a particular interest in research that will directly translate into vaccine and immunotherapy development. We look forward to receiving applications from around the world that demonstrate cutting-edge research in this area.”

In addition to immunology and vaccine specialists, applicants from a broad range of disciplines–such as clinical research, biochemistry, molecular biology, protein engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence/machine learning, biophysics, nanotechnology, environmental health–are encouraged to apply.

The deadline for applications is June 18, 2021. Click here to apply for the 2021 Michelson Prizes: Next Generation Grants.

About the Michelson Medical Research Foundation

Founded by Dr. Gary K. Michelson in 1995, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation accelerates solutions to global health challenges by fostering high-risk, high-reward approaches that disrupt the status quo to make innovative ideas a reality. Through convergent collaboration among engineers, scientists, and physicians, the foundation helps rapidly move bold concepts and technologies from the laboratory into clinics and communities around the world. Michelson Medical Research Foundation is a division of Michelson Philanthropies. For more information, visit

About the Human Vaccines Project

The Human Vaccines Project is non-profit organization that aims to decode the human immune system to make the next leap forward in human health. Pioneering a new era in health, the Human Vaccines Project will enable the creation of next-generation vaccines, diagnostics, and therapies across diseases. For more information, visit:


Geoffrey Baum