Bio: Erin O’Shea


Erin O’Shea is president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a top biomedical philanthropy. HHMI is known for driving science forward by investing in scientists, educators and students with the potential to make transformative change. O’Shea is the first woman to lead HHMI.

A leader in the scientific fields of gene regulation, signal transduction and systems biology, O’Shea maintains a research lab at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus. She previously served as the Institute’s Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer and has been an HHMI investigator since 2000.

Prior to joining HHMI, O’Shea was the director of Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences Center for Systems Biology and its Paul C. Mangelsdorf Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemistry and Chemical Biology. O’Shea has also served on the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco. She earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Smith College.

O’Shea is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology. In 2017, Washingtonian magazine named her “one of Washington’s 100 most powerful women.”