HHMI selects Vamsi Mootha for prestigious honor

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced that Vamsi Mootha is among the 27 “top biomedical researchers” in the nation who will become HHMI investigators this fall. Selected for their scientific excellence, all of the investigators will receive flexible, financial support over the next five years so that they may move their research forward in creative and new directions.

Mootha is a professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School, a professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a senior associate member of the Broad Institute and co-director of the institute’s Metabolism Program. Mootha’s research is primarily focused on the mitochondrion, the “powerhouse of the cell,” and its role in human disease. Mootha’s group has characterized the mitochondrial proteome, and has used this inventory to investigate the physiology of the organelle, and its role in rare but devastating inherited metabolic disorders.

“This is a very talented group of scientists. And while we cannot predict where their research will take them, we’re eager to help them move science forward,” HHMI president Robert Tjian said in a press statement.

The new group of HHMI investigators was selected from among a group of 1,155 applicants with five to 15 years of experience as faculty members. HHMI – guided by the principle “people, not projects” – will provide each investigator with support for basic biomedical research over the next five years, at which time appointments may be renewed. The new investigators will begin their appointments in September 2013.