Biology professor Cris Niell

UO researcher receives young investigator award

Cristopher Niell, an assistant professor in the University of Oregon’s Department of Biology, has been selected as one of 47 scientists from across the United States to receive an annual Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research.

According to the Office of Naval Research, the scientists were chosen because their wide-ranging research is promising in regards to both the mission of the U.S. Department of Defense as well as the development of the scientists’ professional careers.

Niell’s research focuses on large-scale neural circuits as they relate to skilled task performance, which has applications ranging from childhood education to recovery from traumatic brain injury. More information on Niell and examples of his work with the UO can be found in Around the O.

The winners were chosen out of 280 applicants, considered young investigators if they had achieved tenure-track positions at colleges and universities within the last five years. The awardees were ultimately selected from 34 higher education institutions around the country.

The total award is typically $510,000 in grants — doled out over three years — with additional money available to help cover the cost of research equipment. The main portion of the funding supports laboratory equipment, graduate student stipends, scholarships and other expenses.

— By Nathaniel Brown, University Communications intern