​Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives Seed (IRIS) Fund Program

The Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives Seed (IRIS) Fund Program is designed to promote new interdisciplinary/multi-investigator research projects between a clinical and basic science department. This program has been made possible through a generous gift from Sherry and Neil Cohen. Funds from this program will support activities necessary to advance interdisciplinary, multi-investigator project funding and support the collection of preliminary data. It is expected that a competitive proposal will be submitted to an external funding agency, preferably the NIH, for a multi-investigator/program project type award within a year of the completion of the project period. A maximum of two awards, of up to $100,000, will be made each year for a period of 1-2 years. The award is intended to support reasonable and necessary costs for the collection of pilot research data or for proposal development.


Any VP&S Officer of Instruction (with tenure or on tenure track) is eligible to apply as a lead investigator. Emeritus, adjunct, and visiting faculty, as well as postdoctoral scholars, are not eligible to lead projects but may be included on the research team. Please note that this announcement is geared towards senior level faculty who can lead a program project type award.

How to Apply

Applications usually open in spring at InfoReady 

Previous Awardees


  • Jovana Pavisic, MD
    "Focused ultrasound-mediated delivery of computationally prioritized, subpopulation-specific drugs to diffuse midline glioma (DMG)"
  • Hans-Willem Snoeck, MD, PhD
    "Pooled optical CRISPR screening of transcription factors driving lineage fate in human transitional lung organoids"


  • Harris Wang, PhD
    "Genomic colonoscopy: non-invasive RNA and microbiome profiling of the gut."
  • Chaolin Zhang, PhD
    " A role of human-specific alternative splicing for brain development and ciliopathies."


  • Dietrich Egli, PhD
    "Genome instability during beta cell proliferation as a trigger of the innate immune system in type 1 diabetes."
  • Alice Prince, MD
    "Metabolo-therapy for multiply resistant pathogens."


  • Maxwell Gottesman, PhD
    "Towards a molecular understanding of Transthyretin (TTR) cardiac amyloidosis pathobiology."
  • Gerard Karsenty, MD, PhD
    "Elucidating the bone-muscle interactions in altered zinc homeostasis in cancer cachexia."



  • Daniel Javitt, MD, PhD
    "Translational neurophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders: leveraging the BRAIN initiative."
  • Raul Rabadan, PhD
    "Long non-coding RNAs in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma."



  • Jonathan Javitch, MD, PhD
    "Evaluating the mu-opioid receptor as a new target for treatment of depression and other stress-related disorders: Combining chemistry, pharmacology and behavioral rodent models."
  • Ira Tabas, MD, PhD
    "Humanized Mice to Study Atherosclerosis."