HomeNewsGeneticist Gerald M. Rubin Named First Director of HHMIs Janelia Farm Research Campus

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Geneticist Gerald M. Rubin Named First Director of HHMIs Janelia Farm Research Campus

Summary

Director of planning for Janelia Farm, Gerald M. Rubin, has been named its first director by HHMI's Trustees.

The Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have elected Gerald M. Rubin as vice president and director of the Janelia Farm Research Campus.

Rubin, an internationally recognized geneticist, who led a collaborative effort to sequence the genome of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has been serving as vice president and director of planning for Janelia Farm.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute's (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Campus is a unique, world-class biomedical research complex under construction in Ashburn, Va. When completed in 2006, it will be home to a broad range of scientific programs that will represent the boldest steps yet in HHMI's half-century quest to speed the development and application of new tools for transforming the study of biology and medicine.

HHMI expects to spend about $500 million to construct the campus and put its scientific programs in place. The initial construction will provide the laboratories to accommodate a permanent research staff of 200 to 300. In addition, other laboratories and facilities will be built for visiting researchers, as well as for core scientific support staff and administration. Janelia Farm will include about 760,000 gross square feet of space, housing the research laboratories and support areas, a conference center and transient housing for more than 100 visitors.

“Gerry's experience as a bench scientist, his ability to build resourceful collaborative groups of researchers, and his expertise in newly emerging areas of biomedical science make him an excellent choice to lead the creation of this new research environment at Janelia Farm,” said HHMI President Thomas R. Cech.

Before moving to HHMI headquarters in 2000 to become vice president for biomedical research, Rubin was an HHMI investigator at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was the John D. MacArthur Professor of Genetics in the department of molecular and cellular biology.

Rubin received his bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Cambridge in England. He did postdoctoral work at the Stanford University School of Medicine before joining Harvard Medical School in 1977 as an assistant professor of biological chemistry.

In 1980 he joined the Carnegie Institution of Washington as a staff member in the department of embryology, and three years later he moved to the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, as the John D. MacArthur Professor of Genetics.

Rubin led the effort to sequence the entire genome of the fruit fly Drosophila. In addition, his laboratory has used a variety of genetic techniques to determine the function of fruit fly genes that have homology to human genes. Rubin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

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Jim Keeley
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