The MERIT Award

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award (R37) recognizes researchers who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity in research endeavors.  

On February 13, 2014, NCI announced the orderly phase-out and termination of its participation in the MERIT Award Program. No new nominations for NCI MERIT awards will be made. There are no changes for current NCI MERIT awardees and all non-competing commitments for future year support made to current NCI MERIT awardees will continue to be honored.

In September 2014, NCI launched its Outstanding Investigator Award to encourage research with breakthrough potential.

NCI MERIT Award Recipients


Kinzler, Kenneth W.
Genes from the FAP Locus
Johns Hopkins University


Kohwi-Shigematsu, Terumi
Studies on Gene Regulation by Chromatin Organization
University of California – Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Druker, Brian
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and BCR-ABL Substrates
Oregon Health & Science University


Caligiuri, Michael
IL-15 Characterization Through Experimental Immunology
Ohio State University

Giaccia, Amato
Hypoxia and Gene Repression
Stanford University

Bissell, Mina J.
Definition of Microenvironment in Breast Cancer
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

DePinho, Ronald A.
Telomerase in Development, Senescence and Neoplasia
Dana Farber Cancer Institute


Cheresh, David A.
VEGF and PDGF in Angiogenesis and Tumor Progression
University of California, San Diego

Cravatt III, Benjamin F.
Chemical Approaches for Activity-Based Proteomics
The Scripps Research Institute

Jones, Peter A.
Mechanisms of De Novo Methylation in Cancer
University of Southern California

Kornfeld, Stuart A.
Structure, Biosynthesis and Function of Glycoproteins
Washington University

Zheng, Wei
Cancer Risk Reduction and Diet: A Cohort Study of Women
Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Dong, Zigang
Anticarcinogenic Mechanisms of Tea Constituents
University of Minnesota

Essigmann, John
Intra- and Extra-Chromosomal Probes for Mutagenesis by Carcinogens
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Molecular Pathogenesis of Radiation Enteropathy
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Korc, Murray
Dysregulation of TGF Beta Action Pancreatic Cancer
Dartmouth College


Laimins, Laimonis A.
Life Cycle of Oncogenic Papillomaviruses
Northwestern University

Lin, Xihong
Statistical Methods for Correlated and High-Dimensional Biomedical Data
Harvard School of Public Health


Coffin, John M.
Retrovirus Evolution
Tufts University

Guengerich, F. Peter
Metabolism of Carcinogenesis and Drug by Human P450
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Pagano, Michele
F-Box Proteins: Deregulated Cell Cycle Control and Proteolysis in Cancer
New York University School of Medicine, NY

Pandolfi, Pier Paolo
PML, PLZF and NPM in the Molecular Pathogenesis of APL
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

Pegg, Anthony
Persistence of Alkylated DNA in Carcinogeneis
Pennsylvania State University, PA

Raz, Avraham
The Role of Tumor Cell Surface Lectin in Metastases
Wayne State University

Shannon, Kevin
Translation Investigation of KRas & NF1 in Myeloid Leukemia
University of California at San Francisco

Vogelstein, Bert
Molecular Genetic Analysis of Colorectal Cancers
Johns Hopkins University

Wender, Paul A.
Synthetic Studies Related to Cancer Research/Treatment
Stanford University


Botchan, Michael
Regulatory Interactions Between Tumor Viruses and Cells
University of California, Berkeley, CA

Carroll, Raymond J.
Measurement Error, Nutrition and Breast/Colon Cancer
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Evans, William E.
Pharmacogenomics of Childhood Leukemia (ALL)
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Kipps, Thomas J.
Antibody V Gene Expression B Cell Lymphocytic Leukemia
University of California San Diego

Lieber, Michael R.
Human V(D)J Recombinase in Neoplastic and Primary Cells
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Marnett, Lawrence J.
Chemistry and Biology of Malondialdehyde DNA Adducts
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Massagué, Joan
Transforming Growth Factor-Beta Signal Transduction
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

Metcalf, Donald
Differentiation of Granulocytes and Macrophages
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, Victoria, Australia

Moscicki, Anna-Barbara
Natural History of HPV Infection to Neoplasia
University of California, San Francisco, CA

Yarden, Yosef
Next Generation Strategies to Intercept ErbB Signaling
Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel


Fenical, William H.
Antitumor-Antibiotics from Marine Microorganisms
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Goff, Stephen P.
Construction and Analysis of Retrovirus Mutants
Columbia University Medical Center

Hecht, Stephen S.
Metabolism of Carcinogenic Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines
University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center

Neel, Benjamin G.
Signal Transduction by Non-transmembrane PTPs
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University

Springer, Timothy A.
Lymphocyte Function Associated Antigens
CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Harvard University

Tjian, Robert
SV40 Tumor Antigen
University of California Berkeley


Berk, Arnold J.
Biosynthesis of Adenovirus Early RNAs
University of California, Los Angeles

Bigner, Darell D.
Brain Tumors - Immunological and Biological Studies
Duke University

Blenis, John
Mitogenic and Oncogenic Regulation of ERK/RSK Signaling
Harvard Medical School

Eisenman, Robert N.
Myc Oncoprotein Function
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Giancotti, Filippo G.
Molecular Analysis of the alpha-6 beta-4 Integrin
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Sloan-Kettering Institute

Harrison, Stephen C.
Structure and Assembly of Viruses
Harvard University

Miller, I. George
Studies of Epstein-Barr Virus
Yale University

Oren, Moshe
Functional Analysis of the p53 Tumor Suppressor
Weizmann Institute of Science

Roizman, Bernard
Dissection of the Functions of Herpes Simplex Virus ICP0
University of Chicago


Chen, David
Roles of DNA PK in DNA Double Strand Break Repair
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dalla-Favera, Riccardo
AIDS Associated Lymphoproliferative Disorders
Columbia University

Haber, Daniel
Functional Properties of the Wilm's Tumor Gene WT1
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Hayward, S. Diane
Regulation of Replication and Latency by EBV EBNAs
Johns Hopkins University

Hendrix, Mary J.
Endothelial Transdifferentiation of Invasive Tumor Cells
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Kinzler, Kenneth W.
Genes from the FAP Locus
Johns Hopkins University

Kohwi-Shigematsu, Terumi T.
Non B DNA Structure with Chemical Carcinogens
University of California-Lawrence Berkeley Lab

Kolonel, Laurence
Multiethnic Cohort Study of Diet and Cancer
Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, University of Hawaii

Martin, G. Steven
Genetics of RNA Tumor Viruses
University of California Berkeley

Prakash, Satya
Repair of UV Irradiated DNA: Excision Genes of Yeast
University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston

Privalsky, Martin L.
Mechanism of Action of the v-erb A Oncogene of AEV
University of California Davis

Past Years

Baenziger, Jacques U.
Oligosaccharide Structure/Function in Recognition
Washington University

Bar-Sagi, Dafna
Mechanisms of Signal Transduction by Ras Proteins
State University of New York Stony Brook

Brattain, Michael G.
Mechanism of Action of Differentiation Agents
Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Cheresh, David A.
Alpha v Integrins and Tumor Angiogenesis
Scripps Research Institute

Cleary, Michael L.
Molecular Pathology of Lymphoid Malignancies
Stanford University

Cooper, Jonathan A.
Src Family Kinases and Cell Growth Regulation
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Croteau, Rodney B.
Biosynthesis of Taxol
Washington State University

Dang, Chi V.
C Myc--Transcription and Apoptosis
Johns Hopkins University

Danishefsky, Samuel J.
Synthesis of Antitumor Natural Products
Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research

Dove, William F.
Genes Controlling Neoplasia of the Intestinal Epithelium
University of Wisconsin Madison

Fausto, Nelson
Gene Expression in Regenerating and Neoplastic Livers
University of Washington

Feinberg, Andrew P.
BWS and Embryonal Tumor Suppressor Genes On 11p15
Johns Hopkins University

Greenberg, Philip D.
Mechanisms of Murine Tumor Eradication by Immunotherapy
University of Washington

Howley, Peter M.
Functional Analysis of the E6AP Ubiquitin Protein Ligase
Harvard University (Medical School)

Jaenisch, Rudolf
Genomic Imprinting and the Cloning of Mice
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

Katzenellenbogen, John A.
Radiopharmaceuticals for Breast Tumor Imaging & Therapy
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Klagsbrun, Michael
Characterization of Neuropilin, A Novel VEGF Receptor
Children's Hospital (Boston)

Korsmeyer, Stanley J.
Protein Interaction Extends the Cell Death Pathway
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Lee, Eva Y.
Oncogenes and Loss of ER in a New p53 Breast Tumor Model
University of California Irvine

Levy, Ronald
Antiidiotype Therapy of Human B Cell Malignancy
Stanford University

Lippard, Stephen J.
Chemistry and Biology of Platinum Anticancer Drugs
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Livingston, David M.
Structure and Function of SV40 Non-Virion Proteins
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Murre, Cornelis
E Protein and B Cell Differentiation
University of California, San Diego

Myers, Andrew G.
Natural and Non-natural Antiproliferative Agents
Harvard University

Perucho, Manuel
Molecular Pathogenesis of Cancer of Mutator Phenotype
Burnham Institute

Prives, Carol L.
Regulation of the p53 Tumor Suppressor Protein
Columbia University New York Morningside

Rao, Anjana
bZIP Proteins and Lymphocyte Gene Induction
Center for Blood Research

Rich, Alexander
The Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Rosen, Jeffrey M.
Hormonal Regulation of Breast Cancer
Baylor College of Medicine

Sprent, Jonathan
Lymphocyte Function in Normal and Chimeric Mice
Scripps Research Institute

Stanley, E. Richard
Regulation of Granulocyte and Macrophage Production
Yeshiva University

Tonks, Nicholas K.
Protein Tyrosine Dephosphorylation & Signal Transduction
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Wands, Jack R.
Pathogenesis, Immunodiagnosis and Therapy of HCC
Rhode Island Hospital (Providence, RI)

Wang, Jean Y.
Nuclear Function of the cAbl Protooncoprotein
University of California San Diego

White, Eileen
Function of the Adenovirus E1B Oncogene
Rutgers The State University of New Jersey

Wills, John W.
Molecular Analysis of the Retroviral Budding Mechanism
Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical Center

Zalutsky, Michael R.
Astatine and Iodine Radiolabeled Monoclonal Antibodies
Duke University

Zetter, Bruce R.
Modulators of Prostate Cancer Metastasis
Children's Hospital (Boston)

  • Updated: March 19, 2015