Summary

President of The Rockefeller University becomes one of 11 Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Sir Paul Nurse, president of The Rockefeller University, has been elected a Trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is one of 11 Trustees of the Institute, a medical research organization dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in the life sciences.

Nurse, 56, is a distinguished scientist who shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Leland Hartwell and R. Timothy Hunt for fundamental discoveries concerning control of the cell cycle. A geneticist who uses fission yeast as a model system, he continues an active research program that focuses on the cell cycle and how the cell organizes its internal structures to prepare for cell division.

A native of England, Nurse became Rockefeller's ninth president in 2003. He had been chief executive of Cancer Research UK, the world's largest cancer research organization outside the U.S.

Nurse graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1970 and received his Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia in 1973. Nurse headed laboratories at the University of Sussex, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF), and Oxford University before rejoining the ICRF in 1996 as its Director General. He presided over its merger with the Cancer Research Council.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Nurse's work has been recognized around the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and, in 1995, became a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences. He has received the Gairdner Foundation International Award (1992), the Alfred P. Sloan Jr. Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation (1997), and the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (1998).

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The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is dedicated to discovering and disseminating new knowledge in the basic life sciences. HHMI grounds its research programs on the conviction that scientists of exceptional talent and imagination will make fundamental contributions of lasting scientific value and benefit to humanity when given the resources, time, and freedom to pursue challenging questions. The Institute prizes intellectual daring and seeks to preserve the autonomy of its scientists as they pursue their research.

A nonprofit medical research organization, HHMI was established in 1953 by the aviator-industrialist. The Institute, headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is one of the largest philanthropies in the world with an endowment of $14.8 billion at the close of its 2005 fiscal year. HHMI invested $637 million in support of biomedical research and $80 million for support of a variety of science education and other grants programs in fiscal 2005.

The Rockefeller University is a world-renowned center for research and graduate education in the biomedical sciences, chemistry, and physics. Founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1901, the university has been the site of many important scientific breakthroughs. Rockefeller scientists, for example, established that DNA is the chemical basis of heredity, discovered blood groups, showed that viruses can cause cancer, founded the modern field of cell biology, worked out the structure of antibodies, developed methadone maintenance for people addicted to heroin, devised the AIDS "cocktail" drug therapy, and identified the weight-regulating hormone leptin. Twenty-three Nobel Prize winners have been associated with the university.

For More Information

Jim Keeley 301.215.8858 keeleyj@hhmi.org