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The 2021 Magee Prize Has Been Awarded!

Magee RKMF Prize Full Group 2021

On Thursday, November 17, 2021 at the Magee-Womens Summit, Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) awarded the $1 million Magee Prize to an international team led by Pamela Moalli, M.D., Ph.D., director of urogynecology and pelvic reconstruction surgery at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital and MWRI.


“We believe we are the right team to achieve the aims of the proposal, and we look forward to a productive collaboration in the future,” said Moalli in accepting the award.


The team, including Kyle Orwig, Ph.D., MWRI and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Caroline Gargett, Ph.D., Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Australia, is working to develop new biomaterials to repair tissue loss in women with compromised vaginal structure and function.


Learn More about the 2021 Magee Prize Winners

2021 Magee Prize Finalists

Using Interspecies Chimeras to Understand Female Reproductive Lifespan
Vaginal Stem Cells: The Missing Link in Vaginal Reconstruction*
Epigentic Regulation of Trophoblast Function, Infertility and Early Pregnancy Loss

The prize was awarded November 17 at the Magee Prize Dinner, held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Read additional details about each finalist team's research


* denotes winner

Magee Prize Dinner

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Thank you for joining us in celebrating science at the Magee Prize Dinner on November 17, 2021 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Guests enjoyed hearing from Keynote Speaker Laura Helmuth, editor-in-chief of Scientific American, and were front and center for the announcement of the $1M Magee Prize, funded by the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

“I have been working on this project and idea for 20 years. It is gratifying to know that persistence pays and yesterday’s wild ideas may become today’s reality.”

Yaacov Barak, Ph.D., MWRI Investigator and 2018 Magee Prize Recipient


The Magee Prize will support breakthrough research conducted by top scientists from around the world who are focused on reproductive sciences and women’s health research. The winners of the prize will be selected based on innovative and collaborative research across a wide variety of disciplines. The prize is designed to propel discovery in women’s health and, by extension, the health of humankind. The three prize finalists will be invited to present their projects at the Magee-Womens Summit on November 17, with summit attendees contributing via live vote to the final awardee.

Who's Eligible

This award will support a 2-3 year research program on an innovative, transdisciplinary project in the fields of reproductive biology, early human development, or women’s health. The project should be proposed jointly by two or more collaborating principal investigators (PIs): one international investigator located anywhere in the world and at least one MWRI investigator. Applications are encouraged in any relevant biological discipline, from basis or translational biology to clinical and health services research. Projects may be conceptual or methodological, involve new models or drugs, and ideally based on high-risk and high-reward strategies.

Magee Prize Submissions

Submissions are now closed. Thank you to all who submitted letters of intent.

Submissions are now closed. Thank you to all who submitted applications.

The first prize is comprised of a $972,000 total research award (which includes indirect costs at a maximum rate of 8%) and a $18,000 personal prize, shared across the co-PIs

  •   In addition, the following personal prizes will include:
  •   Second prize: $6,000, shared across the co-PIs
  •   Third prize: $4,000, shared across the co-PIs
  •   Should funds roughly follow the effort?
    Not necessarily. The contribution of each investigative team should be briefly addressed within the Plan section. Funds do not need to be equally divided, but should reflect a true collaboration while being allocated in a manner relevant to the proposed research. Similar adjustments can be made when there is more than one PI per institution.
  •   What are the funding mechanisms across investigative teams?
    We are following a typical NIH awarding mechanism, with funds awarded to the submitting PI’s institution (which then allocates subcontracts to the remaining team institutions), as opposed to directly awarding each collaborating entity its own share based on its own exclusive budget.
  •   Can the award be extended beyond 2-3 years?
    No, it is expected that the project will be completed in 2 years, with one optional non-competitive extension year.



Applications Due

March 22, 2021


Prize Finalists

September 3, 2021


Prize Finalist Presentations

November 17, 2021


Magee Prize Awarded

November 17, 2021

at the Magee Prize Dinner