Leading Infectious Disease Researcher Appointed Inaugural Chief Scientific Officer at Mass Eye and Ear

Michael S. Gilmore, PhD, a renowned microbiologist who has led infectious disease efforts at leading research institutions, has been appointed the first Chief Scientific Officer at Mass Eye and Ear, a member hospital of Mass General Brigham, following an extensive search.

Dr. Gilmore will assume the role on May 1, 2021. He has served as Director of the Infectious Disease Institute at Harvard Medical School and Co-director of the Microbial Sciences Initiative of Harvard University, and will continue these roles. Dr. Gilmore is a senior scientist at Mass Eye and Ear and the Sir William Osler Professor of Ophthalmology (Microbiology and Immunobiology) at Harvard Medical School, and a senior associate member of the Broad Institute.

In this newly-created leadership position, Dr. Gilmore will oversee the scientific research strategy and operations for Mass Eye and Ear and lead collaboration with other research programs across Mass General Brigham.

“Michael Gilmore’s extensive career as a scientist and innovator makes him the ideal candidate for this new role leading our entire research enterprise at Mass Eye and Ear,” said John Fernandez, President of Mass Eye and Ear. “His proven track record at our institution and throughout the Harvard system will serve our researchers well, and there is no better leader to lift the leading-edge science at Mass Eye and Ear to even greater heights.”

“As a unique academic medical institution dedicated to ophthalmology and otolaryngology research, Mass Eye and Ear has been in a position to attract the best and brightest scientists in their fields,” added Ravi I. Thadhani, MD, MPH, Chief Academic Officer at Mass General Brigham. “Their work is a great asset to medical science. Dr. Gilmore is vastly experienced in basic science, translational research and obtaining and executing grant funding and I look forward to working with him to identify new ways to broaden the impact of these efforts for the sake of patients throughout the Mass General Brigham system and around the world.

Distinguished career as an infectious disease scientist

Dr. Gilmore is the founder and principal investigator of the Harvard-wide Program on Antibiotic Resistance, and of the academic/industry consortium Boston-Area Antibiotic Resistance Network (BAARN). He also serves on numerous advisory boards and committees for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), National Science Foundation (NSF) and European Union (EU), in addition to working with private organizations and industry on drug discovery and antibiotic resistance research.

His research focuses on the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria and developing new ways to treat and prevent infections of the eye, ear, skin and other sites. A prolific published scientist, Dr. Gilmore has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers in leading journals including Cell, Nature, Science and PNAS in addition to serving as a reviewer and editor for leading journals. He holds several patents for his research, and currently has three ongoing NIH grants after receiving dozens more throughout his career.

A native of Michigan, Dr. Gilmore received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1984, and eventually became Vice President for Research there. In between he was an NAS/NSF Fellow to the German Democratic Republic, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wuerzburg, and a Fogarty Senior International Fellow at Cambridge University. He joined Harvard Medical School in n 2004 as President and CEO of the Schepens Eye Research Institute, which in 2011, became part of Mass Eye and Ear.

“This role presents an exciting challenge and unique honor to lead internationally acclaimed researchers whose work has profoundly advanced the fields of ophthalmology and otolaryngology in ways that will have a lasting impact on all of science and medicine,” said Dr. Gilmore. “I look forward to aiding our researchers in their continuing quest to the push the envelope of science and technology to improve our understanding of disease, so that we can translate that research in ways that will ultimately improve patient care and benefit humankind.” 

About Mass Eye and Ear

Massachusetts Eye and Ear, founded in 1824, is an international center for treatment and research and a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. A member of Mass General Brigham, Mass Eye and Ear specializes in ophthalmology (eye care) and otolaryngology–head and neck surgery (ear, nose and throat care). Mass Eye and Ear clinicians provide care ranging from the routine to the very complex. Also home to the world’s largest community of hearing and vision researchers, Mass Eye and Ear scientists are driven by a mission to discover the basic biology underlying conditions affecting the eyes, ears, nose, throat, head and neck and to develop new treatments and cures. In the 2020–2021 “Best Hospitals Survey,” U.S. News & World Report ranked Mass Eye and Ear #4 in the nation for eye care and #6 for ear, nose and throat care. For more information about life-changing care and research at Mass Eye and Ear, visit our blog, Focus, and follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.