Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Erin O’Shea Named Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at HHMI

Published: Monday, December 03, 2012
Last Updated: Sunday, December 02, 2012
Bookmark and Share
O’Shea to begin her new duties part-time in January 2013 and transition to full-time in July 2013.

The Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have elected Professor Erin K. O’Shea, Ph.D., now a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Harvard University, as Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.

A member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, O’Shea is regarded as a leader in the fields of gene regulation, signal transduction, and systems biology.

Her research focuses on the way cells sense changes in their environment and respond appropriately, work that has implications for understanding cancer and other diseases.

For the last seven years, O’Shea has served as Director of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Center for Systems Biology, an interdisciplinary research center that brings together people from the physical and life sciences to solve problems in biology.

In addition, O’Shea is the Paul C. Mangelsdorf Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard.

She was recruited to Harvard in 2005 from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she had been an HHMI investigator since 2000.

“HHMI scientists are among the most creative and accomplished biomedical researchers in the world. Erin’s passion for science, her scholarship, her breadth of scientific interests, and her exceptional skills as a mentor and teacher make her the ideal person to lead our scientific programs,” said HHMI President Robert Tjian, Ph.D., in making the announcement.

O’Shea will lead the Institute’s flagship HHMI Investigator Program, in which leading scientists and their staff conduct research in HHMI laboratories across the United States.

At HHMI, she will oversee a broad scientific portfolio, which includes programs that support early career scientists in the United States and abroad, and initiatives that foster innovative, collaborative research.

O’Shea will also be responsible for identifying new opportunities that capitalize on the Institute's expertise in biomedical research and science education.

“I was attracted to this position because it provides an opportunity to have a positive and lasting influence on research on the national and international level, as well as to work with colleagues to elevate the importance and quality of science education,” said O’Shea.

O’Shea continued, “I see opportunities to identify and support great scientists, to develop and test programs that can serve as models which can be expanded and adopted by others, and to support the development and dissemination of transformative technologies.”

O’Shea received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Smith College and her Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for work done with Peter Kim, who is now president of Merck Research Laboratories. She carried out postdoctoral research with Robert Tjian at the University of California, Berkeley, and with the late Ira Herskowitz at UCSF.

Her honors include the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship, a Presidential Faculty Fellow Award, the American Society for Cell Biology-Promega Early Career Life Science Award, and the Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award from the Protein Society.

O’Shea will continue to maintain her lab at Harvard, where she conducts research on several broad areas: understanding how regulatory networks encode and decode information to control the production of genes; and investigating the function and mechanism of oscillation of a three-protein circadian clock found in bacteria.

In a new project, she is studying the mechanism of drug action, making use of a human cell line amenable to loss-of-function genetic approaches.

O’Shea succeeds Jack E. Dixon, Ph.D., who has led HHMI’s scientific programs since 2007. In 2012, Dixon announced his intention to retire as vice president and chief scientific officer.

Dixon will return to the University of California, San Diego in 2013 to continue his longstanding research on protein tyrosine phosphatases - biochemical “master control switches” that regulate much of the activity in living cells.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

One-Drop-of-Blood Reveals a Patient’s Viral History
New technology developed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers makes it possible to test for current and past infections with any known human virus by analyzing a single drop of a person's blood.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
A Crisper View of DNA-Snipping Enzyme
HHMI scientists have created a portrait of a DNA-snipping protein called Cas9, a powerful research tool used in many labs for genome editing.
Saturday, February 08, 2014
Spontaneous Mutations Play a Key Role in Congenital Heart Disease
New research shows that about 10 percent of these defects are caused by genetic mutations that are absent in the parents of affected children.
Monday, May 13, 2013
A New View of Transcription Initiation
Reading the human genome.
Monday, March 04, 2013
Stash of Stem Cells Found in a Human Parasite
New findings were published online on February 20, 2013, in the journal Nature.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Search for Epigenetic Decoder in Brain Cells Leads Scientists to Rett Syndrome
New analysis suggests that MeCP2 recognizes 5hmC in the brain and facilitates activation of the genes.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Scientists Find Mechanism that Triggers Immune Responses to DNA
HHMI scientists have discovered the molecular pathway outside a cell’s nucleus in the cytosol.
Monday, December 24, 2012
Susan Desmond-Hellmann Elected as HHMI Trustee
Desmond-Hellmann becomes one of 11 Trustees of the Institute.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
HHMI’s Robert Lefkowitz Awarded 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Robert Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka are the recipients of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for studies of G-protein coupled receptors.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Analysis of Stickleback Genome Sequence Catches Evolution in Action
Reuse of key genes is a common theme, as reported by scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Autism Gene Screen Highlights Protein Network for Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scientists
Over the past decade, scientists have added many gene mutations to the list of potential risk factors for autism spectrum disorders -- but researchers still lack a definitive explanation of autism’s cause.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Scientists Trace Origin of Recent Cholera Epidemic in Haiti
The finding supports the notion that the cholera bacteria fueling the outbreak arrived on the island via recent visitors.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Protein-Folding Game Taps Power of Worldwide Audience to Solve Difficult Puzzles
Extended efforts could pay off in the design of new proteins that help fight disease, sequester carbon, or clean up the environment.
Monday, August 09, 2010
New Tool Illuminates Connections Between Stem Cells and Cancer
HHMI researchers have a new tool to understand how cancers grow - and with it a new opportunity to identify novel cancer drugs.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Crash-Test Reveals DNA Traffic Control
Researchers have discovered that when DNA-copying enzymes run head-on into oncoming traffic, they kick the obstacles out of their way.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
How a Genetic Locus Protects Adult Blood-Forming Stem Cells
Mammalian imprinted Gtl2 protects adult hematopoietic stem cells by restricting metabolic activity in the cells' mitochondria.
Genetic Basis of Fatal Flu Side Effect Discovered
A group of people with fatal H1N1 flu died after their viral infections triggered a deadly hyperinflammatory disorder in susceptible individuals with gene mutations linked to the overactive immune response, according to a recent study.
New Tech Vastly Improves CRISPR/Cas9 Accuracy
A new CRISPR/Cas9 technology developed by scientists at UMass Medical School is precise enough to surgically edit DNA at nearly any genomic location, while avoiding potentially harmful off-target changes typically seen in standard CRISPR gene editing techniques.
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
"Good" Mozzie Virus Might Hold Key to Fighting Human Disease
Australian scientists have discovered a new virus carried by one of the country’s most common pest mosquitoes.
Non-Disease Proteins Kill Brain Cells
Scientists at the forefront of cutting-edge research into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s have shown that the mere presence of protein aggregates may be as important as their form and identity in inducing cell death in brain tissue.
Closing the Loop on an HIV Escape Mechanism
Research team finds that protein motions regulate virus infectivity.
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Potential Treatment for Life-Threatening Viral Infections Revealed
The findings point to new therapies for Dengue, West Nile and Ebola.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos