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Erich Jarvis named Howard Hughes Investigator
Date:5/27/2008

DURHAM, N.C. -- Erich Jarvis, Ph.D., an associate professor of neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center, has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator by HHMI. He is one of 42 men and 14 women chosen this year in a highly selective national competition that occurs about every three years.

"These 56 scientists will bring new and innovative ways of thinking about biology to the HHMI community," said Thomas R. Cech, president of HHMI. "They are poised to advance scientific knowledge dramatically in the coming years, and we are committed to providing them with the freedom and flexibility to do so."

Dean Nancy Andrews of the Duke School of Medicine said of Jarvis' achievement: "His ability to design ways to study the mystery of learning through birdsong, through molecular, neural, and behavioral systems simultaneously, deserves this high level of recognition. We look forward to the Jarvis laboratory's future findings about precisely how our brains are able to learn."

Jarvis, 43, is one of seven Duke University scientists who are now HHMI investigators, with their research supported by the institute. In 2005, another faculty member in neurobiology, Mike Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D., was named an HHMI investigator.

Once selected, the investigators continue to be based at their host institutions, but become HHMI employees and derive their salaries and benefits from the institute. Investigators retain their faculty positions and continue to participate in teaching and other professional activities at their university or institute. HHMI provides long-term, flexible funding so the scientists can follow their ideas through to fruition even if that process takes many years.

Erich Jarvis had previously been nominated but not named. This year, he used scientific observation to allow himself cautious optimism. "My lab manager handed me an express mail envelope with the news," Jarvis said. "I tried to prepar
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Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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