Two faculty members named new Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators
Two School of Medicine faculty members, genome researcher Evan Eichler and neuroscientist Fred Rieke, have been selected investigators of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a funding organization for biomedical research. Selection as an HHMI investigator affords researchers a source of long-term, flexible funding to pursue their interests.
The institute periodically selects new members from among the nation's top researchers in the ascending phase of their careers. Those selected are pursuing significant biological topics, pushing the limits of their fields, creating new tools and methods in biomedical science, and fostering links between biology and medicine.
Eichler, associate professor of genome sciences, studies duplicated sequences and genes in the human genome, as well as genome variations between humans and other primates. He also researches diseases, such as Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes, that are caused by chromosomal abnormalities.
Rieke, associate professor of physiology and biophysics, studies how eyesight works in conditions ranging from starlight to bright sunshine. He examines the first steps in vision by using a variety of approaches, such as tracking signals produced in visual receptors across the retina.
The HHMI investigator program has tapped some of the top minds in biomedical research, including UW Affiliate Professor Linda Buck, who won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 2004. The UW now has 13 full-time faculty members who are HHMI investigators.