HHMI selects new clinical investigators

ersity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and chairman of HHMIs Medical Advisory Board. What are crucially needed are more patient-oriented researchers with the expertise to translate and transform these molecular advances into the realities of clinical medicine. In the conquest of any disease, patient-oriented researchers are essential at every stage -- from the delineation of a new syndrome, to elucidation of pathogenesis, to design and evaluation of a new drug.

With the completion of the human genome sequence and the advent of other technological advances such as those in the area of biomedical imaging, there are new opportunities for bridging the gap between advances in basic science and clinical research. The purpose of this investigator competition was to identify researchers whose scientific work is guided by their interaction with patients or other human subjects.

Although several of the 324 current HHMI investigators are doing patient-oriented research on diseases such as colon cancer, hypertension, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the majority of Hughes scientists focus on basic research directed toward understanding the genetic, molecular and cellular bases of human disease. This type of research is generally characterized as being disease-oriented rather than patient-oriented, because the research does not require significant contact with patients.

In June 2001, letters inviting nominations were sent to 119 institutions, including medical schools, research institutes, schools of public health and some independent hospitals. By September 10, 2001, the closing date for nominations, 138 nominations had been received. A review committee of distinguished biomedical scientists evaluated the nominations. Following the recommendations of the advisors, 12 physician-scientists were selected for appointment.

The Institute is a medical research organization that enters into long-term collaboration agreements with univer

Contact: Jim Keeley
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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