GSA member Erin K. O’Shea has been selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as its sixth president and will assume the top position on September 1, 2016. O’Shea has served as HHMI’S vice president and chief scientific officer since 2013. She is also a professor at Harvard University.
With a background in yeast research, O’Shea’s lab has focused on the ways cells sense changes in their environment and respond appropriately. This includes research to understand how gene regulatory networks encode and decode information to control gene expression—and investigating the function and mechanism of oscillation of a three-protein circadian clock.
Erin K. O’Shea, PhD
Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer
Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and
Paul C. Mangelsdorf Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
She also previously served as director of the Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences Center for Systems Biology and as professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
O’Shea will succeed Robert Tjian, who has served as HHMI president since 2009 but announced last year that he would be stepping down to return to his position at the University of California, Berkeley. HHMI is the largest private funder of academic biomedical research in the U.S. with an endowment of $18.2 billion; in 2015, the institute invested $666 million in research and an additional $85 million in science education.
- “Erin O’Shea Named New HHMI President,” February 3, 2016.
- Jocelyn Kaiser, “Biochemist tapped as first woman to lead one of world’ largest private biomedical Funders,” Science, February 3, 2016.