HHMI has announced a new list of anointed ones (HHMI News: HHMI Gives 50 Early Career Scientists a Jump on Their Next Big Idea).
A few comments.
First, it is really really surprising that they are so low on females here (41 men, 9 women by my count). Given that this is for early career scientists and that women have on average sometime more challenges in the early career than men, it would have been nice to see this the other way around.
That being said, they did pick some good people in this list (shocking, I know). Here are a few I want to highlight as they are related to things I tend to write about here:
Rob Knight, at U. Colorado at Boulder who has been developing computational methods to study microbial diversity and has developed lots of cool methods.
Harmit Malik, FHCRC, who does some great stuff on genome evolution.
Michael Laub, MIT who works on Caulobacter development.
Martin Cohn, U. Florida who has done some very cool work on evolution of development in vertebrates.
Neil Hunter UC Davis. UCD’s first HHMI awardee. And a good one to pick. He does some cool work on recombination.
Molly Przeworski, U. Chicago, who works on population genetics on a genome-wide scale.
Aviv Regev, Broad Institute, who has done some interesting work on regulatory networks.
I love the idea of finding people not projects. Too bad there is not more of this type of thing from Federal Agencies. We would probably save money in the long run — review people once every few years and give them some money to do work. Not that competitive grant programs should be eliminated, but funding people more would reduce the # of grant proposals and panels and would probably save $$ in the long run by allowing people to focus on doing work.