Boettcher Foundation Awards $1.88 Million in Biomedical Research Grants to Colorado Researchers

Pictured left to right: Nick Bottenus, Ph.D., Nuris Figueroa-Morales, Ph.D., Patrick Hume, M.D., Ph.D., Caroline M. Dias, M.D., Ph.D., Megan R. Hill, Ph.D., Halil Aydin, Ph.D., Neel Butala, M.D., M.B.A., Matthew Witkowski, Ph.D.

DENVER, May 25, 2023 — Boettcher Foundation today announced the 2023 class of Boettcher Investigators—eight top Colorado researchers selected to receive funding through the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program. The 14-year-old program invests in leading Colorado researchers during the early stages of their careers, providing support to fund their independent scientific research.

The newest Boettcher Investigators come from four of Colorado’s research institutions, Colorado State University, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado Boulder, and National Jewish Health. Each researcher receives $235,000 in grant funding to support up to three years of biomedical research, supporting Boettcher Foundation’s goal to retain top scientific talent in Colorado.

The new Boettcher Investigators and their research topics are:

Colorado State University

Megan R. Hill, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry – Controlling and predicting hydrogel properties for biomedical applications.

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Neel Butala, M.D., M.B.A., Assistant Professor, Medicine-Cardiology – Evaluating the use of the electronic health record to extend the REGROUP Trial.

Caroline M. Dias, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics – Characterizing genetic and cellular heterogeneity in Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome.

Matthew Witkowski, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pediatrics – Targeting TP53-mutant acute leukemia to overcome chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy resistance.

University of Colorado Boulder

Nuris Figueroa-Morales, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Physics – Mechanics of mucus organization and transport

Halil Aydin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biochemistry – Cellular and molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial form and function in human health and disease.

Nick Bottenus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biomedical, Mechanics of Materials, Robotics and Systems Design –Binding kinetics of targeted microbubble agents.

National Jewish Health

Patrick Hume, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine – Interstitial macrophages and cigarette smoke-induced lung disease.

“We are thrilled to support our 2023 Boettcher Investigators, and as proud investors in their work, we are confident that these exceptional researchers will continue to push the boundaries of discovery and medical breakthrough,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “Their innovative research holds the promise of transformational impact that will drive progress in healthcare and make a meaningful difference in the lives of Coloradans.”

The $1.88 million in biomedical research grants allow researchers to advance their independent research and compete for significant federal and private awards.

“Colorado BioScience Association applauds Boettcher Foundation’s support of Colorado’s most dynamic and promising researchers,” said Elyse Blazevich, president and CEO of Colorado BioScience Association. “The Webb-Waring Biomedical Awards program invests in Colorado researchers at a pivotal time in their careers, and encourages them to deepen their roots in Colorado as they contribute to the leading-edge health innovations coming from our state.”

Since its inception in 2010, the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program has advanced the work of 98 Boettcher Investigators, with more than $20 million in grant funds, including the 2023 class. The researchers have attracted more than $150 million in additional independent research funding from federal, state, and private sources.

For more information about the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards, visit the Boettcher Foundation website.

Headshots of the individual recipients are available by request.

About the Boettcher Foundation

At Boettcher, we believe in the promise of Colorado and potential of Coloradans. Every day we build up and connect doers and difference makers from across the state, working to elevate people, programs, and organizations. Because by investing in Colorado leaders, we provide a foundation for transformational impact and community building.

About Colorado BioScience Association

Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) creates co-opportunity for the Colorado life sciences community. CBSA champions a collaborative life sciences ecosystem and advocates for a supportive business climate. From concept to commercialization, member companies and organizations drive global health innovations, products and services that improve and save lives. The association leads Capital and Growth, Education and Networking, Policy and Advocacy, and Workforce Cultivation to make its members stronger, together. Learn more:


Curtis Esquibel
Boettcher Foundation

Sheliah Reynolds
Primavera Group for Colorado BioScience Association

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