In North Carolina, a psychiatrist is examining the role of brain electricity in mental health disorders. An Arizona scientist is probing how bacteria can become permanent fixtures inside host cells. And a California biologist is on a mission to heal diseased hearts.
These scientists and their fellow 2021 Investigators could radically change how we think about biology, human health, and disease. HHMI will invest at least $300 million in these new Investigators, who come from 21 US institutions and will join HHMI’s Investigator community, which currently includes approximately 250 scientists.
“HHMI is committed to giving outstanding biomedical scientists the time, resources, and freedom they need to explore uncharted scientific territory,” says HHMI President Erin O’Shea. By employing scientists as HHMI Investigators, rather than awarding them research grants, she says, the Institute is guided by the principle of “people, not projects.”
HHMI selected the new Investigators because they’re thoughtful, rigorous scientists who have the potential to make transformative discoveries over time, says David Clapham, HHMI’s vice president and chief scientific officer. “We encourage Investigators to follow new directions, learn new methods, and think in new ways,” he says. “This could lead to scientific breakthroughs that benefit humanity.”
Each new Investigator will receive roughly $9 million over a seven-year term, which is renewable pending a successful scientific review. HHMI selected the new Investigators from more than 800 eligible applicants.
To date, 32 current or former HHMI scientists have won the Nobel Prize – most recently, Jennifer Doudna in 2020 for the development of a method for genome editing. Investigators have made significant contributions across many research areas, including HIV vaccine development, microbiome and circadian rhythm research, immunotherapy, SARS-CoV-2 biology, and potential therapies and vaccines for COVID-19, among other fields.
HHMI is the largest private biomedical research institution in the nation. Our scientists make discoveries that advance human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. We also invest in transforming science education into a creative, inclusive endeavor that reflects the excitement of research. HHMI’s headquarters are located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.
2021 HHMI Investigators
Emily Balskus, PhD, Harvard University
Gregory Barton, PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Diana Bautista, PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Trevor Bedford, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Flaminia Catteruccia, PhD, Harvard University
Xin Chen, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Rhiju Das, PhD, Stanford University
Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD, Duke University
Nels Elde, PhD, University of Utah
Cagla Eroglu, PhD, Duke University
Cassandra Extavour, PhD, Harvard University
Chenghua Gu, PhD, Harvard University
Sun Hur, PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital
Martin Jonikas, PhD, Princeton University
Cigall Kadoch, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Shingo Kajimura, PhD, ScD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Daniel Kronauer, PhD, The Rockefeller University
Frederick Matsen IV, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Ian Maze, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
John McCutcheon, PhD, Arizona State University
Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, Stanford University
Daniel Mucida, PhD, The Rockefeller University
Dana Pe’er, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Kristy Red-Horse, PhD, Stanford University
Vanessa Ruta, PhD, The Rockefeller University
David Savage, PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Mikhail Shapiro, PhD, California Institute of Technology
Vincent Tagliabracci, PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Benjamin Tu, PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Kay Tye, PhD, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
David Veesler, PhD, University of Washington
Elizabeth Villa, PhD, University of California, San Diego
Jochen Zimmer, PhD, University of Virginia