Dana-Farber Medical Oncology Chair named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

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Benjamin Ebert, MD, PhD of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator, a group of individuals known for pushing the boundaries of biomedical research.

Ebert was selected from a pool of 675 eligible applicants. Each of the 19 new investigators will receive roughly $8 million over a seven-year term, which is renewable pending a scientific review. The scientists represent 15 U.S. institutions and will join an investigator community of over 300.

“We selected these scientists because they know how to ask hard and interesting questions with skill and intellectual courage,” said David Clapham, HHMI’s vice president and chief scientific officer. “We believe they have the potential to make breakthroughs over time.”

“Every scientist is unique, but they all need one thing: time,” said HHMI President Erin O’Shea. “HHMI is dedicated to providing outstanding biomedical scientists with the time and resources to do their best work. We think of this as investing in people, not just projects.”

Twenty-eight HHMI scientists have won the Nobel Prize. Investigators have made significant progress in such fields as HIV vaccine development, microbiome and circadian rhythm research, immunotherapy, and the genome editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas9.

Ebert is professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, an institute member of the Broad Institute, and leader of the Leukemia Program for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

His research focuses on the genetics, biology, and therapy of myeloid malignancies. This work has led to the characterization of clonal hematopoiesis as a pre-malignant state for hematologic malignancies, and elucidation of the mechanism of action of lenalidomide and related molecules that induce degradation of specific proteins.

Dr. Ebert received a bachelor's degree from Williams College, a doctorate from Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and an MD from Harvard Medical School. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Dana-Farber.

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