O’Shea is HHMI’s sixth president and the first woman to lead the Institute. Under her leadership, HHMI has established key priorities for its work in discovery science and science education. She is responsible for new efforts at HHMI to increase diversity in science and improve the academic ecosystem. In addition, she has overseen strategic changes to HHMI’s core programs to ensure the Institute maintains its impact over time.
A leader in the fields of gene regulation, signal transduction, and systems biology, O’Shea maintains a lab at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus. An HHMI investigator since 2000, she served on the faculties of Harvard University and the University of California, San Francisco, before joining HHMI in 2013, initially as vice president and chief scientific officer. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017, Washingtonian magazine named O’Shea “one of Washington’s 100 most powerful women.”
O’Shea received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Smith College and her PhD in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.