In early September, I was honored to be named one of ten scientists chosen to receive a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award. The Pioneer Award funds innovative research proposals which attack challenging biomedical problems. Established ten years ago, this award encourages the kind of forward-looking research scientists once complained was difficult to find funding for under the traditional NIH grant structure. It is designed to support “a small number of investigators of exceptional creativity who propose bold and highly innovative new research approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact” in the fields of biomedicine and behavioral research, according to the NIH. I am grateful to receive this award from among such a competitive group. It will allow us the intellectual freedom and resources to develop a brand new technology. If successfully implemented, the technology will impact many disciplines of biomedical research, including biomaterials development, regenerative engineering, developmental biology, drug delivery, and stem cell biology.