For the first time ever, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) wants to support M.D.s who aim to bridge basic science and clinical research. HHMI has opened a national competition to recruit up to 10 investigators who hold M.D.s or M.D.s plus Ph.D.s for patient-oriented research. Nomination invitations were sent to 119 institutions, including medical schools, research institutes, schools of public health, and selected independent hospitals. A committee of distinguished scientists will choose investigators from tenured faculty members at those institutions with whom HHMI will then collaborate. "We will be looking for researchers who show the greatest potential for being able to translate basic science discoveries into useful clinical applications," says Thomas R. Cech, HHMI president. "There has been a steady decline in the number of physician-scientists who are pursuing careers that integrate direct patient contact and fundamental biomedical research." Patient-oriented research has grown in importance because of the...

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