HHMI announces selection of 48 new investigators

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) today announced the names of 48 scientists who have been selected in a national competition to be appointed as HHMI investigators. The scientists, from 31 institutions, were selected as assistant investigators or in the emerging field of computational biology. They will join 305 HHMI investigators across the United States, a group whose honors last year included the Nobel Prize and the Lasker Prize. Earlier this month, nine HHMI investigators were elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

"These new investigators are an incredibly talented group who have begun to make their mark on biomedical research," said Thomas R. Cech, who assumed HHMI's presidency on January 1. "We were looking for researchers who explore big questions and take risks -- people with that special quality that leads to scientific breakthroughs and medical advances."

Those selected include 12 in the field of computational biology -- a new initiative by the Institute to pursue the growing opportunities at the confluence of biology and computing, in areas such as genomics, cognitive neuroscience and the folding of biomolecules. They also include a chemist, a physicist and -- for the first time -- an engineer, illustrating the breadth of fields that now contribute to biomedical advances.

The 48 new investigators must now be formally appointed. Assuming that all of them are able to accept the appointment, the HHMI scientific staff will increase to 353 investigators, based at 72 medical schools, universities and research institutes nationwide.

The Institute is a medical research organization that enters into long-term research collaboration agreements with universities and other academic research organizations, where its investigators hold faculty appointments. Under these agreements, HHMI investigators and their teams, who are employees of the Institute, carry out research with considerable freedom and flexibility in HHMI la

Contact: Jim Keeley
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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