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The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) today announced the names of 70 scientists who have been selected in a national competition to be appointed as HHMI investigators. This expansion, the largest ever undertaken in one step by the Institute, will increase the number of Hughes investigators by approximately 25 percent.

“These outstanding scientists are being invited to join one of the most creative and productive groups of researchers in the world,” said Purnell W. Choppin, M.D., president of the Institute, which is the largest philanthropic organization in the United States. “Their selection was the result of an intensely competitive process and is a tribute to their ability and promise as research scientists.” The 70 men and women selected must now be formally appointed.

Assuming that all of them are able to accept the appointment, the HHMI scientific staff will increase to more than 330 investigators, based at 72 medical schools, universities, and research institutes located throughout the country.

The Institute’s endowment is currently about $9.6 billion and the total HHMI budget for the current fiscal year is $455 million. The Institute’s biomedical research expenditures this fiscal year will total about $338 million, including both national and local administrative costs, as well as related expenses such as the costs for laboratories and other facilities. Once the planned expansion has been fully implemented, which could take as long as one year or more, it is expected to add more than $50 million per year to the Institute’s research expenditures. HHMI will also spend about $86 million this year on its grants program, which focuses upon science education.

In May 1996, the Institute sent letters to more than 200 U.S. institutions involved in biomedical research inviting nominations of outstanding biomedical scientists to be considered for appointment as HHMI investigators. By September 3, 1996, the closing date, approximately 370 nominations had been received. Candidates were evaluated last month by a review committee of distinguished biomedical scientists meeting on the HHMI campus in Chevy Chase, Maryland, located just outside Washington, D.C. Following the recommendations of the advisors, 70 scientists were selected for potential appointment. This is the third national competition to select HHMI investigators. The last, held in 1994, resulted in the appointment of 44 new investigators. Hughes investigators conduct biomedical research in five areas: cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience and structural biology. In recent years, they have made significant discoveries related to obesity, AIDS, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and many other medical problems. Research papers by HHMI scientists are among those cited most often by other researchers, one measure of scientific impact.

As a medical research organization, the Institute enters into long-term research collaboration agreements with universities and other academic research organizations, where its investigators hold faculty appointments. Under these agreements, HHMI investigators, who are employees of the Institute, conduct their scientific research in Institute laboratories located on the various campuses. Among the researchers selected in the competition are faculty members of 10 institutions with which the Institute does not yet have a collaborative relationship. In those cases, the appointment process will include the negotiation of an interinstitutional agreement, as well as the usual considerations associated with employing new investigators on the Institute’s scientific staff.

During the course of discussions in the appointment process, it is possible that a selected scientist could decline to join the Institute. The Institute also has a complementary grants program that focuses upon science education. Its aims are to strengthen science education and to encourage talented young students, especially women and minorities, to pursue research and science teaching careers. The Institute’s undergraduate grants program is the largest private educational initiative in U.S. history. The Institute also supports through grants the research of biomedical scientists in selected countries outside the United States.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute
1997 Investigator Competition Candidates

Paul G. Ahlquist
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Thomas D. Albright
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

James P. Allison
University of California, Berkeley

Joanne Chory
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

David E. Clapham
Children’s Hospital, Boston

Joan W. Conaway
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Harry C. Dietz
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Jennifer Anne Doudna
Yale University

Catherine Dulac
Harvard University

Richard H. Ebright
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Stanley Fields
University of Washington School of Medicine

Joachim Frank
Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health

Joanna L. Groden
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Eduardo A. Groisman
Washington University School of Medicine

Steven Hahn
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

James N. Ihle
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Simon W.M. John
The Jackson Laboratory

Alexandra Joyner
New York University School of Medicine

William G. Kaelin, Jr.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Chaitan Khosla
Stanford University

David M. Kingsley
Stanford University School of Medicine

Douglas Koshland
Carnegie Institution of Washington

Mark A. Krasnow
Stanford University School of Medicine

Daniel J. Leahy
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Ruth Lehmann
New York University School of Medicine 

Stephen G. Lisberger
University of California, San Francisco

Richard M. Locksley
University of California, San Francisco

Roderick MacKinnon
The Rockefeller University

Gail Mandel
State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Medicine

Robert F. Margolskee
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Sanford Markowitz
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Michael A. Marletta
The University of Michigan College of Pharmacy

John H.R. Maunsell
Baylor College of Medicine

Barbara J. Meyer
University of California, Berkeley

Melissa J. Moore
Brandeis University

Kenneth M. Murphy
Washington University School of Medicine

William T. Newsome III
Stanford University School of Medicine

Lee Ann Niswander
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Michael B. O’Connor
University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis

Michael E. O’Donnell
The Rockefeller University

Nikola P. Pavletich
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Louis J. Ptacek
University of Utah School of Medicine

Anna M. Pyle
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Tom A. Rapoport
Harvard Medical School

Douglas C. Rees
California Institute of Technology

James M. Roberts
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

G. Shirleen Roeder
Yale University

David B. Roth
Baylor College of Medicine

Sylvia L. Sanders
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Erin M. Schuman
California Institute of Technology

John D. Scott
Vollum Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research

Amita Sehgal
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

George M. Shaw
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine

Val C. Sheffield
University of Iowa College of Medicine

Gerald I. Shulman
Yale University School of Medicine

Eugenia Spanopoulou
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Jonathan S. Stamler
Duke University Medical Center

Jack Szostak
Massachusetts General Hospital

Joseph S. Takahashi
Northwestern University

Susan S. Taylor
University of California, San Diego

Li-Hwei Tsai
Harvard Medical School

Peter Walter
University of California, San Francisco

Xiaodong Wang
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Eileen White
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Morris F. White
Joslin Diabetes Center

Eric F. Wieschaus
Princeton University

Jerry L. Workman
Pennsylvania State University

Hong Wu
University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine

Tian Xu
Yale University School of Medicine

Wayne M. Yokoyama
Washington University School of Medicine

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