Summary

HHMI Investigator David E. Clapham, MD, PhD, will become Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, effective September 1, 2016.

The Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have elected David E. Clapham, MD, PhD, now a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Boston Children’s Hospital, as Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. Clapham will begin his new duties on September 1, 2016.

Clapham is currently the Aldo R. Castañeda Professor of Cardiovascular Research at Children's Hospital Boston and Professor of Neurobiology and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. A member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a leader in the field of ion channel research. His research focuses on the role of calcium as an intracellular messenger and on the signals that control ion channels that carry calcium between cells. The identification and characterization of ion channels may make it possible to develop drugs that alleviate many disorders.

Clapham will succeed Erin O’Shea, PhD, who was recently named president of HHMI, effective September 1, 2016. O’Shea became HHMI’s chief scientific officer in 2013.

“I’m so pleased that David Clapham is joining HHMI to help us move science forward,” said O’Shea. “David’s diverse experiences in basic research and medicine position him well to lead our science programs into the future. I look forward to the good work we will do together.”

Clapham will lead HHMI’s science programs, which include the HHMI Investigator Program, in which leading scientists and their staff conduct research in HHMI laboratories across the United States. At HHMI, he will oversee a scientific portfolio that includes programs that support early career scientists and initiatives that enhance diversity in science.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the many creative and innovative investigators supported through the scientific research programs at HHMI,” said Clapham. “Scientific discovery is not only gratifying to those engaged in this endeavor, but also to those who will benefit from the medical advances that stem from building greater understanding of basic biological processes.”  

Clapham was trained in electrical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and obtained his MD and PhD degrees from Emory University in Atlanta. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and his postdoctoral fellowship with Erwin Neher of the Max Planck Institute in Goettingen, Germany. After several years on the faculty at the Mayo Clinic, Clapham moved to Children's Hospital in Boston, where he directs cardiovascular research.

His honors include the Biophysical Society’s Cole Award for Contributions to Membrane Biophysics; the Basic Research Prize of the American Heart Association, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cardiovascular Research.

Clapham plans to continue his research on ion channels, continuing with his laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital and transitioning over time to the Janelia Research Campus.

About the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute plays an important role in advancing scientific research and education in the United States. Its scientists, located across the United States and around the world, have made important discoveries that advance both human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. The Institute also aims to transform science education into a creative, interdisciplinary endeavor that reflects the excitement of real research. 

For More Information

Jim Keeley 301.215.8858 keeleyj@hhmi.org