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One of the world's largest private philanthropies will announce today a $600 million initiative to fund risky but potentially lifesaving medical research by 56 of America's top scientists.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is expanding its flagship investigators program to nurture a new class of scientists. By endowing scientists' research over many years, the institute hopes they will make major discoveries in a variety of fields, including genetics and biology.
The scientists, chosen from more than 1,000 applicants, said they want to answer such ambitious questions as how global climate change affects the spread of cholera, malaria and other infectious diseases and whether doctors can apply the engineering behind the building of airplanes and computers to the human immune system.