(UniversityNewMexico.News) As part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) High Risk, High Reward Research Program, Victor M. Acosta has received the 2020 Director’s New Innovator Award. Acosta is an assistant professor of physics and a member of the UNM Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM). His project, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Microscope Based on Diamond Quantum Sensors, seeks to use qubits (the logical elements in a quantum computer) to identify and count molecules with a resolution at the level of single biological cells.
Acosta’s award from NIH will provide $2.1 million over 5 years. “The grant will support several UNM graduate students and postdocs who will explore this new interface between quantum science, chemical imaging, and biophysics,” he says.
The High-Risk, High-Reward Research program catalyzes scientific discovery by supporting research proposals that, due to their inherent risk, may struggle in the traditional peer-review process despite their transformative potential. Program applicants are encouraged to think “outside the box” and to pursue trailblazing ideas in any area of research relevant to the NIH’s mission to advance knowledge and enhance health.