Erin K. O'Shea

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Erin K. O'Shea
Nationality American
Fields Biochemistry
Institutions Harvard University, HHMI
Alma mater Smith College, MIT, UCSF
Doctoral advisor Peter S. Kim
Other academic advisors Robert Tjian, Ira Herskowitz
Notable awards NAS Award in Molecular Biology (2001)

Erin K. O'Shea Ph.D. is the Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. She earned her A.B. in Biochemistry from Smith College in 1988 and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from MIT in a short two and a half years working with Peter S. Kim studying leucine zippers. Because of her success, she was immediately offered a faculty position at the University of California, San Francisco. During her early years, she worked as a postdoc with Robert Tjian and Ira Herskowitz studying chromatin regulation of transcription in yeast.[1] When she was joined by her graduate school colleague Jonathan Weissman, they began to determine the location and abundance of all of the proteins in the yeast genome. They ultimately made two libraries both with GFP-fused protein with tandem affinity purification (TAP)-tags.[2][3] In 2005, she was recruited to Harvard University to be the director of the (FAS) Center for Systems Biology and a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Her research is focused on gene regulation and the biology of a three-protein circadian clock. In 2012, she was elected to be HHMI's new Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer leading the HHMI Investigator Program succeeding Jack Dixon. She will continue to maintain her lab at Harvard.[4][5]

She is a member of the National Academy of Science and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator since 2000.[6] She won the NAS Award in Molecular Biology in 2001.

Personal life[edit]

Erin is married to Douglas Jeffrey and wakeboards. A large motivation to move to Harvard was for the chance to teach undergrads[7]


  1. ^ Marino, M. (28 September 2004). "Inaugural Article: Biography of Erin K. O'Shea". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101 (40): 14312–14314. doi:10.1073/pnas.0406675101. 
  2. ^ Weissman, Jonathan S.; O'Shea, Erin K. (1 January 2009). "2004 Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award". Protein Science 13 (12): 3333–3335. doi:10.1110/ps.041134604. 
  3. ^ Huh, WK; Falvo, JV; Gerke, LC; Carroll, AS; Howson, RW; Weissman, JS; O'Shea, EK (Oct 16, 2003). "Global analysis of protein localization in budding yeast.". Nature 425 (6959): 686–91. doi:10.1038/nature02026. PMID 14562095. 
  4. ^ "Erin O’Shea Named Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at HHMI". HHMI News. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Reuell, Peter (3 December 2012). "HHMI taps Erin O’Shea". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Erin O'Shea". HHMI. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "HARVARD PORTRAIT Erin O'Shea". Harvard Magazine. February 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 

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