Michelson Prizes: Next Generation Grants

The Human Immunome Project is supporting the next generation of innovators in human immunology in partnership with the Michelson Medical Research Foundation.

The $150,000 Michelson Prizes are awarded annually to support early-career investigators working to advance human immunologyvaccine discovery, and immunotherapy research for major global diseases.

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2024 Michelson Prizes. As in other years, we will be looking for research aimed at tackling the current roadblocks that exist in human vaccine development and expanding our limited understanding of key immune processes that are fundamental to successful vaccine and immunotherapy development. Sign-up here for updates on the Michelson Prizes: Next Generation Grants.

Michelson Prizes Awardees

Siyuan Ding, PhD

Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University in St. Louis


Claire Otero, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate in Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medicine


Dennis Schaefer-Babajew, PhD

Instructor in Clinical Investigation, The Rockefeller University


Noam Auslander, PhD

Assistant Professor, The Wistar Institute


Jenna Guthmiller, PhD

Assistant Professor, University of Colorado


Romain Guyon, PhD Student

University of Oxford


Brittany Hartwell, PhD

Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota


Nicholas Wu, PhD

Assistant Professor, University of Illinois


Rong Ma, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory University


Camila Consiglio, Phd

Postdoctoral Research, Karolinska Institutet


Michael Birnbaum, PhD

Department of Medical Engineering, MIT


Danika Hill, PhD

Monash University


Kamal Mandal, PhD

University of California, San Francisco


Murad Mamedov, PhD

University of California, San Francisco


Avinash Das Sahu, PhD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Laura Mackay, PhD

The Peter Doherty Institute


Ansuman Satpathy, MD, PhD

Stanford University School of Medicine


Patricia Therese Illing, PhD

Monash University


Learn more about the 2023 winners’ groundbreaking research:

Want more? Click here to explore the research of all the winners.

Across Sectors, Across Diseases

A rigorous and competitive international search will identify the most innovative projects from young scientists working across a broad range of scientific fields. Proposals will be reviewed by a distinguished committee of internationally-recognized scientists. The review committee will be looking for research that challenges dogma, from researchers who clearly articulate a vision that demonstrates an ability to look beyond convention to make a lasting impact on vaccine and immunotherapy research. We encourage applications from the full spectrum of scientific disciplines related to immunology, vaccine, and immunotherapy research, including but not limited to:

  • Clinical Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer science
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Health
  • Biochemistry
  • Protein Engineering
  • AI/Machine Learning
  • Nanotechnology
  • Microbiome
  • Vector Biology

Ansuman Satpathy, MD, PhD, Stanford University:

The Michelson Prize was instrumental in my early career. It allowed me to pursue high-risk, high-impact ideas, which would not have been possible without the funding and scientific collaborations developed through the Human Immunome Project.

Eligibility and Application

Information for applicants

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2024 Michelson Prizes. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by the end of August.

Applicants must be 35 or younger at the time of submission. Early career independent investigators, postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows (including residents and interns), and other researchers currently in training positions are eligible for these awards. Applicants must be employed by, or affiliated with, an eligible organization (e.g., academia, biotechnology companies, foundations, government and non-governmental organizations, and research institutes).

Questions? Please review the Application Overview and the FAQs. Still have questions? Contact michelsonprizes@immunomeproject.org.

About the Donors

Dr. Gary K. Michelson is a Board Certified Orthopedic Spinal Surgeon with more than 900 issued patents worldwide. His work has revolutionized the practice of spinal surgery, making such procedures less invasive, less traumatic, safer, faster, and more effective. Alya Michelson is an accomplished journalist, who has written in, and been published in four different languages.

Together, the Michelsons support a broad array of philanthropic endeavors and operate three foundations that they founded and fund, including the Michelson Medical Research Foundation20MM, and Michelson Found Animals.

In addition to the Next Generation Grants, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation also sponsors the Michelson Philanthropies & Science Prize for Immunology: a $25,000 award for research that will have a significant development on vaccine and immunotherapy development.