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Erin O’Shea

The prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute has named Erin K. O’Shea as Vice-President for Science and Chief Scientific Officer. O’Shea is the director of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ (FAS) Center for Systems Biology, the Paul C. Mangelsdorf Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
While maintaining her laboratory in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), she will oversee HHMI’s broad scientific portfolio. This includes the HHMI Investigator Program supporting researchers and early career scientists in HHMI laboratories across the United States; initiatives fostering innovative, collaborative research; and projects identifying new opportunities to capitalize on the institute’s expertise in biomedical research and science education. O’Shea will begin her new duties part-time in January 2013 and transition to full-time in July 2013.
“It’s a great honor and amazing opportunity for Erin to be chosen as the HHMI Vice-President for Science and Chief Scientific Officer,” said MCB Chair Catherine Dulac, Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and also an HHMI investigator. “Her activities and initiatives at HHMI will greatly impact research programs in biomedical science across the country and abroad.”
In announcing O’Shea’s appointment, HHMI President Robert Tjian said, “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.”
O’Shea is regarded as a leader in the fields of gene regulation, signal transduction, and systems biology. She studies how cells sense changes in their environment and respond appropriately, which has implications for understanding cancer and other diseases.
“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,” O’Shea told HHMI. “I am delighted and honored to have this opportunity to help oversee HHMI’s research programs. I look forward to the challenge of identifying the most promising scientists and areas of scientific investment, and to maximizing the impact that HHMI has on science, both inside and outside of this country.”
HHMI Announcement, November 30, 2012Erin O’Shea Named Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at HHMI
investigator since 2000.

Read more in the HARVARDgazette

Read more in the Boston Globe, December 10, 2012

View Erin O’Shea’s Faculty Profile