Seven Harvard Affiliates Named HHMI Investigators

The designation comes with $9 million in research support

From left, top to bottom: Cigall Kadoch, Shingo Kajimura, Emily Balskus, Flaminia Catteruccia, Sun HurPhotographs courtesy of the subjects unless otherwise noted.Photograph of Flaminia Catteruccia courtesy Wikimedia Commons/ Harvard SPH. 

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute announced today that it had chosen 33 new investigators—including four from Harvard, and three more from the University’s affiliated hospitals, as well as five alumni. Each will receive approximately $9 million in research funding during a seven-year term to support their biomedical research.

Among those named a 2021 HHMI investigator is professor of chemistry and chemical biology Emily Balskus, whose innovative approaches to the study of gut microbial chemistry were featured in the July-August 2021 issue of Harvard Magazine

Another is professor of immunology and infectious diseases Flaminia Catteruccia, whose research into mosquito mating behavior and biology may lead to better methods for controlling malaria, which kills 600,000 people worldwide each year. Her work was featured in “Editing an End to Malaria,” a 2016 article describing efforts to breed genetically altered mosquitos to help fight the disease. 

The other Harvard-affiliated scientists awarded HHMI investigator status are:

  • Professor of organismic and evolutionary biology and of molecular and cellular biology Cassandra Extavour, who is investigating the ancient origins of germ cells
  • Professor of neurobiology Chenghua Gu, who studies the blood-brain barrier
  • Professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology, Schloss professor of pediatrics, and professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology Sun Hur, of Boston Children’s Hospital, who studies how the immune system recognizes invading pathogens
  • Associate professor of pediatrics Cigall Kadoch of Dana Farber Cancer Institute, who studies the regulation of gene activity
  • Associate professor of medicine Shingo Kajimura of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose research delves into the role of fat in energy metabolism


Alumni named 2021 HHMI investigators include:

  • Trevor Bedford, Ph.D. ’08
  • Rhiju Das ’98
  • Daniel Kronauer JF ’11
  • Frederick Matsen, Ph.D. ’06
  • Benjamin Tu ’98, A.M. ’98


Descriptions of each of these scientists’ work appear on the HHMI website.

Read more articles by: Jonathan Shaw

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